Trump Loses 2 WH Business Councils Amid Criticism

He disbanded them, though one may have beaten him to the punch
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2017 1:03 PM CDT
Trump Disbands 2 White House Business Councils
President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the lobby of Trump Tower, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 in New York.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Trump tweeted Wednesday that he's shutting down both his Manufacturing Council and Strategic and Policy Forum "rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople" involved. However, Bloomberg reports the Strategic and Policy Forum had already decided to disband Wednesday in the wake of Trump's comments on neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and Charlottesville. According to CNBC, the Strategic and Policy Forum was a business advisory council featuring the heads of JPMorgan Chase, Blackstone, Walmart, BlackRock, IBM, and more. Meanwhile, Trump's Manufacturing Council has been bleeding members since Monday. The CEO of Campbell's Soup on Wednesday joined the half-dozen other CEOs who've left the council, USA Today reports. Here's what else you need to know:

  • NBC Philadelphia has more on Denise Morrison, the Campbell's Soup CEO who became the last person to leave Trump's Manufacturing Council before it was disbanded. "Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville. I believe the President should have been—and still needs to be—unambiguous on that point," Morrison said in a statement.
  • New York Times reporter Landon Thomas Jr. tweets that nine of 12 CEOs on the Strategic and Policy Forum agreed to resign if it wasn't disbanded during a conference call prior to Trump's tweet Wednesday.
  • A day earlier, advocacy groups had delivered 400,000 signatures to the CEOs of Blackstone and JPMorgan asking them to leave the Strategic and Policy Forum, CNN reports.
  • After Trump disbanded that council, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon sent a memo to employees saying he "strongly" disagreed with Trump on Charlottesville. “Racism, intolerance, and violence are always wrong” the Wall Street Journal quotes Dimon as saying in the memo. “There is no room for equivocation here.”
  • The Daily Beast states that while the disbanded councils were mostly symbolic, "their respective ends represent a massive embarrassment for a president who has long claimed to be a friend and champion of business." Trump's crumbling relationship with business leaders could also make future tax reform efforts more difficult.
  • Finally, Trump's disbanding of his business councils didn't appear to hurt the stock market any, with Barron's reporting the Dow gained 30 points amid the president's announcement.
(Read more President Trump stories.)

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