Two White House advisory councils that once included tech leaders like Elon Musk and Travis Kalanick have dissolved, after several members resigned over President Donald Trump’s weak condemnation of white supremacists. A member of the Strategic and Policy Forum told CNBC that it wanted to make a “more significant impact” by disbanding the entire group: “It makes a central point that it's not going to go forward. It's done.” Soon after, Trump took credit for shutting down both that group and a separate Manufacturing Council, “rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople.”
The councils’ members came from a range of industries, including several major Silicon Valley companies. Besides Musk and Kalanick, executives from Intel, IBM, and Dell had joined. It’s been controversial from the start — Musk and Kalanick both left months ago — but a major exodus started this week, after Trump issued a vague statement blaming “many sides” for violence at a white supremacist rally that left one woman dead. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned on Monday, saying that politics had “sidelined the important mission of rebuilding America’s manufacturing base.”
Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017
Trump held a separate summit with a group of tech leaders, called the American Technology Council, in June. But with both these forums shut down, Trump and the tech world have severed even more of the tentative ties they started building after the election.