Ken Frazier, chief executive officer of multinational pharmaceutical company Merck, has resigned from Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council, following what he described as the US president's failure to unequivocally condemn far right violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, West Virginia.

Anti-fascist and far right protesters clashed in the town on Saturday (12 August).

A female protester was subsequently killed and 19 others injured when a car intentionally rammed into a crowd protesting against white supremacists.

James Alex Fields, 20, is under custody for being the alleged driver of the vehicle.

Following the death, Trump took to the airwaves condemning violence on "all sides" but was severely criticised for not specifically denouncing the far right.

Vigils and demonstrations have been held in several US cities in support of Charlottesville.

Following his resignation, Frazier, one of the US' most recognisable African-American industry captains, tweeted: "I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.

"America's leaders must honour 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."

Never one to shy away from a response, Trump tweeted back that Frazier would now have "more time to lower rip off drug prices".

The episode comes after the White House rejected criticism of Trump's response to the violence.

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Merck CEO Ken Frazier resigns from Donald Trump's council over Charlottesville Reuters