Trump Economic Adviser Gary Cohn Resigns Over Tariff Policy

(CN) – President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, has resigned after breaking with the president on his plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council, was the leading internal opponent of the planned policy shift, and is said to have tried to orchestrate an eleventh-hour effort to push Trump to reverse course.

But Trump has been resistant to those efforts, and reiterated Tuesday he will be imposing the tariffs in the coming days.

In a statement, Cohn says it was his honor to serve in the administration and “enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people.”

Trump praised Cohn saying his departing adviser has “served his country with great distinction.”

The announcement of Cohn’s departure came only hours after Trump dismissed concerns from White House officials and outside allies that he is having trouble keeping West Wing jobs filled.

“Many, many people want every single job,” he says during a press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. “Everyone wants to work in the White House.”

Trump says he likes “conflict” on his staff and likes to hear competing policy ideas. The Trump administration has set records for staff turnover in its first 14 months, with more high-profile departures expected in the coming weeks.

Trump says that for every vacancy, “I’ll have the choice of the 10 top people having to do with that position” vying for the job. But White House staffers have privately complained about difficulties attracting qualified candidates to the administration.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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