Trump's Top Economic Adviser Leaving Over Disagreement on Tariffs

Gary Cohn is latest to leave White House
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 6, 2018 5:39 PM CST
Trump's Top Economic Adviser Leaving Over Disagreement on Tariffs
President Donald Trump and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven arrive for a news conference in the East Room at the White House, Tuesday, March 6, 2018, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Top economic adviser Gary Cohn is leaving the White House after breaking with President Donald Trump on trade policy, the latest in a string of high-level departures from the West Wing. Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council, has been the leading internal opponent to Trump's planned tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, working to orchestrate an eleventh-hour effort in recent days to get Trump to reverse course. But Trump resisted those efforts, and reiterated Tuesday he will be imposing tariffs in the coming days. Cohn's departure comes amid a period of unparalleled tumult in the Trump administration, and aides worry that more staffers may soon head for the doors. In a statement, Cohn said it was his honor to serve in the administration and "enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people," the AP reports.

Trump praised Cohn despite the disagreement on trade, issuing a statement saying Cohn has "served his country with great distinction." Cohn's announcement came hours after Trump denied there was chaos in the White House. Trump maintained that his White House has "tremendous energy," but multiple White House officials said Trump has been urging anxious aides to stay. "Everyone wants to work in the White House," Trump said during a joint press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. "They all want a piece of the Oval Office." In a tweet earlier Tuesday, Trump sought to portray himself as the architect of the White House staff changes, writing, "I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection)." But sources say Trump has privately suggested he has few people at his side he can count on, and the list of prospects to replace departing aides grows shorter as the sense of turmoil increases. The AP has much more.

(More Gary Cohn stories.)

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