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Another CEO resigns from Trump's advisory board over Charlottesville violence

21 August 2017
Another CEO resigns from Trump's advisory board over Charlottesville violence

"I am appreciative of the opportunity to have served, but have made a decision to step down from the council", Plank said in a statement on Twitter.

At a press conference Tuesday, Trump said he would replace those who quit his council of manufacturing executives. "The first group that has exhibited unambiguous moral leadership, though not all equally and not all proportionally, are America's leading CEOs".

The exchange lit up social media early Monday, with many people lauding Frazier and blasting the president.

He declared in a statement on Twitter that there was "no room for hatred, racism or bigotry" at his company. Others, including IL companies Boeing and Caterpillar, were essentially silent.

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

Austan Goolsbee, the former chief economist for President Barack Obama, said the departures suggest the president's response to the violence in Charlottesville could alienate those who work for the companies, and those who buy the products and services that they sell.

Intel's CEO has become the latest executive to quit one of President Trump's business councils after the president's reaction to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.

The conundrum unfolded in days and likely led to some sleepless nights for the CEOs.

In a weird press conference, Trump said that not all of the protesters in Charlottesville "were white supremacists by any stretch" and said the "alt-left" counter-protesters were "very, very violent".

Plank on Monday night resigned from Trump's advisory jobs panel after the president was widely criticized for not quickly denouncing racist groups.

Every single CEO who continues to serve on Trump's manufacturing council needs to keep this mind if they choose to associate with this president. Promoting American manufacturing should not be a political issue.

Trump fired back an hour after Frazier's announcement.

He's following in the footsteps of Merck CEO Ken Frazier, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.

The manufacturing jobs council had 28 members initially, but it has shrunk since it was formed earlier this year as executives retire, are replaced, or, as with Frazier and Musk, resign.

IL participants included Dennis Muilenburg of Chicago-based Boeing and Doug Oberhelman, who retired this year from Peoria-based Caterpillar. Boeing exclusively told Fox Business News that its CEO Dennis Muilenberg will remain on the council. His statement did not reference President Trump.

Meanwhile, Under Armour's Kevin Plank talked about joining the council because it was important to have an active seat at the table, but added that "Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics".

"Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans", he said from the White House.

"It was personal, not necessarily policy related", Eaton said of CEOs.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Disney CEO Robert Iger bowed out of their respective positions when Trump said he would pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement. Immelt and GE can participate in dozens of other ways in the debate about economic growth (goodness knows they have paid lobbyists) without attending a powerless advisory council that has no discernible influence on Trump when it comes to immigration, health care, climate change or infrastructure.

The Justice Department has launched a civil rights inquiry into the incident, and the driver, a 20-year-old OH man who was said to have had a history of neo-Nazi beliefs, has been charged with second-degree murder.

Big business is aligned with the political establishment that gave many of them a revenue stream from big government.

Trump for the first time mentioned Heather Heyer by name as he paid tribute to the woman killed by the vehicle.