travis Kalanick
Uber chief executive Travis KalanickReuters

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has quit the United States President Donald Trump's council of business leaders after facing heavy criticism, according to an internal memo with the Associated Press.

Kalanick told his employees that he had a conversation with Trump on Thursday and he "let him know that I would not be able to participate on his economic council. Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the president or his agenda but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that."

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Many tech leaders have denounced Trump's executive orders of a sweeping travel ban on refugees, particularly the ones coming from seven specific Muslim-majority countries. The US President's executive actions on extreme vetting and visa ban applies to migrants, refugees and US legal residents — green-card holders — from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Libya and Yemen. There is an indefinite ban on the arrival of Syrian refugees.

Kalanick's departure from Trump's business council came a day before the first scheduled meeting of the group at the White House. Reports state that Disney CEO Bob Iger will not attend the meeting either, he, instead will be at a company board meeting in California.

The business council is led by the chairman and chief executive of the private equity group Blackstone, Stephen Schwarzman, and has 15 other members including the leads of Wal-Mart, Tesla, the Cleveland Clinic and Pepsi.

According to a Blackstone press release in December, the council is 'designed to provide direct input to the president from many of the best and brightest in the business world in a frank, non-bureaucratic, and non-partisan manner.'

Uber has been embroiled in the public outcry against Trump's refugee ban. Many people in largely democratic areas boycotted Uber after people thought that the company was attempting to break a taxi strike to and from New York's John F Kennedy Airport, which was held in response of the controversial ban.

The Uber CEO since then has condemned the orders passed by Trump and has also contributed to relief groups.