Trump disbands manufacturing council

Published on Wednesday, 16 August 2017 12:55 - Written by ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Donald Trump says he's ending a pair of White House advisory councils that were staffed by corporate chief executives.

CEOs have been resigning since Saturday, when Trump blamed both sides for the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white supremacists and counterprotesters. The resignation accelerated after Trump on Tuesday again blamed "both sides."

Trump said on Twitter that "rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!"

The news came after several resignations Wednesday, including the CEOs of Campbell Soup and 3M. 

Campbell CEO Denise Morrison said on Wednesday in a company release: "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 the president's comments triggered her resignation from the manufacturing jobs panel.

She is the seventh person to resign from two major advisory panels this week following Trump's comments.

Earlier Wednesday, former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush issued a joint statement stating that "America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism and hatred in all forms."

The Bushes, both Republicans, say that as they pray for Charlottesville, they're reminded of "that city's most prominent citizen (Thomas Jefferson) in the Declaration of Independence: We are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights."