Trump shuts down business councils after CEO exodus

Ad Age Wake-Up Call: CEOs Face Hard Decisions About Trump, and Other News to Know Today

"I believe the President should have been - and still needs to be - unambiguous on that point", said Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison.

Asked if Trump was putting the white supremacists and the so-called alt-left on the same "moral plane", he said, "What I'm saying is this - you had a group on one side and you had a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs - and it was vicious and it was awful".

Shulkin did not condemn the president, who on Tuesday said there were "very fine people on both sides" in Charlottesville, where white supremacists and counterprotesters clashed on Saturday. The protester killed was part of a counter protest. House Speaker Paul Ryan said that "white supremacy is repulsive".

But Trump has shifted the public's attention away from the Republican agenda with his renewed declaration that "there is blame on both sides" for the violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

US President Donald Trump has disbanded two high-profile business advisory councils as a parade of CEOs, prominent Republicans and US ally Britain rebuked him for his comments on a Virginia rally. "I think there is blame on both sides", he said.

Bannon, Gorka and Miller have been linked by critics to "alt-right" or white nationalist movements.

A member of the group that included Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, and Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric said Trump's Tuesday comments were a "tripwire".

"Firing Steve Bannon and other white supremacists is not the answer to the systemic racism imbedded in our nation, but it's a step forward to ensure that they can't impact our national agenda".

The exodus from the manufacturing council quickened after Trump's news conference.

"Many members of Congress had already rebuked Trump days ago for not pointedly calling out the far-right groups behind the planned "Unite the Right" rally Saturday.

Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans". "Take a bow. Take a bow, President Trump, because you just earned it".

In a statement, a representative from the Strategic and Policy Forum said "we believe the debate over Forum participation has become a distraction from our well-intentioned and honest desire to aid vital policy discussions on how to improve the lives of everyday Americans".

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