Five members of President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council have resigned amid controversy over the president's remarks about the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
On Aug. 15, Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul announced he would step down from Trump's advisory council, The Hill reports.
"I'm resigning from the Manufacturing Jobs initiative because it's the right thing for me to do," Paul tweeted.
Paul joined four other CEOs who had departed from the council following accusations that Trump was refusing to condemn white nationalists.
On Aug. 11, white supremacists and members of the alt-right gathered in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Confederate monument. On Aug. 12, the white nationalists staged a rally in the town. The demonstration ended in violence when alt-right member James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car through a crowd of counter protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others, KABC reports.
That day, Trump blasted the violence in Charlottesville but did not single out the white nationalists in his statement.
"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides -- on many sides," Trump said.
On Aug. 14, CEO Kenneth Frazier of Merck pharmaceuticals and CEO Kevin Plank of Under Armour resigned from Trump's advisory council.
"America's leaders must honor our fundamental values 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, reports Fox News.
Trump took to social media to blast Frazier shortly after his resignation.
"Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!" Trump tweeted.
Later that day, the president gave updated remarks on his original reaction to Charlottesville, this time specifically condemning white nationalism.
"Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to what we hold dear as Americans," Trump said from the White House.
That evening, CEO Brian Krzanich of Intel resigned from Trump's advisory council, stating, "Politics and political agendas have sidelined the important mission of rebuilding America's manufacturing base."
On Aug. 15, CEO Doug McMillon of Walmart blasted Trump's reaction to Charlottesville while noting he would remain on the president's manufacturing council, The New York Times reports.
"As we watch the events and the response from President Trump over the weekend, we too felt that he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists," McMillon said in a statement.
Trump took to social media again to blast all of the executives who had resigned from his advisory council.
"For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place," Trump tweeted. "Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!"
On Jan. 27, Trump announced his manufacturing council, complete with 28 business leaders who would advise him on how to spur domestic manufacturing, according to CNN Money.
On June 1, CEO Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX resigned from the manufacturing council in protest of Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.
"Climate change is real," Musk tweeted. "Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world."