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Trump Ends Business Panels as More CEOs Step Down

As CEOs continued to resign on Wednesday from President Donald Trump’s manufacturing advisory panel, Trump announced on Twitter that he was dissolving the group.

The move came as another group, the president’s Strategic and Policy Forum, announced that it was dissolving itself to avoid becoming a “distraction.” On Twitter, the president said he had decided to end both groups to relieve pressure on them.

The tweet came just minutes after Denise Morrison, the CEO of the Campbell Soup Company, and Inge Thulin, the CEO of 3M, became the seventh and eighth executives to step down from the president’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative in the wake of the Charlottesville demonstrations. Morrison had earlier said that she would stay on the council, but changed her mind following Trump’s Tuesday press conference, in which he offered support to the white nationalist demonstrators.

“Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville,” Morrison said in a statement. “I believe the president should have been — and still needs to be — unambiguous on that point.”

The Strategic and Policy Forum, a group of business leaders chaired by Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, also issued a statement condemning racism and violence.

“As our members have expressed individually over the past several days, intolerance, racism and violence have absolutely no place in this country and are an affront to core American values,” the group said. “We believe the debate over Forum participation has become a distraction from our well-intentioned and sincere desire to aid vital policy discussions on how to improve the lives of everyday Americans. As such, the President and we are disbanding the Forum.”

Disney CEO Bob Iger and Tesla CEO Elon Musk had earlier stepped down from the forum in protest of Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

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