White House Economic Advisor Gary Cohn is launching an inside plot in the Trump administration to stop President Trump from implementing tariffs on steel and aluminum that he says will start a devastating trade war for the United States, which will ultimately be bad for the economy.
Other administration officials and Republican lawmakers are apart of the tour de force, it’s being reported by Bloomberg Politics.
Cohn is not only threatening resignation, but he’s contacting U.S. companies behind the presidents back that depend on the metals, to try and put pressure on Trump to “blunt or halt the tariffs,” according to those familiar with the meeting planning.
It looks like Trump might have got some wind of the activity, because he posted a veil tweet on Twitter, saying he might expect some more staff turnover due to his decision.
“People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision,” Trump said in a Twitter posting. “I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection). There is no Chaos, only great Energy!”
Trump doesn’t seem to mind all of the staff leaving him (either through resignations or firings), and that might suit his leadership style very well, but already it’s setting a record as far as presidencies go. And, it’s not even close.
In Trump’s first year, 34% of his top staff have left. Compare that to Obama’s presidency: only 9% left.
“While some turnover is expected and possibly beneficial, excessive turnover portends problems,” writes Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, a nonresident senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. “[President Trump] has valued loyalty over qualifications and suffered from a White House that has functioned in a chaotic manner. Both features have made it difficult to retain staff and have contributed to the governance difficulties he has encountered.”
What’s funny about this latest tweet from Trump is that not even two months ago, Trump joked in a press conference with top Republicans that he wanted Gary Cohn to stay on as the director of Economic Council and that if he was “unhappy and leaves, I’m going to say I’m very happy that he left.”
Trump then invited him on stage and asked him if he was happy, and Cohn replied: “Yes, I am very happy.” He was referring to Trump’s tax legislation that recently passed, that would have given millionaires like Cohn a huge tax cut.” Of course, he was happy.
But, Cohn isn’t happy now, and already appears to be on the outs of the administration in such a short period of time. Even he knows that these tariffs will be devastating to the American economy.