Trump fumes as business leaders leave council

Trump fumes as business leaders leave council

Trump fumes as business leaders leave council

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier cited the president's failure to explicitly rebuke the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Disney CEO Robert Iger bowed out of their respective positions when Trump said he would pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement. Trump initially bemoaned violence on "many sides", though on Monday he described members of the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists as "criminals and thugs". This president, either through bad advice, a lack of empathy, or reluctance to spurn a group of people his critics describe as his base, appeared to defend the tactics of a group of white supremacists upset over the fact that the city of Charlottesville was taking down a statue of a man who committed treason nearly 160 years ago.

He tweeted that the Merck CEO "will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!"

Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, announced his resignation Tuesday, a day after a raft of departures by CEOs heading large US corporations.

Frazier said American leaders need to "clearly [reject] expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy".

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His words carry weight: Intel is one of the world's biggest chipmakers, an icon of American innovation and a company Trump has praised in the past.

Unilever CEO Paul Polman wrote on Twitter, "Thanks @Merck Ken Frazier for strong leadership to stand up for the moral values that made this country what it is".

Trump eventually made a statement condemning bigotry Monday afternoon at a press conference, but already, other executives came to Fraziers support.

Executives who remain on the manufacturing council now include Andy Liveris from Dow Chemical, Michael Dell of Dell Technologies, Jeff Immelt of General Electric, Denise Morrison of Campbell's Soup Co., and Denis Muilenberg of Boeing.

Michael Dell is the only tech CEO left on Trump's council, although he's still in good company.

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Frazier, who had been the only African-American CEO to join the manufacturing council, announced early Monday morning that he would step down "as a matter of personal conscience".

Former Uber Technologies Inc CEO Travis Kalanick quit the business advisory council in February amid pressure from activists and employees who opposed the administration's immigration policies. In addition to Krzanich's participation in Trump's advisory committee on manufacturing, he visited the White House earlier this year, and re-announced a factory development in the United States to boost Trump's favoribility.

The president came under fire on Saturday after he said both sides were to blame for the violence that occurred at the rally. "In this time of tumult in our country, Americans deserve a leader that will bring us all together and denounce those who seek to tear us apart".

After two days of public equivocation and internal White House debate, the president condemned white supremacist groups by name on Monday, declaring "racism is evil".

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