Brian Krzanich, the CEO of Intel, is leaving President Trump’s manufacturing council, becoming the third high-profile executive to leave the council in an apparent protest over the administration’s response to the deadly Charlottesville violence.
Krzanich made the announcement Monday in an Intel blog post. He said his intention is 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. Politics and political agendas have sidelined the important mission of rebuilding America’s manufacturing base.”
Trump has faced criticism over his early response to the violent protests last weekend in Charlottesville, Va. Trump on Monday specifically condemned “white supremacists” and “neo-Nazis” in the wake of deadly weekend clashes in Charlottesville, vowing “justice will be delivered” to the perpetrators of that "racist violence."
The forceful words used Monday were different from his comments made Saturday, when he condemned violence and hatred on “many sides.”
Krzanich’s announcement came after Merck’s CEO Kenneth Frazier and Under Armour’s Kevin Plank also announced that they were leaving the council.
“America’s leaders must honor 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,” Frazier said.
Trump fired back at Frazier shortly afterward on Twitter.
“Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!” he wrote.
Frazier did not specifically mention Trump’s statements about the deadly Charlottesville, Va., clashes but said he is taking a stand against intolerance as a “matter of personal conscience.”
Republican lawmakers joined Democrats in saying Trump should call out white supremacists directly.
“My request—my plea—to everyone involved in our political system is this: set scoring political points aside and focus on what is best for the nation as a whole. 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,” Krzanich said.