Trump wanted to raise top income tax bracket: Woodward book

Trump wanted to raise top income tax bracket: Woodward book
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE reportedly shocked his chief economic adviser last year when he suggested raising the top individual income tax bracket by more than 4 percentage points, according to an excerpt from Bob Woodward’s new book.

Gary CohnGary David CohnChristie: Trump doesn’t give nicknames to people he respects On The Money: Congress pivots to prevent another shutdown | Trump hits Venezuelan oil company with sanctions | US criminal charges filed against Huawei | Next round of China trade talks set | Forecasts raise doubt on Trump’s economic goals Gary Cohn joked about sending Trump to help Brexit talks: report MORE, then-director of the National Economic Council, was allegedly able to talk Trump out of the hike.

“Fear: Trump in the White House” — released on Tuesday — details the exchange, which was first reported by Business Insider.


Trump and Cohn were reportedly discussing tax reform legislation before the GOP tax cut bill was passed by Congress in December. The president wanted the corporate tax rate lowered from 35 percent to 15 percent, and Cohen agreed to make that happen, according to the book.

Trump then suggested raising the top individual rate from 39.6 percent to 44 percent, Woodward wrote.

"I'll take the personal top rate to 44 percent if I can get the corporate rate to 15 percent," Trump said, according to Woodward.

"Sir, you can't take the top rate up," Cohn reportedly responded. "You just can't."

"What do you mean?" Trump reportedly replied.

"You're a Republican," Cohn, a Democrat, said, telling the president he would "get absolutely destroyed" if he raised the top rate.

Trump “seemed to understand” Cohn’s point, Woodward wrote.

The Woodward book also says that Cohn pulled paperwork off of Trump’s desk two separate times in an effort to prevent the president from formally withdrawing from a trade agreement with South Korea.

“I can stop this,” Cohn reportedly said. “I’ll just take the paper off his desk.”

The White House has spent several days pushing back against Woodward’s book.

The president has called the Watergate journalist an "idiot,” and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the book is full of "fabricated" accounts.

The book’s publisher printed 1 million copies ahead of the Tuesday release.

"We have reprinted six times for a total of seven to meet extraordinary demand — that will put 1 million books in print before we've even gone on sale," a Simon & Schuster spokesperson said on Monday.