Gary Cohn: I feel 'freer' and 'happier' since leaving White House

Gary CohnGary David CohnFormer national economic council director: I agree with 50 percent of House Democrats' HEROES Act Sunday shows preview: Congress spars over next round of coronavirus relief; GOP seeks offensive after news of Flynn 'unmasking' The Memo: Speculation grows about Fauci's future MORE, the former top economic adviser to President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE, said Tuesday he feels “happier” since leaving his White House job and doubled down on his anti-tariff views that led to his departure.

“I’m taking my time right now and seeing what’s out there in the world,” Cohn told CNBC in his first sit-down interview since resigning in March.

“I feel freer, I feel rested, I feel happier,” he added.

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Cohn, a former executive at Goldman Sachs, stepped down as director of the National Economic Council after clashing with Trump over the president’s decision to implement steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. 

On Tuesday, Cohn reiterated that he opposes the tariffs, even as Trump moves forward with additional ones against China.

“No one wins in a trade war,” Cohn said. “What we do need in America, and I think what everyone does believe in … is free, fair, open and reciprocal.” 

“In a perfect world, we would have no tariffs,” he added.

“I am a globalist,” Cohn told CNBC, explaining that he believes the world is interconnected economically and militarily. “I believe we are very good at doing certain things in the United States, other countries are good at doing different things.”

He argued that the strength of the U.S. economy lies in the service industry and that the country is better served to work with other countries to obtain goods in the most efficient way possible.

Trump, meanwhile, has argued that trade wars are "good" and "easy to win." 

The president has delayed steel and aluminum tariffs on multiple U.S. allies while officials attempt to negotiate long-term trading deals.