President Donald Trump said Thursday he suspected departing aide Gary Cohn would be back, saying the National Economic Council director "may be a globalist, but I still like him."
"This is Gary Cohn's last meeting in the Cabinet,” Trump said at the beginning of the meeting, which was partly televised. “He's been terrific. He may be a globalist, but I still like him. He is seriously a globalist. There's no question. In his own way, but you know what, he's a nationalist. He loves our country.”
Cohn announced his resignation Tuesday, after unsuccessfully urging the president not to impose steep new tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum.
“I have a feeling you'll be back. I don't know if I can put him in the same position though,” the president said of Cohn, drawing laughter. “He's not quite as strong on those tariffs. But, seriously, on behalf of all of us, I want to thank Gary. He's been great.”
The White House hasn’t announced Cohn’s replacement but said Wednesday Trump has “a number of people to choose from.”
Cohn, who left his post as president and chief operating officer at Goldman Sachs to join the White House in 2017, hasn’t specified what his next steps will be.
Some members of Trump's administration who prefer more protectionist policies have referred to their internal rivals, including Cohn, as "globalists." Critics say they should stop using the term as they say it has anti-Semitic connotations.