Add America’s largest retail chain to the list of corporate entities that have publicly found fault with Donald Trump in the wake of his bumbling and baffling response to the racial violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.
Donald Trump’s response to the violent white supremacist riot that broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, Friday night and into Saturday has alternated between weak and tepid to downright horrifying and repugnant.
And he has been met with vocal and vehement repudiation from all sides.
The condemnations have been widespread, from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the editors of the New York Post. Even numerous CEOs on Trump’s own “American Manufacturing Council” have stepped forward to admonish the president’s inexcusable behavior, and to leave the council in response.
Merck CEO and chairman Kenneth Frazier was the first to do so following the chaos in Virginia. “As a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism,” he announced.
Kevin Plank, the leader of Under Armour, and Brian Krzanich, the CEO of Intel, have also both explicitly ended their participation in Trump’s advisory council. “We should honor — not attack — those who have stood up for equality and other cherished American values. I hope this will change, and I remain willing to serve when it does,” Krzanich stressed.
Now, that movement has extended to Wal-Mart, a company synonymous with red state America, and one which rarely enters the political fray. Even before Trump’s extraordinary and unhinged press event Tuesday afternoon, Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon, had had enough.
“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,” McMillion wrote.
When a reporter asked Trump Tuesday if McMillion was correct that he had missed that opportunity to bring the country together, Trump responded petulantly, “Not at all.”
And when he was asked why he thought so many CEOs were fleeing from his council, Trump offered another impudent take.
“Because they’re not taking their jobs seriously as it pertains to this country,” he said.
It is absurd to think that CEOs of major corporations aren’t “taking their jobs seriously,” or to imply that doing so requires buddying up to Trump no matter how low he sinks.
Furthermore, until they chose to disassociate themselves from him and his increasing offensiveness, Wal-Mart — as well as many of its customers — were squarely on Trump’s side.
Yet even that company can no longer abide Trump’s reckless and offensive words and actions.
The continuing rebukes from American boardrooms must be especially stinging for Trump, who promotes himself as a world-class businessman. Instead, from the very beginning of his presidency, more and more companies have chosen to shed any relationship with the toxic Trump name.