Is Gary Cohn, Trump’s Chief Economic Adviser, the Next to Go?

Right now, according to Vanity Fair, he's on the fence.

August 22, 2017 3:05 pm

Gary Cohn, President Trump’s chief economic adviser, is grappling with the question: should he stay or should he go? Cohn looked shaken after Trump’s impromptu press conference about the violent rallies that occurred in Charlottesville. The former Goldman Sachs president was “disgusted” and “upset” according to people close to him, as reported by Vanity Fair‘s William Cohan. Cohn was planning on quitting on Friday, Cohan writes, but held off when Stephen Bannon, who supposedly encouraged Trump’s comments, stepped down first.

Now, Cohn’s decision is up in the air. He might be feeling heartened by Bannon’s departure, which has tipped the scales from the so-called “nationalist wing” to the “globalist group,” Cohan writes. The globalist group includes Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump as well as National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and his deputy, Dina Powell.

One source told Cohan that since the “so-called globalists” are now in charge, Cohn and the team might feel like they can make a difference, or at least have a “better chance of succeeding” with their agenda.

“They can’t control what comes out of the president’s mouth—and he’s saying a lot of stupid stuff —but they do feel like they are making headway versus the nationalists,” said a person who knows Cohn and Powell well told Vanity Fair. 

However, there are lesser-known nationalists still in the West Wing, such as Sebastian Gorka and Peter Navarro. Trump also never wants “anyone to think he is listening to them instead of someone else,” Cohan writes. The biggest thing at stake is Cohn’s hope that Trump will name him chairman of the Federal Reserve. In doing so, Cohn would replace Janet Yellen when her term expires next February.

However, the very fact that Cohn has let it be known that he wants the job is “probably reason enough for Trump not to give it to him,” according to Vanity Fair. Cohn has already lost some small battles against Trump. The president pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement against Cohn’s wishes and continues to try to impose an immigration ban.

Cohn is known for being a risk-taker, and on Wall Street, it paid off. He might not have the same luck in the Trump White House.

Cohn spent 27 years at Goldman Sachs, building up a well-deserved reputation for integrity, good judgment, “occasional ruthlessness” and for his loyalty, Cohan writes. Is Cohn willing to let all this go to stay by Trump’s side?

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.