The White House later stated that Trump was including "white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups" in his remarks about the violence.
It was a question that came to the fore again Monday when first Merck & Co's Kenneth Frazier, then Under Armour's Kevin Plank and Intel's Brian Krzanich stepped down from a White House business group set up to advise Donald Trump.
"At Caterpillar, there is nothing more important than Our Values - at their core we embrace the diversity and inclusion of all of our people".
The CEOs who resigned from the White House groups earlier did so over policy disagreements, with Musk and Iger leaving in June to protest Trump's decision to withdraw the USA from the Paris worldwide agreement on climate and Kalanick departing because of the president's stance on immigration. The company said this year that it "does not tolerate bigotry or hate in any form".
Later Monday night, Mr. Krzanich of Intel resigned from the council, saying: "I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing".
But notably, not one executive on any of the president's various councils said anything directly about the president, nor resigned either in solidarity with Frazier or in protest of Trump's words. I have already made clear my abhorrence at the recent hate-spawned violence in Charlottesville, and earlier today I called on all leaders to condemn the white supremacists and their ilk who marched and committed violence.
The Manhattan real estate tycoon-turned-world leader ran as a friend of the business community who pledged tax cuts to streamline regulations and take other steps to boost growth in the world's biggest economy.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: It should be obvious that neo-Nazis are wrong
With 2 billion users, the company has to carefully balance free speech with safety concerns. Zuckerberg did not mention President Trump in the post.
Several others who represented companies involved in the rubber industry remained on the council until it was dissolved.
Mark Fields, Ford Motor Co. "We remain resolute in our potential and ability to improve American manufacturing", said Plank.
Mr Plank, the founder of sportswear firm Under Armour, announced his resignation from the council in a Twitter posting.
Without mentioning Charlottesville or the president's response he concluded: "I love our country and our company and will continue to focus my efforts on inspiring every person that they can do anything through the power of sport which promotes unity, diversity and inclusion". "Following yesterday's remarks from the President, I can not remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative".
Previously, Tesla CEO Elon Musk left the council after Trump abandoned the worldwide climate agreement.
Summers, a long-time critic of Trump, wrote that Trump's initial failure to denounce white nationalists in the wake of the weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, proved the members of the various business advisory councils were having little impact on the president. The initiative was designed to advice the president on ways to create more manufacturing jobs in the United States.