Despite President Donald Trump saying earlier this year that Gary Cohn is among the candidates to replace Janet Yellen when her term as Federal Reserve chair expires in January 2018, it appears now that Cohn may no longer be on Trump’s Fed chair shortlist.
Cohn, who currently serves as the White House National Economic Council Director, reportedly fell out of Trump’s favor in the wake of Cohn criticizing Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia last month.
The Wall Street Journal has the story:
President Donald Trump is unlikely to nominate Gary Cohn, his top economic adviser, as the next Federal Reserve chairman, indicating that he is open to considering additional names for a pick he has said he would like to make by year’s end, according to people familiar with the president’s thinking.
This shift inside the Oval Office was largely due to Mr. Cohn’s reaction to Mr. Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., in which the president at times blamed both white supremacists opposing the removal of a Confederate war statue and counterprotesters.
As the Journal notes, Cohn joined the Trump administration early on, leaving his position as the second-in-command at Goldman Sachs, where he was long considered to be Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s eventual replacement.
Trump named Cohn as a possible replacement for Yellen back in July, telling the Journal in an interview that Cohn was a Fed chair candidate.
But, according to the Journal, Cohn’s criticism of Trump’s response to what happened in Charlottesville may have cost him a chance to be the Fed chair.
Again from the WSJ article:
Mr. Cohn had told associates that he was disgusted by Mr. Trump’s performance immediately after the president’s combative news conference on Aug. 15 about the Charlottesville events, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Cohn stood near Mr. Trump at the news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower, which White House officials intended to focus on the president’s push for investment in infrastructure.
Cohn, who is Jewish, also reportedly went so far as to draft a resignation letter and told the Financial Times that the Trump administration “must do better” about condemning white supremacists and the like.
"As a Jewish-American, I will not allow neo-Nazis ranting 'Jews will not replace us' to cause this Jew to leave his job. I feel deep empathy for all who have been targeted by these hate groups. We must all unite together against them," Cohn said in the interview, via CNBC.
And now, apparently because of those comments, Cohn is reportedly no longer in consideration for the top job at the Fed.
For the full story from the Wall Street Journal, click here or below.