Charlottesville Fallout: Trump Ends Advisory Councils

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Charlottesville Fallout: Trump Ends Advisory Councils

There was increased pressure for JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to also withdraw from the President's council.

The decision was made after eight members of the Manufacturing Council resigned in the wake of Trump's remarks over the Charlottesville violence on the weekend, which placed blame on both sides of the clash.

The council is led by two longtime friends of Trump who stand to benefit greatly from their newfound proximity to the White House: Steven Roth, the CEO of Vornado Realty Trust, who co-owned a NY department store with Trump in the 1980s, and Richard LeFrak, a billionaire NY real estate developer.

By early afternoon, both had fallen apart.

The Strategic and Policy Forum, that was separate from the manufacturing council, was a group of business executives tapped to advise Trump on the economy. "Thank you all!" Trump tweeted. That was followed by a slew of top CEOs abandoning Trump's manufacturing council up until the point the group was disbanded. But the two councils had largely stayed intact.

"Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville", Morrison said, referring to Trump's much criticized response to the white supremacist rally in which a counterprotester was killed. But that didn't prevent two more CEOs - Under Armour's Kevin Plank and Intel's Bryan Kryzanich - from quitting the manufacturing council later that evening. And on Tuesday, after others left, he tweeted that he didn't even need them.

But you had many to take their place! Grandstanders should not have gone on.

The businessman president is losing big business.

The story behind the scenes was complicated.

But in a rancorous news conference on Tuesday he backtracked and again blamed left-wing counter-protesters for the violence too.

Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman, the head of the forum, organized a conference call with the members late Wednesday morning, according to the people who spoke to CNNMoney.

The advisory councils are ceremonial forums meant to connect the business community with the White House. The White House did not respond to requests for comment. Only by acting together and having those panels disbanded would they be able to avoid harsher scrutiny not just from the public but also from a president with a track record of blasting individual companies that cross him on Twitter.

Businesses have been under pressure to distance themselves from Mr Trump over his handling of the clashes.

Emphasis mine, because it's utterly fascinating that the CEO of General Electric was willing to tell Trump to fuck off, but the CEO of General Motors was not. But his company released a statement at around 2 p.m. Wednesday that said he had a change of heart.

"I strongly disagree with President Trump's reaction to the events that took place in Charlottesville over the past several days".

GM and other auto makers have urged the Trump administration to ease the Obama-era regulations, which call for auto makers to sell vehicles that average 54.5 miles per gallon, or about 40 mpg in real-world driving, by 2025.

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