President Trump lashed out Tuesday at the CEOs dropping out of his manufacturing council, accusing them of grandstanding and saying they’re replaceable.
The president responded on Twitter after several execs announced their departure from the American Manufacturing Council in protest over the administration’s response to the deadly Charlottesville violence.
“For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!” he wrote.
Four high-profile figures so far have left the council -- with one announcing his departure moments after Trump's latest tweet -- amid criticism of the president for not initially and specifically condemning neo-Nazis after a car ran into a crowd of counter-protesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., killing one. Trump has since done so, but the belated statement did not stem the criticism from the private sector.
After Trump tweeted, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing also dropped off the council.
"I'm resigning from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative because it's the right thing for me to do," Scott Paul tweeted, becoming the fourth member to leave.
Brian Krzanich, the CEO of Intel, earlier announced his departure in a 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.”
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.”