Cohn, a former president of Goldman Sachs, worked as director of the National Economic Council from January 2017 through March 2018, a post that put him in close contact with the president. His resignation came shortly after Trump announced the U.S. would be slapping tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from a variety of countries.
In an interview with Daily Caller on Tuesday, Trump denied Cohn or anyone had taken items from his desk. "That's false," the Daily Caller quoted him saying. "There was nobody taking anything from me."
The U.S. continues to be a party to both the South Korea agreement and NAFTA, though the latter is currently being renegotiated.
According to the Washington Post's account of Woodward's book, Cohn would tell an associate later that he took the South Korea letter off Trump's desk to protect national security and that Trump hadn't noticed it was missing, the report said.
He also swiped a draft notification letter prepared by former White House aide Rob Porter at the president's request to withdraw the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement. But, the report said, Porter and others worried about the move triggering an economic and foreign relations crisis, so Porter talked to Cohn, who told him, "I can stop this. I'll just take the paper off his desk."
The White House released a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying, "This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the President look bad."
Read The Washington Post story here.