>> President Trump and First Lady Melania will not be attending the Kennedy Center Honors, an annual tradition for US presidents amid a boycott by those who are to be celebrated at the December event. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announcing Saturday, that the first family not participate quote, to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.
The statement comes as some of the artists, including TV producer Norman Lear, said they would boycott the White House reception related to the event as backlash against Trump's bungled response to the racist rallies in Charlottesville last weekend which ended in the death of a counter protestor.>> I think there's blame on both sides.
>> Those words spurring a string of departures. First, several business leaders resigned from two of Trump's Business Advisory Councils, forcing him to disband the groups. Then, all 16 members of his Arts and Humanities Committee resigned, slamming Trumps behavior in a letter, saying quote, supremacy, discrimination and vitriol are not American values.
And on Friday a member of the president's Evangelical Advisory Board calling it quits posting his resignation on Twitter. In an unrelated departure, billionaire investor, Carl Icahn, an early and close ally to the president, ended his role as a special advisor on Friday after facing criticism that policy recommendations he offered could help his own investments.
Icahn has denied any conflict of interest. And in a letter to Trump released on his website, he wrote, quote, I chose to end this arrangement with your blessing because I did not want partisan bickering about my role to in any way cloud your administration.