Tags: cohn | trump | furious

Cohn 'Complained Loudly About Trump', Trump 'Furious'

Cohn 'Complained Loudly About Trump', Trump 'Furious'
(AP)

By    |   Saturday, 26 August 2017 10:43 AM

President Donald Trump was privately furious that National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn publicly flogged his reaction to the violent Charlottesville, Virginia protests in a magazine article, but Cohn's public complaints were also aired loudly during a dinner with friends in New York City this week as well, according to a new report.

On Wednesday, two days before The Financial Times published its interview with Cohn over Trump's Charlottesville comments, the president's key economic adviser was overheard during a dinner with friends in Long Island, in a voice loud enough to be heard by other diners, complaining about Trump, a source familiar with the dinner told The Washington Post. 

During the dinner, held at a restaurant called the Frisky Oyster, Cohn said he has to be careful not to give the president too much advance notice about his ideas. The former Goldman-Sachs banker said if he gives Trump too much lead time, the president could hinder planning by disclosing information too soon.

Meanwhile, in his interview with The Financial Times, Cohn, a Jewish-American and president of Goldman Sachs before being tapped to head the White House National Economic Council, sharply criticized Trump's Charlottesville "both sides" comments, telling the publication "citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK."

Cohn also called on the administration to "do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups," and said that he'd faced "enormous pressure" to resign after the Charlottesville comments.

The comments marked the first time a member of Trump's inner circle condemned his actions publicly, notes The Post, but Cohn has been known to block proposals made by former chief strategist Stephen Bannon and others who have aligned with Trump's nationalist leanings. Instead, he often allies himself with with Trump's daughter, Ivanka and her husband, senior advisor Jared Kushner.

Trump allies who want to undermine Cohn were happy about his interview, hoping that it would widen a rift between the president and his key economic adviser.

However, Trump is planning to begin his push in earnest next week for tax code reform, and Cohn and his team are central in designing the administration's strategy and a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, notes The Post.

Cohn, who was with Trump on stage during his Charlottesville remarks, told friends in New York and the White House that he was not going to remain quiet about the comments.

He also drafted a resignation letter, but neither signed it or discussed it with the president, a source said.

However, Cohn told The Financial Times that he is "reluctant" to resign as he wants to fulfill his duties to the United States.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is also Jewish, has resisted calls to resign over Charlottesville, and commented at Friday's White House press briefing that he would not resign. Mnuchin added that Cohn is also "committed to be here."

The growing tension between Trump and Cohn is casting doubt that Trump will end up naming Cohn to replace Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen, whose term expires early next year.

Alan Blinder, a former Fed vice chairman, told The Post he does not think Cohn is the front-runner to head the Fed anymore, even though Cohn does support Trump's call to roll back banking regulations.

There are several other potential replacements for Yellen, should it come to that, notes The Post, including former Fed governor Kevin Warsh; John Taylor, a Stanford University economics professor; and Glenn Hubbard, a former Bush economic adviser and dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

Yellen, a Democrat, has also criticized Trump. On Friday, during a speech in Jackson, Wyoming, Yellen said Trump's call to roll back financial regulations was not a good idea, considering the reforms strengthened the financial system.

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President Donald Trump was privately furious that National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn publicly flogged his reaction to the violent Charlottesville, Virginia protests in a magazine article, but Cohn's public complaints were also aired loudly during a dinner with...
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2017-43-26
Saturday, 26 August 2017 10:43 AM
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