Mar 6, 2018 - Economy

What's next for Trump after Gary Cohn's announcement?

Director of the National Economic Council, Gary Cohn. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

President Trump has tweeted that there are "many people wanting" to replace Gary Cohn, and a decision will come shortly.

The bottom line: The White House has not done succession planning for Cohn. One problem is Trump likes CEOs and business celebrities and it’s going to be very hard — probably impossible — to get somebody of Cohn’s stature to replace him.

  • It's likely that senior NEC officials follow Cohn out the door. I’m told at least two are expected to leave in the next two weeks.
  • Trump had planned to sign his steel and aluminum tariffs on Thursday but nothing is certain. Half of the Senate is currently trying to get Trump on the phone and every Republican in Washington is trying to talk him out of these tariffs.
  • Trump has no allies in Washington for these tariffs. Democrats who would naturally support them won’t speak up for Trump because they’re afraid of being politically tied to Trump.

Go deeper: The backstory behind Cohn's departure.

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