Trump apparently channeled his inner-Beyonce before he took to Twitter this morning.
In response to the four CEOs who have announced their departure from his advisory council, the president tweeted a response that sounded very much like the chorus of singer’s hit Irreplaceable :
You must not know about me
You must not know about me
Matter fact, he’ll be here in a minute, baby
The mini-parade of departing CEOs began with Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, who resigned Saturday to protest Trump’s decision to condemn the violence and bigotry of “many sides” in the aftermath of the Charlottesville rally.
To Frazier — and many others — only the white supremacists deserved condemnation, not the left-wing terror group Antifa who some argue provoked — or at was least equally responsible for — the violence during the event.
According to Business Insider:
Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier is resigning from President Donald Trump’s manufacturing 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 on Monday.
He added: “As CEO of Merck, and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”
Frazier is one of the few black CEOs of a major US corporation and was the only black member of the council.
Frazier has since been followed by three other CEOs — Kevin Plank of Under Armour, Brian Krzanich of Intel, and Scott Paul of the Alliance for American Manufacturing — who are leaving their roles for similar reasons.
Trump’s response to these walkouts was typically Trumpian.
On Twitter this morning he posted:
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
Trump’s dismissal of the walk-outs as “grandstanding” seems fair.
It should be noted, for example, that all of these CEOs — except for Frazier — announced their resignations after Trump delivered his clarifying follow-up to his initial Charlottesville comments.
With these second remarks, Trump not only announced a civil rights investigation into Charlottesville and denounced those who “unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence” but condemned “the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups” as well.
So it would seem that the primary objections of these CEOs were already met before they quit.
And, as columnist Larry Elder points out, all of these CEOs will want to continue to maintain a beneficial relationship with the Trump White House:
CEO's resign from Trump advisory panel over his "tepid" condemnation of white racism. Optics, folks. They'll be golfing together next week.
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) August 15, 2017
If anything, these resignations are likely the result of the ongoing effort by anti-Trump groups to pressure as many as possible to disassociate themselves from all things Trump — an effort that has already seen results ranging from buildings removing the Trump name, to retailers like Macy’s no longer carrying Ivanka Trump’s fashion line.
As illustrated by this story from Bloomberg, groups pressuring CEOs to distance themselves from Trump will not stop with these four chief executives:
PepsiCo Inc. Chief Executive Officer Indra Nooyi is being targeted by Color of Change, a nonprofit racial-justice group that has previously gone after Uber Technologies Inc. and Walt Disney Co.
The organization is pressuring Nooyi to step down from Donald Trump’s business-advisory council after the president was slow to condemn white-supremacist violence last weekend in Virginia. Campbell Soup Co. CEO Denise Morrison, another Trump adviser, will be a target of the campaign as well, said Rashad Robinson, executive director of the group, which claims 1 million online members.
Based upon this, expect to see more CEOs stepping away from their various advisory roles in the near future.