As Cohn departs, Trump defends tariff plans |

As Cohn departs, Trump defends tariff plans

As Cohn departs, Trump defends tariff plans, says he likes conflict

Just before multiple media reports today that White House economic adviser Gary Cohn is leaving his job, President Donald Trump defended his plans for tariffs on steel and aluminum and said he likes conflict among his advisers.

Cohn has headed the White House Economic Council and was on the losing end of the battle within the administration over whether to impose the worldwide tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum that Trump has announced.

Cohn's absence is likely to make attempts to stop Trump from imposing the tariffs or giving countries exceptions more difficult.

Cohn said he had been pleased to work on "pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people, in particular the passage of historic tax reform," The New York Times reported.

Trump said in a statement to the Times, "Gary has been my chief economic adviser and did a superb job in driving our agenda, helping to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms and unleashing the American economy once again. He is a rare talent, and I thank him for his dedicated service to the American people."

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Earlier at a news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Trump repeated previous statements that other countries have taken advantage of the United States.

Trump also disputed claims that the White House is having a hard time attracting top talent.

"Everybody wants to work in the White House," Trump said. "They all want a piece of that Oval Office; they want a piece of the West Wing. And not only in terms of it looks great on their résumé; it's just a great place to work."

–The Hagstrom Report