Scott Paul, head of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, quit Trump’s manufacturing council on Tuesday. He said on Twitter it was “the right thing for me to do.”
He joined the CEOs of Merck, Under Armour and Intel, who all left the council Monday. The group, which Trump established in January with about two dozen members, is supposed to meet occasionally to offer the president advice on job growth.
Trump said on Twitter that he has other CEOs ready to step in and that “grandstanders” should not have joined the manufacturing council in the first place.
The aftermath of the violence at a neo-Nazi and white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, represents the latest break between Trump, who sold himself as a businessman president, and leaders of corporate America.
They have also loudly opposed him on immigration and his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement.
First to leave the manufacturing council after Charlottesville was Kenneth Frazier of Merck (MRK), one of the most prominent black executives in the United States, who said the nation’s leaders “must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy.”
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.
“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy,” he said in a statement.
Within minutes, Trump responded by bashing Frazier on Twitter. The president wrote that the Merck CEO “will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”
After neo-Nazis and white supremacists brawled with counter-protesters in the streets of Charlottesville on Saturday, Trump spoke against violence “on many sides — on many sides.” A woman was killed and 19 people injured when a car rammed down a narrow street.
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SOURCE: CNN Money, Jill Disis, Robert Mclean and Jethro Mullen