Under pressure, Trump disbands business advisory councils

Donald Trump
FILE - In this July 31, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office in Washington. Of all the trade deals he lambasted on the campaign trail as threats to American workers, Trump reserved particular scorn for one: The North American Free Trade Agreement. Five days of talks aimed at overhauling NAFTA begin Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, in Washington, with negotiations to follow in Mexico and Canada. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — With corporate chieftains fleeing, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday he is ending a pair of advisory business councils in the latest fallout over his remarks about the Charlottesville protests.

“Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!” Trump tweeted in a face-saving effort from his home at Trump Tower. He was to depart New York later Wednesday to return to his New Jersey golf club.

CEOs began announcing their resignations after Trump’s first comments about the violence Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white supremacists and counter-protesters. The resignations accelerated after he re-emphasized his earlier remarks and on Tuesday blamed “both sides” for the series of events that led to the death of a 32-year-old Charlottesville woman.

Standing in the lobby of Trump Tower on Tuesday, Trump acknowledged that there were “some very bad people” among those who gathered to protest Saturday. But he added: “You also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.”

Trump’s remarks were widely criticized in Washington and around the country.

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