President Trump is tapping Larry Kudlow as his new chief economic adviser, bringing in the conservative commentator to replace outgoing National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, according to multiple reports.
Mr. Trump on Tuesday gave high praise to Mr. Kudlow. He called him a “very strong” candidate for the job.
The president later that evening called Mr. Kudlow, an economic analyst and former host of a CNBC show, and offered him the job.
Mr. Kudlow confirmed he accepted the offer in an interview with WABC Radio host Rita Cosby.
“I am thrilled and honored to serve this President. I am ready to serve President Trump and the country. I am very excited to work with President Trump and work on the economy for this country,” he said.
Mr. Cohn, a Democrat, announce his resignation last week after clashing with Mr. Trump over tariffs. His departure was one in a string of changes in the top ranks of the administration.
The next day, Mr. Trump ousted Rex W. Tillerson from his job as secretary of state. The president repeatedly rebuked Mr. Tillerson for not adhering to the president’s agenda.
Mr. Kudlow was an early supporter of Mr. Trump’s presidential run and helped craft his tax cut plan. The president views him as a like-minded ally on economic policy.
“We agree on most. He now has come around to believing in tariffs as a negotiating point,” Mr. Trump said Tuesday. “You know, I am renegotiating trade deals and without tariffs, we would not do nearly as well.”
John Berlau, an economist with conservative think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute, applauded Mr. Trump’s pick because he saw Mr. Kudlow as a counterbalance to some of the president’s protectionist policies.
“Kudlow understands business on both Main Street and Wall Street, and grasps the harsh impact of both excessive taxation and overregulation on America’s investors, consumers, and entrepreneurs,” he said. “Kudlow has also been a fierce critic of protectionism and supporter of free trade, a position that contrasts with recent actions of the Trump administration.”
Mr. Berlau urged the president and Capitol Hill lawmakers to “heed Kudlow’s knowledge and wisdom on trade, taxes and regulation.”
The liberal activist group American Bridge took the opposite position and slammed the choice of Mr. Kudlow for being as rubber stamp for Mr. Trump’s bad economic polices.
“Larry Kudlow believes Medicare and Social Security are ‘bad ideas,’ supports tax breaks for companies that send American jobs overseas, opposes the existence of a minimum wage, dismissed the gender pay gap as ‘nonsense,’ and wants to eliminate the Department of Labor,” said American Bridge spokesman Andrew Bate. “His fringe beliefs are perfect for Trump but wrong for the country.”
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