Trump scraps plan for White House infrastructure council

President Trump is abandoning plans to form a council of outside advisers on infrastructure, the White House said Thursday
 
The council, which had not yet been assembled, would have provided the White House with advice on how to spend billions of dollars to improve the nation's roads, bridges and railways. 
 
"The president's Advisory Council on Infrastructure, which was still being formed, will not move forward," a White House official said.
 
Bloomberg first reported Trump would not move forward with the council.
 
The announcement comes on the heels of Trump's dissolution of two major business councils, whose members began to resign en masse over the president's response to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va.
 
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Trump announced in January that he was putting billionaire real estate developers Richard LeFrak and Steven Roth in charge of the council to help oversee his national rebuilding effort.

The panel was supposed to vet transportation projects and help shape the president’s yet-to-be-released infrastructure package.

But Trump only recently issued an executive order to formally establish the group.

The council has also been the subject of a lawsuit from a nonprofit group, which claims that the panel has been operating in secrecy and that its co-chairmen have potential conflicts of interest.

The announcement to cancel the infrastructure council could add yet another setback for Trump’s rebuilding proposal, which has been stalled on the sidelines.

Trump tried to show progress on the rebuilding initiative Tuesday, signing an executive order at Trump Tower designed to significantly shorten the time it takes federal agencies to approve road, highway, bridge and other infrastructure projects.

It was an effort to refocus on one of the president’s core messages as he struggled to contain the fallout over his handling of the racist violence in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend. 

But an impromptu press conference after his infrastructure remarks quickly stepped on the message, turning into a wild, combative exchange with the press, in which Trump defended his initial response to the violent events and suggested that not all people attending the white supremacist rally were bad.

Updated 4:57 p.m.