Under Armour CEO steps down from Trump's business council

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 20, 2017

Merck chief Frazier was the first to quit the manufacturing council, saying Trump initially did not "clearly reject expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal".

President Donald Trump on Tuesday ripped three top corporate chief executives who resigned from his manufacturing council in protest of his handling of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, calling them "grandstanders".

Following Frazier's resignation, Trump tweeted that he will "have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!"

That appeared to be a reference to Trump's statement over the weekend blaming violence "on many sides" after neo-Nazis and white nationalists clashed with counter-protesters.

The White House clarified in a statement from an unidentified official that Trump "condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred".

Those who praise Trump, meanwhile, can feel confident that they will remain in the president's good graces - indefinitely and unconditionally.

The political PAC maintained by Merck and funded through donations from Merck employees made over $1.1 million in candidate contributions during the 2016 campaign - but did not contribute to Trump or his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, according to documents filed with the Federal Elections Commission.

Plank said he was appreciative of the opportunity to have served on the council but will now "focus my efforts on inspiring every person that they can do anything through the power of sport which promotes unity, diversity and inclusion".

Trump's announcement about his advisory councils came amid a blizzard of denunciations of his behavior by members of Congress from his own party.

Krzanich said he resigned in order to call attention to the harm that the "divided political climate" was causing to critical issues like manufacturing.

"We are always mindful of the responsibility that we have to those who choose our brand, especially the young people who represent the bold and bright future of a diverse and inclusive America". After his speech, when reporters asked about the white supremacists who supported his candidacy, Trump sauntered away from the podium, ignoring their questions.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank have joined the parade of business leaders leaving President Donald Trump's manufacturing council. Alex Gorsky of Johnson & Johnson at first said he would stay on a council to "remain engaged", but then changed his mind and quit - moments after Trump made a decision to kill the panels outright.

He stressed that even though he was eager to contribute to promoting United States manufacturing, the riots in Charlottesville entangled the issue with the political agenda and made progress impossible.

Trump's inclination toward the public shaming of those who disappoint him seems to have had a chilling effect on business leaders. On Monday, Trump sent two tweets lashing out at Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, one of the few African American CEOs in the Fortune 500. "I believe the President should have been - and still needs to be - unambiguous", the statement read.

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