Politics Steve Bannon says Gary Cohn 'absolutely' should have resigned after Charlottesville

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Bannon told "60 Minutes" that Cohn should have quit the White House instead of criticizing President Donald Trump's Charlottesville, Virginia, response.

Gary Cohn and Steve Bannon in June. play

Gary Cohn and Steve Bannon in June.

(Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
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Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist who leads the far-right website Breitbart News, says Gary Cohn should have resigned amid the National Economic Council director's public criticism of President Donald Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"You can tell him, 'Hey, maybe you can do it a better way,'" Bannon said in an interview with "60 Minutes." "But if you're going to break, then resign. If you're going to break with him, resign."

Bannon reiterated his position when asked to clarify whether he was talking about Cohn.

"So Gary Cohn should have resigned?" host Charlie Rose said.

"Absolutely," Bannon replied.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Cohn condemned Trump's remarks that equated white nationalists and white supremacists in Charlottesville with some of those protesting them. A woman was killed when a car plowed through a crowd of counterprotesters during the rally.

"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," Cohn told the FT.

Trump held a fiery press conference a few days after the violence in Charlottesville — one that reportedly left Cohn "disgusted" and "appalled."

Those reports, Bannon said, were proof that Cohn should have left his job.

"The stuff that was leaked out that week by certain members of the White House I thought was unacceptable," Bannon said. "If you find it unacceptable, you should resign."

Cohn's disagreement with Trump appears to have already taken a toll on his standing in the White House, as The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the former Goldman Sachs chief operating officer's criticism of Trump meant he was no longer the front-runner to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Watch Bannon's comments: