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Merck chief Ken Frasier resigns from Trump council

Merck chief Ken Frasier resigns from Trump council

The chief executive officer of multinational pharmaceutical company Merck has resigned from Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council, following what he described as the USA president's failure to unequivocally condemn far right violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, West Virginia.

Frazier, who is black, said in a statement, "Our country's strength stems from its diversity and the contributions made by men and women of different faiths, race, sexual orientations and political beliefs".

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. ALNY, +1.77% CEO John Maraganore and privately-held Yumanity Therapeutics CEO Tony Coles both said on Monday that they supported Merck's Frazier.

President Trump nearly immediately lashed out against Frazier's decision to resign, saying the departure would give Merck more time to lower drug prices - an issue on which the White House has recently been silent after vocal criticism by Trump during the onset of his presidency.

A pharmaceutical CEO left a manufacturing council with U.S. President Donald Trump after Trump's comments regarding the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia Aug. 12.

Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to attack an African American CEO who stood down from a manufacturing council that advises the president, following the deadly clashes in Charlottesville.

The White House clarified in a statement from an unidentified official that Trump "condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred".

More news: Snap Inc. (NYSE:SNAP) Posts Earnings Results, Beats Expectations By $0.13 EPS

Frazier's departure is the latest high-profile exit from a White House advisory council since Trump took office in January.

The rally organized by white nationalists in protest of the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee turned violent Saturday when counterprotesters showed up.

"That's very good", Trump said at the time.

Other members of the council, which met with Trump shortly after his inauguration to provide their perspective on promoting more American manufacturing, decried the Charlottesville violence but did not say they were stepping down.

Update 5.53pm: USA president Donald Trump has condemned the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists as "criminals and thugs", saying: "Racism is evil".

Trump said in a Saturday statement that "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides - on many sides".

No matter what you think about the reason Frazier gave for leaving a key White House business advisory group, the president should get his facts right, Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street".


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