President Donald Trump demanded Director of National Economic Council Gary Cohn be supportive of his new tariffs on steel and aluminum during a meeting in the Oval Office Tuesday, just hours before Cohn resigned, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday.
According to two people familiar with the matter who spoke to Bloomberg, Cohn would not agree to fully support Trump’s new proposals. The White House announced his resignation just hours later.
During the Oval Office meeting Tuesday, Trump asked for an update on the legal paperwork associated with making the tariffs –a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent on aluminum — official. He also discussed the timing of when he could sign the new order and asked everyone in the room if they were “all on the same team,” according to Bloomberg’s reporting.
Trump reportedly asked Cohn specifically if he was going to be supportive of the tariffs and Cohn didn’t answer, according to the sources who spoke with Bloomberg. One person familiar with Cohn told Bloomberg that Trump did not demand loyalty during the meeting. That person said also that Cohn is actually supportive of tough tariffs on China, but not against Canada, Mexico or the European Union, according to Bloomberg.
Cohn reportedly considered resigning in August over Trump’s response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.