White House economic adviser Gary Cohn publicly criticized President Trump's response to Charlottesville.
- Cohn told the Financial Times Thursday that the Trump "administration can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning" white supremacist groups.
- "As a patriotic American, I am reluctant to leave my post... But I also feel compelled to voice my distress over the events of the last two weeks."
- Cohn even considered quitting, per the NYT's Maggie Haberman and Kate Kelly, reportedly drafting a resignation letter and meeting with Trump last Friday.
How it's playing, from Axios' Jonathan Swan:
- "Inside the White House, it just reinforces what people already think about Gary. His friends and allies internally support him and say he spoke out as a matter of conscience and that he was personally grappling with a sensitive subject."
- "Cohn's enemies view it as an opportunity to undercut him, especially given this is exactly the kind of thing the President hates. They say it's morally posturing, designed to appease Cohn's friends who hate Trump. And they'll take every opportunity, when they get Trump on the phone or one-on-one, to prod him about it."
- From a source close to Trump: "Gary is more concerned with his friends in the Hamptons than he is with being loyal and defending POTUS."
- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the White House briefing: "I think there's no question the president was not equating the hate groups who were peaceful, and under no circumstances was I going to resign."
Audience of one: "Sources familiar with Trump's thinking say he did not appreciate Cohn's public commentary."