Gary Cohn said to have faked bad reception to avoid Trump
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On the hook

Gary Cohn said to have faked bad reception to avoid Trump

White House issued denial after senator says economic adviser took advice to get president off phone during meeting on tax reform by pretending to have poor connection

US President Donald Trump talks on the phone aboard Air Force One during a flight to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 26, 2017. (Shealah Craighead/White House)
US President Donald Trump talks on the phone aboard Air Force One during a flight to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 26, 2017. (Shealah Craighead/White House)

WASHINGTON — The White House has disputed a Democratic senator’s claim that top economic adviser Gary Cohn faked bad reception to get US President Donald Trump off the phone.

Delaware Senator Tom Carper said Wednesday in a CNN interview that he and other Democrats had been in a meeting with several White House officials discussing the GOP tax reform plan when the president called from Asia. He was put on speakerphone.

White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn speaks during the daily press briefing, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Carper said 15 minutes later, with the president still talking, he suggested that Cohn get the president off the line by taking the phone and saying, “Mr. President, you’re brilliant! But we’re losing contact and I think we’re going to lose you now, so goodbye.”

He said Cohn did just that.

“And then we went back to having the kind of conversation we needed to,” Carper said.

US Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) on September 20, 2012. (CC BY-SA United States Senate)

But White House spokesman Raj Shah said Carper’s account is “completely false.” He said Cohn left the room and spoke with Trump privately for several minutes before ending the call.

Carper spokeswoman Meghan Pennington said the senator stands by his account.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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