Apple CEO Tim Cook Blasts Trump’s Charlottesville Reaction: ‘Hate Is a Cancer’

Cook also says Apple will donate $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center

Last Updated: August 17, 2017 @ 10:52 AM

Tech CEOs continue to push back against the presidency of Donald Trump, as Apple chief exec Tim Cook sent a company-wide email late Wednesday denouncing the administration’s response to the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country,” said Cook. “Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. Its scars last generations. History has taught us this time and time again, both in the United States and countries around the world.”

Cook said Apple will donate $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center to help “rid our country of hate.” Apple will also be matching employee donations to the two charities and other human rights group — at a two-to-one rate — between now and September 30.

Although never explicitly naming Trump in the message, Cook challenged the president’s “moral equivalence” between white supremacists and Antifa protesters.

“I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights,” said Cook. “Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.”

This wasn’t the first time Cook has been at odds with President Trump. Just last month, Cook denounced the president’s ban on transgender Americans in the military, tweeting “we are indebted to all who serve. Discrimination against anyone holds everyone back.” Cook has also been a critic of the president’s immigration policies.

Cook’s email comes on the heels of several business execs disbanding the president’s Strategic and Policy Forum, following the chaos in Virginia that left three people dead and dozens more injured. Trump took to Twitter to say he had dissolved the forum himself.

“Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!” he tweeted Wednesday.

Cook added a a quote from Martin Luther King to his message, before ending his email saying he was “optimistic” about the future.

“These have been dark days, but I remain as optimistic as ever that the future is bright,” said Cook. “Apple can and will play an important role in bringing about positive change.”

Read the full email over at Recode.