Sep 11, 2018

Scoop: Gary Cohn takes on Bob Woodward

Gary Cohn, Bob Woodward, and Donald Trump. Photos via Getty Images: Saul Loeb/AFP; William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire; Alex Edelman

Gary Cohn, former White House economic adviser to President Trump, is taking on Bob Woodward's "Fear" with a statement calling it inaccurate — but is declining to say what specifically Woodward has gotten wrong.

What he's saying: "This book does not accurately portray my experience at the White House," Cohn told Axios in a statement. "I am proud of my service in the Trump Administration, and I continue to support the President and his economic agenda."

  • Cohn, the former second in command at Goldman Sachs, makes frequent appearances in Woodward's inside account of the Trump White House, which was officially published Tuesday after a week of leaks and hype.

Between the lines: Cohn cited no specific objections to Woodward's extensive reporting of his private views that Trump needed to be saved from his most dangerous impulses. We're told the book is based on hundreds of hours of interviews, most of which were taped with the consent of the source.

  • The book has caused heartburn in the White House, with Trump trashing it repeatedly on Twitter. 
  • Trump has privately been angry at both Gary Cohn's and Rob Porter's starring roles in the book, which both Trump and White House officials view as evidence that they were major sources for the author.
  • Woodward's book opens with a dramatic scene in which Cohn sneaks into the Oval Office and removes from the president's desk a one-page draft letter addressed to the South Korean president, terminating the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
  • "I stole it off his desk," Woodward quotes Cohn as later telling an associate. "I wouldn't let him see it. He's never going to see that document. Got to protect the country."

The bottom line: The vast majority of the scenes involving Cohn reflect reporting that Axios has done over the course of the Trump presidency.

Woodward statement to Axios: “I continue to stand by my reporting.”

Go deeper: Bob Woodward responds to Trump on anonymous sources

Go deeper

Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 32,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 32,000 people around the world — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths, per data from Johns Hopkins.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections, with more than 125,000 by noon on Sunday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. surpassed on Saturday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 17 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 685,623 — Total deaths: 32,137 — Total recoveries: 145,706.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 125,313 — Total deaths: 2,197 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week.
  6. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Fixing America's broken coronavirus supply chain

Polowczyk speaks at a coronavirus briefing at the White House, March 23. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The senior Navy officer now in charge of fixing America's coronavirus supply chain is trying to fill the most urgent needs: ventilators and personal protective gear. But barely a week into his role at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, he's still trying to establish what's in the pipeline and where it is.

Driving the news: "Today, I, as leader of FEMA's supply chain task force, am blind to where all the product is," Rear Adm. John Polowczyk tells Axios.

Go deeperArrow31 mins ago - Health