After several resignations from presidential advisory councils following Donald Trump’s waffling responses to the deadly right-wing violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, CNBC took a look at where all the executives stand.
Seven of 37 members of president’s Strategic and Policy Forum and Manufacturing Jobs Initiative councils resigned this week, while 12 condemned the violence.
The exodus was led by Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier who resigned Monday from a manufacturing council, saying, “As C.E.O. of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against extremism.”
In addition to those two advisory groups, the Trump administration also formed the American Technology Council. That group consists of exclusively administration officials, although business leaders have been invited to attend meetings.
“I cannot understand why others have not followed Ken Frazier out the door,” he said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “I cannot understand why they have not endorsed his courageous action. This is not a happy day for American business.”
On the opposite side, Andrew Puzder, former CEO of CKE Restaurants, said CEOs should not give up their seat at the table, saying it was a way to influence policy for the better.
Trump has attacked those who left the councils, tweeting at Frazier almost immediately after the Merck chief resigned and later tweeting, “For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!”
Unless otherwise noted, all of the following statements are from company representatives.
These are the tech leaders who had been invited to attend meetings.
Here's who's in and out of Trump's economic advisory councils after Charlottesville violence