CNBC’s John Harwood sat down with National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn to discuss a range of topics, including his professional plans for after tax reform gets passed. What follows is actually a condensed, edited transcript of their conversation.
Harwood: After the events of This specific summer, many of your friends, peers from the business world decided, ‘I don’t want to, for my reputation, my company’s reputation, be associated with This specific White House.’ They disbanded these economic councils. There was a lot of speculation which you were going to leave. Why didn’t you?
Cohn: Look, I am in an amazing position. The president has given me unbelievable task, unbelievable responsibility to help him drive his economic agenda. I believe in his economic agenda. I believe in what he’s doing on deregulation. I believe what he’s doing on taxes, as well as I believe what he’s doing on infrastructure. When I look at myself, I have been — genuinely a lucky American to end up where I am. I owe the idea to the country to work for the citizens of the country, work for the president, as well as try as well as help him drive his economic agenda.
Harwood: You’re not worried which your reputation will suffer by association with the administration?
Cohn: I’m not. as well as when we get tax reform done as well as the economy grows, I’m genuinely not worried.
Harwood: You did speak out though. Do you think the fact which you spoke out is actually the reason which you were not from the Rose Garden the some other day being announced as Fed chair?
Cohn: Look, I think the president picked the exact right person to be the Fed chair.
Harwood: although do you think which’s why?
Cohn: I’m very supportive of Jay [Powell]. I think Jay is actually a great selection, as well as he’s the perfect choice to be Fed chair.
Harwood: Once tax reform is actually done, are you going to leave the White House?
Harwood: There’s been a lot of speculation.
Cohn: Nope. I know. There’s speculation on anything.
Harwood: is actually the idea your plan to stay through the entire first term?
Cohn: the idea’s my plan to stay as well as work as long as I can help the president drive his economic agenda. You know, a year ago today, I wasn’t thinking I’d be here. So, for me to tell you where I’m going to be four years through right now, I have no idea.
Read more through the Gary Cohn Speakeasy interview:
… on keeping companies in America.
… on Goldman Sachs as well as the White House.
… on repealing the estate tax.
… on the value of trickle-down economics.