President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser Gary Cohn has resigned Tuesday after unsuccessfully lobbying the president not to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum.
The New York Times reported Cohn’s resignation, which came weeks after Trump floated the idea of making the economic adviser his chief of staff amid tensions with Gen. John Kelly, the man currently in the position. Cohn’s resignation also came hours after the president lauded his White House, claiming “everyone” wanted to work there. This marks the third high-profile departure from the White House in the past month after the resignation of alleged domestic abuser Rob Porter and communications director and longtime Trump employee Hope Hicks.
Reports about Cohn mulling his resignation surfaced shortly after Trump’s surprise tariff announcement last week. The adviser also reportedly considered leaving the administration after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last August amid the backlash from the president claiming there were “very fine people” among the neo-Nazis and Klansmen gathered to defend a Confederate statue.
White House officials who alerted the Times to Cohn’s resignation insisted “there was no single factor” leading him to make the decision, but the report noted that it came on the heels of news that the economic adviser was dissatisfied with the president’s tariffs and the potential trade war they will catalyze. Earlier on Tuesday, CNBC reported that Trump suspected Cohn would resign over the tariffs.
In a statement, Trump called Cohn a “rare talent” and thanked him for his “dedicated service,” while Kelly said he would miss the former chief economic adviser.
“I am grateful to the president for giving me this opportunity and wish him and the administration great success in the future,” Cohn said in the joint statement with the president and chief of staff.
The White House just sent these statements from POTUS, CoS Kelly & Gary Cohn regarding Cohn's resignation –> pic.twitter.com/4q02sIR8vX
— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) March 6, 2018