CEOs are abandoning Trump's manufacturing council over his response to Charlottesville


CEOs are abandoning Trump's manufacturing council over his response to Charlottesville

Intel Corp's Brian Krzanich joined Under Armour Inc's Kevin Plank in becoming the latest chief executives to quit President Donald Trump's council of US business leaders, as membership on the panel has become enmeshed in the country's volatile politics after violent riots in Virginia over the weekend.

Three CEOs resigned yesterday from President Trump's manufacturing council. During his remarks, the president doubled down on claims that "both sides" were to blame for the violence, while insisting that "very fine people" were among the attendees of a white supremacist rally.

After deliberating over the weekend and on Monday with senior executives and other advisers, Krzanich notified the council of his decision in writing on Monday night and published a blog post explaining it.

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".

The rebuke from McMillon came as six other business leaders stepped down from presidential advisory councils - including two late on Monday, the CEOs of Intel and Under Armour - citing their own values as the primary motivation for distancing themselves from Trump.

Merck chief executive Kenneth Frazier, one of only four African-Americans to now lead a Fortune 500 company, was the first to tender his resignation on Monday. "Thank you all!" Trump said on Twitter.

Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Armour, quit the council later in the day.

There are fresh calls this morning for President Trump to fire his chief strategist, Steve Bannon.

Trump said he delayed naming racist hate groups because he needed to "see the facts", taking a shot at reporters, whom he accused of not doing the same.

He was assailed nearly immediately by Trump on Twitter.

After Trump announced in June that the USA would be leaving the Paris climate accord, both Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Iger left his business advisory council. The White House later stated that Trump was including "white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups" in his remarks about the violence.

"That throws a little bit more doubt into the president's abilities to push his policies through", said David Schiegoleit, managing director of investments at US Bank Private Wealth Management in Newport Beach, California.

A number of companies or executives said they would remain with the council, which was formed in January to advise Trump on manufacturing growth - a focus of the president's campaign.

Kevin Plank - Under Armour After Trump's second comment on the events at Charlottesville, Kevin Plank withdrew from the council, saying in a statement that Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics. "We must resign on behalf of America's working people, who reject all notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups".

One other member, Dell, said there was "no change" in how it is "engaging with the Trump administration" on policy issues that affect the company.

According to the Times, even if the group did not disband, a number of executives said they would depart from the council.

Frazier is not the first executive to resign from advisory councils serving Trump.

"GE has no tolerance for hate, bigotry or racism, and we strongly condemn the violent extremism in Charlottesville over the weekend", a company spokesperson said.

Jeff Immelt will remain on the council while he is the chairman of the company.