President Donald Trump posted on social media Wednesday that he is disbanding two of his business advisory councils as fallout continues from his remarks about racially charged violence in Virginia.
In a post on Twitter, the president said: "Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!"
That post came as Bloomberg News reported that the strategy group -- a council of senior business leaders who advise on strategy and policy -- was already planning to disband.
The executive council, which is led by Blackstone Group LP’s Stephen Schwarzman, planned to inform the White House on Wednesday before making the announcement public, Bloomberg News reports, citing a person familiar with the matter who wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
The strategy group is one of several the White House convened this year to advise the president.
Several CEOs from the manufacturing council, a second advisory panel, already quit this week. Pressure to leave the groups has built following a press conference Trump held in New York on Tuesday where he placed partial blame for the weekend violence on demonstrators protesting a gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. A woman was killed during the event after a man rammed a car into a crowd.
While more than half a dozen CEOs have quit a manufacturing CEO group, others had said they wanted to stay on the panels in order to influence White House policy.
The manufacturing council hasn’t met since February. The CEOs of Under Armour, Intel, Merck quit earlier this week. And on Wednesday, Inge Thulin, CEO of 3M left, as did Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison.
“Following yesterday’s remarks from the president, I cannot remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative,” Morrison said in a statement. “I will continue to support all efforts to spur economic growth and advocate for the values that have always made America great.”
Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Round Rock-based Dell Technologies, had faced a number of calls this week to resign from the manufacturing council.
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