Cohn’s decision to leave isn’t exactly sour grapes
At the moment, it looks like Gary Cohn quit over almost nothing.
Fears of a blanket set of tariffs and an escalating trade war proved to be overstated. The tariffs have been watered down and will probably be watered down further.
Maybe Cohn knew that would happen or maybe he didn’t. More importantly, maybe it didn’t matter to him because he felt the process of decision-making at the White House had been distorted or corrupted.
The WSJ wrote Friday an inside account of the decision to enact tariffs. It’s clear that it started with the resignation of White House staff secretary Rob Porter due to domestic abuse allegations. Trump is often said to be easy to sway and he controlled access to the President.
One person whose access was limited was trade hawk Peter Navarro. In the WSJ telling, the departure of Porter gave Oval Office access back to Navarro and in three weeks the tariffs were announced.
Rather than a hissy-fit about policy, maybe Cohn’s departure was about access to the President, not only his own but others’ as well.
Cohn certainly sounds like he has a hot temper but there is a good chance his move is more about what’s coming than what’s been announced — and that should leave plenty of people worried.