A group of liberal activists who have pressured the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low are calling on Gary Cohn, head of Donald Trump’s National Economic Council and a potential candidate to replace Janet Yellen as Fed chair, to resign.
Cohn, who is Jewish, told the Financial Times in an interview that he was disturbed by the events in Charlottesville and disappointed with the response of the president, who appeared to equate neo-Nazis and white supremacists with counterprotesters.
“Citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK,” Cohn said in a clear rebuke of his boss. Trump condemned violence “on many sides,” drawing fierce criticism from all corners of the political spectrum.
Cohn said he decided to stay in the administration despite this because he feels can do more for the country from the inside, although many analysts speculate he’s merely waiting around for that Fed chair appointment, and keen to enact tax cuts and deregulation.
“As a Jewish American, I will not allow neo-Nazis ranting ‘Jews will not replace us’ to cause this jew to leave his job. I feel deep empathy for all who have been targeted by these hate groups. We must all unite together against them,” Cohn said.
The Fed Up coalition of community groups, which has successfully pushed the central bank to pay more attention to issues affecting the poor and minorities, said this was too little far too late.
“It has taken Gary Cohn almost two weeks to find the backbone to gently criticise Trump’s apologism for white supremacists, the KKK and neo-Nazis,” the group said in a statement. “Cohn has not demonstrated the character, independence, or leadership to serve as Fed chair.”
If he wants to “take a stand against racism and bigotry, he needs to resign. Cohn should announce that Janet Yellen is the most qualified candidate for the job of Fed Chair and resign from the Trump’s Director of the National Economic Council.”