Trump informally offered Cohn CIA job before changing his mind: report

Trump informally offered Cohn CIA job before changing his mind: report
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE informally offered former White House economic adviser Gary Cohn the job as head of the CIA, but ultimately changed his mind, Politico reported Monday.

Cohn, who resigned earlier this month, had reportedly expressed interested in returning to the administration for the CIA job. The position became available last week when Trump fired Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonUS steps up its game in Africa, a continent open for business Matt Drudge shares mock ‘Survivor’ cover suggesting more White House officials will leave this summer 'Daily Show' trolls Trump over Pruitt's resignation MORE and said he intended to replace him with CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoRyan: 'The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally' Former CIA director Brennan urges Pompeo, Bolton, Kelly to resign following 'treasonous' Trump-Putin summit Mnuchin says US will consider Iran oil sanctions waivers: report MORE.

Trump informally offered Cohn the position, and Cohn agreed to take it, Politico reported, citing three people close to the president.

ADVERTISEMENT

It’s unclear why Trump changed his mind and ultimately named Gina Haspel as his choice for CIA director.

Cohn does not have a background in the intelligence community, having come from Goldman Sachs before serving in the White House. He resigned earlier this month amid a disagreement with Trump over the president's steel and aluminum tariffs.

The president has tapped CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow to replace Cohn.

Haspel, meanwhile, has drawn criticism from some lawmakers ahead of her confirmation hearing. Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit NY Daily News cover following Helsinki summit shows Trump shooting Uncle Sam MORE (R-Ariz.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLewandowski: Trump-Putin meeting advances goal of world peace Rand Paul to travel to Russia after downplaying election meddling Implementation of a 'universal basic income' program would be a disaster MORE (R-Ky.) have expressed concerns about her ties to the "enhanced interrogation" program carried out under the George W. Bush administration.

Paul on Sunday vowed to do "whatever it takes" to block Haspel's nomination, including a filibuster. He said he'd do the same to stop Pompeo's nomination as secretary of State.