Merck CEO quits Trump council over Charlottesville

Kevin Lamarque  Reuters

William Galston, a senior fellow at the Washington, D.C. -based think tank Brookings Institution, said he couldn't "think of a parallel example" of any president responding as viciously as Trump to a CEO departing an advisory council.

Frazier, who as a lawyer helped free a black death row inmate falsely accused of murder, and who now leads one of the country's most powerful drug companies, was first to quit the manufacturing council. Some, like Mr. Frazier, have resigned in protest of Mr. Trump's actions.

Krzanich added that he resigned to bring awareness to the "divided political climate" in America and that should things change, he would be willing to serve on the council in the future.

"Racism is evil", said Trump, two days after a driver rammed a vehicle into a crowd of people in the midst of violent clashes over a white nationalist rally in the city.

Sonnenfeld said he received emails from more than a dozen leading CEOs on Monday reacting to Frazier's statement - and especially Trump's broadside.

The council was formed back in January, when Trump launched the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative as part of his effort to create American jobs.

"Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to lower ripoff drug prices", Trump tweeted.

The CEO of Intel announced his departure from President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council in a late Monday blog post.


Since the events in Charlottesville, Ivanka Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have denounced the white supremacist groups.

Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs who has called the President's decision to bail on the climate-change deal a set back, tweeted: "Lincoln: 'A house divided against itself can not stand.' Isolate those who try to separate us".

Business Roundtable, a powerful lobby group of CEOs that advocate for tax reform, put out a statement condemning the violence in Virginia.

Trump met top law enforcement officials at the White House to discuss the issue.

In several television interviews on Monday, Sessions said Trump had "explicitly condemned" violence and that "he totally opposes" the values espoused by white supremacy organizations. It wasn't until Monday afternoon that he bluntly called "KKK, neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, and other hate groups. repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans".

Mr. Trump has denied responsibility for the clashes between demonstrators of the left and the extreme right on both sides, sparking a wave of protests.

Tesla founder Elon Musk left the manufacturing council and another presidential advisory group in June, citing his disagreement with Trump's decision to withdraw the USA from the Paris climate accord.

Former Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick left the business advisory council in February amid pressure from his company over the Trump administration's immigration policies.

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