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New York Times: Book claims Ivanka Trump told Cohn her father wasn't racist following Charlottesville

Updated 5:47 PM ET, Tue March 12, 2019

Washington (CNN) - In the days following a news conference in August 2017 in which President Donald Trump said "there is blame on both sides" of a deadly white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, his daughter Ivanka Trump said in a meeting with a White House adviser, "My dad's not a racist; he didn't mean any of it," according to a New York Times report published Monday on a forthcoming book.

The book, "Kushner Inc.," written by journalist Vicky Ward, said the first daughter's comments were made during a conversation with Gary Cohn, the administration's then-top economic adviser who was on the brink of resigning in the days following the President's response to the tragedy in Charlottesville, according to the Times.

The book, the Times reported, said that in his meeting with Ivanka Trump, Cohn was "shocked" by her reaction to his concerns and that she told him of her father's comments, "That's not what he said."

Cohn eventually left the White House in March 2018 in the wake of a battle with the President over steel and aluminum tariffs.

The book, which is slated to be released next week, focuses on the President's daughter and son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. According to the Times, it "seeks to tell the behind-the-scenes story" of the couple's "rise to extraordinary power in the White House."

The paper reported that in writing the book, Ward spent two years interviewing 200 people, many of whom were granted anonymity.

In a statement provided to CNN Tuesday, Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Abbe Lowell, Kushner's lawyer, denied the book's claims, which paint the couple as the President's "chief enablers," according to the paper.

"Every point that Ms. Ward mentioned in what she called her 'fact checking' stage was entirely false," Mirijanian said. "It seems she has written a book of fiction rather than any serious attempt to get the facts. Correcting everything wrong would take too long and be pointless."

According to the report, the book said the couple sought to "control who could travel on trips funded by the State Department" and that Ivanka Trump frequently requested access to Air Force planes "when it was not appropriate." When Rex Tillerson, the former secretary of state, denied her requests, Ivanka Trump and her husband would bring along a Cabinet secretary -- such as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin -- in order to use the plane, according to the Times.

The book also said the President has wanted the couple to leave their posts at the White House and sought help to push them out from his former chief of staff John Kelly, whom he told, "Get rid of my kids; get them back to New York," according to the Times.

Instead of firing Trump's daughter and son-in-law, the book, according to the Times, said Kelly and the President "agreed that they would make life difficult enough to force the pair to offer their resignations, which the president would then accept."


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