Trump and the CEOs

Gladys Abbott
August 19, 2017

Trump has since described members of such groups as "criminals and thugs", but the comment came after an extended period of criticism and disbelief from some quarters, with his initial remarks quickly embraced by neo-Nazi publication The Daily Stormer.

At least 17 members remain on the council, nine of whom have said this week that they are staying. He said: "For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place".

It follows the resignations from the same group on Monday of Kenneth Frazier, the black chief executive of pharmaceutical giant Merck, and Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Armour. The protest Saturday over the removal of a Confederate statute led to violence and the death of one counter-protester.

Plank's resignation comes after receiving a great deal of flak from his company's customers-who trended #BoycottUnderArmour on Twitter-as well as workers and partners, such as actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and ballerina Misty Copeland.

Frazier's statement of principle was promptly greeted by a typically juvenile yet threatening tweet from the nation's chief executive, noting that Frazier would now have "more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!".

A female protester was subsequently killed when a vehicle intentionally rammed into a crowd protesting against white supremacists. A woman was killed and 19 people injured when a vehicle rammed down a narrow street. It also, once again, showed just how personally the 45th president appears to take such slights - and his continued attacks on the CEOs will give ammunition to his critics who questioned why it took him two days to condemn the white nationalist groups. "Johnson & Johnson has a responsibility to remain engaged, not as a way to support any specific political agenda, but as a way to represent the values of Our Credo as crucial public policy is discussed and developed", he said.

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The head of Intel was more direct in announcing the reason for his departure.

"I am appreciative of the opportunity to have served, but have made a decision to step down from the council", Plank continued. "I resigned because I want to make progress".

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, announced he was quitting the council after Mr Trump's off-the-rails press conference on Tuesday at Trump Tower in Manhattan.

General Electric Chairman Jeff Immelt also sought to clarify that he beat Trump to the punch.

Representatives for at least five other companies - Dow Chemical, Whirlpool, Campbell Soup, International Paper and Nucor - voiced similar sentiments.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has resigned from the American Manufacturing Council, citing disgust with the current political climate.

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