Trump Disbands Advisory Councils as CEOs Flee

Merck, Under Armor and Intel chief executives departed earlier this week

Merck Pharma CEO Kenneth Frazier, right, was the first of four CEOs to resign from President Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council after the president’s remarks on the demonstration and violence by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)
Merck Pharma CEO Kenneth Frazier, right, was the first of four CEOs to resign from President Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council after the president’s remarks on the demonstration and violence by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)
Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:25pm

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday he is disbanding two White House advisory councils following the resignation of several members.

That came after chief executives for Merck, Under Armor and Intel announced they all would be leaving the President’s American Manufacturing Council over Trump’s response to the violence that broke out shortly before a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Extremist groups, including neo-Nazis and the Klu Klux Klan, had gathered to oppose plans to remove a statute of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. 

Trump’s said he was ending the Manufacturing Council as well as the Strategic and Policy Forum in a tweet Wednesday afternoon. The president said he decided to end the groups “rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople.”

On Tuesday, following the departures of the three executives, Trump said he would replace anyone who left.

“For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place,” Trump tweeted.

“Grandstanders should not have gone on,” he added. 

Trump also called former FBI Director James Comey a “grandstander” in May.

Trump directly called out Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier in a series of tweets Monday. The president said Frazier “will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Iger left the Strategic and Policy Forum in June following Trump’s decision to pull the United States from the Paris climate agreement.