President Trump declared Wednesday he is disbanding two economic advisory panels, after a growing number of the corporate CEO's who sat on them made a decision to leave, in the wake of Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.
General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt released a statement calling Trump's statements "deeply troubling" and expressed no confidence in the objective of the president's manufacturing council.
Two local industry leaders were among those sitting on President Trump's economic advisory panels, which were abruptly dissolved Wednesday.
The president Tweeted Wednesday he's disbanding both groups. He called Trump's statements from Tuesday "deeply troubling". First was Merck, then Under Armour and Intel, followed by the Alliance for American Manufacturing and the AFL-CIO. A spokesperson said the company is no longer a member of the council.
One member of the forum, IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty, said in an email to her staff that "this group can no longer serve the objective for which it was formed".
Trump's comments were met with a firestorm of backlash on social media by several groups that encouraged the CEOs of Trumps manufacturing council to resign in protest.
"As such, the President and we are disbanding the Forum", the group said. According to multiple reports, this morning's Strategic and Policy Forum conference ended with its members deciding to disband. The statement said they support "an inclusive pro-growth agenda" but that the debate about their relationship with the White House had become a "distraction".
"The emperor is naked", Sonnenfeld said.
"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 today were the last straw", the labor chief said in a statement on behalf of himself and Lee. The council is led by two longtime friends of Trump who stand to benefit greatly from their newfound proximity to the White House: Steven Roth, the CEO of Vornado Realty Trust, who co-owned a NY department store with Trump in the 1980s, and Richard LeFrak, a billionaire NY real estate developer.
Larry Fink of the investment firm BlackRock told employees in a memo, "Such racism and bigotry must not just be condemned, but must be condemned unequivocally".