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Peter Navarro at the 'Death By China' in 2012. Photo: Andy Kropa/Getty Images

President Trump's spirit animal Peter Navarro is telling associates he wants Gary Cohn's job as the president's chief economic adviser.

What we're hearing: Publicly, Navarro has been coy, telling Bloomberg TV he's not in the running for the job. But privately, the hardcore nationalist trade adviser is all in for the job. 

Sources familiar with Navarro's thinking tell me he believes there are too many people inside the White House perimeter who oppose the president's agenda. Cohn, in particular, obstructed Navarro, telling colleagues that the nationalist trade adviser had no idea what he was doing, had no grasp of economics, and constantly "lied" to the president. 

Why this matters: Choosing Navarro would be the path of least resistance for Trump's trade agenda, but it would cause something approaching a riot on Capitol Hill and within the White House. Senior officials tell me they expect the entire National Economic Council staff would quit their posts immediately if Trump appoints Navarro; and Republicans on the Hill would go crazy. Republican leaders view Navarro as a menace and a danger to both the U.S. and world economies.

  • The problem for them: Trump loves Navarro, and Navarro reflects the president's hardwired beliefs on trade far more closely than Cohn ever did, or did any of the other top officials involved in the trade debate besides Wilbur Ross. "Where's Peter?" Trump would sometimes say, when senior staff had "forgotten" to include Navarro in a meeting. 

Bottom line: Trump is spitballing up to a dozen names for Cohn's replacement. Cohn has been advocating for Shahira Knight — a senior figure on the NEC who is well-regarded on the Hill and played a crucial role in passing tax reform. The chances that Trump will appoint Navarro currently seem low, but you'd be a fool to totally count him out. 

Go deeper

Cuomo asks New York AG and chief judge to choose "independent" investigator into sexual harassment claims

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a press conference on Feb. 24. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

A special counselor to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement on Sunday asking the state's attorney general and chief judge to jointly pick an "independent and qualified lawyer in private practice without political affiliation" to investigate claims of sexual harassment against the governor.

The state of play: The statement is an about-face from Cuomo, who had previously selected a former judge close to a top aide to lead the investigation, the New York Times reported, a move that was widely criticized.

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.