Politics

Another Trump Shakeup As Econ Aide Gary Cohn Quits White House

President's chief economic adviser's departure follows media reports of intense behind-the-scenes policy battle on steel, aluminum tariffs

White House economic adviser Gary Cohn resigned Tuesday, adding to a recent spate of highly visible staff changes in President Donald Trump’s administration.

Cohn went to work after jumping from Wall Street titan Goldman Sachs and helped guide the president’s landmark tax reform law that passed in December. But he reportedly clashed with Trump over the president’s plan to impost tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

Cohn’s resignation means Trump will hear few if any dissenting voices on trade, at least for the moment. Peter Navarro, White House director of trade and industry policy, appears to be in the economic policy driver’s seat.

“It has been an honor to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people, in particular the passage of historic tax reform,” Cohn said in a statement. “I am grateful to the president for giving me this opportunity and wish him and the Administration great success in the future.”

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Trump also praised Cohn’s work.

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“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,” he said in his statement. “He is a rare talent, and I thank him for his dedicated service to the American people.”

The resignation comes at a particularly tumultuous time for the administration. Trusted adviser Hope Hicks recently announced her departure, and the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had his security clearance downgraded amid his failure to obtain permanent clearance.

Rob Porter, the White House staff secretary, left a few weeks ago after reports of allegations of domestic abuse. And senior political adviser KellyAnne Conway also got bad news Tuesday as the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) issued a report claiming she violated the Hatch Act on several occasions.

“He is a rare talent, and I thank him for his dedicated service to the American people.”

On Fox News, Conway was commenting on the Alabama special election for a U.S. Senate seat. The White House denied she violated the law in her comments. The Hatch Act bars federal employees from doing partisan political activities on federal property.

The OSC is a permanent government office that investigates allegations of partisan political activity in the federal workplace. It is not part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative staff.

PoliZette senior writer Brendan Kirby can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

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