Trump eyes ex-Microsoft staffer as top economic aide

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"He's not quite as strong on those tariffs as we want", Trump said. "I've known him a long time", Trump told reporters before he left the White House for a trip to California.

"I think he'd be the flawless person for the job", he said. The former Goldman Sachs executive - a strong supporter of free trade - said he would leave the administration after Trump committed to imposing steel and aluminum tariffs, despite pushback from USA lawmakers and worldwide officials. His departure from the West Wing was announced last week and followed his break with Mr. Trump over the president's plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Larry Kudlow is the leading contender to lead the economic team at the White House and would take the job if offered, according to CNBC's Jim Cramer. As a result, they are watching closely to see who Trump picks as Cohn's replacement - and whether that person will bring the same knowledge of the financial markets as the former Goldman Sachs executive. He played a pivotal role in helping Trump enact a sweeping tax overhaul, coordinating with members of Congress. It was unclear how soon Trump would make up his mind.

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His resignation is a blow to Capitol Hill Republicans and business groups who were hoping Trump might listen to their worries on tariffs - and that Cohn would serve as a moderating force as the administration pushes a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump suggested last Thursday that he wouldn't replace Cohn with someone who is similarly opposed to tariffs, which were one of the principal reasons that Cohn resigned.

He did, however, float the possibility of Cohn returning to the White House in a different capacity.

"He's spoken to the president".

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