Gary Cohn Questioned on Trump Meetings Detailed in New Book: He’s ‘Berating Advisors’?


Former White House economic advisor Gary Cohn spoke with CBS News’ Margaret Brennan today about the economy, trade, and whether he would vote for President Donald Trump in 2020.

Cohn resigned in 2018 — saying today he did so for “a variety of different reasons” — and had said last month he’s concerned that there’s no one left in the White House who will stand up to the president.

Cohn is featured in the new book about the White House, A Very Stable Genius, from two Washington Post reporters, as being alarmed by the president’s style:

By that point, six months into his administration, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had grown alarmed by gaping holes in Trump’s knowledge of history, especially the key alliances forged following World War II. Trump had dismissed allies as worthless, cozied up to authoritarian regimes in Russia and elsewhere, and advocated withdrawing troops from strategic outposts and active theaters alike.

Trump organized his unorthodox worldview under the simplistic banner of “America First,” but Mattis, Tillerson, and Cohn feared his proposals were rash, barely considered, and a danger to America’s superpower standing. They also felt that many of Trump’s impulsive ideas stemmed from his lack of familiarity with U.S. history and, even, where countries were located. To have a useful discussion with him, the trio agreed, they had to create a basic knowledge, a shared language… Mattis, Cohn, and Tillerson and their aides decided to use maps, graphics, and charts to tutor the president, figuring they would help keep him from getting bored.

Cohn was asked about the book on Face the Nation today, with Brennan noting how the book also features Trump reportedly lashing out and calling military leaders “a bunch of dopes and babies.”

“Is the description of the president and his management style matching your experience?” she asked.

Cohn said, “I don’t know what book you’re referring to. As you said, I haven’t read it.”

“The management style of berating advisors?” she said.

“The president is — what you see on TV is exactly what you get in private with the president. The president is the same person behind closed doors as he is out in public, which is a unique feature,” Cohn responded. “You know, it’s not like he turns it on or turns it off when he walks outside. So you’ve seen everything the president has. That’s exactly what you see when you’re in a private meeting with him.”

You can watch above, via CBS.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac