Donald Trump, Gary Cohn, tariffs, tax reform, White House,

Goodbye, Gary Cohn, we hardly knew ye

By Grace Lidia Suárez

Of course, as President Trump says, everyone wants to work in his White House.

But … why are they all leaving?

The last departure, announced yesterday, is Gary Cohn, Director of the National Economic Council. Granted, he lasted 424 days, which is…how much longer than The Mooch?

As Millenial Politics says,

Gary Cohn’s tenure was a brief 424 days. Laura Tyson, who served under President Bill Clinton can now breathe a sigh of relief. The position was first created in 1993, so to be fair to Cohn, there isn’t much precedent for length of service yet. But even so, he takes the cake with the shortest tenure ever (so far).

This latest piece of turnover comes after more than two dozen staffers have departed the Trump Administration, and their descriptions of working with Trump depict an administration in constant crisis without a leader.

Unlike Hope Hicks, Cohn was really somebody.

Maybe. This is how the New York Times sums him up:

In an administration filled with people with dubious ideas, limited experience and loads of ethical baggage, Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs executive who became the top economics official in the Trump White House, was supposed to be among the sensible adults in the room. Now, he is leaving after failing repeatedly to be the stabilizing influence that the Trump administration sorely needed.

Many critics of Mr. Trump are already cheering Mr. Cohn’s departure. Indeed, he has done an awful job. His chief accomplishment was helping pass a tax cut that will benefit wealthy people like himself while adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt for future generations to pay off. Mr. Cohn’s other pet project — to develop a plan to rebuild American infrastructure — produced a shambolic proposal that is going nowhere in Congress. Last summer, Mr. Cohn, displayed moral poverty by refusing to quit the administration while simultaneously alerting friends and the media that he was very upset when Mr. Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides” after neo-Nazis and white supremacists clashed with protesters, leaving a young woman dead, in Charlottesville, Va.

And then there is the proximate cause for his actual departure: his failure to keep President Trump from imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, which will hurt American allies and domestic industries that use those metals.

The rumor is that he is leaving because of Trump’s insane tariff policy. There is also a rumor that Cohn wanted Kelly gone, and Kelly simply won.

Here’s a fairly deep dive from the New York Times. Reading it, I kind of wonder what Cohn was doing there in the first place.

There were signs that Cohn was not a happy camper. In one humiliating moment reported by The Guardian,

Even for a lesser titan of finance, one without a reputation for deep self-regard, it would have qualified as a painfully humbling moment.

At a news conference in January, Gary Cohn, who was the Goldman Sachs No 2 for a decade, found himself called to the lectern by Donald Trump. The president had been asked by a reporter whether Cohn was happy in his job as director of the national economic council.

“Come here, Gary,” Trump said. “Are you happy?”

“Yes, I’m happy,” Cohn replied through a clenched smile. “How’s that?”

Maybe it’s just a Blazing Saddles moment:

What's a dazzling urbanite like you doing in a rustic setting like this?

Now, not everyone seems to be buying the tariff reason. Here is Matt Yglesias.

But it’s all going to be fine. President Trump said so.

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