Trump’s business advisory council disbands

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A panel of corporate leaders advising President Trump on economic policy disbanded Wednesday afternoon, during a week when the president is rapidly losing support from business leaders citing controversial remarks Trump made about violent clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters.

CNBC reported that Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum broke apart Wednesday, according to a member of the panel. As the news was breaking, Trump tweeted that he was ending the forum and a separate manufacturing council with corporate leaders.

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

In a statement, the leaders of the forum alluded to Trump’s remarks on racially charged violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that one counterprotester dead and numerous others injured. 

“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.”

The policy forum’s disbanding follows a wave of CEO defections from Trump’s Manufacturing Advisory Council, a panel of corporate leaders focused on boosting U.S. manufacturing jobs. 

The separate initiative lost seven members since Monday, including Campbell Soup’s and 3M’s CEOs on Wednesday. 


Trump previously lost the support of three other business leaders from his Strategy and Policy Forum: Uber’s then-CEO Travis Kalanick quit following Trump’s travel ban, while Tesla’s Elon Musk and Disney’s Bob Iger left when Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. Musk was also a member of the manufacturing council.

Trump stoked tensions Tuesday when he blamed the “alt-left” for charging at white supremacist and Neo-Nazi protesters, some of which Trump called “very fine people.”

Niv Elis contributed to this report which was updated at 1:43 p.m.

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