Trump could learn something about crisis management from Bill Clinton, says ex-Clinton aide

Key Points
  • When Bill Clinton was president, he had the White House focused on the policies and work even during the impeachment process, Don Baer says.
  • Baer suggests that Trump speak to the American people and apologize to U.S. business leaders.
This is a 'Titanic rupture' between White House and American leadership: Fmr. White House Comms. Director Don Baer

President Donald Trump should take a page out of Bill Clinton's crisis management playbook, former Clinton White House communications director Don Baer told CNBC on Wednesday.

"One of the things that President Clinton was really intense about and very good about was keeping his White House focused on the policies and the work of the American people even during the impeachment process," Baer said on "Power Lunch."

"The American people never stopped believing that Bill Clinton got up every day going to work to try to help move forward an agenda that was helping them," he added.

On Dec. 19, 1998, Clinton was impeached by the House on charges of lying under oath about the Monica Lewinsky affair. Clinton was later acquitted by the Senate.

Baer, who had stopped working for Clinton during most of the impeachment period, said Clinton expressed remorse along the way and apologized to the nation.

Although it's a different crisis, Baer said Trump should speak to the American people about the disbanding of two key business advisory panels.

If he hopes to "bring them back around," Trump should also apologize to business leaders for putting them in a high-pressure position, Baer said.

Trump abruptly dissolved two corporate advisory councils Wednesday after several business leaders resigned this week over his response to the deadly white supremacist rally over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

At a heated news conference Tuesday, Trump doubled down on his initial response, blaming "both sides." Shortly after some Republicans and CEOs distanced themselves from Trump.

Trump must stop the "self-inflicted wounds" in his administration, Baer said, calling the CEO fallout a "Titanic rupture" between the White House and corporate America.