Donald Trump hits back as five business leaders quit his jobs panel

16 August, 2017, 20:44 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier quit President Trump's manufacturing council on Monday

They resigned in protest following Trump's statements regarding Saturday's violent protest in Charlottesville, Va., by the neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

Kenneth Frazier, chief executive of Merck & Co., publicly announced Monday that he was stepping down from the council because he felt "a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism". But they also said they'd stay on the council so they could advise the government on ways to strengthen manufacturing.

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.

Trump eventually made a statement condemning bigotry Monday afternoon at a press conference. He was assailed nearly immediately by Trump on Twitter.

White House officials have since made explicit they oppose bigotry and white supremacy.

Scott said on Twitter that it was "the right thing for me to do".

Trump lashes out at black CEO who quits council
Mr Trump criticised him nearly immediately over drug prices, and again on Tuesday for having factories overseas. Of course that includes white supremacists, KKK neo-Nazi and all extremist groups.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., tweeted, "Mr. President - we must call evil by its name".

Trump responded shortly later in a tweet, saying, "Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to Lower ripoff drug prices!"

The decision came after critics questioned Trump's decision not to call out white supremecists in a statement condemning the violence that erupted Saturday. On Under Armour's Facebook page Yesterday, customers who supported Trump threatened to boycott the athletic clothier.

"Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!" the United States president said.

Austan Goolsbee, the former chief economist for President Barack Obama, said the departures suggest the president's response to the violence in Charlottesville could alienate those who work for the companies, and those who buy the products and services that they sell. "It's certainly a sign that Trump's more controversial stuff isn't playing well with companies selling to middle America", said Goolsbee, now a professor at the University of Chicago.

But for some, his remarks were too little, too late. However, he shocked many on Tuesday when he delivered an unscripted speech in NY that blamed the violence on more than the supremacy groups that convened in Charlottesville and said there were "nice" people on both sides.



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