Apple CEO Tim Cook has joined the chorus of critics who have slammed Donald Trump’s response to far-right violence in Charlottesville.
Cook told employees in a memo obtained by BuzzFeed News that “hate is a cancer” and that Apple must be “unequivocal” in fighting it.
“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,” he said.
“Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans,” he added.
A civil rights activist was killed and nearly 20 people were wounded when a car ploughed into counter-protesters at a far-right rally in Charlottesville on Saturday.
Cook said Apple would donate $1m to both the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League, while also matching two-for-one employee donations to a range of human rights groups.
After originally saying that both sides were to blame for the violence, Trump said on Monday that racist “criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups” were responsible.
But he U-turned in a press conference on Tuesday, saying once again that counter-protesters were also to blame.
His remarks prompted criticism from both sides of America’s political divide. In remarks that mirror Cook’s, Republican senator John McCain tweeted:
“There is no moral equivalency between racists & Americans standing up to defy hate & bigotry. The President of the United States should say so”.
A string of business leaders stood down from Donald Trump’s advisory councils earlier this week in the wake of the president’s response.
Intel CEO Brian Krazanich said in a statement announcing his resignation from Trump’s manufacturing council that he wanted to highlight “the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues”.
Trump was forced to disband the board and his strategy and policy forum following Krazanich and several other members’ resignations.