One of the US's most high-profile African American executives quit Donald Trump's business advisory panel on Monday, citing "a responsibility to take a stand against violence and extremism" and triggering an nearly immediate attack from the president.
WASHINGTON-Roughly 30 minutes after Inge Thulin, 3M's chairman, president and CEO, announced on Twitter that he would step down from the Jobs Manufacturing Initiative, President Trump said he would dissolve the council.
Just last month he called Frazier a "business genius" and "one of the great, great leaders of business". It also marks a rapid descent for a president who has alternatively praised and attacked the decisions of corporate leaders, and whose policy choices on issues like immigration and climate change antagonized them.
The AFL-CIO, an umbrella organization of unions representing an estimated 12.5 million workers, said it is evaluating its role on the manufacturing council, and that there are "real questions into the effectiveness of this council to deliver real policy that lifts working families". "I have already made clear my abhorrence at the recent hate-spawned violence in Charlottesville, and earlier today I called on all leaders to condemn the white supremacists and their ilk who marched and committed violence", he wrote.
"As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremeism". Many thought his initial statement Saturday didn't go far enough to denounce white supremacists after the deadly protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In brief remarks later the same day, Trump said "many sides" were responsible for the violence, which critics said spared white supremacists and sought to spread the blame to counter-protestors.
"Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics", Plank said.
"#Intel asks all our countries leadership to do the same", CEO Brian Krzanich said in a tweet.
Frazier took a principled stance and showed strong leadership, Coles said, adding, "these times try men's souls".
Trump later attacked Plank and Merck in a pair of tweets, saying now "he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!". Protestors did clash with white nationalists in the city on Saturday morning, but Trump was criticized for not directly condemning the hateful groups that were there to promote their racist agenda.
"I am appreciative of the opportunity to have served, but have made a decision to step down from the council", Plank said.
Trump amended his statement at a press conference Monday at the White House, but it seems the damage was done.
Mr Plank, the founder of sportswear firm Under Armour, announced his resignation from the council in a Twitter posting.
Back in June when Trump announced his decision to withdraw the USA from the Paris Climate Agreement, Disney CEO Robert Iger and Tesla CEO Elon Musk both announced decisions of their own to resign from the president's advisory councils.