A Day After Pledging to Stay, Campbell's CEO Leaves Trump's Manufacturing Council Citing Virginia Comments - NBC 10 Philadelphia

A Day After Pledging to Stay, Campbell's CEO Leaves Trump's Manufacturing Council Citing Virginia Comments

A short time after Campbell's Soup Company CEO Denise Morrison said she's leaving the group, President Donald Trump tweeted he's shutting down the group

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    At a press event that was supposed to focus on infrastructure, President Donald Trump answered questions about violence that erupted at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. He again blamed both sides for violence and described counter-protesters as the "alt-left." (Published Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017)

    A day after pledging she would stay on a business advisory board to President Donald Trump, Campbell's Soup CEO Denise Morrison announced she's defecting from the group.

    Shortly after her resignation, the president dissolved the manufacturing council.

    Morrison, in a statement released by her Camden, New Jersey-based food company Wednesday afternoon, cited Trump's latest remarks on the Charlottesville attacks as the primary reason for leaving.

    "Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville. I believe the President should have been – and still needs to be – unambiguous on that point," Morrison wrote in that statement.

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 03: Campbell Soup Co. president and CEO Denise Morrison speaks during the Fortune Global Forum on November 3, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Business leaders are attending the Fortune Global Forum that runs through November 4. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
    Photo credit: Getty Images

    Morrison was the sixth CEO to leave the president's American Manufacturing Council. 3M CEO Inge Thulin announced his departure shortly before Morrison.

    Kenneth Frazier, a North Philadelphia native who heads up pharmaceutical giant Merck, as well as the leaders of Under Armour, AFL-CIO, and Intel previously left the group.

    Within minutes of the departures of Morrison and Thulin, the president tweeted that he is ending the manufacturing council and the President's Strategic and Policy Forum.

    "Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all," the tweet read.

    On Tuesday, Campbell's said Morrison felt it was important to "have a voice and provide input on matters that will affect" the industry and company.

    That statement came a mere five hours before Trump doubled down on his initial comments about this weekend's violent and deadly white supremacist rally in the Virginia college town saying "there is blame on both sides."

    "You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was very violent. And nobody wants to say that," Trump said.

    Trump's unplanned comments, made during a news conference about infrastructure at Trump Tower in New York City, immediately enraged politicians from both parties and the public. It also seemed to wipe away the statement he made Monday when he denounced white supremacists, Klu Klux Klan members and neo-Nazis as "criminals and thugs."

    The president's new comments were applauded by former KKK leader David Duke with him tweeting: "Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth."

    Here's a list of business leaders who were part of the manufacturing council before either leaving or the group being disbanded:

    Bill Brown, Harris Corporation

    Michael Dell, Dell Technologies

    John Ferriola, Nucor Corporation

    Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool Corporation

    Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company

    Kenneth Frazier, Merck

    Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson

    Greg Hayes, United Technologies Corp.

    Marilynn Hewson, Lockheed Martin Corporation

    Jeff Immelt, General Electric

    Jim Kamsickas, Dana Inc.

    Klaus Kleinfeld, Arconic

    Brian Krzanich, Intel Corporation

    Rich Kyle, The Timken Company

    Thea Lee, AFL-CIO

    Andrew Liveris, The Dow Chemical Company

    Mario Longhi, U.S. Steel

    Denise Morrison, Campbell Soup Company

    Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing

    Elon Musk, Tesla Motors

    Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar

    Scott Paul, Alliance for American Manufacturing

    Kevin Plank, Under Armour

    Michael Polk, Newell Brands

    Mark Sutton, International Paper

    Inge Thulin, 3M

    Richard Tumka, AFL-CIO

    Wendell Weeks, Corning