With its members no longer wanting to be associated with Donald Trump, the White House’s American Manufacturing Council is no more. The White House Strategy and Policy Forum was disbanded for the same reason. The president’s Advisory Council on Infrastructure has been scrapped; the administration’s Digital Economy Board of Advisors met the same fate; and members of Trump’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities also walked away on Friday.
The fallout from the president’s racially inflammatory remarks last week has been considerable, but Trump still has the White House’s Evangelical Advisory Board. The Associated Press reported the other day on its members’ “steadfast support” for the president, no matter how far Trump goes.
Trump’s evangelical council members have strongly condemned the bigotry behind the Charlottesville march by white nationalists and neo-Nazis over the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. But regarding Trump, they have offered either praise for his response or gentle critiques couched within complaints about how he has been treated by his critics and the media.
Late last week, however, a crack appeared in the dam: one member of the panel decided he’d simply seen enough. The Washington Post reported:
In a first for his evangelical advisory council, New York City megachurch pastor A.R. Bernard announced Friday that he had stepped down from the unofficial board of evangelical advisers to Trump. Bernard sat at the president’s table on May 3, the night before the National Day of Prayer when Trump gathered several religious leaders to announce an executive order on religious freedom.
Explaining his decision in a written statement, Bernard cited “a deepening conflict in values” between him and the administration.
So far, other members of Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board appear to have no comparable concerns. Trump received 80% of the evangelical Christian vote in 2016, making this constituency one of the key components of his electoral coalition.