The White House on Thursday took the unusual step of saying National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn would not resign, trying to contain the fallout from President Donald Trump’s controversial comments about the deadly riot in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, and his assertion that “very fine people” were protesting alongside neo-Nazis.
Cohn, who funded the Cohn Jewish Student Center at Kent State University in 2009, was mortified by Trump’s comments, three people close to him said, and he has been bombarded with calls from friends asking him if he will leave.
Instead, the White House said Cohn plans to stay put and focus on advancing Trump’s economic agenda. It was unclear, though, how long Cohn would remain in the job or if he is still a leading candidate to be nominated as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs president who has close ties to many business leaders, is seen as a key lifeline for executives who are increasingly wary that Trump will be able to secure the pro-business economic platform he promised during the campaign.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Damian Paletta, Renae Merle