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White House disputes claim Gary Cohn faked bad reception to get Donald Trump off call

Donald Trump waits to speak on the phone.
Donald Trump waits to speak on the phone. Micholas Kamm/Getty Images

WASHINGTON – The White House is disputing a Democratic senator’s claim that top economic adviser Gary Cohn faked bad reception to get U.S. President Donald Trump off the phone.

Delaware Sen. Tom Carper said Wednesday in a CNN interview that he and other Democrats had been in a meeting with several White House officials discussing tax reform when the president called from Asia. He was put on speakerphone.

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Carper says 15 minutes later, he suggested that Cohn take the phone and say, “Mr. President, you’re brilliant! But we’re losing contact and I think we’re going to lose you now, so goodbye.” He says Cohn did just that.

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But White House spokesman Raj Shah says Carper’s account is “completely false.” He says Cohn spoke with Trump privately several minutes before ending the call.