More White House Personnel Changes Announced

On March 16, 2018, in Government News, by Maggie Ernst

President Trump has named Larry Kudlow, a prior Reagan administration official, who is now a conservative commentator on CNBC and an economics consultant, to replace Gary Cohn who served as the 11th Director of the National Economic Council and chief economic advisor to President Trump. Cohn recently resigned after a dispute with President Trump over steel and aluminum tariffs. Cohn was formerly the president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs from 2006 to 2017.  He is a registered Democrat but has donated extensively to Republican politicians, as well.

Kudlow was an early and enthusiastic supporter of Trump’s run for the presidency.  He advised Trump on economic issues and pshed him to g big on cutting taxes.  It was reported that the president called Kudlow on Tuesday night and offered him the job, which Kudlow immediately agreed to take.

President Trump also this week ousted, via a tweet,  his secretary of state, Rex. W. Tillerson.  It was reported that the president and Tillerson clashed on the Iran nuclear deal, the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the Paris Climate accord,  North Korea nuclear crisis, and the U.S. response to Russia’s cyber aggression, among other issues.

Tillerson is the former chief executive of Exxon Mobil. Tillerson’s undersecretary of state for public affairs, Steve Goldstein, was also fired. Tillerson’s chief of staff and his deputy chief of staff were also expected to depart.

It has since been announced that the president will replace Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, C.I.A director and former Tea Party congressman.  Pompeo has a close relationship with President Trump and has taken a harder line than Tillerson on critical issues like Iran and North Korea.  Pompeo’s replacement at the C.I.A. will be the current deputy director Gina Haspel, who will be the first woman to lead the agency.  She would need to be confirmed by the Senate.

It is also expected that national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster and the secretary of Veterans Affairs, David J. Shulkin may soon follow Tillerson out the door.


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