U.S. stock futures are pointing to a lower open on Thursday after investors react to a string of chief executives from corporations quitting advisory committees to the White House over President Trump’s latest Charlottesville comments during a press conference on Tuesday from Trump Tower and also weigh the latest minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting that showed some weakness with U.S. inflation.
During a press conference on Tuesday, President Trump doubled down on his initial comments he made on Saturday related to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in which he blamed both sides for the violence and veered away from repudiating the racist ideology that was represented in the protest movement.
President Trump singled out the counter protestors in his Tuesday comments after he accused them of assembling without a permit and being “very, very violent” when in fact the largest act of violence on Saturday occurred after a 20 year old protestor committed an act of domestic terrorism by driving his car into a crowd of counter protestors assembled on streets of Charlottesville, resulting in one fatality and 30 injuries.
President Trump’s off key message describing the Charlottesville events on Saturday has caused outrage and led him to dissolve two business advisory councils to the White House after a series of resignations came forward from executives of several corporations, including Under Armor, Intel, Merck, Campbell Soup Co, and 3M.
Instead of taking responsibility for his off tone messaging, President Trump continues to play the role of the victim and accuses the “Fake News” media for “misinterpreting” what he says about hate and bigotry.
In a tweet this morning, President Trump tweeted, “The public is learning (even more so) how dishonest the Fake News is. They totally misrepresent what I say about hate, bigotry etc. Shame!”
The public is learning (even more so) how dishonest the Fake News is. They totally misrepresent what I say about hate, bigotry etc. Shame!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
Many leaders on Capitol Hill from both parties have criticized President Trump’s reaction to the violence in Charlottesville.
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio tweeted on August 15th,
“Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in
#Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists”
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 12, 2017
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham from South Carolina tweeted on Wednesday, “Many Republicans do not agree with and will fight back against the idea that the Party of Lincoln has a welcome mat out for the David Dukes of the world.”
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) August 16, 2017
On August 15th Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) tweeted, “Great and good American presidents seek to unite not divide. Donald Trump’s remarks clearly show he is not one of them.”
Great and good American presidents seek to unite not divide. Donald Trump’s remarks clearly show he is not one of them.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 15, 2017
Minutes from July Federal Reserve Meeting
The minutes from the Fed’s July 25-26th policy meeting shows that the forecast for consumer price inflation, as measured by changes with the PCE price index, was revised down slightly for 2017 in response to weaker-than-expected incoming data for inflation with an upturn in the prices for food and non-energy imports offset by a slower increase in core PCE prices and weaker energy prices.
Consequently, inflation in 2017 is expected to be similar to last year but increase in the next couple of years and run close to the Fed’s longer run 2 percent target in 2018 and at 2 percent in 2019.
Downside risks to the inflation projection includes “the possibilities that longer-term inflation expectations may have edged down, that the dollar could appreciate substantially, or that the recent run of soft inflation readings could prove to be more persistent than the staff expected.”
However, the downside risks were seen as “counterbalanced” by an upside risk that inflation could increase more than expected in an economy that was “projected to continue operating above its longer-run potential.”
Fed Committee members saw the risks to the forecasts for real GDP growth and the unemployment rate as balanced.
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