President Trump announced Wednesday he is shutting down two jobs councils, amid a wave of resignations by executives in the wake of the president’s response to the violence in Charlottesville.
"Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!" he wrote on Twitter.
The statement came amid multiple reports that the Strategic and Policy Forum, a group of top business leaders, had already agreed to disband.
This is separate from the manufacturing council which has seen multiple resignations since Trump’s initial weekend comments -- those resignations only accelerated after the president doubled down on his remarks at an impromptu press conference Tuesday.
Trump's decision to end both councils, however, seemed to catch companies off-guard. The exodus from the manufacturing board continued even after Trump's tweet.
The head of United Technologies Greg Hayes announced his resignation minutes after the president's announcement.
And minutes before Trump's tweet, Campbell Soup Company CEO Denise Morrison announced her departure, specifically citing the president's controversial remarks at Trump Tower a day earlier.
She said in a statement: "Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville. I believe the President should have been – and still needs to be – unambiguous on that point. Following yesterday’s remarks from the President, I cannot remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative."
Inge Thulin, CEO of manufacturing giant 3M, also resigned Wednesday from the council.
The statement said he joined the council to advocate policies that align with the company’s values and encourage job growth but, “After careful consideration, I believe the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance these goals.”
Six others had resigned from the council since Saturday. Thulin and Morrison, though, were the first to bolt since Trump held his defiant press conference Tuesday defending his original statements on Charlottesville and attacking the “alt-left” for their alleged role in the clashes.
The president said “both sides” share blame, while still condemning neo-Nazis and white supremacists. The comments revived criticism of his original response on Saturday, when Trump blamed "many sides" for the violence, after a car rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., killing one.
The president has fired back at those leaving his manufacturing council, calling them “grandstanders.” Before diving back into the Charlottesville controversy in his remarks Tuesday, Trump said people were quitting the manufacturing board “because they're not taking their job seriously as it pertains to this country.”
“They're having a lot of their product made outside [the U.S.],” he said. “Now, I have to tell you, some of the folks that will leave, they're leaving out of embarrassment because they make their products outside.”
Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, and another union leader also quit the council on Tuesday.
Scott Paul of the Alliance for American Manufacturing; Brian Krzanich of Intel; Kenneth Frazier of Merck; and Kevin Plank of Under Armour also announced their departure.
Fox News' Serafin Gomez contributed to this report.