No acknowledgement for economic adviser in Trump tax speech

No acknowledgement for economic adviser in Trump tax speech
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President Trump did not mention chief economic advisor Gary Cohn as he thanked a group of administration officials who traveled with him for an event on tax reform Wednesday.
 
The speech took place just days after Cohn publicly broke with Trump over his comments about white supremacist groups. 
 
As Trump took the stage in Springfield, Mo., to kick off his tax reform push, he welcomed his administration's major players in the debate who joined him at the event but failed to mention Cohn, who was also there.
 
 
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Trump went on to name the long list of Missouri lawmakers who sat in the crowd, joking at one point that he debated whether to name them all because "I have so many."
 
Trump also name-checked chief of staff John Kelly and his daughter Ivanka, who serves as an unpaid adviser to his administration.
 
On the return flight to Washington, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders sought to downplay the perceived snub, saying that Trump often singles out cabinet members but rarely mentions staff by name in speeches.
 
"He regularly mentions cabinet members but very rarely mentions staff. His daughter I think in this case is a little bit different but again it’s standard practice for him to mention specific cabinet members, a lot of times when he talks about foreign policy, he doesn’t necessarily call out national security adviser H.R. McMaster even though he plays a very big role," Sanders said.
 
"They’re both working hard and extremely committed to providing tax relief for middle class Americans. The president made very clear it’s a top priority for him and his administration and Gary Cohn is one of the people leading the charge."
 
The snub comes days after Cohn criticized Trump's comments about recent white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va., where a man with ties to hate groups allegedly drove a car into a crowd, killing a counterprotester. 
 
During an interview with the Financial Times last week, Cohn said the White House "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."
 
Shortly after the Times published the interview, The New York Times reported that Cohn had drafted a resignation letter out of frustration with Trump's response but never followed through with a departure. 
 
Cohn, in his role as the director of the National Economic Council, is the president's top economic adviser and plays a major role in the public and private push for tax reform. He spoke at length during the Financial Times interview about the push for tax reform, discussing the progress he's made with White House officials and key lawmakers.
 
--Jonathan Easley contributed