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Trump disbands CEO councils after more defections

J&J’s Gorsky resigns following Trump's remark about Charlottesville

Trump

Donald Trump has decided to dismantle his network of CEO advisors in the wake of a series of resignations in protest at his handling of the violence last weekend in Charlottesville.

Among those jumping ship, Merck & Co's Ken Frazier has now been joined among the exodus by Johnson & Johnson's Alex Gorsky - the only two pharma representatives on his American Manufacturing Council.

Faced with the embarrassing defections, the President has opted to pull the plug on the advisory programme entirely, delighting those who have seen the engagement of business leaders with Trump as lending legitimacy to his administration.

Trump's comment that there was fault on both sides of the clashes in Charlottesville, which saw white supremacists clash with anti-racism groups and local people and resulted in one death - was the prompt for Frazier's departure.

After the president belatedly issued a statement on Monday condemning the white supremacists groups and decrying racism Gorsky decided to stay on, but changed his mind after Trump came out with new remarks that reiterated his position that both sides had resorted to violence.

"The president's remarks yesterday-equating those who are motivated by race-based hate with those who stand up against hatred-were unacceptable," said Gorsky in a statement, adding that he had agreed with other CEOs on the council that "a united withdrawal would make the most significant impact".

"By midday today we issued a statement to the media announcing our withdrawal. Nearly simultaneously, President Trump tweeted a statement announcing his decision to disband the council," he added.

Trump said his decision to pull the plug on the Council - and another advisory panel dubbed the Policy Forum - was to avoid "putting pressure on the businesspeople" who are represented on the groups.

The Charlottesville clashes - which came about as a result of a decision to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee - were marred by violent altercations that reached a peak when an alleged white supremacist drive a car into counter-protestors, killing one women and injuring 19 other people.

The controversy continues to rube on with Trump not changing tack to complain about the removal of this and other statues, tweeting: "Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments".

"Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson - who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!," he went on to say.

Article by
Phil Taylor

18th August 2017

From: Sales

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