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From left: Gary Cohn, chair of National Economic Council; Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin; President Donald Trump; Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao; and Director of Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney. (Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)

Trump Inner-Circle Privately "Appalled" and "Disgusted." Publicly? Dead Silent

"What is more cowardly than dispatching anonymous sources to claim you're 'upset' while lacking the courage to just say so yourself?"

Jon Queally

If top advisors and others are as angry with President Donald Trump as some reporting indicates, why don't they speak out publicly or resign their posts?

"[The] self-exonerating practice of anonymously leaking one's private 'disgust,' while saying & doing nothing publicly, is simply pathetic." —Glenn Greenwald, journalistWhile the New York Times' Glenn Thrush reported he had it from "three people with knowledge" that Gary Cohn, chair of President Donald Trump's National Economic Council, was "upset" and "disgusted" with his boss's defense of white supremacists during an "unhinged" performance at a Tuesday press conference, Cohn has yet to speak publicly about such feelings.

In response to Thrush, many people asked why, if Cohn felt the way he did, would he remain silent or continue to stand with the president? "So he's resigning..." begged one. "That's nice," quipped another. "The exits are clearly marked and not hard to find."

Cohn's private feelings were also reported by Axios on Wednesday, where journalists Mike Allen and Jonathan Swann were "told" that Cohn's reaction to Trump's remarks were "somewhere between appalled and furious."

Noting the discrepancy between what's being said or felt behind closed doors versus what a high-ranking official like Cohn is saying (or not saying) publicly, journalist Glenn Greenwald had this to say:

One anonymous White House official told CNN that none of Trump's senior staff or top advisors—including Chief of Staff John Kelly or Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, both of whom stood nearby as Trump spoke on Tuesday—knew he was going to backtrack on Monday's condemnation of the violent racists who gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. "That was all him—this wasn't our plan," the official told CNN.

Kelly, highlighted Axios, "exhausted and dismayed, was shown in iconic TV shots with his head hanging during Trump's blast"

According to "multiple sources inside and close to the White House described the president's senior staff as confused and frustrated," NBC News reported, "caught off guard by Trump's decision to defend his initial response to the violence in Virginia." The president "went rogue," confessed a person described as a "senior White House official."

The situation was repeated on Wednesday morning when news broke that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, arguably the nation's second-most powerful Republican, was reportedly "upset" about Trump's comments on Tuesday.

The reporting by CNN, based on a "a source close to the leader," led Greenwald to ask his previous question this way: "What is more cowardly than dispatching anonymous sources to claim you're 'upset' while lacking the courage to just say so yourself?"

Perhaps he'll get an answer soon. According to reports, McConnell will release a statement later on Wednesday.


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