1st White House Department Quits in Protest of Trump Comments
The President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities is out
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2017 12:42 PM CDT
President Trump walks down the stairs of Air Force One upon his arrival at Hagerstown Regional Airport in Hagerstown, Md., Aug. 18, 2017.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – The first White House department has resigned in protest of President Trump's comments on neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and Charlottesville, Politico reports. The President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities—which includes actor Kal Penn, as well as artists, authors, and more—sent a letter to Trump Friday announcing they were disbanding the advisory group because "ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions." Unlike the advisory councils disbanded earlier this week, the PCAH is an official government agency. Oh, and the first letter of every paragraph in the PCAH's resignation letter spelled out "RESIST." Here's what else you need to know about the ongoing fallout from Charlottesville and Trump's response:

  • Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer, says she's been getting both death threats and calls from the White House in the wake of her daughter's death in Charlottesville. But NBC News reports Bro is refusing to speak to Trump because with his "both sides" comments he equated protesters like her daughter "with the KKK and the white supremacists."
  • Meanwhile, Fox News reports Jason Kessler, the organizer of the Unite the Right rally, says he's in hiding after receiving death threats of his own. Kessler maintains his gaggle of white supremacists and neo-Nazis is actually a "civil rights group."
  • Back at Politico, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is endorsing calls to censure Trump over his Charlottesville comments, which she calls a "repulsive defense of white supremacists."
  • And in a Facebook post Friday, Mitt Romney called on Trump to admit he was wrong, apologize, and fully condemn and blame racists for the violence in Charlottesville. "What he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn," Romney writes.
  • In the early hours of Friday, another statue fell. Workers removed the 145-year-old statue of Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney from outside the Maryland State House with the support of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Taney ruled in favor of slavery in the 1857 Dred Scott decision and that black people could never be US citizens. "We deserve to celebrate the heroes of Maryland, not the villains of history," one resident tells the Washington Post.

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