Trump may tap CNBC host for key po­si­tion

The Columbus Dispatch - - Not To Be Missed - By Ken Thomas

WASH­ING­TON — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said Tues­day he’s strongly con­sid­er­ing se­lect­ing CNBC se­nior con­trib­u­tor Larry Kud­low to suc­ceed Gary Cohn as his top eco­nomic ad­viser, prais­ing the vet­eran fi­nan­cial com­men­ta­tor and cam­paign sup­porter.

Trump told re­porters he was “look­ing at Larry Kud­low very strongly” and noted that while he and Kud­low didn’t agree on the pres­i­dent’s re­cent de­ci­sion to im­pose tar­iffs on steel and alu­minum im­ports, Kud­low’s views would be help­ful to him.

“I think Larry has a very good chance,” Trump said. He noted that Kud­low, an ad­vo­cate of free trade, is a long­time friend who had been an early sup­porter of Trump’s 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

Kud­low is CNBC’s se­nior con­trib­u­tor and was pre­vi­ously the host of CNBC’s prime-time “The Kud­low Re­port.” He served in the Of­fice of Man­age­ment and Bud­get dur­ing Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Rea­gan’s ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Kud­low is a self-de­scribed “sup­ply-side” econ­o­mist who cham­pi­oned the Repub­li­can tax law passed this fall.

Cohn an­nounced he was leav­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion last week, and Trump has been con­sid­er­ing his re­place­ment as di­rec­tor of the National Eco­nomic Coun­cil. In ad­di­tion to Kud­low, the po­ten­tial suc­ces­sors in­clude Chris Lid­dell, who serves as the White House’s di­rec­tor of strate­gic ini­tia­tives, and Shahira Knight, Cohn’s deputy at the National Eco­nomic Coun­cil and a key ar­chi­tect of the pres­i­dent’s tax­over­haul law.

The pres­i­dent said last week that Cohn was likely to re­turn to his ad­min­is­tra­tion in the fu­ture. Cohn strongly op­posed the pres­i­dent’s plan to slap tar­iffs on steel and alu­minum im­ports and worked to pro­vide ex­emp­tions to U.S. al­lies such as Canada and Mex­ico.

Cohn played a cen­tral role in help­ing Trump en­act a sweep­ing tax over­haul. His de­par­ture has been wor­ri­some for Capi­tol Hill Repub­li­cans and busi­ness groups who have been con­cerned that Trump may in­stall more pro­tec­tion­ist eco­nomic poli­cies amid a rene­go­ti­a­tion of the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment.

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