Breakfast Briefing, 8.17.2017: Silicon Valley, corporate America take a stand after Charlottesville

Facebook, Apple, and PayPal are among the companies vowing to fight extremism after last weekend's events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Behind the scenes of corporate America’s split with Trump: Bloomberg and CNBC posted dueling tick-tock stories Wednesday night about how some of America’s most powerful CEOs made the decision to disband or step down from White House business councils. (President Donald Trump said he discontinued the councils himself). Three female CEOs--Pepsi’s Indra Nooyi, IBM’s Ginni Rometty, and General Motors’ Mary Barra--led the charge in calling for a response to Trump’s "many sides" comments this past weekend, according to CNBC. The executives ultimately made the decision to distance themselves from the president after a frantic 48-hour stretch of discussions, according to Bloomberg.

Silicon Valley is fighting back against white supremacists. Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a note to employees around the world on Wednesday condemning racism and saying "hate is a cancer." Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg vowed to remove violent threats from his platform. PayPal cut off access for Richard Spencer and other white nationalists. Twitter suspended the account of The Daily Stormer.

White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is the latest Trump administration official to call a reporter, give a revealing interview, and then claim he didn’t know he was giving an interview. Showing the lessons of Anthony Scaramucci have gone unlearned, Bannon panned White House colleagues, his boss’ North Korea policy, and the U.S.’ trade relationship with China in an interview with The American Prospect. He later told colleagues he didn’t know he was on the record, according to Axios.

HBO’s Twitter account was briefly hacked on Wednesday night. A group called OurMine posted messages on the official HBO account and appeared to have taken control of handles for Veep, Last Week with John Oliver, and other accounts. The network is still trying to figure out how episodes of Game of Thrones leaked ahead of schedule, according to CNBC.

Bell Pottinger’s top critic is in London for a hearing with the PRCA, a U.K. communications industry body. Phumzile van Damme, a spokeswoman for South Africa’s second-biggest political party, was set to discuss allegations that the firm stoked racial tensions in the country in its work for a South African company.

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