American Cancer Society says it will not hold gala at Mar-a-Lago
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The American Cancer Society (ACS) has backed out of plans to host a 2018 gala at President TrumpDonald TrumpWhat blue wave? A close look at Texas today tells of a different story Democrats go down to the wire with Manchin Trump's former bodyguard investigated in NY prosectors' probe: report MORE's Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, becoming the latest group of distance itself from the president after he appeared to defend white nationalist protesters in Charlottesville, Va.

The ACS said in a statement Thursday that it had initially chosen Mar-a-Lago as the venue for its 2018 Island of Palm Beach gala "based on a variety of factors, including costs and venue requirements."

"Our values and commitment to diversity are critical as we work to address the impact of cancer in every community," the group said.  "It has become increasingly clear that the challenge to those values is outweighing other business considerations."


The ACS isn't the first group to cancel a scheduled event at Trump's Palm Beach club. Earlier on Thursday, the Cleveland Clinic announced that it would no longer hold its annual fundraising gala at the property.

That announcement came after the hospital system faced pressure from medical professionals opposed to the president's efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and overhaul the nation's healthcare system.

The ACS's decision to move its event came a day after two of Trump's economic councils disbanded amid mounting criticism over the president's Charlottesville remarks. 

In a fiery news conference Tuesday, Trump criticized "alt-left" protesters for being "very, very violent" in confronting white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups who had gathered in the college town to oppose the removal of a Confederate statue.

He said "both sides" were to blame for the violence that left one woman dead after a white supremacist rally turned violent.