Trump Dissolved Business Advisory Councils to Avoid Being Mocked
Facing the prospect of being mocked due to mass exodus of business CEOs from his economic advisory councils, President Donald Trump rushed to dissolve two of his councils Wednesday, according to White House sources.
Announcing the dissolution, Trump tweeted – “Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both, Thank you all!”
White House sources said President Donald Trump opted to move quickly to announce the dissolution of the economic councils when it became obvious that other CEOs were getting ready to announce their resignations as well.
“He could see the hand-writing on the wall and knew that there was no way he could sustain the councils with many CEOs departing. So to ensure he had the upper hand he chose to dissolve them,” the source said.
Seven CEOs resigned in response to Trump’s initial reaction to the Charlottesville, VA protests against white nationalists, neo-Nazi’s and white supremacists. Trump equally blamed both sides for the violence.
Two more executives later announced their resignations from the Manufacturing Council in response to public pressure mounted on executives to disavow the U.S. President’s views.
Leaders of the Strategic and Policy Forum Council later said they were disbanding the body because the Charlottesville debate had become a “distraction” to their purpose. “As such, the President and we are disbanding the Forum,” they said.
“As our members have expressed individually over the past several days, intolerance, racism, and violence have no place in this country and are an affront to core American values,” the group said in a statement. “We believe the debate over Forum participation has become a distraction from our well-intentioned and sincere desire to aid vital policy discussions on how to improve the lives of everyday Americans.”
Inge Thulin, the chief executive of 3M started Wednesday’s departures by saying “the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance” its goals.
“Sustainability, diversity, and inclusion are my values and also fundamental to the 3M Vision. The past few months have provided me with an opportunity to reflect on my commitment to these values,” Thulin said in a statement released by the company.
“I joined the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative in January to advocate for policies that align with our values and encourage even stronger investment and job growth – to make the United States stronger, healthier and more prosperous for all people. After careful consideration, I believe the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance these goals,” he added.
Campbell Soup Co. president and chief executive Denise Morrison resigned within minutes of Thulin, attributing her departure to Trump’s recent comments. “Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville,” she said.
“I believe the President should have been – and still needs to be – unambiguous on that point,” she added.
“Following yesterday’s remarks from the President, I cannot remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. I will continue to support all efforts to spur economic growth and advocate for the values that have always made America great,” Morrison said.
Thulin and Morrison joined the chief executives of AFL-CIO, Alliance for American Manufacturing, Merck, Intel and Under Armor, who left Monday in the wake of Trump’s initial remarks.
On Tuesday, Trump unleashed a Twitter tirade against the chief executives that had already announced their departures from his manufacturing Council and boasted that he would easily replace them.
Walmart CEO, Doug McMillon, a member of a separate council, Trump’s advisory board on economic development, also criticized the president Tuesday.
“As we watched the events and the response from President Trump over the weekend, we too felt that he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists,” McMillan wrote in an internal employee memo that was also posted to a public Walmart website.
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