Former White House strategist Stephen Bannon did not mince words when asked about his former White House colleagues during an interview with CBS News, in which Bannon suggested that disgruntled members of the Trump administration should resign before making their anger public.
In particular, Bannon set his sights on Gary Cohn, the investment banker who currently serves as Director of the National Economic Council and chief economic advisor to President Donald Trump. Bannon blasted Cohn for criticizing Trump’s response to the deadly Charlottesville clashes instead of simply leaving the White House.
“If you’re going to break with [Trump], resign,” Bannon told CBS anchor Charlie Rose. “The stuff that was leaked out that week by certain members of the White House, I thought that was unacceptable. If you find it unacceptable, you should resign.”
When pressed as to who he was referring to, Bannon fired back: “I’m talking about – obviously about Gary Cohn and some other people. If you don’t like what he’s doing, and you don’t agree with it, you have an obligation to resign.”
“So Gary Cohn should have resigned?” Rose asked.
“Absolutely,” Bannon replied without hesitation.
Last month, Cohn condemned the response of the Trump administration – and that of the president himself – to violence between white supremacists and counter-protesters.
“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,” he told the Financial Times.
In a not-so-subtle jab at Trump’s maligned “many sides” remarks, Cohn said: “Citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK.”
After dismissing Cohn, Bannon said that he would continue to serve as a “street fighter” for Trump even after leaving the White House.
“By the way, I think that’s why President Trump and I get along,” he said. “Donald Trump’s a fighter, great counterpuncher. He’s a fighter. I’m going to be his wingman outside for the entire time.”