President Donald Trump speaks in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
President Donald Trump on Tuesday told reporters that the CEOs who have resigned from the White House manufacturing council in the days since the president blamed “many sides” for violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, have done so “out of embarrassment” on the same day that a pair of executives announced their exits from the group.
Trumka said in a statement that he and Lee were resigning and placed the blame squarely on the president’s rhetoric.
"We cannot sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism," the statement said in part. "President Trump's remarks today repudiate his forced remarks yesterday about the KKK and neo-Nazis. We must resign on behalf of America's working people, who reject all notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups."
I cannot sit on a council for a President that tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism; I resign, effective immediately. pic.twitter.com/ip6F2nsoog
Krzanich said he was resigning "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."
I stand with others for equality and improving US competitiveness. Both require improving in todays environment. https://t.co/RcjpGaFXBQ
The resignations came after critics questioned Trump’s decision not to call out white supremacists in a statement condemning the violence that erupted Saturday. Police said Heather Heyer, 32, died after she was struck by a vehicle when a man, identified by police as 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer James Alex Fields Jr., slammed a car into protesters and two other vehicles.
In a second statement made on Monday, Trump condemned "the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups," who incite violence based on race.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk resigned from the manufacturing council in June, and two other advisory groups to the president, after the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger resigned for the same reason from the President's Strategic and Policy Forum, which Trump established to advise him on how government policy impacts economic growth and job creation.