US President Donald Trump was abandoned by business leaders, lambasted by some senior Republicans, and implicitly criticised by military leaders amid a fierce backlash over his comments in response to violence by white supremacists in Charlottesville.
In what could be a defining moment for his presidency Mr Trump was forced to disband two advisory councils consisting of high profile chief executives of major US companies.
That came amid a chorus of public disapproval from Republicans led by President George H. W. Bush, and president George W. Bush, who issued a rare joint statement condemning "bigotry" and quoting the Declaration of Independence.
The reaction against Mr Trump was international with Prime Minister Theresa May issuing a rebuke to Britain's close ally.
Mrs May said: "I see no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them, and I think it is important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far-right views wherever we hear them."
Mr Trump made several conflicting statements over several days about Saturday's events in Charlottesville, Virginia which left an ant-fascist demonstrator, Heather Heyer, 32, dead and three dozen others injured.
The Unite the Right rally was a protest against Charlottesville's decision to take down a statue of the Confederate Civil War general Robert E.Lee. Those protesting against removing the statue waved swastikas, carried torches, and chanted far right slogans.
In a bad-tempered press conference on Tuesday Mr Trump made absolutely clear that he believed there was "blame on both sides," and that included what he called the "alt-left". He said there were "very fine people on both sides".
His comments sent shock waves across America and he was widely accused, including by many Republicans, of suggesting a "moral equivalence" between neo-Nazis and anti-fascist protesters, and emboldening white supremacists.
Disbanding his two business advisory councils Mr Trump wrote on Twitter: "Rather than putting pressure on the business people of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!"
Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017
But chief executives had been leaving since Saturday in protest at his ambivalent condemnation of events in Charlottesville. The remaining business leaders made clear it was their decision to distance themselves from the White House.
The strategic policy forum comprised 19 people including the heads of General Motors, Wal-Mart and IBM.
Alex Gorsky, chief executive of Johnson & Johnson, said: "The president's most recent statements equating those who are motivated by race-based hate with those who stand up against hatred is unacceptable and has changed our decision to participate."
Denise Morrison, chief executive of Campbell Soup, said: "I believe the president should have been, and still needs to be, unambiguous."
In Washington Democrats said there was a "moral crisis" in the White House, and suggested Mr Trump had lost the "moral authority to lead the country.
The two former president Bushes, both Republicans, said: "America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism and hate in all forms.
"As we pray for Charlottesville we are reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city's most prominent citizen (Thomas Jefferson) in the Declaration of Independence - We are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalieanable rights. We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country."
The statement did not specifically name Mr Trump.
Aftermath of suspected hit and run at Charlottesville protest. Seen five people put in ambulances pic.twitter.com/oUe1SH9WYK— nick allen (@nickallen789) August 12, 2017
During past controversies many senior Republicans have avoided criticising the president directly, but several leading figures did not hold back this time.
John McCain, the prominent Republican senator, said: "There's no moral equivalency between racists and Americans standing up to defy hate and bigotry. The president of the United States should say so."
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said "President Trump took a step backward," and Republican Senator Marco Rubio said: "Mr President, you can't allow white supremacists to share only part of blame."
The Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said: "There are no good neo-Nazis."
Senior US military officers who usually stay clear of politics also weighed in.
U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley said: "The Army doesn't tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks. It's against our values and everything we've stood for since 1775."
His comments followed similar ones by the Air Force Chief of Staff and the top officers of the US Navy and Marine Corps.
Amid fears statues of Confederate figures could become focal points for further unrest a monument to Robert E. Lee, and three other statues, in Baltimore were taken down before dawn and removed on flat bed trucks..
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said: "I think any city that has Confederate statues is concerned about violence occurring in their city,"
Former President Barack Obama's reaction was to share on Twitter a quote from Nelson Mandela that "No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion".
According to Twitter it has become the most "liked" tweet ever sent on the social media network.
In a separate development Mr Trump appointed Hope Hicks, 28, a long time aide, as his new acting Communications Director, filling the role left vacant by Anthony Scaramucci.