Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser and former Goldman Sachs COO, is reportedly incredibly upset over Trump’s press conference Tuesday in which he defended his original statement regarding the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Multiple reports following Trump’s press conference said that Cohn, who is Jewish, is troubled by Trump’s statements regarding white nationalists’ role in the violence in Charlottesville over the past few days.
Cohn was “upset” and “disgusted” by Trump’s freewheeling press conference, according to The New York Times’ Glenn Thrush, who cited three sources with knowledge of Cohn’s thinking. During the Trump Tower press conference, Trump said there were “two sides to a story” of what happened in Charlottesville. During a white supremacist rally, a man drove a car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing a woman.
Trump also attacked what he called the “alt-left” for its role in the violence. Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike were quick to condemn Trump’s statements.
Axios’ Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan reported on Wednesday that Cohn was “somewhere between appalled and furious.”
Cohn stood at the president’s side in Trump Tower and took questions regarding the original intent of the press conference — infrastructure investment — after Trump left the podium.
White nationalist groups and blogs, including the Daily Stormer and National Vanguard, have targeted Cohn for his Jewish heritage and his supposedly “globalist” economic beliefs on trade.
The Times’ Maggie Haberman also reported that Cohn is upset with the president, but noted that he plans to remain in the administration. Haberman tweeted that Cohn will not leave, in part due to the belief that tax reform and other parts of the GOP agenda would be “stalled permanently” if he departs.
Cohn has been a champion of tax reform and deregulation efforts within the White House since taking over as chair of the National Economic Council. The former Goldman banker has also reportedly been a more moderate voice in the Oval Office and was repeatedly floated as a possible chief of staff candidate earlier in the year.
Additionally, Cohn is also considered the frontrunner to replace Janet Yellen as Fed chair when her term expires in February.
Given his reported desire to stay, it remains unclear if any concrete action will come from Cohn’s reported distaste for Trump’s comments.
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