Eight members of the White House’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) have resigned over President Donald Trump’s response to the recent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, also citing his “insufficient attention” given to cyber security issues.
In a resignation letter obtained by NextGov, the council members accuse Trump of having “threatened the security of the homeland” and giving “insufficient attention to the growing threats to the cybersecurity of the critical systems upon which all Americans depend, including those impacting the systems supporting our democratic election process.”
The letter goes on to complain about Trump’s response to clashes in Charlottesville this month between white supremacists and domestic terrorist group Antifa.
“When asked about the horrific violence in Charlottesville, you failed to denounce the intolerance and violence of hate groups, instead offering false equivalences and attacking the motives of the CEOs who had resigned from their advisory roles in protest,” the letter read.
Following the violence, which left one person dead, Trump held a press conference where he condemned violence “on all sides,” while “condemning in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence,”
“Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” Trump said.
The letter also cited Trump’s decision to pull America out of the Paris climate agreement and his ignoring of the “pressing threat of climate change” as reasons for their departure.
Three of the departing members were also holdovers from the Obama administration.
The string of resignations came before the NIAC’s quarterly meetings this past week, which went ahead as scheduled.