With Cohn Leaving, White House Aides Fear 'Disaster'

Plus, who Trump might pick as a replacement, and more
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2018 2:02 AM CST
Updated Mar 7, 2018 6:29 AM CST
White House Aides Fear Cohn's Departure Will Mean 'Disaster'
In this Saturday, July 8, 2017, file photo, White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, right, talks to U.S. President Donald Trump prior to a working session at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.   (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

President Trump will choose Gary Cohn's replacement as chief economic adviser soon, he promised via Twitter shortly after Cohn announced his departure. "Many people wanting the job - will choose wisely!" Trump wrote. The Washington Post reports that one of the people Trump is considering is media personality Larry Kudlow, one of his 2016 campaign advisers, and Politico reports trade adviser and economic nationalist Peter Navarro and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney are also possibilities. But despite Trump sounding unconcerned, others in the White House are very concerned: "With Gary gone, I just think, from a policy perspective, it means disaster," one official tells Politico. Other aides expressed similar sentiments, explaining that Cohn was one of the few remaining aides who could talk Trump out of bad ideas.

Others who spoke to Politico say that Cohn's departure will leave the National Economic Council without a leader, and that others on the NEC who are loyal to Cohn may also head for the door, particularly if Navarro is chosen as his replacement. And then there's the fact that, as Politico puts it, the White House has "struggled to attract top-tier talent," and some high-profile Republicans have privately expressed an unwillingness to take a position there. Meanwhile, Bloomberg has details on the hours before Cohn announced his resignation; sources say Trump demanded Cohn's cooperation on tariffs, Cohn didn't answer, and within hours he had announced his resignation. Politico has more on the backstory of their trade disagreement, and the Washington Post says Dow futures are down and Wall Street is preparing for an "ugly sell-off" over fears of a trade war. (Read more Gary Cohn stories.)

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