Image Trump Council resignations

More resignations from Trump Council over Charlottesville response

Tuesday, the sixth member of President Trump’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative announced their resignation. Richard L. Trumka, President of the 12.5 million member AFL-CIO, speaking for himself and Thea Lea, tweeted “I cannot sit on a council for a President that tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism; I resign, effective immediately.”

Trumka’s resignation was in response to the President’s press conference today at Trump Tower where Trump appeared to repudiate his remarks Monday condemning the KKK and white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville this weekend by stating there was “blame on both sides.” Trump asked reporters, “What about the alt left, they came charging at the (as you say) the alt right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?”

When asked who was to blame for the violence, Trump responded,”Well, I do think there’s blame, yes, I think there’s blame on both sides. You look at, you look at both sides. I think there’s blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either … But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides … You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.”

Shortly after the President spoke, former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke tweeted, “Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth …”.

Trump appeared, at times, combative and defensive of the actions of at least some of the Unite the Right rally attendees, which included numerous far right white nationalist extremist groups, which the Southern Poverty Law Center described as, “the largest hate gathering of its kind in decades in the United States.”

Trumka’s written statement read, “We cannot sit on a council for a President who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism. President Trump’s remarks today repudiate his forced remarks yesterday about the KKK and neo-Nazis. We must resign on behalf of America’s working people, who reject all notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups.”

Trumka added, “It’s clear that President Trump’s Manufacturing Council was never an effective means for delivering real policy that lifts working families and his remarks are the last straw. We joined this council with the intent to be a voice for working people and real hope that it would result in positive economic policy, but it has become yet another broken promise on the President’s record. From hollow councils to bad policy and embracing bigotry, the actions of this administration have consistently failed working people.”

Image AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

Four other members of the Manufacturing Council have quit this week over Trump’s response to the protests and violence in Charlottesville, which include Merck CEO Ken Frazier, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Trump tweeted in response, “For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!”

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, and Robert Iger, Walt Disney CEO, resigned from the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum in June, after Trump announced withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, while former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigned in February over the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

UPDATE: August 16, 2017:

President Trump disbanded both the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative and the Strategy and Policy Forum after numerous CEOs resigned over his Charlottesville remarks, tweeting:

“Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!”

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