Trump's pro-business agenda at risk after corporate America abandons president

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Trump, a real estate magnate who had never before held public office, was elected President in November touting his experience in the business world and ability to strike deals.

- President Donald Trump announced the disbanding of two high-profile business advisory councils on Wednesday after several chief executives quit in protest over his remarks blaming weekend violence in Virginia not only on white nationalists but also on anti-racism activists who opposed them.

However, on Tuesday, during a press conference, Trump appeared to draw moral equivalency between the white supremacists in Virginia and the counter protesters, many of whom had been injured when a white supremacist drove a auto into the group of counter protesters, killing one woman and injuring about 20 others.

When President Donald Trump was a reality-television star on The Apprentice, his signature phrase was "You're fired!"

The New York Times earlier reported the Strategic & Policy forum was in disarray. Richard Spencer, head of a white nationalist group, lauded the President for "speaking the truth".

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This is not the first time that members of some of the biggest industries have stepped down from the advisory council of the company as Uber's Travis Kalanick, and Tesla's co-founder Elon Musk both stepped down following Trump's immigration policy in protest of some of the president's policy. He said he would "continue to focus my efforts on inspiring every person that they can do anything through the power of sport which promotes unity, diversity and inclusion".

The week's events threaten to forever tarnish Trump's credentials as a business president, undermining a foundation of his political appeal and weakening the Republican party's core alliance with business interests for as long as he leads the party.

Austan Goolsbee, the former chief economist for President Barack Obama, said the departures suggest the president's response to the violence in Charlottesville could alienate those who work for the companies, and those who buy the products and services that they sell.

Drugmakers have come under withering criticism for soaring prices in the United States, including by Trump, though he has yet to act on a promise to contain them.

The demise of the councils raised Wall Street speculation that senior administration figures such as White House economic adviser Gary Cohn or U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin might step down to avoid the tarnish of being associated with Trump.

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Correction: A previous version of this story said that several top "executives" at the Los Angeles Times had been dismissed. Along the way he was a foreign correspondent in Africa, assistant foreign editor, business editor and managing editor.

He also dismissed all CEOs who've left the council and accused them of trying to win public favor by leaving.

"He's anxious about his reputation being trashed, which is much more valuable to him than anything else", the former administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said of Cohn.

The group hoped to inform the White House before publicly announcing the decision, according to Bloomberg.

"Republicans who believe that the possibility of tax reform outweighs the urgent civic necessity of condemning white supremacy extremism and Nazism are as morally obtuse as Trump and are likely to pay a very steep political price", he said.

McConnell's statement did not mention Trump by name. "And President Trump, instead of condemning the white supremacists, just went out and said, "I condemn all violence from everybody".

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Dimon said he strongly disagrees with Trump's response. Lindsey Graham of SC, who he called "publicity seeking" for criticizing his remarks on the violence.

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