Gary Cohn, President Trump's economic advisor, has openly criticized the White House's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The National Economic Council director said the administration "must do better" in "denouncing" the far-right.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Cohn admitted he felt "enormous pressure" to step down after the events in Virginia, saying he was "disgusted" by President Trump's words in response to the tragedy.
"Citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK," he said. "I believe 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."
Although Cohn did admit to his desire to resign in light of the president's response, he also said it would be unwise of him to do so becaise of his "commitment to work on behalf of the American people." According to the BBC, Cohn is President Trump's top pick to lead the Federal Reserve (the US central bank) after the current team exits this coming February.
President Trump was condemned by many for not denouncing the far-right protestors in Virginia fast enough. Two days later he publically admitted that "racism is evil" and that the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis are "repugnant." However, he still managed to openly blame "both sides" for the violence, sparking more outrage from the American people.
He went on to say that there were "very fine people" on both sides who were simply provoked. This seems hard to believe given the fact that the protests "included torch-bearing marchers chanting: 'Jews will not replace us'."
"As a Jewish American, I will not allow neo-Nazis ranting 'Jews will not replace us' to cause this Jew to leave his job," Cohn said in his interview with Financial Times. "I feel deep empathy for all who have been targeted by these hate groups. We must all unite together against them."
Cohn is currently working with US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to "overhaul the US tax system," which has been a conservative goal for a long time. The treasury secretary has also been called upon to resign, with 400 of his Yale classmates signing a petition to that effect.