AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said Thursday that President Trump's manufacturing council that was disbanded Wednesday was "a joke."

"First of all, the council was sort of a joke. It was -- it never met. It didn't do anything," Trumka told CNN. "It wasn't a vehicle to do real policy."

The Presidential Manufacturing Council and Strategy and Policy Forum were folded by the White House on Wednesday after a series of resignations by high-profile chief executive officers sitting on the boards over Trump's handling of the Charlottesville violence.

Trumka, who was one of eight business leaders who quit the manufacturing council, said Trump does not seem to have learned from the backlash. In particularly, he pointed to comments the president made Thursday about wanting to protect "beautiful" Confederate structures.

"I think he doesn't understand the symbolism and the power that those monuments and statues have and how they actually attract people that support racism and bigotry," Trumka, who leads the nation's largest labor federation, said. "I actually thought -- I felt bad for him because he didn't -- he didn't understand. I felt bad for the country because our president really didn't understand how he's dividing our country."