And nearly as soon as the news broke, Trump - who is still refusing to specifically denounce the aforementioned extremist groups - paused whatever presidential business was at hand to lash out at Frazier: "Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!" "We should honor - not attack - those who have stood up for equality and other cherished American values".
"Bigotry, hatred and extremism are an affront to core American values and have no place in this country", said Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive of the private equity firm the Blackstone Group and one of the president's closest advisers in the business community. At first, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk defended his roles on Trump's manufacturing and economic advisory councils.
He predicted more corporate leaders "across sectors and across party" will come out against Trump.
August 16: Johnson & Johnson said Alex Gorsky's decision to quit the manufacturing group preceded Trump's tweet: "I believe, very strongly, that hatred and bigotry of any kind have no place in our society".
Trump has been widely criticized for his failure to immediately and forcefully condemn the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who rallied in Charlottesville on Saturday to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.
Throughout the day, other CEOs on the manufacturing council condemned racism after the weekend's white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Then on Tuesday, Scott Paul, the president of the nonprofit Alliance for American Manufacturing, announced he's leaving the manufacturing council, but he did not elaborate on why.
Trump had appointed Liveris to lead the manufacturing council, which was meant to serve as is the principal private sector advisory committee to the secretary of commerce on the manufacturing in the United States. "Am departing presidential councils", Musk tweeted in June.
Shortly after, Trumka specifically cited Trump's comments in a statement saying that he and Lee "cannot sit on a council for a President who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism" and they "must resign on behalf of America's working people, who reject all notion of legitimacy of these bigoted groups". The latest departures began August 14, when Merck & Co.
Trump urged the companies to lower their prices, but he also promised they would benefit from relaxed federal regulations, better trade deals and tax reform.
American corporations are understandably reluctant to wade into political controversies, in part because potential customers can usually be found on all sides. "Hate and intolerance are a betrayal of what we stand for as Americans", said Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi in a statement that did not address the Trump panel.