Thea Lee, former member of Trump advisory council, explains resignation

At least 35 members of President Trump's advisory councils have resigned in protest over his comments about Charlottesville. Among them is Thea Lee, former deputy chief of staff of the AFL-CIO, who was a member of Mr. Trump's manufacturing council. Lee also served on councils for Mr. Trump's three most recent predecessors. 

On Wednesday, she spoke with CBS News' Anthony Mason about her decision to resign.


ANTHONY MASON: What was it about Charlottesville that made you quit this council?

THEA LEE: Well, it was that final Trump Tower press conference on Tuesday afternoon that was so unhinged, and I think it was the fact that after watching those horrific events in Charlottesville and seeing a person actually lose their life and to have Nazis marching on the streets with torches and chanting anti-Semitic and racist slogans, it didn't seem like asking too much that the president of the United States should show the same revulsion. And the president's reaction was so inappropriate, so inadequate, so painful that it just felt that any kind of association with the president, with the administration at that point was no longer possible.

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Thea Lee

CBS News

MASON: You've written that it became clear that this is not a normal administration and the usual rules do not apply. What do you mean by that?

LEE: I have served on a lot of advisory committees for previous presidents, and I've never considered that serving on an advisory committee was the same thing as endorsing a president, and so it had never seemed before that I had to make that kind of a calculation that it was necessary to distance myself an additional space.

MASON: Thea Lee, thank you very much for being with us.

LEE: Thank you, Anthony. Thanks for having me.