Scott Paul becomes the fourth executive to abandon Trump's business council over handling of Charlottesville

Scott Paul is the fourth prominent business figure to leave the council since the attack in Charlottesville, Virginia

Jeremy B. White
San Francisco
Tuesday 15 August 2017 21:56 BST
Scott Paul is the fourth to quit the panel
Scott Paul is the fourth to quit the panel (YouTube)

The exodus of corporate chieftains from a business council advising Donald Trump has continued, with a fourth person exiting the panel as the President confronts a mounting backlash to how he has responded to white supremacist violence in Virginia.

Scott Paul, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, said on Twitter he was stepping away from the manufacturing council, “because it’s the right thing to do”.

Minutes before, Mr Trump - who sold his candidacy in part by touting his business prowess - had taken to Twitter to condemn "grandstanders" in the business world who have distanced themselves from him.

Adding to the cascade of business figures distancing themselves from Trump, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon released a statement saying Mr Trump "missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists".

Mr Trump has weathered intense criticism in the days after a car rammed into a crowd of protesters rallying against a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. After initially casting blame “on all sides,” Mr Trump made a followup statement specifically faulting racism and white nationalist groups.

Charlottesville: Donald Trump condemns white supremacists as "criminals and thugs"

That was not enough to mollify a trio of business executives who announced they would exit the American Manufacturing Council. Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank cited his commitment to “unity, diversity and inclusion” in saying he would leave the council. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said in a statement he was leaving to “call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing,” denouncing the “hate-spawned violence” in Virginia and lamenting that “many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them.”

That description may have alluded to Mr Trump lashing out against Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, who also abadoned the manufacturing council. In a pair of tweets, Mr Trump accused Merck of raising “ripoff” drug prices and exporting jobs. He also attacked a familiar bogeyman, calling members of the media “truly bad people” for questioning his response to the Charlottesville bloodshed.

This is not the first time Mr Trump has seen business leaders renounce a chance to advise the president. Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Iger also stepped away from counseling the administration after Mr Trump pulled the U.S. from the Paris climate accords.

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