President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser has told close associates that he was deeply upset by the president’s comments about the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Gary Cohn, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council and former president of Goldman Sachs, has expressed his “disgust” at Trump’s comments during the past few days, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke with Breitbart News.
As the president came under an avalanche of criticism from the media, Cohn publicly declared he was focused on “executing the president’s agenda.” But privately, Cohn was expressing his disapproval with Trump’s remarks, the sources said. Cohn’s “disgust” at the president was first reported by Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush of the New York Times. Thrush attributed the leak of Cohn’s reaction to three different sources.
“Gary is deeply upset at how Donald Trump is talking about Charlottesville,” one person familiar with the matter told Breitbart News.
Cohn was not the only White House staffer who was privately undermining the president’s message this week. Shortly after Tuesday’s press conference, Thrush also reported that sources had told him that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump had pushed the president to “more forcefully denounce neo-Nazis, KKK, and white nationalists over the weekend.”
Others, however, applauded the president’s remarks Tuesday. A source told Bloomberg news that Steve Bannon was proud of the president’s performance at the press conference.
A different source said that Cohn is concerned that his own reputation could be hurt by the president’s remarks:
Trump’s fiery answers to questions about his response to the Charlottesville violence caught some of his advisers off-guard. While they expected the press to question the president about the matter, few thought Trump would engage in a heated back and forth. Cohn expected Tuesday’s press conference to focus on the administration’s tax and infrastructure plans, according to a person familiar with the matter.
“He felt uncomfortable standing there while the president went ballistic about fake news and the alt-left,” one person said.
Despite his private comments, Cohn is not expected to resign from his position. Last month, Trump said Cohn was one of the leading candidates to chair the Federal Reserve when Janet Yellen’s term expires early next year.
Both inside and outside the White House, some speculate that Cohn is keeping his criticisms of the president private in hopes of winning the Fed nomination: