3M CEO Inge Thulin joins exodus from Donald Trump manufacturing council

Donald Trump Kenneth Frazier Mark Fields

The chief executives of Intel Corp, Merck & Co Inc and Under Armour Inc resigned from U.S. President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council on Monday, following Trump's initially tepid response to weekend violence at a rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Another chief executive officer who announced that he would stay on at the manufacturing council was Denise Morrison, the CEO of Campbell Soup.

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke seemed thrilled, tweeting a link to Trump's latest comments Tuesday and saying: "Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists in BLM/Antifa", referring to the Black Lives Matter movement and an anti-fascist group.

Thulin and Morrison were the seventh and eighth to step down from the council in the wake of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., and Trump's response to it. Thulin's prepared statement, released on Twitter, did not cite events surrounding Charlottesville as the reason for resignation; Morrison's statement did.

Trump, who is under increasing pressure to explicitly condemn the white supremacist and hate groups involved, lashed out nearly immediately Monday at Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier on Twitter, saying that because of the resignation, the pharmaceutical executive "will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!"

"After careful consideration", Inge Thulin said, according to Variety, "I believe the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance these goals".

However, the President again rowed back on those comments on Tuesday, seemingly leaving his staff stunned.

Trump retaliated minutes later on twitter, saying "now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!" "Do they have any semblance of guilt?" Four hours later the president of the United States issued a statement where his denunciation of the white supremacist groups was more forceful than in his previous statement.

How did President Trump's two business advisory councils fall apart so quickly?

-1:20 p.m.: United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes puts out a statement, explaining his exit from the manufacturing council.

The departure of Krzanich follows the earlier resignations of Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier. Grandstanders should not have gone on. Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger resigned from a White House advisory council for the same reason.

Mr Trump set up the advisory council in January to much fanfare, toting his career as a successful businessman before running for president as one of his prime qualifications to run the country.



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