Gary Cohn, Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, has resigned after losing a heated White House battle over trade, dealing a major blow to administration officials and congressional Republicans seeking to rein in the president’s plan to impose harsh tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.
In a statement on Tuesday, the White House said Mr Cohn, the former number two at Goldman Sachs who had served as head of Mr Trump’s National Economic Council since he took office in January 2017, would be leaving in the coming weeks.
“It has been an honour to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people, in particular the passage of historic tax reform,” Mr Cohn said in a statement. “I am grateful to the president for giving me this opportunity and wish him and the administration great success in the future.”
Mr Trump said in statement: “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. He is a rare talent, and I thank him for his dedicated service to the American people.”
Earlier in the day, the president signalled changes were on the way in his White House staff. Disputing media reports of chaos within his administration, he said in a tweet: “I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection)”.
Mr Cohn’s resignation came days after Mr Trump’s decision last week to ignore his advice and make an ad hoc announcement that he planned to impose tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium on imports from all countries.
His departure is one of several at the White House in recent weeks, including Hope Hicks, the communications director, and Rob Porter, the staff secretary. The White House said in December that Dina Powell, a deputy national security adviser and another Goldman veteran, would also be leaving the administration. – Agencies