Gary Cohn, who once served as National Economic Council director before resigning over a dispute with President Donald Trump, said in a new interview he’s still thinking of voting for his former boss.
“You know, I honestly haven’t made up my mind,” Cohn told CNBC in an interview that aired Monday. “I’m really eager to see an economic debate between the two of them. I actually vote on issues.”
He told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that although he’s a Democrat, he’s likely to vote for whichever candidate will have the best impact on the US economy.
Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive, resigned from his position as Trump’s top economic adviser in March 2018 in the wake of his disagreement with the President’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
He’s also occasionally voiced criticism of Trump at other points. He was among the top administration officials to object to Trump’s handling of the clashes following a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, saying the President’s response caused him “distress.” And last year, he CNN’s David Axelrod he was “concerned” there was no one left in the White House to stand up to Trump and “tell him what he doesn’t want to hear.”
Reflecting on his role in the White House, Cohn told Axelrod he had thought he would be able to influence Trump more within his administration than in an outside capacity.
Cohn was frequently seen as a steadying influence on economic policy inside the Trump White House, and his departure sounded alarm bells in establishment circles in Washington and on Wall Street, CNN reported at the time.
In the CNBC interview, Cohen shared what he would like to see from Congress and the White House in regard to Covid-19 recovery, emphasizing fiscal aid for small businesses.
“The first set of fiscal stimulus was a blunt instrument: We sort of spread it everywhere. Which at the time was the right thing to do. I think at this point we need a much more detailed, or scalpel-like, approach,” he said. “And the place where we need it the most is in the small business community.”
“Our small businesses in this country – they are key to our success, they are key to our economic growth and they are key to jobs – they still are hurting,” he added. “They’re really in need of more stimulus, they’re in need of more help.”
CNN’s Paul LeBlanc, Jeremy Diamond, Sara Murray and Betsy Klein contributed to this report.