President Donald Trump shared an unfiltered description of outgoing Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn at his last cabinet meeting on Thursday.
“He may be a globalist, but I still like him. He’s seriously a globalist,” Trump said. “There’s no question. You know what? In his own way, he’s a nationalist because he loves his country.”
Cohn announced his resignation earlier this week after publicly disagreeing with Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
“Thank you, sir,” Cohn, who was seated near Trump, replied.
Globalists advocate for free trade and open borders, among a host of other issues that prioritize global interests over an agenda of a given nation.
“He’s going to go out and make another couple of hundred million, and then he’s going to maybe come back,” Trump added. “I have a feeling you’ll be back. I don’t know if I can put him in that same position, though. He’s not quite as strong on those tariffs as we want him to be.”
Cohn opposed the tariffs and lobbied Trump to reverse course. Trump didn’t back down and is set to sign the tariffs into law on Thursday. The order leaves out Canada and Mexico but applies to every other nation, according to the White House.
Trump mentioned the possibility of tariffs on the campaign trail. As a candidate, he campaigned on a promise to bring back American jobs and place American interests first on the international stage, a sharp departure from the policies of his predecessor, former President Barack Obama.
Trump praised Cohn for contributing to the passage of comprehensive tax reform. The bill slashed taxes for 90 percent of working Americans and reduced the tax burden for businesses across the board.
“Cohn helped a lot on tax cuts, it’s been so great,” Trump said. “Dems don’t know what to do.”
The tax cuts have already inspired more than 400 companies, including Apple, Jet Blue, and American Express, to issue cash bonuses, pay increases, and other tax-cut based rewards to over 4 million workers, according to Americans for Tax Reform. No Democrats voted for the measure.
Cohn has served in the Trump administration since the president was inaugurated in January last year. He was second-in-command at Goldman Sachs before Trump offered him the job in December of 2016.
“It has been an honor to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people, in particular the passage of historic tax reform,” Cohn said in a statement on his resignation. “I am grateful to the president for giving me this opportunity and wish him and the administration great success in the future.”