Yet another member of Donald Trump’s manufacturing advisory group has quit as the US President struggles to contain the fall-out from violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the weekend.
Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, became the latest in a string of high-profile executives to ditch Trump after he was heavily criticised for his apparent reluctance to condemn violence from extreme-right marchers.
He said today on Twitter: “I'm resigning from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative because it's the right thing for me to do.”
I'm resigning from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative because it's the right thing for me to do.— Scott Paul (@ScottPaulAAM) August 15, 2017
Paul joins Intel boss Brian Krzanich, Under Armour chief executive Kevin Plank, and Merck boss Kenneth Frazier in leaving the group over the last two days.
In a blog post earlier today, Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich said he wanted to "call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing".
Trump was quick to retaliate, calling the people who left “grandstanders”. He said: “For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place.”
For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2017
The initiative was started in January as a forum to “promote job growth and get Americans back to work again”, according to the White House.
However, an exodus of executives has started since racist marches, including some people sporting neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan symbols, led to an alleged murder of an anti-fascist protestor.
Trump faced heavy criticism from across the political divide of his response to the attacks, which at first refused to explicitly condemn the extreme right. Instead, Trump said he condemned the violence “on many sides.”
The latest departures from the manufacturing group are not the first: in June Tesla boss Elon Musk quit the group after Trump announced he will withdraw the US from the Paris climate change accord. Musk was joined by Disney boss Robert Iger.