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White House

The Cohn Resignation

White House economic adviser Gary Cohen (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Just one minor thought on it: I’ve seen liberals condemn Gary Cohn because he merely thought about leaving the administration after Trump’s widely-criticized Charlottesville remarks, but actually left only after losing an internal fight about steel and aluminum tariffs. I think his behavior is defensible. Maybe he thought that while there were things about this president and this administration he strongly dislikes, he could do some good by preventing trade wars. When he lost on tariffs, maybe he decided that he wasn’t exercising the positive influence he hoped he would and that there was therefore no reason to put up with the things he dislikes. I don’t know if that was Cohn’s thought process — I’ve never met the man — but it doesn’t seem crazy to think that it was.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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