Merck And Under Armour CEOs Resign From Trump's American Manufacturing Council

Lawrence Cooper
August 20, 2017

President Donald Trump is blasting the CEOs who resigned from his manufacturing jobs council in the wake of the violence stemming from a white supremacist rally this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to the death of one counter-protester.

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said Monday night that he's leaving President Trump's manufacturing council, the second departure by a high-profile business leader in the space of a day.

On Sunday, however, the White House added: "The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred, and of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi, and all extremist groups".

The resignations came as criticism grew 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.

"We are saddened by #Charlottesville", Plank said on Under Armour's Twitter account. "Racism has no place in our businesses, our communities or our country", the statement said.

Spokespersons for Plank and Under Armour did not return calls or messages on whether the CEO would remain on the panel. "Through our participation on the Manufacturing Jobs Council, we will work to strengthen the social and economic fabric of communities across the country by creating employment opportunities in manufacturing".

The resignation prompted an angry response from Trump on Twitter. "With more than 100,000 employees in the United States", a GE spokeswoman said, "it is important for GE to participate in the discussion on how to drive growth and productivity in the US, therefore, Jeff Immelt will remain on the Presidential Committee on American Manufacturing while he is the chairman of GE". "You should do so".

TV icon Sir Bruce Forsyth dies aged 89
He later said he wished he had done more acting. "Most people would have gone under - he came back even stronger". Forsyth (who was presenting The Generation Game at the time) was booked to sing Abide With Me before the match.

Kenneth Frazier, right, withdrew from Trump's advisory board on Monday. Four months earlier, Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick and Hint Water chief executive Kara Goldin quit their advisory roles in response to Trump's executive order on immigration.

Trump faced criticism during last year's presidential campaign for failing to quickly reject a vow of support from a former Ku Klux Klan leader, David Duke, though he eventually did so. "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.

With the barb, Mr Trump appeared to attack an industry executive who has tried to make drug pricing somewhat more transparent by revealing his company's overall drug price changes.

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.

The election of a businessman to the White House fueled a wave of optimism among America's CEOs.

And then, the CEO of computer chip maker Intel announced he would also leave the group.

Morrison has become the latest CEO to resign from the American Manufacturing Council as a result of Trump's remarks on the violence in Charlottesville.

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