Three-quarters of CEOs say they've apologized for Trump's rhetoric

China demands release of tech executive

Here are some people who have publicly apologized for President Donald Trump's words or behavior: The CEO of the Boy Scouts. Robert de Niro. Samantha Bee. Americans living near the border with Canada.

Apparently, most American executives find themselves in that sorry group. Three-quarters of CEOs said they find themselves apologizing to international partners about the president's rhetoric, according to a survey of attendees at the Yale School of Management's CEO summit. The invitation-only meeting, which took place in New York last week, claimed 134 attendees, including the CEOs of Ford, Morgan Stanley and Verizon, according to The New York Times.

Even though multinational companies have fared spectacularly in the Trump presidency, with lower taxes, less oversight and sky-high stock prices (until recently), their worries indicate a fear about what the salty rhetoric could do to future international relationships, said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, who leads the Yale School of Management.

"They don't fully recover"

"They're embarrassed by the leadership style that, as one [respondent] put it, will punch you in the nose first with the belief that everything we do afterwards will seem more reasonable," said Sonnenfeld.

Instead, what typically happens, he added, is "they don't fully recover, and they don't forget."

The CEOs polled overwhelmingly agreed, with nine in 10 saying they believe the president's negotiating style has alienated U.S. allies.

Unlike last year's survey, which showed CEOs and leaders of small businesses in particular bullish on the Trump presidency, this year's results showed increased pessimism. Nearly half of respondents expect the U.S. to enter a recession by the end of next year, and two-thirds named political instability in the U.S. as the greatest threat to financial markets.