Merck CEO quits Trump manufacturing council after Charlottesville response

James Alex Fields Jr.  is seen attending the

Frazier's resignation - the latest CEO to quit one of Trump's high-profile executive advisory groups - comes after a weekend of violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, that resulted in one death.

Kenneth Frazier, CEO of pharmaceutical giant Merck, resigned from Trump's American Manufacturing Council in an apparent protest to the president's handling of the situation. "As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism".

Trump made US drug prices an issue during the presidential campaign and after - at one point accusing drug companies of "getting away with murder".

Frazier released a statement through Twitter on Monday that said he was leaving the position.

The president was widely criticized for his initial public response to the violence, in which he didn't explicitly acknowledge white supremacists were involved. Trump tweeted on Monday.

In a letter published Monday on the North Dakota-Minnesota news site Inforum, a father called his son out by name for participating in the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.

The ongoing controversy over drug prices hurtled back into the news today, entering through the doorway that is President Donald J. Trump's Twitter account. Many other executives who sit on Trump's manufacturing council and strategic and advisory forum kept quiet - or waited until after his Monday address to weigh in. The white supremacists and Nazis have a green light from this president to carry out acts of violence and terrorism. After Trump announced he would withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, Disney chief executive Bob Iger and Tesla Motors head Elon Musk both left a White House advisory council, joining former Uber leader, who stepped down in February following criticism of Trump's travel ban.

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

With the barb, Trump appeared to attack an industry executive who has maneuvered to push prices lower, at least on some drugs. Made up of CEOs of large American companies including Ford, Dow Chemical, General Electric, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, the council is supposed to meet with the president regularly to discuss American manufacturing and job creation.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk and Walt Disney chief executive Robert Iger quit the Strategic and Policy Forum in June after Mr Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

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