Update 2:40 p.m. E.T.:
The members of Trump’s Arts Council left an intentional hidden message in their resignation letter: the first letter of each paragraph spells out R-E-S-I-S-T, a reference to a popular anti-Trump rallying cry.
Members of the president’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities have had enough after Trump’s controversial response to the violence in Charlottesville last weekend. Sixteen members of the group sent a letter to Trump Friday morning announcing their resignation.
This comes after business leaders including Merck’s Kenneth Frazier and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank resigned this week from the president’s American Manufacturing Council. Trump, in a tweet reacting to the news, said he would disband the group himself on Wednesday.
President Reagan created the Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 1982 to work on cultural policy and funding initiatives. Members who resigned today include New York City painter Chuck Close and Minnesota state senator Richard Cohen. From the letter:
“Reproach and censure in the strongest possible terms are necessary following your support of the hate groups and terrorists who killed and injured fellow Americans in Charlottesville. The false equivalencies you push cannot stand. The Administrations refusal to quickly and unequivocally condemn the cancer of hatred only further emboldens those who wish America ill. We cannot sit idly by, the way your West Wing advisors have, without speaking out against your words and actions. We are members of the Presidents Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH). The Committee was created in 1982 under President Reagan to advise the White House on cultural issues. We were hopeful that continuing to serve in the PCAH would allow us to focus on the important work the committee does with your federal partners in the arts and humanities for all Americans. Effective immediately, please accept our resignation…”
Read the full letter: