Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, on Thursday said his relationship with the president is “as strong as it’s ever been.” | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, said he remains a registered Democrat despite his leading role in the Republican administration.
Cohn confirmed his party loyalty in remarks on Thursday to the Economic Club of Washington.
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The National Economic Council director, who has been at the White House since Day One of Trump’s term, is one of the president’s point people on tax reform and was on a short list to replace Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen before being passed over for current Fed governor Jerome Powell.
The former Goldman Sachs president is held in disdain by some more conservative Trump loyalists for his support of free trade and other “globalist” policies. He also clashed with Trump after the president blamed “both sides” for the fatal protests at a Charlottesville, Virginia, white supremacist rally earlier this year. The tensions got so bad that Cohn drafted multiple versions of a resignation letter to deliver to Trump, though he ultimately decided against quitting.
Cohn on Thursday said his relationship with the president is “as strong as it’s ever been.”
“I can talk to him, I can go see him wherever he is, and he’s not bashful about telling me his views,” Cohn said.
Working at the White House is tougher than being on Wall Street, he added. “It’s dramatically more pressure,” Cohn said. “When you’ve got citizens and news watching you 24 hours a day, you can’t mess up.”
He also says he’s not burned out yet, despite a grueling work schedule in Washington. “I’m working now like I was working when I was 20 years old. I was making more then,” Cohn said, adding that he’s not complaining. “The opportunity to execute the president’s economic agenda and deliver for the American people is extraordinary. I’m going to do this as long as possible.”