President Trump criticized the head of Merck pharmaceuticals for quitting a federal panel in protest of the president’s response to the weekend of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia — telling him to focus on lowering “ripoff” drug prices.
In his weekend statement, Trump didn’t blame white nationalists for the chaos, instead condemning “many sides.” Merck CEO Ken Frazier resigned from Trump’s panel on Monday in protest of the widely condemned remarks.
Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2017
“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental views by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal,” Frazier tweeted Monday.
Also on Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions told “CBS This Morning” that people are making “too much out of” President Trump not explicitly blaming white supremacists in his initial statement.
Trump condemned the events in Charlottesville but failed to specifically point out white supremacists. Many people, both in and out of the media, have been fixated on the comments — specifically the president’s choice to condemn “many sides.”
Sessions said Trump “absolutely” needs to specifically condemn neo-Nazis and white supremacists, but thinks the media is overthinking his initial comments.
“Look, he gave a statement at a press conference that was already scheduled for veteran’s issues. It was a long statement about violence, bigotry and hatred. He condemned it. He called for unity in our country. He called on us to get along with each other,” Sessions said. “He was strong about that. It was just shortly after the events happened.”
Check out the entire statement from Frazier:
— Merck (@Merck) August 14, 2017