Trump abruptly disbands 2 advisory councils after business leaders quit en masse
Trump abruptly disbands 2 advisory councils after business leaders quit en masse
18 August, 2017, 01:06
The resignations from the council came after Mr Trump refused to condemn white supremacists who conducted a rally in Charlottesville over the weekend - ostensibly to protest the removal of a Confederate statue - that descended into violence and led to the death of a counter protester when a auto was driven at a crowd.
One member told CNBC that they wanted to disband the strategic council to make a larger impact than just individuals stepping down like in the case of Trump's manufacturing council. "We're still fighting. There's Treasury and Gary Cohn and Goldman Sachs lobbying", he said, referring to Mr. Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council at the White House.
On Tuesday, Trump held a press conference where he doubled down on an earlier statement that both white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville to protest the removal a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and counter-demonstrators were at fault for the mayhem. Most of those Republicans, including congressional leaders, did not specifically criticize the president.
Senior government sources have indicated there is no prospect of it happening until next year, with claims that Mr Trump is unwilling to face protests. Midday, he traveled from NY to his golf club in New Jersey for the night. In fact, in a conference call, the top US CEOs in the manufacturing council actually took a call recommending the disbandment of the group.
The group was meant to advise Trump on various business/economic issues. The first to step down, Kenneth Frazier of Merck, drew a Twitter tongue-lashing from the president. Johnson called the comments a distraction from Trump's broader agenda, including tax reform, and that he wishes the president would focus more on unifying the country. They insisted on anonymity to discuss private conversations. Of the 27 questions asked, reporters used 22 of them to challenge the president about the past weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Va. and his views on racism. He tweeted before they could announce the decision they'd reached - making it appear it was his choice.
"As a result, today I am resigning from the Manufacturing Advisory Council".
In a way, the Scaramucci explanation lets Trump off too easily. "Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Japan, Portugal, Greece and Hungary have all done time under Nazi or fascist governments.So to see a USA president say things like "there are two sides to a story" when asked to condemn a white supremacist march that led to the death of a woman, is astonishing". Even former presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney denounced the comments.
The moral equivalence drawn by the President between white neo-Nazi extremists and those opposed to them was best explained by a late night comedy host who compared it to equating Allied forces who landed on Normandy beach and the Nazis and fascists they went to fight.
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After Trump's remarks, House Speaker Paul Ryan also spoke out. However, he said he stands by the president. The President condemned the hate groups fueled by bigotry and racism over the weekend, and did so by name yesterday, but for the media that will never be enough.
He said he had yet to call the mother of the woman killed when a auto ploughed into a group of anti-racist counter-protesters but said that he would soon "reach out".
He acknowledged there were "some very badpeople" among the statue protesters, but added: "You also had people that were very fine people, on both sides".
"Does anyone know I own a house in Charlottesville?" But no one moved to leave the administration.
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Scaramucci shrugged. "But some of that worked during the campaign", he replied.
Before that announcement was made, the councils were haemorrhaging CEOs.
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