The members of Trump’s main business council discussed disbanding the group entirely according to multiple reports.According to the New York Times’ David Gelles , Landon Thomas Jr., and Kate Kelly , the members of the Strategic and Policy Forum held a phone call on Wednesday to discuss the future of the council and their relationship with the White House.
The discussion comes two days after the departure of Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier from Trump’s manufacturing council, another one of the White House’s meetings of business leaders, set off a wave of departures from that group . Frazier and other business leaders cited Trump’s muddled response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia as the impetus for the exits.
The Strategic and Policy Forum features a diverse group of leaders including JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, and Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. Steve Schwarzman, CEO of private equity giant Blackstone, is the leader of the council.
According to the Times , even if the group did not disband, a number of executives said they would depart from the council.
Trump, for his part, attacked those executives who left the manufacturing council calling them “grandstanders” and saying they were “embarrassed” because they manufactured their products outside of the US.
The manufacturing council is expected to hold a similar phone call as the Strategic Forum’s later on Wednesday.