Business Leaders Quit Trump Panel; He Hits Back Hard

Kevin Plank CEO of Under Armour

The CEO of the nation's third largest pharmaceutical company is resigning from the President's American Manufacturing Council citing "a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism".

In a statement of resignation from the Council posted to Twitter, Frazier - one of few African-American CEOs among Fortune 500 companies - did not mention Trump directly, but wrote: "America's leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry, and group supremacy".

Later in the day, Trump went back at Frazier, saying that Merck was "a leader in higher & higher drug prices while at the same time taking jobs out of the U.S. Bring jobs back & LOWER PRICES". "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, erasing the ambiguity he had nurtured all weekend.

In the aftermath of those comments, Poser downgraded Under Armour and said Plank's praise for Trump made it "nearly impossible to effectively build a cool urban lifestyle brand in the foreseeable future".

One of America's most prominent black CEOs quit President Trump's manufacturing council on Monday over Trump's failure to condemn white supremacists.

In announcing his resignation, Plank said Under Armour "engages in innovation and sports, not politics".

Plank sparked boycott threats from the opposite side of the political spectrum this year after he called Trump "a real asset for the country" in an interview that turned the company into a political lightning rod. A new White House statement on Sunday explicitly denounced the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups, but it was attributed to an unnamed spokesperson and not the president himself.

A man drove his vehicle into a crowd of anti-racism protesters, killing a young woman and injuring 19.

"I support Ken Frazier's decision".

The White House tried to stem the damage on Sunday.

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, announced he was quitting the council after Mr Trump's off-the-rails press conference on Tuesday at Trump Tower in Manhattan.

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. But they also said they'd stay on the council so they could advise the government on ways to strengthen manufacturing.

Four business leaders had already walked away from Trump's manufacturing council following his reaction to Saturday's incidents in Charlottesville, where a neo-Nazi killed an anti-racist woman participating in a rally against white supremacists.

Later Monday, Trump made a statement calling out specific hate groups.

Former Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] CEO Travis Kalanick quit the business advisory council in February amid pressure from activists and employees who opposed the administration's immigration policies. The president, famous for his ability to be direct and forceful, was faulted for condemning violence "on many sides".

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