AFL-CIO's Trumka: Some White House aides 'turned out to be racist'

Story highlights

  • Trumka said he quit the White House manufacturing council following Trump's "spirited defense" of white supremacy
  • He was one of eight members who quit the council in early August

Washington (CNN)National labor leader Richard Trumka said Wednesday that some White House aides "turned out to be racist" and said the Wall Street wing of President Donald Trump's economic team is growing in influence.

"You had two factions in the White House," the AFL-CIO president told reporters at a roundtable hosted by the Christian Science Monitor and confirmed in audio provided by Trumka's office to CNN. "You had one faction that actually had some of the policies that we would have supported on trade and infrastructure but turned out to be racist."
Trumka continued: "And on the other hand, you had people who weren't racist, but they were Wall Street. And the Wall Streeters began to dominate the administration and have moved [Trump's] agenda back to everything he fought against in the election."
    The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.
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    Trumka said he left the White House manufacturing jobs council after talking to union members who believed Trump's comments following the attacks in Charlottesville, Virginia, were a "spirited defense" of white supremacy.
    Trumka was one of eight members who quit the council in early August. Trump later dissolved the manufacturing council altogether.
    The President tweeted at the time: "Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!"