President Donald Trump will tap economist Larry Kudlow to replace White House economics adviser Gary Cohn, according to multiple news reports.
Kudlow, 70, worked as a staff economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and later as associate director for economics and planning in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) during President Ronald Reagan’s tenure. He went on to become a frequent cable news commentator.
CNBC reported that the White House could make a formal announcement as early as Thursday.
Trump telegraphed the appointment Tuesday, telling reporters, “He’s a very, very talented man, a good man, and I think Larry Kudlow has a good chance.”
Stephen Moore, an economist who advised Trump during the campaign, praised Kudlow and predicted conservatives would be happy if he becomes the director of the National Economic Council.
“Larry would be an incredible asset for Trump, a great communicator for tax cuts and pro-business reforms,” he told LifeZette.
Among other attributes, Moore said, Kudlow has great relationships with members of Congress.
Kudlow, however, has disagreed publicly with Trump over his decision to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. He and Moore co-wrote an op-ed earlier this month criticizing the decision. They, along with economist Arthur Laffer, compared the tariffs to economic sanctions imposed on hostile powers.
“But now we are imposing sanctions on our own country, putting up tariffs supposedly to make Americans more prosperous,” they wrote. “If ever there were a crisis of logic, this is it.”
Trade is the same issue that led to Cohn’s departure.
Moore said Trump understands that Kudlow comes from a more free trade perspective.
“But Larry believes, and I think rightly, that countries like China are cheating and stealing and need to be punished,” he said. “I hope that there will be a meeting of the minds on this.”
Moore said that Kudlow also recognizes that anyone who works for the president must accept that the boss has the final say on policy matters.
“It’s your responsibility to go out and sell it,” he said.
Kudlow worked for Reagan and has been associated with Republican politics, but he started public life as a Democrat. He volunteered for the 1970 outsider Senate campaign of anti-war candidate Joseph Duffey in Connecticut. There, he worked with a number of future prominent Democrats, including Bill Clinton and 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta.