Navarro says he's not in running to replace Cohn

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro dismissed reports on Wednesday that he is in the running to replace Gary Cohn as director of the National Economic Council.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Navarro said he would be "honored" by such an appointment, but said the president had other candidates in mind.


"Well of course I'd be honored, but I'm not on that list," Navarro said. "And the president's going to have a very long list of people he's going to interview. I'm here to serve the president, no more no less. I'm here to defend the working men and women of this country, and I have a very full plate at the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy."

Cohn resigned as director of the National Economic Council on Tuesday, in part over his objections to the new tariffs on aluminum and steel that Trump plans to announce this week.

“It has been an honor to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people, in particular the passage of historic tax reform,” Cohn said in a statement.

“I am grateful to the president for giving me this opportunity and wish him and the administration great success in the future,” he said.

Navarro has been floated as a possible replacement for Cohn, along with other Trump allies such as CNBC senior contributor Larry Kudlow and Shahira Knight, deputy assistant to the president for economic policy.

While Cohn, like much of the GOP, supports free trade, Navarro is a staunch advocate for the more protectionist trade policies Trump championed during the campaign.

In a statement about Cohn's departure, Trump thanked him for his work on the GOP's tax-reform bill that passed last year.

“Gary has been my chief economic advisor and did a superb job in driving our agenda, helping to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms and unleashing the American economy once again,” Trump said in a statement.