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As Trump disbanded advisory groups, this is who was in and who was out

David Gernon
The measure would have made it harder for some companies in the Valley to compete.

Before the president disbanded two business councils Wednesday afternoon, several executives had already resigned.

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

The resignations followed Trump's waffling responses to the deadly right-wing violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, in a bizarre press conference Tuesday . CNBC took a look at where all the executives stood prior to the president's announcement.

Eight of 37 members of president's Strategic and Policy Forum and Manufacturing Jobs Initiative councils had resigned this week, while 12 condemned the violence. A member of the first panel told CNBC on Wednesday afternoon that the group has decided to disband .

Around the time of Trump's announcement, two additional members, Johnson & Johnson and United Technologies also stepped down. They would have been the ninth and 10th members to resign. Later, General Electric's Jeff Immelt issued a statement saying he had notified the council Wednesday morning of his decision to step down.

Later Wednesday afternoon, Corning CEO Wendell Weeks also stepped down, saying in a statement, "the events of the last few days have transformed the council's laudable mission of job creation into a perception of political support for the Administration and its statements. This runs counter to my original intention and is inconsistent with Corning's Values."

The exodus was led by Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier who resigned Monday from a manufacturing council , saying, "As C.E.O. of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against extremism."

In addition to those two advisory groups, the Trump administration also formed the American Technology Council. That group consists of exclusively administration officials, although business leaders have been invited to attend meetings.

With each new resignation, those left on the council faced increased scrutiny.

Larry Summers , a former Clinton Treasury secretary, had harsh words for Trump on Wednesday, calling on all the business leaders to step down .

On the opposite side, Andrew Puzder, former CEO of CKE Restaurants , said CEOs should not give up their seat at the table, saying it was a way to influence policy for the better.

On Monday and Tuesday, Trump attacked those who left the councils , tweeting at Frazier almost immediately after the Merck chief resigned and later tweeting, "For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!"

Unless otherwise noted, all of the following statements are from company representatives.


American Manufacturing Council


Strategic Policy Council


American Technology Council

These are the tech leaders who had been invited to attend meetings.