Former Vice President Mike Pence privately praised a White House official after he “unloaded” on Donald Trump for the former president’s controversial remarks about the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, according to a new book.
National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn was “alarmed” by Trump’s remarks, and “unloaded” on him, according to an excerpt in Politico from “Frankly We Did Win This Election’: The Inside Story of How Donald Trump Lost,” written by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael C. Bender.
Trump insisted there were “very fine people on both sides” after an avowed white nationalist deliberately drove his vehicle into a crowd of counterprotesters, at the 2017 rally, injuring 19 people and murdering 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
At a meeting in the Oval Office, “Cohn told Trump that his lack of clarity had been harmful to the country and that he’d put an incredible amount of pressure on people working in the White House,” Bender wrote. “He told Trump that he might have to quit. No one backed Cohn up. Others in the room, including Pence, remained quiet.”
But after Cohn returned to his office, Pence “appeared at the threshold of Cohn’s door. ‘I’m proud of you,’ Pence told him, safely out of earshot of the president.” Cohn left the administration the following year.
Pence was heckled as a “traitor” Friday at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s annual conference for his failure to overturn the presidential election.