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Trump plans to name Larry Kudlow his top economic advisor, replacing Gary Cohn: Sources

Eamon Javers
  • President Donald Trump will name Larry Kudlow his top economic advisor, sources tell CNBC.
  • He would replace Gary Cohn as National Economic Council director.
  • Kudlow is a free trade advocate who may disagree with some of Trump's protectionist views.

President Donald Trump plans to name Larry Kudlow as his top economic advisor, sources told CNBC.

Trump could announce his decision to choose Kudlow as his National Economic Council director as soon as Thursday. The president offered the CNBC senior contributor and on-air personality the job on Tuesday night, and Kudlow accepted, a person familiar told CNBC.

Kudlow, 70, would replace Gary Cohn, who left the White House earlier this month amid disagreements about tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The longtime CNBC personality advocates for free trade and generally opposes tariffs.

When Cohn left, Kudlow expressed his disappointment with the move. On Tuesday, the president said he would welcome disagreement from Kudlow if he chose him for the post.

"We don't agree on everything, but in this case I think that's good," Trump said. "I want to have different opinions. We agree on most. He now has come around to believing in tariffs as a negotiating point."

Trump won the presidency partly on his promises to shred or renegotiate U.S. trade deals and crack down on trade practices he deems unfair. He argued the North American Free Trade Agreement, in particular, sapped manufacturing jobs from the United States.

The National Economic Council director advises the president on economic issues and works to implement policy goals. Cohn helped to shepherd the Republican tax law, Trump's signature achievement in office so far, through its passage in December.

Kudlow also supported the tax bill.

Kudlow helped to craft economic policy during the Reagan administration. He informally advised Trump on taxes and other economic issues during his 2016 run for president.

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