Administration

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

Greg Nash

President Trump 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 Tillerson and said he intended to replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

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

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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 McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rand Paul (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.

Tags CIA Donald Trump John McCain Mike Pompeo Rand Paul Rex Tillerson secretary of State White House economic adviser
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