Two councils responsible for giving the president advice on the nation’s business matters are going away, President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday.
The two councils in question are the Presidential Committee on American Manufacturing and the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum. CEOs including Intel’s Brian Krzanich starting resigning this week after Trump drew criticism for not specifically calling out the neo-Nazis, white supremacists and Ku Klux Klan members responsible for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.
The first to resign from the manufacturing council was Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, who said in a statement, “America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry, and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal.” He was followed by Krzanich, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, Scott Paul of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, as well as representatives from the AFL-CIO. Wednesday morning, Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup, as well as Inge Thulin of 3M also took their leave.
In the midst of the departures, Trump tweeted Tuesday, “I have many [CEOs] to take their place.”
The New York Times reported that before Trump’s tweet to end the councils, Blackstone Group CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman organized a call with members of the Strategic and Policy Forum to decide whether to disband the group themselves.
The Blackstone Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
We also reached out to the White House as to whether there will be a formal process to disband the councils or whether there was concern of further resignations.
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty remained on the Strategic and Policy Forum, the same council that former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk both departed earlier in the year.
Updated, 11:22 a.m.: Adds additional context.