Trump picks CNBC's Larry Kudlow as new chief economic adviser

by 14/03/2018 16:15:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • Gary Cohn is out as chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers
  • Trump has apparently tapped CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow to replace him
  • Kudlow has accepted; the announcement could come as soon as Thursday
  • Kudlow disagrees with Trump on the use of tariffs in international trade
  • He is a White House veteran, having served as an economist in the Reagan administration's Office of Management and Budget 
  • Kudlow has famously been clean and sober since 1994 when he sought treatment for alcohol and cocaine abuse

By David Martosko, Us Political Editor For Dailymail.com and Wires

Published: 13:00 EDT, 14 March 2018 | Updated: 16:15 EDT, 14 March 2018

President Donald Trump has chosen CNBC senior contributor Larry Kudlow to succeed Gary Cohn as his top economic adviser, according to reports, and could make it official as soon as Thursday.

CNBC reported that Trump offered him the job Tuesday night. According to The Washington Post, Kudlow accepted the position on Wednesday.

The news website Axios cited a source who believes Trump thinks Kudlow 'can get him good TV coverage.' 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed the hire on Wednesday afternoon. 

'Larry Kudlow was offered, and accepted, the position of Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council,' Sanders told reporters. 

'We will work to have an orderly transition and will keep everyone posted on the timing of him officially assuming the role.' 

President Donald Trump has settled on conservative television personality Larry Kudlow to replace top economic advisor Gary Cohn at the White House
President Donald Trump has settled on conservative television personality Larry Kudlow to replace top economic advisor Gary Cohn at the White House

President Donald Trump has settled on conservative television personality Larry Kudlow to replace top economic advisor Gary Cohn at the White House

The president had telegraphed his choice on Tuesday, saying Kudlow had 'a very good chance'
The president had telegraphed his choice on Tuesday, saying Kudlow had 'a very good chance'

The president had telegraphed his choice on Tuesday, saying Kudlow had 'a very good chance'

Trump had praised the 70-year-old veteran financial commentator and campaign supporter on Tuesday as he left the White House for California.

Trump told reporters then that he was 'looking at Larry Kudlow very strongly' and noted that while the two didn't agree about the president's recent decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, Kudlow's views would be helpful to him in the Oval Office.

'We don't agree on everything, but in this case I think that's good,' Trump said. 'I want to have different opinions. We agree on most. He now has come around to believing in tariffs as a negotiating point.' 

'I think Larry has a very good chance,' he continued – noting that Kudlow is a friend and political campaign supporter.

'Larry has been a friend of mine for a long time. He backed me very early in the campaign. I think he was one of my original backers. He's a very, very talented man.'

'I'm also speaking to many others. But I think Larry has a very good chance,' Trump added.

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.

He also served as chief economist at the onetime investment bank Bear Stearns from 1987 to 1994. 

Economic analyst Larry Kudlow is shown appearing on CNBC from the New York Stock Exchange in 2018
Economic analyst Larry Kudlow is shown appearing on CNBC from the New York Stock Exchange in 2018

Economic analyst Larry Kudlow is shown appearing on CNBC from the New York Stock Exchange in 2018

The White House will likely stay away from commenting on an episode that thrust Kudlow into the national spotlight in 1994: his admission of a long battle with alcohol and cocaine addiction.

Kudlow ended his time at Bear Stearns following a four-week medical leave.  

'I went into drug rehab,' he would later tell The New York Times. 'I had an alcohol and substance-abuse problem that needed to be taken care of.'

Kudlow said then that he had been attending 12-step recovery meetings twice a day for more than a year. 

'I am willing to share with you my problem,' he told the Times, channeling the ethos of Alcoholics Anonymous and other self-help programs. 'Anyone who blames Bear Stearns is not right. I take full personal responsibility.'

Kudlow has spoken more about that part of his life in recent years, telling The Washington Post that he decided not to run against Chuck Schumer in New York for a U.S. Senate seat because campaigning would cause him to miss too many AA meetings.

He's been sober for 24 years. 

Kudlow, pictured in the 1980s during his tenure at Bear Stearns, changed careers following a stint in rehab to address drug and alcohol abuse; he has been clean and sober since 1984
Kudlow, pictured in the 1980s during his tenure at Bear Stearns, changed careers following a stint in rehab to address drug and alcohol abuse; he has been clean and sober since 1984

Kudlow, pictured in the 1980s during his tenure at Bear Stearns, changed careers following a stint in rehab to address drug and alcohol abuse; he has been clean and sober since 1984

Trump said Tuesday as he left the White House for California that Kudlow is 'a very, very talented man'
Trump said Tuesday as he left the White House for California that Kudlow is 'a very, very talented man'

Trump said Tuesday as he left the White House for California that Kudlow is 'a very, very talented man'

Trump had been considering a potential replacement for Cohn as director of the National Economic Council for more than a week. 

In addition to Kudlow, the potential successors included Chris Liddell, who serves as the White House's director of strategic initiatives, and Shahira Knight, Cohn's deputy and a key architect of the president's tax overhaul law.

The president said last week that Cohn, the former top Goldman Sachs executive, was likely to return to his administration in the future. 

Cohn strongly opposed the president's plan to slap tariffs on the steel and aluminum imports and worked to provide exemptions to U.S. allies such as Canada and Mexico.

But Cohn did play a central role in helping Trump enact a sweeping tax overhaul law, coordinating with members of Congress. 

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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