Trump suffered yet another humiliating blow Tuesday afternoon, as the head of his National Economic Council, Gary Cohn, announced his resignation.
“Officials insisted there was no single factor behind the departure of Mr. Cohn,” The New York Times reported. Cohn had reportedly been considering quitting as early as August 2017 following Trump’s horrendous response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville. Cohn had even penned a resignation letter at that time.
But the last straw seemed to be Trump’s announcement of a 25 percent tariff on all steel imports, a nonsensical decision that his administration defended very poorly. Already, this decision has led the United States into a trade war with our own allies. And it stands to cost American businesses $9 billion and 146,000 jobs.
And the departure of Cohn, a former investment banker with Goldman Sachs, is just the latest in an endless cycle of staff turnover at the White House.
Last year, 36 percent of Trump’s top staff quit or were fired, the worst first-year rate for a president in over three decades. And many other staffers have left in even more spectacular fashion, including multiple officials busted for domestic violence.
Furthermore, entire advisory councils have had to be disbanded because of all the business leaders who no longer wanted anything to do with Trump.
There can be no question that this White House is a damaging place to work, with some referring to it as “career suicide.”
But Cohn, for the longest time, stuck by Trump and helped him sell some of his worst policies.
In particular, Cohn went to bat for the GOP tax scam. He even laughed in the faces of CEOs who directly told him they would not put their tax savings into investments or jobs. The bill was especially unfair to California, resulting in millions of residents facing tax hikes.
But even he had his limits, and apparently Trump’s reckless trade war was a bridge too far for Cohn.
Trump cannot keep his house in order. And foolish decisions like starting a trade war will do nothing but force out more and more top staffers.