Citing Trump remarks, most of president’s arts council quits

FILE - In this Sept. 4, 2012 file photo, Actor Kal Penn addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Penn, artist Chuck Close and virtually the entire membership of the President’s Committee On the Arts and Humanities have announced their resignation. In a letter released this week, Aug. 18, 2017, 17 committee members cited the “false equivalence” of President Donald Trump’s comments about last weekend’s “Unite the Right” gathering in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

NEW YORK (AP) — Another presidential advisory committee appears to be breaking up.

Actor Kal Penn, artist Chuck Close and virtually the entire membership of the President’s Committee On the Arts and Humanities have announced their resignation. In a letter dated Friday, 16 of 17 committee members cited the “false equivalence” of President Donald Trump’s comments about last weekend’s “Unite the Right” gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump has blamed “many sides” for the demonstrations that left an anti-racism activist dead. Earlier this week, two business advisory councils were disbanded as members left in protest.

The arts and humanities committee was established in 1982. Others signing the resignation letter included author Jhumpa Lahiri; and Vicki Kennedy, widow of Edward M. Kennedy. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

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