Gary Cohn, who has served as President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser since last year, will step down from his position, the White House confirmed Tuesday.
He will leave his role as director of the National Economic Council in “the coming weeks,” according to New York Times, which first reported the news.
Financial watchers expected U.S. stocks to drop in the wake of the announcement. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down roughly 1.3 percent on Tuesday evening, while S&P 500 futures were down 1.1 percent.
Cohn had been rumored to be considering leaving the White House over concerns with Trump’s recently-announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Cohn, a free-trade advocate, had lobbied Trump against the tariffs, and in recent days had reportedly planned a meeting at the White House with representatives from the aluminum and steel industries in an apparently unsuccessful attempt to change the president’s mind.
“It has been an honor to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people, in particular the passage of historic tax reform,” said Cohn in a statement. “I am grateful to the President for giving me this opportunity and wish him and the Administration great success in the future.”
“Gary has been my chief economic advisor and did a superb job in driving our agenda, helping to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms and unleashing the American economy once again,” Trump said in a statement. “He is a rare talent, and I thank him for his dedicated service to the American people.”
Cohn previously was reported to have considered resigning in August 2017 over Trump’s response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In an interview with the Financial Times at the time, Cohn criticized Trump for blaming “both sides” for the violence, arguing that the White House “can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups.”
There was also speculation that Cohn might leave the White House following the passage of the GOP tax plan late last year. Trump publicly addressed those rumors in January, calling Cohn himself on stage to address them during a media availability.
He is the latest in a series of high-profile departures from the White House. Most recently, communications director Hope Hicks, one of the president’s most trusted advisers, decided to step down from her post.
Prior to joining the White House, Cohn was the chief operating officer of investment bank Goldman Sachs.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.