Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Gary Cohn Swiped Papers Off Trump’s Desk To ‘Protect The Country’

Former White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn swiped a letter he deemed dangerous to national security from the Oval Office desk to keep President Trump from signing it, according to Bob Woodward’s new book “Fear.”

The president’s signature would have removed the U.S. from a major trade agreement with South Korea, according to CNN, which obtained a copy of the book, out Sept. 11. Trump’s aides worried withdrawing from the deal would jeopardize a crucial national security program.

Cohn was “appalled” at the possibility of Trump signing the letter, Woodward reported.

“I stole it off his desk,” Cohn told an associate, as documented in “Fear.” “I wouldn’t let him see it. He’s never going to see that document. Got to protect the country.”

In addition to stealing documents, Cohn and other White House staffers also distracted Trump from making dangerous national security decisions, Woodward reported.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.