Economic adviser knocks Trump's response to Charlottesville

Trump adviser: White House 'must do better' to condemn hate

More than a week after Donald Trump stubbornly insisted that some of the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who rioted in Charlottesville are "very fine people", the White House still won't say exactly who those people are.

The president, claiming in his initial statement on Saturday that violence existed on "both sides", faced criticism for not immediately and directly denouncing the hate groups by name.

In Cohn's case, people familiar with the situation say he's made no secret of the fact that he's vying to become the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.

The news comes a day after the former Goldman Sachs executive publicly admonished Trump and the administration for its reticence to properly condemn white supremacists in the aftermath of Charlottesville.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was also pressed on Cohn's comments Friday, as he was present during the briefing and addressed reporters before Sanders.

Asked whether the corporate tax rate could be cut to 15 percent as previously suggested by Trump, Cohn said, "I would like to get the tax rate as low as possible so that businesses want to create jobs here".

"I have come under enormous pressure both to resign and to remain in my current position", Cohn said during an interview with the Financial Times about economic policy.

Cohn added, "As a Jewish American, I will not allow neo-Nazis ranting "Jews will not replace us" to cause this Jew to leave his job".

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

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Cohn did not specifically mention Trump's statement in the Financial Times interview, but he criticized the administration's response as a whole.

Gary Cohn, the president's top economic adviser, was so upset by Trump's response to violent clashes involving white nationalists in Charlottesville that he drafted a letter of resignation, a source with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed to ABC News.

Cohn said that, despite pressure, he would not leave his White House role.

"Because I feel a duty to fulfill my commitment to work on behalf of the American people", Cohn said.

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

"The president in no way, shape or form, believes that neo-Nazi and other hate groups who endorse violence are equivalent to groups that demonstrate in peaceful and lawful ways", Mnuchin said in written comments last week. The White House on Thursday took the unusual step of saying that Cohn would not resign, trying to contain the political fallout.

"Gary and I have known each other for 20 years".

"It has taken Gary Cohn nearly two weeks to find the backbone to gently criticize Trump's apologism for white supremacists, the KKK and neo-Nazis", Sebastian said. "His number one focus is absolutely working on tax reform with me and getting tax reform done and Gary's committed to be here and couldn't be more excited about that".

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