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Kenneth C. Frazier speaks at a 2012 news conference in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photo by Eric Thayer/Reuters

Merck CEO steps down from presidential council after Charlottesville

WASHINGTON — The CEO of the nation’s third largest pharmaceutical company is resigning from the President’s American Manufacturing Council citing “a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”

President Donald Trump lashed out almost immediately Monday at Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier on Twitter, saying Frazier “will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”

Frazier’s resignation comes shortly after a violent confrontation between white supremacists and protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one person dead and 19 injured. He said in a tweet on Monday that the country’s leaders must “honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy.”

Trump responded to Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville by blaming bigotry on “many sides.” He has not explicitly condemned the white supremacists.

READ MORE: Pressure mounts on Trump to condemn white supremacists after Charlottesville attack

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