CIO chief leaves Trump's manufacturing council


Kenneth Frazier of Merck, Kevin Plank of Under Armour and Brian Krzanich of Intel all left the group on Monday.

Under Armour founder and chief executive Kevin Plank's statement was more subtle.

Frazier made it clear his decision was a result of Trump's reaction to the violence - and particularly the decision to stop short of condemning far right groups such as the Ku Klux Klan - with Trump's immediate response referring to fault "on both sides".

Frazier is not the first executive to depart a Trump advisory panel.

"We can not sit on a council for a President who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism", Trumka said in a statement. In January, his ban on travel from certain Muslim-majority countries drew criticism from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Starbucks boss Howard Schultz, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Apple's Tim Cook and many, many others.

Trump immediately hit back, but made no reference to Frazier's comments on values, instead revisiting a longstanding gripe about expensive medicines.

That appeared to be a reference to Trump's statement over the weekend blaming the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, on "many sides" after neo-Nazis and white nationalists clashed with counter-protesters. The CEOs ran for the exits because they are progressive elites and members of the ruling class and were finding out that, unlike former President Obama, White House access did not equate to policy favors.

The shrinking support for Trump comes as many Republicans are questioning his policies amid spectacular failures on key legislative initiatives, mounting evidence of criminal misconduct with Russian Federation during the campaign and emerging threats of war in various parts of the globe.

One woman was killed Saturday when a vehicle plowed into a group of counter-protesters who'd gathered to oppose a rally by white nationalists and others who oppose a plan to remove from a Charlottesville park of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

President Trump's American Manufacturing Council originally included the chief executives of more than two dozen top USA companies, as well as leaders of industry groups and labor unions.

Donald Trump's connections to the business community are disappearing after the president failed to clearly denounce white supremacists following the protests in Charlottesville.

Frazier is concerned Trump is going to end some of the policy favors that Obama gave drug companies via Obamacare, such as blocking drug imports and not having to negotiate drug prices with the government.

The council is tasked with advising the President on American manufacturing and was founded shortly after the inauguration.

"Ken has stood up for true American values", he wrote in a tweet.

"I'd guess that they hoped their departures wouldn't garner as much attention later at night, and it's commonly witnessed on social media that backlash is greatest for the first deviation away from the expected".

Frazier, one of the few Fortune 500 company bosses who is black, said he left the council "as a matter of personal conscience".

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk and Disney chief executive Bob Iger stepped down from councils in June after Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord.

And then, the CEO of computer chip maker Intel announced he would also leave the group.