Trump's economic adviser says president 'must do better' to denounce white nationalism

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Trump's economic adviser says president 'must do better' to denounce white nationalism

Mr Cohn, a Jewish-American who was president of Goldman Sachs before becoming head of the White House national economic council, told the Financial Times he faced "enormous pressure" to quit after the uproar over Mr Trump's reaction to the clashes in the Virginia university town that left one woman dead.

Gary Cohn, Trump's top economic adviser, told the Financial Times in an interview that members of congressional committees with purview over the issue will be making numerous calls when it comes to tax reform.

Trump condemned violence "on many sides", drawing fierce criticism from all corners of the political spectrum. Cohn considered resigning over Trump's response, both newspapers reported, citing sources. The White House on Thursday took the unusual step of saying that Cohn would not resign, trying to contain the political fallout.

"But I also feel compelled to voice my distress over the events of the last two weeks", Cohn said.

"It has taken Gary Cohn nearly two weeks to find the backbone to gently criticise Trump's apologism for white supremacists, the KKK and neo-Nazis", the group said in a statement.

But since Trump did exactly the thing Cohn says can never happen, what is his reason for staying in his post rather than resigning and denouncing the president?

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

"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", Mr Cohn said in his first public comments on the issue.

In his comments to the Financial Times, Mr Cohn said Mr Trump would launch a major push to overhaul the tax system with a speech in Missouri next week, with the aim of driving the measures through Congress by the end of the year.

Breitbart News, the website of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, has already lashed out at Cohn for his remarks, making them the top story and surrounding Cohn's first name with globe emoji characters.

Cohn added the administration does not have "fixed or detailed plan for tax reform" and will leave it to the congressional committees to finalize the plan. He said he would not be bullied by hate groups into quitting. Imagine his surprise upon opening the Financial Times today and reading this. He met with Mr. Trump privately at the president's golf club in New Jersey last Friday, scrapping his plans to spend the evening at his second home in the Hamptons. Now it falls to the House Ways and Means Committee to "put flesh and bone on it", Cohn said. Trump is considering whether to nominate Cohn as chairman of the Federal Reserve, which would make him the world's most powerful central banker.

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