Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier said Monday that he was resigning from President Donald Trump‘s manufacturing council, citing Trump’s tepid and widely criticized response to violence over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va.
“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental views by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal,” Frazier said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Trump has drawn fierce and bipartisan criticism for not explicitly condemning the white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups who descended on Charlottesville over the weekend for a “Unite the Right” rally, which ended in mayhem when one man allegedly plowed his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring more than a dozen others. Trump initially only blamed “many sides” for the violence.
Frazier is one of only a few African-American CEOs of a Fortune 500 company.
Trump quickly struck back at Frazier on Twitter.
Two other CEOs, Disney’s Bob Iger and Tesla’s Elon Musk, had resigned from Trump advisory positions in June when the President announced he was pulling the United States out of the landmark Paris climate change agreement.