Trump Disbands CEO Advisory Councils After Charlottesville Outcry

“Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both,” POTUS tweets

Last Updated: August 16, 2017 @ 11:37 AM

Members of Donald Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum have agreed to disband following the outcry over the president’s response to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in which he equated neo-Nazis with protesters who opposed them.

Soon after, the president announced via Twitter that he was ending his executive councils.

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

The move comes as Trump faces backlash over his tepid response to a violent white supremacist rally over the weekend, which left one woman dead and 19 people wounded when a car driven by a Nazi sympathizer plowed into a group of anti-fascist counter-protesters.

“Intolerance, racism and violence have absolutely no place in this country and are an affront to core American values,” the members said in a statement. “We believe 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.”

On Wednesday morning, Stephen Schwarzman, the chief executive of the Blackstone Group, organized a conference call for members of the president’s Strategic and Policy Forum. The execs then decided to leave the council, according to the New York Times.

The decision to disband the group follows a steady steam of exists by members of Trump’s Manufacturing Advisory Council after the Charlottesville rally, including Campbell Soup’s and 3M’s CEOs on Wednesday.

Three other members of his Strategy and Policy Forum: Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick left following following Trump’s controversial travel ban, Tesla’s Elon Musk and Disney’s Bob Iger quit after Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement in June.