President Donald Trump has chosen CNBC senior contributor Larry Kudlow to succeed Gary Cohn as his top economic adviser, according to reports, and could make it official as soon as Thursday.
CNBC reported that Trump offered him the job Tuesday night. According to The Washington Post, Kudlow accepted the position on Wednesday.
Trump had praised the 70-year-old veteran financial commentator and campaign supporter on Tuesday as he left the White House for California.
Trump told reporters then that he was ‘looking at Larry Kudlow very strongly’ and noted that while the two didn’t agree about the president’s recent decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, Kudlow’s views would be helpful to him in the Oval Office.
President Donald Trump has settled on conservative television personality Larry Kudlow to replace top economic advisor Gary Cohn at the White House
The president had telegraphed his choice on Tuesday, saying Kudlow had ‘a very good chance’
‘I think Larry has a very good chance,’ Trump said. He noted that Kudlow, an advocate of free trade, is a longtime friend who had been an early supporter of his 2016 presidential campaign.
‘Larry has been a friend of mine for a long time. He backed me very early in the campaign. I think he was one of my original backers. He’s a very, very talented man.’
‘I’m also speaking to many others. But I think Larry has a very good chance,’ Trump added.
Kudlow is CNBC’s senior contributor and was previously the host of CNBC’s prime-time ‘The Kudlow Report.’ He served in the Office of Management and Budget during President Ronald Reagan’s administration.
He also served as chief economist at the onetime investment bank Bear Stearns from 1987 to 1994.
Trump said Tuesday as he left the White House for California that Kudlow is ‘a very, very talented man’
Trump had been considering a potential replacement for Cohn as director of the National Economic Council for more than a week. In addition to Kudlow, the potential successors included Chris Liddell, who serves as the White House’s director of strategic initiatives, and Shahira Knight, Cohn’s deputy and a key architect of the president’s tax overhaul law.
The president said last week that Cohn, the former top Goldman Sachs executive, was likely to return to his administration in the future.
Cohn strongly opposed the president’s plan to slap tariffs on the steel and aluminum imports and worked to provide exemptions to U.S. allies such as Canada and Mexico.
But Cohn did play a central role in helping Trump enact a sweeping tax overhaul law, coordinating with members of Congress.
His departure has been worrisome for Capitol Hill Republicans and business groups who have been concerned that Trump may install more protectionist economic policies amid a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.