Woodward book: Trump refused a joke from Gary Cohn about stretching the word 'Trump' over 1,200 miles of the border wall

  • President Donald Trump and former economic adviser Gary Cohn clashed repeatedly during Cohn’s time in the White House, according to bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House.”
  • In one instance, Trump refused to use a joke Cohn suggested for a speech at the Gridiron Club.
  • The joke said Trump’s proposed wall along the US-Mexico border was ready for construction – “we haven’t been able to figure out how to stretch the word ‘Trump’ over 1,200 miles.”
  • Trump refused to use the joke.

As a real-estate developer, President Donald Trump developed a penchant for adding the Trump name to his most prominent buildings. But as president, Trump rejected a joke poking fun at the habit that was suggested by his then-top economic adviser.

According to veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” Cohn suggested a joke for a speech at the Gridiron Club in March 2018.

Cohn’s joke used Trump’s habit as an explanation for delays in building the proposed wall along the US-Mexico border.

“We’ve made enormous progress on the wall,” the joke went, according to Woodward. “All the drawings are done. All the excavating’s done. All the engineering is done. The only thing we’ve been stumbling with is we haven’t been able to figure out how to stretch the word ‘Trump’ over 1,200 miles.”

Trump “wouldn’t use” the joke, Woodward said.

The joke suggestion is one of many points of tension between Cohn and Trump detailed in Woodward’s book:

  • During the same meeting, Cohn and Trump clashed over the president’s desire to impose tariffs on various imports. Trump’s insistence prompted Cohn to call the president a “f—ing a——” in a “half-joking” manner.
  • According to Woodward, Cohn was also shocked at Trump’s lack of economic knowledge during their first meeting.
  • Trump, then president-elect, was impressed enough with the then-Goldman Sachs executive to offer Cohn the job of Treasury secretary, even as Steven Mnuchin – who had already been tapped for the role – sat in the room.
  • Once in the White House, Trump and Cohn butted heads on trade policy. Woodward said Cohn stole documents off the president’s desk to prevent Trump from pulling the US out of major trade agreements. The pair also went head-to-head over the president’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Business Insider obtained a copy of the book, which is being published by Simon & Schuster and was released on Tuesday.

Im response to the Woodward’s explosive book, the White House has attacked the journalist and called the book “nothing more than fabricated stories.”

Here are more revelations from the book so far:

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