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Trump Adviser Gary Cohn Explains Why He Is Sticking Around

25 Août 2017

Cohn defended his decision to stay in his job, despite pressure from his friends and colleagues to resign in protest. But, he appeared to change his story again the very next day at Trump Tower and insist "both sides" (white nationalists and leftists) had some responsibility for the carnage, which left one young woman dead.

"Citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the K.K.K.", Mr. Cohn said.

In the days after the Charlottesville violence, Mr. Cohn's family - including his wife - told him he needed to think seriously about departing, according to two people briefed on the discussions.

"Starting next week, the president's agenda and calendar is going to revolve around tax reform", Cohn said.

"The president in no way, shape or form, believes that neo-Nazi and other hate groups who endorse violence are equivalent to groups that demonstrate in peaceful and lawful ways", Mr Mnuchin said in written comments last week. "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.

Chief White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said in an interview with the Financial Times published Friday that the Trump administration "must do better" to condemn white supremacist groups after violence broke out at a rally in the Virginia city earlier this month.

If he wants to "take a stand against racism and bigotry, he needs to resign".

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Trump has made clear that he values loyalty above most anything else, and Cohn's comments come at a pivotal point.

Cohn said he was reluctant to leave also because he feels a duty to his job.

"This administration can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups and do everything we can to heal the deep divisions that exist in our communities", Cohn told the Financial Times, without specifically naming Trump.

Trump himself has also signaled that Cohn is a top contender to become the next Federal Reserve chairman should Janet Yellen be replaced.

Cohn's move to criticize his boss publicly is somewhat extraordinary, particularly as senior White House advisers are dropping like flies. "This is a personal issue for each of us. I don't know how long it will take to actually mark up the bill, but I do think it can pass both of the tax committees and both chambers in 2017", Cohn said.

Cohn told the Financial Times that "he had not been bashful" in telling the president his feelings, saying he had "numerous private conversations" with Trump about it.

Mr Cohn was not the only official to face pressure.

Trump Adviser Gary Cohn Explains Why He Is Sticking Around