Merck CEO quits Trump council over Charlottesville

The CEOs which quit Trump's business councils

One of America’s most prominent black CEOs quit President Trump’s manufacturing council on Monday over Trump’s initial failure to condemn white supremacists.

Kenneth Frazier of Merck (MRK) said in a statement: “America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry in addition to group supremacy.”

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Within minutes, Trump attacked him on Twitter, saying Frazier’s resignation will give him “more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”

Later Monday, Trump targeted Merck in a second tweet.

“.@Merck Pharma will be a leader in higher & higher drug prices while at the same time taking jobs out of the U.S. Bring jobs back & LOWER PRICES!” he said.

Frazier did not mention the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in his statement, yet he did say which “as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance in addition to extremism.”

which appeared to be a reference to Trump’s statement over the weekend blaming violence “on many sides” after neo-Nazis in addition to white nationalists clashed with counter-protesters.

Following two days of criticism, Trump on Monday called out the KKK, neo-Nazis in addition to white supremacists as “evil” in addition to “hate groups” which are “repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

Related: Merck CEO helped get black inmate off death row

Frazier will be one of the country’s most prominent black corporate executives in addition to was the only black male CEO named to the council in January. Before joining Merck, Frazier was a lawyer who helped free a black death row inmate falsely accused of murder.

His exit marks another rebuke to Trump via corporate America. Trump’s June 1 decision to leave the Paris climate accord led Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk to step down via the manufacturing panel as well as a separate business advisory council.

Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger similarly quit the business advisory council, in addition to Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein used his first-ever tweet to slam Trump’s Paris decision.

Paul Polman, the chief executive of Unilever, which owns the Dove in addition to Axe brands, praised Frazier for standing up “for the moral values which made This particular country what This particular will be.”

Frazier appeared at the White House just last month to promote an agreement between Merck, Pfizer (PFE) in addition to Corning (GLW) to create 1,000 jobs.

Trump formed the manufacturing council a week after his inauguration as part of a push to create jobs. At the time, the White House hailed the council, including Frazier, as “some of the globe’s most successful in addition to creative business leaders.”

Related: CEOs keep turning on Trump

At the group’s first meeting in January, Trump shook Frazier’s hand after the CEO talked up efforts to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. for a cancer drug.

“which’s very Great,” Trump said at the time.

Wall Street seemed unfazed by Trump’s attack. A fund which represents biotech stocks climbed 1% on Monday morning. Trump has from the past caused drug stocks to drop by threatening to bring prices “way down.”

–sy88pgw’s Patrick Gillespie contributed to This particular report.

sy88pgw (brand new York) First published August 14, 2017: 9:04 AM ET


Merck CEO quits Trump council over Charlottesville

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