CEOs quit Trump council after Charlottesville riots


Following Merck CEO Kevin Frazier's departure from the American Manufacturing Council, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank also left the council Monday, according to The New York Times.

On Tuesday, Trump accused the CEOs of being "grandstanders".

After Trump announced in June that the USA would be leaving the Paris climate accord, both Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Iger left his business advisory council. "We must resign on behalf of America's working people, who reject all notion of legitimacy of those bigoted groups".

Kevin Plank asserts that "Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics" and reiterates his decision to step down.

But at least seven companies or executives said that they would remain with the council, which was formed in January to advise Trump on manufacturing growth - a key focus of the president's campaign.

The resignations came as criticism mounted over Trump's slow response to the weekend demonstration which ended in bloodshed when a suspected Nazi sympathizer plowed his auto into a crowd of anti-racism protesters, killing one and wounding 19.

The president came under fire on Saturday after he said both sides were to blame for the violence that occurred at the rally.

Plank's statement follows Merck CEO Ken Frazier's move earlier in the day to step down from the council "as a matter of personal conscience". However, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon believes that executives on these councils have a civic responsibility to the council's work that shouldn't be altered by presidential opinions.

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Announcing his resignation in a blog post, Krzanich called out Washington for seeming "more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them" than trying to rebuild America's manufacturing base.

It was not until Monday that Mr Trump declared "the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups" as repugnant.

In the morning, Trump tweeted that Frazier's response would give him "more time to lower ripoff drug prices".

Just after taking office, Trump announced the establishment of a manufacturing council, with Frazier as the only black male executive included. Kzacnich was a bit bolder and said that he quit the council to call attention to the serious harm the divided political climate is causing to critical issues.

A White House official said Trump was "condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides" when asked what he meant when he condemned the "many sides" involved in violence in Charlottesville.

Within minutes, Trump responded by bashing Frazier on Twitter.

-11:37 a.m.: Scott Paul, president of Alliance for American Manufacturing, resigns.