Trump Tries To Save Face By Ending Manufacturing Council As CEOs Exit

The move comes after the president's remarks conflating racists with protesters.


As he watched CEO after CEO leave his Manufactuing Council amid his controversial remarks likening anti-racism protesters to white supremacists, President Trump decided to officially end the group as well as the Strategic and Policy Forum.

In an afternoon tweet, President Trump announced he would be ending both advisory councils instead of pressuring members to stay on board.

His decision comes after Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive of the Blackstone Group, held a conference call for members of the president’s Strategic and Policy Forum to discuss if the group should disband.

Eventually, around a dozen CEOs decided the best move would be to leave the council, which included Laurence D. Fink of BlackRock, Ginni Rometty of IBM, Rich Lesser of the Boston Consulting Group and Toby Cosgrove of the Cleveland Clinic, among others.


Three additional CEOs have left President Trump's manufacturing council after the terrible acts which occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

In light of the white supremacy rally, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier was the first to leave the American Manufacturing Council on Monday. By Tuesday, three other CEOs followed Frazier's lead, reported Buzzfeed News. 

Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Armour, tweeted a statement that revealed he would be stepping down from the council. 

"Under Armour engages in innovation and sport, not politics," Plank said in his statement. "[Under Armour] remains resolute in our potential and ability to improve American manufacturing."

Hours later, Intel's CEO, Brian Krzanich, also left the council.

"I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing," Krzanich said.

On Tuesday, Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, said on Twitter, "I'm resigning from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative because it's the right thing for me to do."

As CEOs and business leaders began to pull out of Trump's council, the president unleashed a bitter message on Twitter that said they can be replaced. 


On Monday, a Black adviser on President Trump's manufacturing council resigned from his post in order to stand up against racism and bigotry. Although the move was well received by the country, Trump took out his anger via Twitter. 

Kenneth C. Frazier is the CEO Merck Pharmaceutical, and is one of the few Black CEOs in the Fortune 500. Frazier joined the president's council with other CEOs; however, he felt a responsibility to send the country and president a message with his departure. 

  • In a statement, Frazier said America's leaders must reject 'expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy.'

    “I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism," Frazier said in a statement. 

  • And within minutes, Trump lashed out on Twitter against the Merck CEO

    It should also be noted that Frazier and Merck have not been known to rip off people by skyrocketing the prices of their drugs. 

    Jim Cramer from CNBC's Mad Money blasted the president for the unfactual statement suggesting Frazier rips people off. 

  • Many commented on how quickly Trump blasted Frazier while taking his time to speak out against White Supremacy

  • Some even believed Frazier was victim to a Twitter storm from Trump because he is Black

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