According to New York Times, Gary D. Cohn, President Trump’s top economic adviser, plans to resign, becoming the latest in a series of high-profile departures from the Trump administration, White House officials said on Tuesday.
The officials insisted there was no single factor behind the departure of Mr. Cohn, who heads the National Economic Council. But his decision to leave came after he seemed poised to lose an internal struggle amid a Wild West-style process over Mr. Trump’s plan to impose large tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
“Gary has been my chief economic adviser and did a superb job in driving our agenda, helping to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms and unleashing the American economy once again,” Mr. Trump said in a statement to The New York Times. “He is a rare talent, and I thank him for his dedicated service to the American people.”
Mr. Cohn is expected to leave in the coming weeks. He will join a string of recent departures by senior White House officials, including Mr. Trump’s communications director and a powerful staff secretary.
In a statement, Mr. Cohn said he had been pleased to work on “pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people, in particular the passage of historic tax reform.” White House officials said that Mr. Cohn was leaving on cordial terms with the president and that they planned to continue discussing policy even after his departure.
Yet the departure of Mr. Cohn, a free-trade oriented Democrat who fended off a number of nationalist-minded policies during his year in the Trump administration, could have a ripple effect on the president’s economic decisions and on the financial sector.
Even the mere threat, last August, that Mr. Cohn might leave sent the financial markets tumbling.
And his planned exit comes as the president is making a more aggressive return to the nationalist policies that helped sweep him into office as the 2018 midterm elections approach.
Mr. Trump’s announcement last week that he would levy tariffs on aluminum and steel imports was the most immediate catalyst for Mr. Cohn’s departure, according to people familiar with his thinking. Mr. Cohn, a longtime proponent of free trade, believed the decision could jeopardize economic growth.
His plan to leave also followed conversations Mr. Cohn held with the president in recent weeks about the possibility of replacing John F. Kelly as White House chief of staff, said people who were briefed on the matter. The president never formally offered Mr. Cohn the job, those people insisted, but Mr. Trump had discussions with him about whether he would be interested.
Mr. Kelly said he would “miss having him as a partner in the White House, but he departs having made a real impact in the lives of the American people.”
People close to Mr. Cohn said that he had planned to stay for roughly a year, and that he had accomplished a number of things he cared about. That included the $1.5 trillion tax cut that Republicans passed last year.
Video Source: CNN
Source: NY Times