WASHINGTON (AP) — The top economic adviser to President Donald Trump says he came close to quitting over the president's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The director of the National Economic Council, Gary Cohn, tells the Financial Times that he decided to stay because he feels a duty to the American people.

In the interview, Cohn issued an extraordinary rebuke of the president for a senior adviser. He said, "Citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK."

Describing himself as a Jewish American, Cohn also said the Trump administration "can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups."

Trump sparked controversy when he said that "many sides" were to blame and that both sides had "very fine people."

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