WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump says he's ending a pair of White House advisory councils that were staffed by corporate chief executives.
CEOs have been resigning since Saturday, when Trump blamed both sides for the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white supremacists and counterprotesters. The resignation accelerated after Trump on Tuesday again blamed "both sides."
Trump says on Twitter that "rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!"
Some of those who have resigned include the CEOs of Campbell Soup and 3M.
Campbell CEO Denise Morrison said on Wednesday in a company release: "Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville. I believe the president should have been -- and still needs to be -- unambiguous on that point."
Trump suggested in remarks Tuesday that the white supremacists and counterprotesters were both blameworthy for violence that erupted this weekend in Virginia.
Morrison said the president's comments triggered her resignation from the manufacturing jobs panel.
3M's chief executive, Inge Thulin, said in a statement, "Sustainability, diversity and inclusion are my personal values and also fundamental to the 3M Vision. The past few months have provided me with an opportunity to reflect upon my commitment to these values."
So far, seven people have resigned from the two major advisory panels.