AFL-CIO leader resigns from Trump jobs council

Trump lashes out at black CEO who quits council

Ron Sachs- Pool Getty Images Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier listens to President Donald Trump at a January 2017 meeting

A CEO that served on President Donald Trump's council on manufacturing announced his resignation early Monday morning, due to Trump's response to the violent protest in Charlottesville, Va.

One woman was killed Saturday when a auto plowed into a group of counter-protesters who'd gathered to oppose a rally by white nationalists and others who oppose a plan to remove from a Charlottesville park of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides", Trump said Saturday.

He tweeted: "Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both". Merck & Co.'s Kenneth Frazier, one of the country's most prominent black CEOs, was the first to quit the manufacturing council, followed by bosses from companies such as Under Armour Inc. and Intel Corp.

Four corporate executives had already walked away from Trump's manufacturing council following the president's reaction to the protests in Charlottesville.

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"We've learned that as president, Mr Trump is behaving exactly as he did as a candidate", Mr Galston said.

Sessions also says he is meeting with President Donald Trump and officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday to discuss the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. "I'm thankful we have business leaders such as Ken to remind America of its better angels", said Hewlett Packard Enterprises CEO Meg Whitman, who ran for governor of California as a Republican in 2010. Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky also said he would remain on the panel.

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein tweeted: "Lincoln: 'A house divided against itself can not stand.' Isolate those who try to separate us".

That appeared to be a reference to Trump's statement over the weekend blaming violence "on many sides" after neo-Nazis and white nationalists clashed with counter-protesters. "No equivalence w/ those who bring us together".

The union leader says: "We can not sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism".

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Trump formed the manufacturing council a week after his inauguration as part of a push to create jobs.

The council has included top executives from Boeing Co., Dow Chemical Co. and Johnson & Johnson.

William Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said he couldn't "think of a parallel example" of any president responding as viciously as Trump to a CEO departing an advisory council.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Disney CEO Robert Iger bowed out of their respective positions when Trump said he would pull the USA out of the Paris climate agreement. A new White House statement on Sunday explicitly denounced the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups, but it was attributed to an unnamed spokesperson and not the president himself.

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