Gary Cohn: ‘I feel happier’ after leaving Trump’s White House

- Mei 08, 2018

Gary Cohn, the former top economic adviser to President Donald Trump, said Tuesday he feels “freer,” “more rested” and “happier” since exiting the White House, adding that he stands by his opposition to the trade tariffs that led to his departure.

In his first interview since resigning as director of the White House National Economic Council in March, Cohn said he has yet to decide on his next career steps and is enjoying life outside the West Wing.

“I’m taking my time right now and seeing what’s out there in the world,” Cohn told CNBC. “I feel freer, I feel more rested, I feel happier.”

Asked whether the former Goldman Sachs president and chief operating officer had interest in taking on a new role as a board member or CEO of another major company, Cohn said he was “less inclined to do board work” and more interested in working with young entrepreneurs.

“I’m much more inclined to get involved with younger companies,” Cohn said. He mentioned Uber, Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Dropbox as companies whose work intrigued him.

Cohn resigned from his White House post amid a dispute with administration officials over Trump’s plan to impose steep trade tariffs, which he opposed.


Trump in March announced a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports, a move that prompted backlash from key foreign allies.

Cohn on Tuesday again voiced opposition to the tariffs, casting himself as an “absolute” proponent of free trade.

“I am a free trader. That’s not a general comment. That is an absolute comment,” he said. “I am anti-tariff.”

The former Trump economic adviser added that he made his position on the issue “very clear” during his White House tenure.

Cohn was also pressed about some of the president’s parting comments to him. In their final Cabinet meeting together in early March, Trump quipped that Cohn “may be a globalist, but I still like him.” Use of the term "globalist" has been criticized due to anti-Semitic connotations.


Pressed on the president’s description of him on Tuesday, Cohn initially declined to say whether he felt the label fit him. “I can’t answer if I’m a globalist without the definition,” Cohn said.

But the former White House aide later used the term to describe himself during the interview. “I am a globalist,” he said, citing his support for free trade.


 

Start typing and press Enter to search