CNBC is reporting that the members of the President's Strategic and Policy Forum—a group that included representatives from GM, Walmart, Pepsi, Boeing, and a number of top financial firms—have decided to dissolve their group in the wake of Donald Trump's remarks defending the white supremacist rally/riot in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. From CNBC:
"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." ... 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."
In a transparent attempt to save face, Trump announced after CNBC reported the news that he would be dissolving both the Strategic and Policy Forum and the American Manufacturing Council, a similar group that was also hemorrhaging members:
Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017
Here's what he said on the subject Tuesday, though:
For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2017
The Strategic and Policy Forum did subsequently issue an evenly worded statement, which presented the decision as one made in tandem with Trump:
Sure, guys. Sure!