Report: Gary Cohn Likely to Leave White House

Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser, is looking to leave the White House after Congress passes the president’s tax reform plan, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.

Cohn, who served as the chief operating officer at Goldman Sachs before joining the Trump administration, is considering exiting the White House, two sources told Bloomberg. Sources also told the outlet that Trump will not nominate Cohn to serve as chair of the Federal Reserve. Janet Yellen’s term as Federal Reserve chair will end in February.

“No decision has been made and no candidate has been ruled out, but Gary’s role is too crucial to getting tax reform done,” a senior administration official told Bloomberg.

Many populist conservatives who supported Trump in his presidential bid were wary of Trump’s decision to select Cohn as his chief economic adviser because of his ties to Wall Street, his globalist tendencies, and the fact that he is still a registered Democrat. The relationship between the president and his economic adviser soured after Cohn publicly criticized Trump for his response to the deadly, race-fueled Charlottesville rally that occurred on August 12.

At the time, Trump said “many sides” share the blame for the tension and violence. But Cohn told the Financial Times in an interview: “Citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK.”

“I believe this administration can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups and do everything we can to heal the deep divisions that exist in our communities,” Cohn had continued. “I am reluctant to leave my post as director of the National Economic Council because I feel a duty to fulfill my commitment to work on behalf of the American people. But I also feel compelled to voice my distress over the events of the last two weeks.”

As the controversy raged on, reports circulated indicating that Cohn was contemplating resignation, although sources close to Cohn refuted the idea.

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon told CBS News’ “60 Minutes” in early September that Cohn “absolutely” should have resigned if he didn’t support the president and was so bothered by his Charlottesville reaction.

“If you don’t like what he’s doing and you don’t agree with it, you have an obligation to resign,” Bannon had said.

Bloomberg reported that Cohn’s relationship with Trump “suffered” as a result, adding that “one person familiar with the relationship said that Trump also has been frustrated with the pace of the tax overhaul.”

Last Modified: October 26, 2017, 11:09 am

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