US president Donald Trump appears to be increasingly isolated after his response to the racist violence in Virginia, in which he insisted that “both sides” were to blame for clashes in the city of Charlottesville.
Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman was killed when a Nazi sympathiser drove his car into a group of anti-fascist protesters opposing the rally on Saturday.
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Trump has already been forced to disband two of his administration’s business councils after several top bosses resigned.
Verdict takes a look at some of the chief executives distancing themselves from Trump for his failure to immediately denounce white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the aftermath of the violence.
1. Tim Cook
Cook, chief executive of Apple, the biggest company in the world with a market value of more than $800bn, issued a statement attacking Trump’s public comments on the violence in Charlottesville.
I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights,” Cook wrote in an email to Apple’s employees on Wednesday. “Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans. In the wake of the tragic and repulsive events in Charlottesville, we are stepping up to help organisations who work to rid our country of hate.
2. Kenneth Frazier
Frazier, the chief executive of the pharmaceutical company Merck and one of the country’s most prominent black executives, resigned from the manufacturing council on Monday.
Our country’s strength stems from its diversity and the contributions made by men and women of different faiths, races, sexual orientations, and political beliefs,” he wrote in a statement released on Twitter. “America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry, and group supremacy.
3. Brian Krzanich
Krzanich, the chief executive of Intel, one of the world’s largest computer chip makers, was the third executive to leave president Trump’s American manufacturing council on Monday.
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,” he wrote in a blog post on the company’s website. The current environment must change, or else our nation will become a shadow of what it once was and what it still can and should be.
4. Kevin Plank
Plank, chief executive of Under Armour, a Baltimore-based clothing company who also resigned from the manufacturing council on Monday explained his decision in a statement.
I am appreciative of the opportunity to have served, but have decided to step down from the council. I love our country and our company and will continue to focus my efforts on inspiring every person that they can do anything through the power of sport which promotes unity, diversity and inclusion.
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5. Scott Paul
Paul is the president of of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), a non-profit, non-partisan partnership formed in 2007 by some of America’s leading manufacturers and the United Steelworkers.
I’m resigning from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative because it’s the right thing for me to do.
— Scott Paul (@ScottPaulAAM) 15 August 2017
6. Richard Trumka
Trumka is president of of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, the largest federation of unions in the US.
He resigned from the manufacturing council on Tuesday night, accusing the Trump administration of “embracing bigotry.”
“We cannot sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism. President Trump’s remarks today repudiate his forced remarks yesterday about the KKK and neo-Nazis,” he said in an official statement.
“We must resign on behalf of America’s working people, who reject all notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups,” he added.
7. Inge Thulin
Thulin is the chief executive, president, and chairman of science-based tech company 3M.
He resigned from the manufacturing council, saying that his company “will continue to champion an environment that supports sustainability, diversity and inclusion”.
He didn’t address Trump by name in his statement.
8. Jamie Dimon
Dimon, chief executive of the investment banking giant JPMorgan Chase, issued a statement to employees, saying:
I strongly disagree with president Trump’s reaction to the events that took place in Charlottesville over the past several days. Racism, intolerance and violence are always wrong.
9. Jeffrey Immelt
Immelt, chief executive at General Electric, was one of the last executives to quit the manufacturing council.
Trump tweeted that he was scrapping the manufacturing council and his strategic and policy forum on Wednesday morning, and Immelt issued his resignation statement on Wednesday afternoon.
Immelt had originally said he would remain on the council.
The president’s statements yesterday were deeply troubling. There would be no GE without people of all races, religions, genders, and sexual orientations. GE has no tolerance for hate, bigotry, racism, and the white supremacist extremism that the country witnessed in Charlottesville last weekend.
10. Denise Morrison
Morrison is the chief executive of Campbell Soup, a US producer of canned soups sold in 120 countries around the world.
Morrison, like Immelt, had said that she’d stay on the manufacturing council, but changed her mind on Wednesday.
Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville. I believe the President should have been – and still needs to be – unambiguous on that point. Following yesterday’s remarks from the president, I cannot remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. I will continue to support all efforts to spur economic growth and advocate for the values that have always made America great.
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