Trump hits CEOs who left manufacturing council as 'grandstanders'

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump slams the three CEOs who left his manufacturing advisory council, calling them "grandstanders."
  • Shortly after Trump's tweet, another member of the council announced he would leave it.
Trump hits CEOs who left manufacturing council as 'grandstanders'
Trump hits CEOs who left manufacturing council as 'grandstanders'

President Donald Trump on Tuesday slammed the three chief executives who recently left his manufacturing council as "grandstanders."

"For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place," Trump wrote on Twitter. "Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!"

Trump tweet

Since Monday, three CEO have stepped down from their advisory roles. Merck's Ken Frazier did so on Monday morning, followed by Under Armour's Kevin Plank and Intel's Brian Krzanich.

Shortly after Trump's tweet Tuesday, Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, also said he would drop out of the council. Paul, head of the group that aims to promote American manufacturing, said, "it's the right thing for me to do."

Paul tweet: I'm resigning from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative because it's the right thing for me to do.

The resignations mark a moment of major corporate pushback against Trump, a president many business figures cheered when he took office due to his experience in the private sector.

Their moves followed Trump's initial response to an attack at a white nationalist rally Saturday that bipartisan critics viewed as too tepid in its condemnation of hate groups. A car allegedly driven by a suspected white nationalist slammed into counterprotesters, killing one and injuring 19. On Saturday, Trump blamed violence "on many sides" before explicitly condemning white supremacists on Monday afternoon.

More CEOs are now turning their backs on Donald Trump
More CEOs are now turning their backs on Donald Trump

In leaving the manufacturing council, which was formed to advise Trump on manufacturing policy, Frazier said he felt "a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism." Plank said Under Armour "engages in innovation and sports, not politics."

Krzanich said he wanted to "call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues" like improving manufacturing.

Trump fumed at Frazier specifically in a pair of tweets since Frazier said he would leave the president's council.

On Monday, Trump said Frazier would have more time to "LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!" Hours later, he alleged that Merck is "a leader in higher & higher drug prices while at the same time taking jobs out of the U.S."

He has not yet responded to the departures of Plank and Krzanich individually.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously stepped down from the Trump council. Other chief executives who have departed their companies since Trump set up the council have also left.