Merck chief Ken Frasier resigns from Trump council

Geronimo Vena
Agosto 20, 2017

Donald Trump has lashed out at the CEO of the USA's third-largest pharmaceutical company who resigned from a federal advisory council because of the United States president's failure to immediately and explicitly rebuke white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Merck chief executive Kenneth Frazier was the first to depart the council Monday, followed by Intel Corp.

Facing mounting pressure, Trump denounced the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists hours later as "repugnant".

Frazier announced early in the day that he was leaving Trump's advisory council, saying, "I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism".

President Donald Trump is criticizing media coverage of his response to the racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend, saying the "Fake News Media will never be satisfied".

The first CEO of a global company to distance himself from President Trump this weekend was Kenneth Frazier, the head of pharmaceutical giant Merck.

By Monday afternoon the AFL-CIO said it was "assessing" its role in the manufacturing group - which it said "has yet to hold any real meeting".

SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Disney CEO Robert Iger bowed out of their respective positions when Trump said he would pull the USA out of the Paris climate agreement.

The president came under fire on Saturday after he said both sides were to blame for the violence that occurred at the rally.

"America's leaders must honor our fundamental views by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal", Frazier said in a statement announcing his resignation.

President Donald Trump is back at the White House and ignoring shouted questions about the race-fueled clashes in in Charlottesville, Virginia. The president on Monday later said condemned groups tied to racism.

He then specifically addressed the events in Charlottesville, which led to three deaths, including that of Heather Heyer, who among a group of people counter-protesting neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and white supremacists gathered to protest the removal of a statute of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

While Musk publicly and repeatedly rebuked several Trump policies, including the travel ban, he said he believed having a seat at the table was "doing good".

The president of the A.F.L. -C.I.O., Richard Trumka, went further than most, suggesting that Mr. Trump's initial comments about the violence in Charlottesville was giving him pause.

The US President has been at his New Jersey golf club on a "working vacation", but is expected to return to Washington on Monday to sign an executive action on China's trade policies.

While some chief executives directly called out Mr Trump in their resignation statements, Mr Liveris was more benign and did not mention the president. "He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together".

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