Trump disbands manufacturing council after multiple CEOs step away

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President Donald Trump says he’s ending a pair of White House advisory councils that were staffed by corporate chief executives.

CEOs have been resigning since Saturday, when Trump blamed both sides for the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white supremacists and counter-protesters. The resignation accelerated after Trump on Tuesday again blamed “both sides.”

“Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!” Trump tweeted from his home at Trump Tower in Manhattan. He was to depart New York later Wednesday to return to his New Jersey golf club.

Campbell Soup Co. president and CEO Denise Morrison. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The CEO of Campbell Soup resigned from a White House jobs panel over comments about racism made by Trump.

Campbell CEO Denise Morrison said in a company release Wednesday, “Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville. I believe the President should have been — and still needs to be — unambiguous on that point.”

Trump suggested in remarks Tuesday that the white supremacists and counter-protesters both blameworthy for violence that erupted this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Morrison said the president’s comments triggered her resignation from the manufacturing jobs panel.

Morrison is the seventh person to resign from two major advisory panels this week following Trump’s comments.

Kenneth Frazier the Chairman and CEO of the pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Trump lashed out at the CEO of the nation’s third-largest pharmaceutical company after he resigned from a federal advisory council, citing the president’s failure to explicitly rebuke the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier wrote on Twitter Monday that “America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which runs counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal.”

He lashed out almost immediately on Monday following the resignation, saying on Twitter that Frazier will now “have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”

The president followed up later in the day, tweeting that Merck “is a leader in higher & higher drug prices while at the same time taking jobs out of the U.S. Bring jobs back & LOWER PRICES!”

Intel Corp. CEO Brian Krzanich. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The CEO of computer chip maker Intel also resigned on Monday from Trump’s American Manufacturing Council, bemoaning “the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues.”

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich wrote that while he urged leaders to condemn “white supremacists and their ilk,” many in Washington “seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them.”

The chief executive of 3M, Inge Thuluin, resigned from the president’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative panel, saying it is no longer an effective forum for the company to advance its goals. “Sustainability, diversity and inclusion are my personal values and also fundamental to the 3M Vision. The past few months have provided me with an opportunity to reflect upon my commitment to these values,” Thulin said in a statement.

CEO of Tesla and Space X Elon Musk. Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk resigned from the manufacturing council in June, and two other advisory groups to the president, after the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger resigned for the same reason from the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, which Trump established to advise him on how government policy impacts economic growth and job creation.

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