Trump Abandons Plan for Council on Infrastructure

Trump Abandons Plan for Council on Infrastructure

Bloomberg, CNBC and political newspaper The Hill reported that the president's planned Advisory Council on Infrastructure "would not move forward".

The White House didn't say why the council would disband before ever banding, but after Trump was forced to nix two other advisory councils this week in the wake of CEO defections, it seems possible that no one wanted to sit on the panel of a President who's about as popular as a crumbling bridge.

Corporate chief executive officers this week had started to quit both the American Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum in protest over Trump's remarks that appeared to confer legitimacy on white supremacists following a violent rally August 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Set up by executive order only last month, the council had no official appointees yet but was to prioritise the country's infrastructure needs, accelerate approvals, and develop new financing options. This comes just one day after two other advisory groups were dismantled over the furor caused by Trump's remarks on white supremacists.

By the end of the presser, Trump was all but begging reporters to ask an infrastructure question.

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At the start of the year he said he was planning the council and named two well known NY property developers to lead the group.

When more business leaders left, Trump pulled the plug. In his statement, Richard Trumka said, "I can not sit on a council for a President that tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism".

"Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both", he wrote. While a variety of high-profile private-sector leaders were already serving on the American Manufacturing Council and Strategy and Policy Forum, the infrastructure council had no roster of CEOs - it was instead run by a couple of Manhattan real estate developers, Richard LeFrak and Steven Roth, whom Trump tapped in January.

Reuters commented that United States stocks suffered their "biggest drop in three months" yesterday as the "turmoil surrounding the White House sapped investor confidence that Trump's ambitious economic agenda would become reality".

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