Updated with second Trump tweet: Nine hours after punching at Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier over his decision to resign from POTUS’s American Manufacturing Council to protest his much derided response to white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump thought of another searing response:
Previous: CEO of pharmaceutical company Merk has resigned from the Trump administration’s American Manufacturing Council in protest of Trump’s much derided response to white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. President Trump, naturally, punched back, on Twitter.
“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal,” Merck chairman/CEO Kenneth Frazier said in a statement.
“As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism,” added Frazier who, CNBC reports, is the only African American CEO of a major pharmaceutical company:
Nuts to you, Trump blasted back on Twitter, within the hour – a move that outraged even some Republicans, POTUS having failed to condemn white supremacists days earlier:
Frazier’s just the latest CEO to decide the downside outweighed the upside of participating as a Trump “advisor.” In June, Disney CEO Bob Iger joined Tesla chief Elon Musk in exiting Trump’s White House Advisory Council “as a matter of principle,” after Trump pulled the U.S. from the Paris Accord on Climate Change.
Until then, Iger had defended the gig, telling Disney shareholders it was “in the best interest of the company and its values” to be a member of the heavyweight group, explaining that being in the council offers “privileged opportunity to have a voice in the room.”