A U.S. senator claimed on TV today that Gary Cohn faked a bad connection on a conference call with the President of the United States to get him off the phone.
On CNN this morning, anchor Poppy Harlow asked Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), “You were part of this call with the president while he was in Asia on taxes. And at one point, it’s reported that you looked over to his chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, and said to him, ‘We’re not going to have a real conversation here. Can you just tell the president he’s brilliant and say we’re losing the connection and hang up.’ Seriously?”
Carper responded, “Seriously, and he did.”
This is how he described what happened:
“I said to Gary––it was a room where we’re all sitting around this big square table, and I said, ‘Gary, why don’t you do this, just take the phone from, you know, your cell phone back and just say, Mr. President, you’re brilliant! But we’re losing contact, and I think we’re going to lose you now, so good-bye.’ And that’s what he did and he hung up. And we went back to having the kind of conversation that we needed to, where they ask a question, looking for consensus and common ground and I think we identified a little bit.”
John Berman asked for clarity, “Are you saying Gary Cohn faked a bad connection to get the president off the phone?”
Carper said, “Well, I wouldn’t — I don’t want to throw him under the bus, but yes.”
“I think you just did,” Harlow quipped.
“That’s the bus,” Berman added. “The bus just passed right there.”
Watch above, via CNN.
UPDATE –– 12:14 pm ET: The White House is denying this version of events:
White House spokesperson tells @CNN: "Senator Carper’s claim is completely false. Gary Cohn left the room and continued to speak with the President privately for several minutes before they concluded the call." https://t.co/7MFxTwn43Z
— David Wright (@DavidWright_CNN) November 22, 2017
[image via screengrab]
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