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Apple CEO Tim Cook pens letter disagreeing with Trump

Apple CEO Tim Cook is taking steps to distance himself from President Trump, penning a new letter to employees in which he says he disagrees with the president and has vowed to donate funds to civil rights groups, according to tech site Recode. 

"What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country. Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. Its scars last generations. History has taught us this time and time again, both in the United States and countries around the world," wrote Cook in his letter obtained by Recode. 

He went on, directly calling out Mr. Trump's Tuesday speech on Charlottesville: "This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality. I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans."

Cook also wrote that in the wake of the violent events, Apple would be making contributions of $1 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League, as well as match two-for-one donations from Apple employees to civil rights groups. 

"In the coming days, iTunes will offer users an easy way to join us in directly supporting the work of the SPLC," he added. 

Cook, a member of the Trump administration's technology advisory council, has previously called on the administration to re-think their policies. The tech-giant CEO wrote an internal memo when the White House released its policy on a travel ban for people coming from six Muslim-majority countries, saying it was "not a policy we support."

Most recently, the company criticized the president's sudden decision to no longer allow transgender service members serve openly in the military. In a statement to CBS News Moneywatch, the company wrote, "We support efforts toward greater acceptance, not less, and we strongly believe that transgender students should be treated as equals."

The company added, "We disagree with any effort to limit or rescind their rights and protections." 

Cooks' newest comments come amid growing fallout in support from business leaders over Mr. Trump's Charlottesville comments, with many leaving the president's manufacturing council shortly before Mr. Trump himself announced he would be disbanding it altogether. 

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital