Reactions to Trump’s response(s) to the right-wing violence in Charlottesville last weekend have varied because there are myriad facets, if you will, in this nation‘s embarrassingly protracted debate over civil rights and who gets ‘em. Mark Ruffalo and Michael Moore led a Broadway audience to protest outside of Trump Tower the other night, while the vice president is standing by his man (on the wrong side of history). But now there are broader ramifications for the president’s ill-advised and just plain offensive defense of white supremacists. CNBC reports that Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum has disbanded of its own volition. We note that last part because the great deluded one is already trying to spin this as his decision.
Now, this advisory council was hardly made up of do-gooder activist types; members included the presidents and/or CEOs of Wal-Mart, IBM, and JP Morgan Chase (of the $12 billion dollar bailout Morgan Chases). But the fact that this group, led by Steve Schwarzman, the CEO and founder of The Blackstone Group, the largest alternative investment firm in the world, feels the need to distance itself from the president and his neo-Nazi-defending ways is one of the few statements being made that might actually resonate with Trump.
One of the members tells CNBC that the decision was made “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.” And these aren’t the only influential people to jump ship: CNN previously reported that several chief executives have fled from Trump’s manufacturing council. When asked why she was leaving, Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup Co., said “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.” 3M CEO Inge Thulin told CNN her intent upon joining the manufacturing council was to “advocate for policies that align with our values and encourage even stronger investment and job growth,” but that is no longer possible.
Their departures come days after Merck CEO Ken Frazier spoke out against Trump’s silence in the immediate aftermath of the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, in which counter protesters were attacked and one woman was killed. Naturally, getting this kind of talking-to from a titan of an industry known for blowing things—namely, prices—out of proportion was too much for Trump, who lashed out at Frazier long before offering up wilted criticism of the so-called “alt-right.”