Trump Charlottesville remarks lead to disbanded business councils, talk of White House departures

US President Donald Trump has said he is scrapping two business councils after more bosses quit over his handling of violent clashes in Virginia, as speculation rises that some top officials may be looking for a way out

17 August 2017, 7:59am
Trump responded to the initial departures by dissolving the two business councils
Trump responded to the initial departures by dissolving the two business councils
A parade of business executives broke ties with US President Donal Trump on Wednesday, a day after he blamed white nationalists and counter-protesters in equal measure for the weekend clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one woman dead. 

The violence that broke out at a white nationalist protest culminated in a car ploughing into a crowd of anti-fascists, killing a woman and wounding nearly 20 other people.

Following the announcement by the heads of 3M, Campbell Soup, Johnson & Johnson, and United Technologies of their resignations, frustrated aides are signalling that they could be next. Trump’s remarks have left some wondering if sticking by the President comes at too high a cost to their reputations, Reuters news agency reported.

“A lot of us joined this administration thinking we could bring to it the experience and expertise that the President didn’t have an opportunity to gain in his business career, and to encourage some restraint in what he says publicly and to our allies,” one senior official who is contemplating whether to resign said.

"After yesterday, it’s clear that there is no way for anyone, even a Marine general, to restrain his (Trump's) impulses or counter what he sees on TV and reads on the web."

Trump responded to the initial departures by dissolving the two business councils. "Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both," Trump said

Before Trump's announcement, the Strategy and Policy Forum announced it was a joint decision to disband the council.