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Walmart CEO: Trump ‘missed a criticial opportunity’ to unite

The CEOs who quit Trump's business councils

Now the CEO of America’s largest employer is taking President Donald Trump to task for his response to the violence in Charlottesville this past weekend.

On Monday, Walmart (WMT) CEO Doug McMillon said in a note to employees that the president “missed a critical opportunity” in his initial reaction to the “tragic events.”

“As we watched the events and the response from President Trump over the weekend, we too felt that he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists,” McMillon said.

He added that Trump’s remarks on Monday, in which he denounced white supremacists by name, “were a step in the right direction.”

“We need that clarity and consistency in the future,” McMillon said.

walmart ceo doug mcmillon

Related: CEOs under fire to dump Trump

McMillon sits on Trump’s economic advisory council, formally known as the Strategic and Policy Forum. Walmart said he will not resign.

“I will continue to strongly advocate on behalf of our associates and customers, and urge our elected officials to do their part to promote a more just, tolerant and diverse society,” McMillon said in his memo.

The CEOs of Under Armour (UA), Intel (INTC, Tech30) and Merck (MRK) all quit Trump’s manufacturing council on Monday to protest his failure to immediately denounce white supremacists. The president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing announced his resignation on Tuesday.

Other members of the Strategic and Policy Forum have also weighed in on what happened in Charlottesville. But none have resigned.

Stephen Schwarzman, the CEO Blackstone who chairs the initiative, said, “Bigotry, hatred and extremism are an affront to core American values and have no place in this country.”

And Pepsi (PEP) CEO Indra Nooyi tweeted Sunday that she was “heartbroken by the violence in #Charlottesville.”

“Hate and intolerance are a betrayal of what we stand for as Americans,” she said.

CNNMoney (New York) First published August 15, 2017: 2:49 PM ET

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