Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council and chief economic advisor to Donald Trump, is set to leave the White House as soon as the GOP-led push for tax reform is complete, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
The report comes shortly after Trump said he does not plan to appoint Cohn as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. A source told Bloomberg Trump has said Cohn has “no chance” of leading the Fed, but that he wants the economic advisor in the White House while Congress considers tax reform legislation.
“No decision has been made and no candidate has been ruled out but Gary’s role is too crucial to getting tax reform done,” an official told Bloomberg. Two sources likewise insisted the former Goldman Sachs banker will likely leave the administration after the legislative push.
Trump and Cohn’s relationship has been shaky since August, when the chief economic advisor criticized the president over his remarks following a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“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, who is Jewish, told the Financial Times.
“Citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK,” Cohn said, referring to president’s claim that “both sides” were responsible for the tragic events that transpired in Charlottesville.
That interview came after Cohn reportedly told confidants he was “disgusted” and “appalled” by the president’s remarks. Still, Cohn said he chose to stay in the White House after Trump’s comments because rewriting the tax code is “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Trump is reportedly frustrated with the pace of his party’s tax overhaul efforts. Republican leaders are pursuing a partisan effort to muscle through tax reform, even as Trump’s administration has failed to successfully pass any major legislation since taking office more than nine months ago.
Trump on Friday insisted Republicans have votes to pass a tax cut package. It’s worth noting the president said the same thing before—and after—the GOP’s multiple unsuccessful attempts to pass healthcare reform.