The quick sequence began late Wednesday morning when Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive of the Blackstone Group and one of Mr. Trump's closest confidants in the business community, organized a conference call for members of the president's ...
Members of President Donald Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum have agreed to disband the group, sources told CNBC, as corporate backlash mounts against the president.
The business advisory council made up of top business leaders is separate from Trump's manufacturing council, which several business leaders left this week.
The business backlash to Trump follows his tepid response to violence at a white nationalist rally over the weekend, where one woman died and 19 people were injured after a car rammed into counterprotesters. On Tuesday, Trump appeared to equate torch-bearing white nationalists with the protesters who demonstrated against them.
"The thinking was it was important to do as a group," a member told CNBC. "As a panel, not as individuals because it would have more significant impact. It makes a central point that it's not going to go forward. It's done."
After the members agreed to disband and condemn Trump's statements, the president said he would end both the Strategic and Policy Forum and the manufacturing council.
Trump: Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!
The Strategic and Policy Forum, led by Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman, featured:
Paul Atkins, CEO, Patomak Global Partners
Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO, General Motors
Toby Cosgrove, CEO, Cleveland Clinic
Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase
Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock
Rich Lesser, President and CEO, Boston Consulting Group
Doug McMillon, President and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Jim McNerney, Former Chairman, President, and CEO, Boeing
Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo
Adebayo "Bayo" Ogunlesi, Chairman and Managing Partner, Global Infrastructure Partners
Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President, and CEO, IBM
Kevin Warsh, Shepard Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Economics, Hoover Institute, Former Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Mark Weinberger, Global Chairman and CEO, EY
Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO, General Electric
Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize-winner, Vice Chairman of IHS Markit
The business leaders chose to dissolve the council in order to "condemn" the president's comments about the Charlottesville violence, the same member said. The member described Trump's defiant press conference on Tuesday as a "tripwire."
They had heard from employees and customers about the council.
"There really was nothing to debate," the member said.
Several members of a separate Trump manufacturing council stepped down in recent days.
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.
Correction: The headline of this story has been updated to reflect that the Strategic and Policy Forum is separate from the manufacturing council that several business leaders left this week. It is the only council disbanding as of Wednesday afternoon.
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