WH economic adviser Gary Cohn reportedly faked bad connection to get Trump off the phone

A senator told CNN on Wednesday that Gary Cohn, the White House National Economic Council Director, recently used the “bad connection” excuse to end a call with President Trump. 

Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware, said the idea to fake the problem was his idea and raised during a recent meeting about tax reform.

Trump was in Asia at the time and had called to join in on the conversation.

“15 minutes later, the president is still talking. And I said to Gary…why don’t you do this, just take the phone from, you know, your cellphone 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,” Carper recalled.

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Idaho

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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Utah

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Montana

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Wyoming

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North Dakota

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South Dakota

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Nebraska

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Kansas

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Oklahoma

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Louisiana

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Alabama

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South Carolina

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Tennessee 

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Kentucky

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West Virginia

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Alaska

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Massachusetts

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Vermont

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Rhode Island

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Connecticut

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New Jersey

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Delaware

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Maryland

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Illinois

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Minnesota

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Colorado

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New Mexico

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Washington

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Oregon

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The Senator also noted that Democrats in the meeting had been working to find common ground on the matter, and once the president was no longer a participant, “We went back to having the kind of conversation where we needed to, where they ask…questions, looking for consensus.” 

The White House denies that is how the situation unfolded.

“Gary Cohn took the phone off speaker and continued to speak with the president privately for several minutes before they concluded the call,” White House spokesperson Raj Shah told The Hill.

In the past, there have been reports of tensions between Trump and Cohn, particularly after the president’s remarks on the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

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Sen. Kamala Davis (D-Calif.)

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Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)

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Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg

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Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)

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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

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Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley

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Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro

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Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.)

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Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.)

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Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.)

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Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

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Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban

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Environmental activist Tom Steyer

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Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez

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Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton 

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Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe

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California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom

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Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg

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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

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Former first lady Michelle Obama

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Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii)

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Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)

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Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y)

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California Gov. Jerry Brown

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Media mogul Oprah Winfrey

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Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.)

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Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean

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Former Vice President Al Gore

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Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.)

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Former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.)

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

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Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.)

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New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu

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Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

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Axios reported in August that Trump’s comment blaming both sides for the violence left Cohn “somewhere between appalled and furious.”

Weeks later, when asked by reporters why he stayed, Cohn explained that he had a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to be involved with the president in rewriting the nation’s tax code.

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