President Donald Trump said Tuesday that executives who quit his White House economic advisory councils were “not taking their jobs seriously” and “leaving out of embarrassment.”
The chief executives of Merck, Under Armour, and Intel resigned Monday from a presidential council on manufacturing in the wake of Trump’s remarks on the violent white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.
“Some of the folks that will leave, they are leaving out of embarrassment because they make their products outside [the US], and I’ve been lecturing them … about you have to bring it back to this country,” Trump said. “You can’t do it necessarily in Ireland and all of these other places – you have to bring this work back to this country. That’s what I want.”
Trump went after the executives on Twitter earlier Tuesday, writing: “For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!”
For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2017
Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2017
Trump drew widespread criticism Saturday after he condemned the violence in Charlottesville “from many sides” without specifically denouncing white supremacists or racism.
On Monday, he delivered more pointed remarks and called out neo-Nazis, racism, and the KKK.
“Racism is evil,” he said. “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.”
For some, the remarks came too late. Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier said earlier on Monday that he was resigning from the manufacturing council as a “matter of personal conscience.”
“I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism,” he said. “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.”
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon also weighed in on Trump’s handling of the Charlottesville rally this week, saying the president “missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists.”
But McMillon said he would continue to serve on Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, another White House economic advisory council made up of business leaders.