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Published: Sat, August 19, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Trump ends manufacturing council after CEOs quit over Charlottesville remarks

Trump ends manufacturing council after CEOs quit over Charlottesville remarks

Trump took to Twitter to announce his decision to disband the Manufacturing Council and the Strategy and Policy forum after a series of business leaders left following his remarks. Within hours, the president who earlier had boasted that he had many others who would replace the departing "grandstanders", bowed to reality and disbanded the manufacturing council and another business forum that was on the verge of collapse.

Thulin announced his resignation from the council at roughly the same time Denise Morrison, Campbell Soup Co.

"Politics and political agendas have sidelined the important mission of rebuilding America's manufacturing base", he wrote.

Merck CEO Ken Frazier was first to leave the council, drawing the ire of Trump, who nearly immediately attacked him on Twitter over the pharmaceutical company and rising prices for medications.

"It certainly appears to be a strategic maneuver from [Kevin] Plank [Under Armour CEO] and [Brian] Krzanich [Intel CEO] to announce their departure later in the evening when people are looking to relax and stray away from news updates", noted Kellan Terry, Brandwatch's PR data manager.

Trump later denounced neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan as "criminals and thugs" on Monday amid growing pressure from political leaders on both the right and left who criticized the president for not condemning the hate groups by name. I am appreciative of the opportunity to have served, but have made a decision to step down from the council. Tesla CEO Elon Musk quit in June after Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord.

Late Tuesday, Trumka tweeted a statement reversing an earlier confirmation that he would remain on the council.

Donald Trump showed his true colors during Tuesday's press conference, defending white nationalists who protested the removal of a Confederate statue, and that means losing even more support.

It would be better to have a president who led on the values espoused by Thulin and others.

He added, "the president's statement really unveiled his true feelings about the situation in Charlottesville and around country".

Dent recalled statements Trump made during his presidential election campaign - including against Mexicans and Muslims - and said this affected how he was perceived.

Morrison released a statement after Thulin on Wednesday, saying "Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville". Thea Lee, deputy chief of staff for the AFL-CIO, also stepped down that day.

"Following yesterday's remarks from the president, I can not remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative", Morrison said in a statement. Following yesterday's remarks from the President, I can not remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative.

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