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Will Gary Cohn’s Departure Lead Trump to the Full Koch Agenda?

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Gary Cohn, First Director of the National Economic Council in the Donald Trump Administration

Gary Cohn, First Director of the National Economic Council in the Donald Trump Administration

Wall Street is losing its bedtime snuggly and comfort blanket in the White House. After a tortuous 14 months replete with crazy tweets from the President, Russia-probe indictments and guilty pleas, failure to talk Trump out of withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, revelations of hush money paid to a porn star by Trump’s personal attorney, and news of Trump campaign aides’ murky meetings with Putin operatives, Gary Cohn has finally called it quits over tariffs.

It’s not like Cohn, the former President of Goldman Sachs who became President Donald Trump’s first Director of the National Economic Council, didn’t understand Trump’s obsessive demand for loyalty. Cohn has watched for more than a year as those who didn’t show adequate subservience to the President were shown the door. In the case of the former FBI Director James Comey, he was not only fired by Trump but was then savagely ridiculed by the President as a “nut job” and a “grandstander.”

So Cohn had to know that when he mounted his own counter-offensive to the President’s tariff plan that he was in serious breach of the loyalty code enforced above all else by the leader of the “free” world.

The stock market’s reaction on Thursday, March 1 to the tariff announcement by Trump was to sell off by as much as 586 points before closing down 420. Trump then sent his pro-tariff advisers, Peter Navarro and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, off to the airwaves to knock down concerns raised by his own party that the plan would trigger damaging trade wars against the United States.

Cohn then did the unthinkable. He effectively assembled his own team of anti-tariff executives to hold a meeting with the President to change his mind on following through with his plan to impose the tariffs on steel and aluminum, even with countries like Canada, Mexico and the European Union, who are U.S. allies. Cohn’s plan was for executives from automakers and beverage manufacturers who are heavy users of imported steel and aluminum and would be hurt by the tariffs, to meet with Trump tomorrow at the White House to make their strong counter arguments.

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