President Trump‘s chief economic advisor Gary Cohn is departing the administration after losing an internal clash over looming steel tariffs.
Word of his departure came just hours after Trump said he would impose ‘loving, loving’ tariffs to protect U.S. industry, and issued a new threat against European cars.
‘Gary has been my chief economic adviser and did a superb job in driving our agenda, helping to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms and unleashing the American economy once again,’ Trump told the New York Times in a statement.
‘He is a rare talent, and I thank him for his dedicated service to the American people.’
Cohn is expected to leave within weeks. He becomes just the latest Trump advisor to abandon ship, just days after communications director Hope Hicks decided to go.
WOE IS ME: Chief of Staff to Vice President Pence Nick Ayers, left, and White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, listen as President Donald Trump speaks at a meeting with the members of the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. He is expected to leave within weeks
The news comes on a day when Trump tweeted about ‘chaos’ and churn on the staff, and defended the White House as a place where everyone wants to work.
‘The new Fake News narrative is that there is CHAOS in the White House. Wrong!’ Trump tweeted. ‘People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision.’
He added, ‘I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection). There is no Chaos, only great Energy!’
The groundwork for his departure came last week, when Trump surprised his own aides by announcing the proposed 25 per cent steel tariff on live television during a meeting.
The topic had been the subject of a fierce internal battle that had not been finalized.
‘The European Union has been particularly tough on the United States,’ Trump complained at a White House press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven
Trump defended the churn of his staff as beneficial in a press availability with the Swedish prime minister, where he also pounded the EU for its trade policies, amid fears a trade war could break out.
‘The European Union has been particularly tough on the United States,’ Trump complained.
Then he went after European cars – amid concerns that U.S. car manufacturers could suffer if the price of imported steel jumps under a Trump tariff.
‘They make it almost impossible for us to do business with them, and yet they send their cars and everything else back into the United States,’ Trump said.
‘And they can do whatever they’d like, but if they do that, then we put a big tax of 25 per cent on their cars – and believe me, they won’t be doing it very long.’