Trump Says He's Disbanding Business Councils 'Rather Than Putting Pressure on the Businesspeople'

By Melanie Arter | August 16, 2017 | 2:47pm EDT

( - President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he is ending two of his economic councils following an exodus from both in the wake of his comments regarding the violence in Charlottesville.


"Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!" the president tweeted.

Executives on Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum agreed to disband as a group, according to a member of the council, so it would have more impact, CNBC reports.

"The thinking was it was important to do as a group," a member told CNBC. "As a panel, not as individuals because it would have more significant impact. It makes a central point that it's not going to go forward. It's done."


In a statement posted on CNBC's Twitter page, business leaders from the president's strategy council said

"As our members have expressed individually over the past several days, intolerance, racism, and violence have absolutely no place in this country and are an affront to core American values. The President's Strategic and Policy Forum was conceived as a bi-partisan group of business leaders called to serve our country by providing independent feedback and perspectives directly to the President on accelerating economic growth and job creation in the United States. We believe the debate over Forum participation has become a distraction from our well-intentioned and sincere desire to aid vital policy discussions on how to improve the lives of everyday Americans. As such, the President and we are disbanding the Forum. Job creation and supporting an inclusive pro-growth agenda remain vitally important to the progress of our country. As Americans, we are all united in our desire to see our country succeed."

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick quit the Strategy and Policy Forum over the president's travel ban. Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Iger both left the forum when the president announced he was withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.

Meanwhile, two more CEOs resigned from the president's Manufacturing Advisory Council over the president's remarks in the wake of Charlottesville.

Inge Thulin, chairman, president, and CEO of 3M, and Campbell's CEO Denise Morrison resigned from the manufacturing council on Wednesday. On Monday, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Under Armour's Kevin Plank resigned the council, followed by the resignations of Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Deputy Chief of Staff Thea Lee.

"Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville," Morrison said in a statement.


Paul said he was tweeted that he was "resigning from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative because it's the right thing for me to do."

Trumpka and Lee issued a statement Tuesday after the president's comments blaming both sides in Charlottesville on Tuesday.

"President Trump's remarks today repudiate his forced remarks yesterday about the KKK and neo-Nazis. We must resign on behalf of America’s working people, who reject all notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups," Trumka and Lee said in a statement.

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