Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has stepped down from Donald Trump’s manufacturing council in protest against the president’s response to far-right violence in Charlottesville.
Krzanich’s resignation came after two other Trump advisers – pharmaceutical giant Merck’s CEO Kenneth Frazier and sportswear firm Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plank – also stood down.
The Intel chief said in a statement last night that he wanted to highlight “the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues”, including tackling the decline of US manufacturing:
I have already made clear my abhorrence at the recent hate-spawned violence in Charlottesville, and earlier today I called on all leaders to condemn the white supremacists and their ilk who marched and committed violence. I resigned because I want to make progress, while many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them. We should honor – not attack – those who have stood up for equality and other cherished American values. I hope this will change, and I remain willing to serve when it does.
Trump has faced widespread criticism for failing to quickly and explicitly condemn the white supremacists responsible for a rally at which a civil rights activist was killed on Saturday.
Frazier was the first of the three business leaders to stand down from the counsel in the wake of Trump’s response. The Merck chief said in a tweeted statement:
America’s leaders must honour our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal.
In response, Trump tweeted: “Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”
It took the president two days to blame the violence on white supremacists. In a TV appearance last night, he finally condemned the racist “criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans”.