After receiving backlash from people on the right and the left, President Trump finally — and somewhat grudgingly — offered up a condemnation of white supremacy earlier this week. However, it seems like it was too little, too late. Trump’s initial hesitation to blame white supremacists for the violence that took place this weekend at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia has not only hurt his relationship with other politicians, but it has also affected his manufacturing council.
Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier made a bold move on Monday morning when he chose to resign from the manufacturing council, saying that, in light of Trump’s refusal to take a stand against white supremacy, he felt a “responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”
Several other executives on the council have followed Frazier’s lead, including, most recently, Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul. Paul announced via Twitter on Tuesday morning that he was leaving the council because it is the “right thing” for him to do.
It didn’t take long after Paul made this announcement for people to begin commenting on it. Some Twitter users wished that he had provided more detail about his decision, but almost every commenter made it a point to thank Paul for joining the ranks of those who are finally standing up to Trump.
In addition to Paul and Frazier, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich stepped down from the council following Trump’s refusal to denounce bigotry.
The council was shrinking even before Trump issued his tepid response to the Charlottesville rally. Both Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Iger left in June over Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement, and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick quit the council in February as people began to threaten to boycott his company.
Just minutes before Paul tweeted to announce his resignation, Trump posted a threat on Twitter to the remaining executives on the manufacturing council. He warned that he has “many to take their place” and added that “grandstanders should not have gone on.”
There are still quite a few people left on the president’s council, but that might change if Trump continues to threaten them.
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