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 TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report 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 TillersonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Supreme Court lets Texas abortion law stand Trump-era ban on travel to North Korea extended Want to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump MORE and said he intended to replace him with CIA Director Mike PompeoMike PompeoThe CIA's next mission: Strategic competition with China and Russia Biden, Trump tied in potential 2024 match-up: poll Why is Trump undermining his administration's historic China policies? MORE.

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


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 McCainMeghan McCain: 'SNL' parodies made me feel like 'laughing stock of the country' Our military shouldn't be held hostage to 'water politics' Meghan McCain blames 'toxic' hostility for 'The View' exit MORE (R-Ariz.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulVaccine 'resisters' are a real problem Democrats fret as longshot candidates pull money, attention Journalist Dave Levinthal discusses 'uptick' in congressional stock trade violations 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.