American CEOs dump Trump after Charlottesville defense

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Here’s the top stories for Wednesday, August 16th: 32-year-old protest victim remembered in Charlottesville; President Trump ends CEO advisory councils; NAFTA negotiations start in Washington; and man survives nail in the heart.
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Apparently defending allies of white supremacists is bad for business?

After President Trump claimed that “very fine” people sided with neo-Nazis amid Charlottesville’s deadly clash, the CEOs who once pledged to help continued jumping ship. Campbell Soup and 3M CEOs quit Trump’s manufacturing council on Wednesday, following chiefs from Under Armour, Intel and Merck. 

It got so bad that CEOs on Trump’s policy forum decided to disband on Wednesday, a rebuke Trump tried to frame as his own decision — firing the CEOs who had already fired him.

Sure, the CEOs lost confidence in Trump. But he still has the support of the KKK’s one-time leader, David Duke. So he’s got that going for him.

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Trump’s corporate bail out

Some execs on the two councils stuck to their guns immediately after Charlottesville, still hoping to make real changes within the White House. But many reconsidered amid steady calls for them to quit (see: #QuitTheCouncil). To be clear, only CEOs on the manufacturing one bailed, but the policy forum CEOs were reconsidering by Wednesday. Columbia Business School professor Bill Klepper put it thusly: “I think they’re finding the cost of alignment with Trump is too high,”

It’s a huge public rejection for Trump, sure. But it could harm economy as well. And if fellow Republicans ditch Trump (hint: see below) he’ll see setbacks getting a new budget through Congress this fall. 

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This week in Republicans denouncing their president

Leaders from Trump’s own party joined the corporate leaders in condemning Trump’s remarks. Here is only a small sampling:

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “There are no good neo-nazis.”
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan, Wisconsin: “We must be clear. White supremacy is repulsive.”
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham: “Your words are dividing Americans, not healing them.”
  • Sen. John McCain: “Mr. President,you can’t allow #WhiteSupremacists to share only part of blame.”
  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich: “Pathetic, isn’t it?”

Another not-at-all weird thing Trump is doing: Requesting data on anti-Trump protestors

Trump’s Justice Department wants a web host to give up the information of 1.3 million-plus visitors to a site that organized protests for Trump’s inauguration. The department wants photos, email and other information for thousands more. A motion was filed July 20, which the host, DreamHost, is legally fighting.

It’s not entirely clear precisely what information is being sought by he government, which accused DreamHost of hosting a site that caused “a violent riot.” A U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman declined to comment.

Elsewhere in politics: 

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