WASHINGTON — The president famous for being on reality TV has selected a television host as his next top economic adviser.
President Trump is expected to announce as early as Thursday morning that Larry Kudlow, the anchor of CNBC's "The Kudlow Report," will be the next chairman of the National Economic Council, according to multiple media reports. Kudlow will succeed Gary Cohn, who announced plans to resign last week after Trump embraced tariffs on aluminum and steel products.
The news caps a back and forth over who would replace Cohn. Kudlow was an early favorite immediately following Cohn's announcement, but over the weekend Chris Liddell, a former GM executive, was said to be Trump's pick. That changed on Monday, when Politico reported that Trump was again leaning to Kudlow. The Washington Post confirmed Trump's plans in a story on Wednesday.
The NEC job is critical to bankers, who worry about Trump's economic policies. Cohn championed regulatory relief and the recently enacted tax cut, both items banks were invested in, and without him at the White House, bankers fear Trump's tariffs could start a trade war.
Kudlow is at least well-known among bankers. One of his early jobs was as an economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. During President Reagan's tenure, he was an associate director for economics and planning at the Office of Management and Budget, and later he worked at Freddie Mac. That last job could give Kudlow insight as the Senate Banking Committee continues to pursue housing finance reform.
Kudlow joined CNBC in 2001, and has continued to serve on the network as a host and conservative commentator on economic issues. Like Cohn, he has also been critical of tariffs, but it remains unclear how his views will square with the Trump administration.