These business leaders have resigned from President Trump's special council

Trump fumes as business leaders leave council

These business leaders have resigned from President Trump's special council

The number of council members who have quit following Trump's remarks about white supremacists has risen to six after one of the country's most powerful labor union leaders said he was stepping down.

After Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, one of America's most prominent black CEOs, quit the council earlier Monday, Trump lashed out at him on Twitter. Grandstanders should not have gone on.

Trump's statement calling out hate groups such as the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists hardly deterred the CEO from putting forward his resignation.

President Donald Trump is losing a fifth member of his manufacturing jobs council: AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka.

At least six have left Trump's council in the last week in the aftermath of his failure for more than 48 hours to call out white nationalists and self-proclaimed Nazis whose alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., resulted in scores of injuries and three deaths - those of a counter-protester mowed down when a Nazi sympathizer roared his auto into the crowd and two police officers patrolling the violence from a helicopter that crashed.

The President quickly shot back on Twitter, sarcastically claiming the pharmaceutical company CEO would now have "more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!"

And any of their statements condemning racism and what happened in Charlottesville ring hollow, due to the fact that they remain by Trump's side on the council.

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After Trump announced in June that the US would be leaving the Paris climate accord, both Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Iger left his business advisory council.

During a February "listening session" at the White House, Trump boasted about job growth, commended his staff, and trashed the North American Free Trade Agreement.

HORSLEY: Well, I think what we're really seeing is that people feel freer to criticize this president - Republican lawmakers and business people, too. Trump has since done so, but the belated statement did not stem the criticism from the private sector.

And three of Frazier's colleagues on the American Manufacturing Council echoed his rejection of extremism - and followed his example, also resigning their seats.

With more resignations signalled, Mr Trump announced on Wednesday he would disband the two groups. "We believe a strong manufacturing sector is the backbone of a strong economy, and we will continue to serve as a member of the White House Manufacturing Jobs Initiative". Later Monday, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank joined Frazier in leaving the council. "Not simply because of the violence, but because the racist ideology at the centre of the protests is wrong and must be condemned in no uncertain terms", a company spokesman said in a statement. "Through our participation on the Manufacturing Jobs Council, we will work to strengthen the social and economic fabric of communities across the country by creating employment opportunities in manufacturing".

Jim Kamsickas, president, CEO and director of Dana Inc., released a statement following Trump announced the council would dissolve.

Jon Krosnick, a political science professor at Stanford University, said many company heads know that some presidential invites to boards are "really more for show than substance".

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