© Cynthia Koons
(Bloomberg) — Intel Corp.’s Brian Krzanich and Under Armour Inc.’s Kevin Plank became the latest chief executives to quit President Donald Trump’s council of U.S. business leaders, as membership on the panel has become enmeshed in the country’s volatile politics after violent riots in Virginia over the weekend.
The moves come hours after Merck Co.’s Kenneth Frazier first stepped down from the business council. Plank’s departure is a particularly sharp rebuke to Trump, after the Under Armour executive earlier this year came under fire for commenting that the president was a “real asset” for the country.
“I resigned 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,” Intel’s Krzanich said in a company blog post.
Plank said in a tweeted statement that “Under Armour engages in innovation and sport, not politics,” while Merck’s Frazier said he quit “as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”
Trump responded to Frazier with a couple jabs, tweeting late Monday that “@Merck Pharma is a leader in higher higher drug prices while at the same time taking jobs out of the U.S.”
Over the weekend, one woman was killed and many others were injured after a man in a car rammed a group of counter-demonstrators during a daylong melee in Charlottesville, Virginia. White supremacists and other