April 27, 2017

Former Goldman Sachs Head Cohn Joins Pence As Trump Closest Adviser

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The introduction by Poppy Harlow, unfortunately, says it all, or most of it, “So the millionaire advising the billionaire. The President’s dramatic shifts in economic policy are really stunning some of his core supporters this week and now more and more people are pointing to former Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn as the man who may be behind the President’s increasing move to the middle.”

She mentions that Cohn heads the President’s council of economic advisers and that some even see him as potentially next in line for Chief of Staff.  She doesn’t mention that he’s a Democrat, but lately that doesn’t seem to be a consideration in this White House.

Stephen Moore and Austan Goolsbee join her for a discussion of the goings on inside the Trump White House, with Harlow saying, “Let’s start with the gossip about Gary Cohn,” and noting that a “breathtaking shift” is underway, that he “identifies himself as not being either a Democrat or Republican, just a guy who likes to get things done.” Funny, that’s how Ivanka identifies herself too.

Moore says that all of his sources inside the White House point to Cohn as the key voice on economics, which in some ways he likes, to the extent that he has helped to moderate the president’s more harsh positions on trade. On taxes he points out that Cohn wants to rewrite the whole tax code, throw away all of Moore’s hard work on preparing the President’s current tax plan. Naturally, there is going to be some disagreement there.

Goolsbee notes the disparaging way that Trump referred to Bannon as “somebody I know who works for me. Goolsbee thinks the reason Bannon is on the outs is not because of anything he did or any failures, it’s because he was getting press, pointing to a Time Magazine cover and stating it made President Trump jealous. He notes that the current coverage of Cohn dooms him to a similar fate in the near future.

They both point out that Cohn is new to the policy and politics game which Moore further describes specifically in terms of understanding what conservatives want out of this President. He notes to Cohn’s comments that “Maybe we should have a value added tax,” or a “carbon tax,” those are things that don’t go over very well with conservatives like me. So we’ll see if he can grow into this but he is certainly, right now I think, the most influential person in the White House, other than Donald Trump and Mike Pence.”

The more things settle with the Trump White House the less favorable many of the situations become for conservatives.

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