White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn is the latest Trump adviser to leave the administration. He is departing the White House after losing an internal clash over looming steel tariffs.
The news of his departure came just hours after Trump said he would impose “loving, loving” tariffs to protect U.S. industry, and issued a new threat against European cars.
Trump told the New York Times in a statement: “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 is a rare talent, and I thank him for his dedicated service to the American people.”
Cohn, 57, is expected to leave within weeks. News of his departure comes just days after communications director Hope Hicks decided to go. On the same day his departure was announced, Trump tweeted about “chaos” and churn on the staff, and defended the White House as a place where everyone wants to work.
Trump said: “Everyone wants to work in the White House. They all want a piece of the Oval Office.”
“The new Fake News narrative is that there is CHAOS in the White House. Wrong!” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. “People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision.”
He added: “I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection). There is no Chaos, only great Energy!”
On Tuesday he added in an optimistic tweet that he would be “making a decision soon on the appointment of new Chief Economic Advisor. Many people wanting the job – will choose wisely!”
Cohn nearly quit over Trump’s equivocating remarks on Charlottesville. The groundwork for Cohn’s departure came last week when Trump surprised his own aides by announcing his proposed 25 per cent steel tariff on live television during a meeting. Cohn clashed with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross over the tariffs, and did not prevail. The topic had been the subject of a fierce internal battle that had not been finalized, DailyMail reports.
The Trump administration is also considering tariffs to punish China for intellectual property abuses, Bloomberg reported. The move could provoke retaliation from China. The tariffs would hit various products as well as Chinese investment in the U.S., according to the report.
Trump defended the churn of his staff as beneficial in a press availability with the Swedish prime minister, where he also pounded the EU for its trade policies, amid fears a trade war could break out.