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White House Ends Infrastructure Council After Charlottesville Criticism

A White House spokeswoman confirmed Thursday that President Donald Trump’s infrastructure council “will not move forward,” according to Politico.

The president created the group less than a month ago through an executive order, which also included officials from the construction, transportation, labor and finance industries.

The decisions comes a day after the president disbanded two other groups of business CEOs who advised Trump on manufacturing matters.

Trump announced Wednesday he would be dissolving the White House American Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum so as not to place any pressure on CEOs to resign from the councils amid widespread displeasure with Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.

“Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!” Trump tweeted.

The president’s decision to disband the two groups came less than a week after violence erupted in Charlottesville as white nationalists protesting the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee clashed with counter-protesters.

One person was killed and 19 injured when a car plunged into a crowd of counter-protesters.

Several CEOs resigned this week after Trump’s remarks about Charlottesville over the weekend, when he was criticized for blaming “many sides” associated with the violence at the rally.

Kevin Plank, the CEO and founder of Under Armour, released an official statement via Twitter Monday announcing his resignation from the White House’s American Manufacturing Council.

“I love our country & company. I am stepping down from the council to focus on inspiring & uniting through power of sport,” Plank said.

Kenneth Frazier, the CEO of pharmaceutical company Merck, resigned from the council Monday.

Trump offered a stern rebuke of the violence Monday during an announcement from the White House, specifically denouncing white supremacists and neo-Nazis for their involvement in the violence.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America,” Trump said.

“Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” he added.