Trump with Frazier
Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck & Co., resigned from President Trump’s American Manufacturing Council when the President’s response to violence in Charlottesville was insufficient. Frazier was the lone African-American business leader on the Council
Although Trump later issued what sounded like a forced apology Monday afternoon, Frazier was joined by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, in leaving the Manufacturing Council according to Business Insider.
CNN reports that when he resigned, Frazier released a statement saying, “America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy.”Trump immediately responded with a tweet that reinforced his reputation for pettiness. Trump wrote that Frazier’s resignation will provide him more time for lowering prices for “ripoff drugs.”
When a White nationalist “unity rally” went horribly awry, the nation looked to a President whose election is still under investigation for a condemnation of the racial hatred that spurred the attack. Instead, Trump issued a statement blaming the violence on “all sides,” insinuating that the counter-protesters were responsible for the violence they suffered.
After his comments were rebuked over the weekend, Trump did release a statement condemning the White supremacist hate groups that converged in Charlottesville, VA. He called the groups “repugnant,” departing from the stance he took while campaigning. Frazier’s resignation is not the first time Trump has been rebuked by Corporate America. Most recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stepped down from the manufacturing council after Trump’s June 1 announcement that he was leaving the Paris climate accord.
Other members of the Council have also criticized Trump but decided to remain on the Council. MSNBC reported that the full Council has never had a meeting since it was announced by Trump soon after his Inauguration.