U.S. President Donald Trump leaves after giving a statement on the infrastructure discussion in the lobby at Trump Tower in New York on August 15, 2017. (AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON)
WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he was disbanding both the Manufacturing Council and Strategy and Policy Forum, as business leaders resigned from the council over his remarks on Charlottesville violence.
"Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!" Trump tweeted.
The decision was made after eight members of the Manufacturing Council resigned in the wake of Trump's remarks over the Charlottesville violence on the weekend, which placed blame on both sides of the clash.
Ken Frazier, the CEO of pharmaceutical giant Merck, was the first to exit the Manufacturing Council on Monday, saying "America's leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy."
Trump retaliated minutes later on twitter, saying "now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!"
But Trump's attacks on Frazier didn't stop others from distancing themselves from the council, as top executives of Intel, Under Armour, Alliance of American Manufacturing, AFL-CIO, and Campbell Soup have also resigned from the council.
The Manufacturing council was an advisory panel set up in January aimed at boosting jobs in the manufacturing sector.