Member of Trump's Evangelical Advisory Board resigns over 'conflict in values'

The pastor of a New York megachurch said Friday that he has resigned from President Trump's Evangelical Advisory Board, citing "a deepening conflict in values" with the administration. 

Rev. A.R. Bernard, who leads the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, said in a statement that he had "quietly stepped away" from the panel several months ago, but submitted his formal resignation on Tuesday.

"In a social and political climate such as ours, it often takes a gathering of unlikely individuals to shape the future of our nation on issues of faith and inner city initiatives," Bernard said. "I was willing to be one of those individuals, and that is why I agreed to serve on the President's Evangelical Advisory Board."

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"However, it became obvious that there was a deepening conflict in values between myself and the administration," he continued.

Bernard's resignation from the board comes as a growing number of business leaders and outside advisers look to distance themselves from Trump amid backlash over his recent comments on Charlottesville, Va. 

It was not immediately clear if Bernard had formally resigned from the panel because of the president's comments on Tuesday, in which he equated white nationalists to the counter-demonstrators who had gathered in Charlottesville to oppose them.

The pastor signed onto a Monday letter from the Commission of Religious Leaders fiercely condemning hate groups in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville. 

"We will not be silent while neo-Nazis, white supremacists, or any individuals or groups, seek to divide us from one another," the letter reads.

As several business and industry leaders resigned from Trump's economic councils on Wednesday, the president abruptly declared that he was disbanding the groups. 

And on Thursday, the White House announced that it would abandon plans to create a council of outside advisers on infrastructure. 

Several members of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities announced in a letter on Friday that they were leaving the panel, as well, citing Trump's equivocal statements on white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups that incited violence in Charlottesville on Saturday.