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

Gary CohnGary David CohnTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' On The Money: Senate rejects border declaration in rebuke to Trump | Dems press Mnuchin on Trump tax returns | Waters says Wells Fargo should fire its CEO Gary Cohn says Trump trade adviser the only economist in world who believes in tariffs MORE, the former top economic adviser to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated 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.


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.