Gary Cohn to resign as Trump’s chief economic adviser

Cohn unhappy with decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports

White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders rejects a suggestion that Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminium could jeopardise US economic growth. Video: The White House


The White House has confirmed that Gary Cohn, chief economic adviser to US president Donald Trump, is to resign.

In a statement, President Trump described Mr Cohn as a “rare talent” and had done a “superb job in driving our agenda, helping to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms and unleashing the American economy once again”.

Mr Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive, was understood to have been unhappy with Mr Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports which he announced last week at an impromptu press conference.

In a statement, Mr Cohn said it had been an “honour” to serve his country and enact “pro-growth strategies” to benefit the American people. He said he was grateful for the president for giving him the opportunity.

A long-time Wall Street executive, Mr Cohn’s appointment to Mr Trump’s White House was seen as a coup for the Trump administration, signalling its ties with the business and financial community.

Mr Cohn is understood to have been one of the advisors opposed to Mr Trump’s idea to slap tariffs on metal imports last week, pitting himself against figures like commerce secretary Wilbur Ross and trade advisor Peter Navarro who backed the move.

Mr Cohn risked the ire of the president last August when he criticised Mr Trump’s response to the Charlottesville protests, during which Mr Trump appeared to equate the behaviour of the violence demonstrators with that of the counter-protestors.

Latest resignation

Mr Cohn is the latest high-profile casualty of the Trump White House. Last week, long-term aide Hope Hicks announced she would be resigning in the coming weeks.

Mr Trump appeared to have hinted earlier in the day that personnel changes could be imminent.

“The new Fake News narrative is that there is CHAOS in the White House. Wrong! People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision,” he tweeted on Tuesday morning. “I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection). There is no Chaos, only great Energy!”

Mr Cohn, a billionaire financier, was seen as a strong proponent of free trade within the White House.