Frazier leaves president's council, Trump blasts Merck in response


Merck CEO Ken Frazier quit President Trump's manufacturing business council on Monday, citing disatisfaction with Trump's lackluster response to violence that erupted after a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville over the weekend.

Frazier said the country's leaders must "honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy".

Following Merck CEO Kevin Frazier's departure from the American Manufacturing Council, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank also left the council Monday, according to The New York Times.

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

Trump's June 1 decision to leave the Paris climate accord led Tesla CEO Elon Musk to step down from the manufacturing panel as well as a separate business advisory council.

The move by Kenneth Frazier, one of corporate America's leading African American executives, came after President Trump was criticized for not explicitly condemning white supremacists after violent clashes with counter-protesters turned deadly in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.

Frazier, who in the past has donated to both Republicans and Democrats, sat beside Trump in February when the president had a roundtable discussion with pharmaceutical company executives.

With the barb, Trump appeared to attack an industry executive who has tried to make drug pricing somewhat more transparent by revealing his company's overall drug price changes.

"Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans", he said from the White House.

The exchange lit up social media on Monday, with many people lauding Frazier and blasting the president.

President Donald Trump is back in the NY skyscraper that bears his name as the furor over his reaction to race-fueled clashes in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend shows few signs of dying down.Protesters on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue tried to spoil Trump's homecoming Monday night with signs bearing messages like "stop the hate, stop the lies" and chanting "shame, shame, shame" and "not my president!"

On Monday, Trump had planned to interrupt his 17-day working vacation at his New Jersey golf club to travel to Washington for an announcement he hoped would showcase some tough talk on China's trade practices.

His initial response, issued on Twitter, called for "all" to be united and "condemn all that hate stands for".

Sessions said the Justice Department is pursuing the case "in every way".

Trump has said "many sides" are to blame for violence.

"That's very good", Trump said at the time.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says "too much has been read into" President Donald Trump's statement Saturday amid violence at a protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, related to the removal of a Confederate monument.