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Larry Kudlow is the leading candidate to become President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, people familiar with the matter told Breitbart News Monday.
Kudlow is expected to interview for the job of director of the National Economic Council, replacing outgoing head Gary Cohn, as soon as this week, according to the Wall Street Journal. Other candidates are still under consideration, according to sources who spoke with Breitbart News under the condition of anonymity.
A former economist in the Reagan Administration and a longtime pundit on CNBC, Kudlow has served as an informal economic adviser to Trump since before the election. Kudlow was an early supporter of Trump’s plan to cut individual and corporate taxes, a plan that now stands as the Trump administration’s most important legislative accomplishment.
After the election and during the transition, Kudlow was under consideration for a number of jobs in the administration, according to people familiar with the matter, but he was reportedly frozen out by Cohn. He has remained on friendly terms with the president and many others in the administration.
During the weeks and months of debate over tax reform, Kudlow was one of the staunchest and most public backers of the president’s program.
Like Cohn, Kudlow is a free trader and has said he is opposed to the tariffs on steel and aluminum that the Trump administration announced in March. But those who know Kudlow say his approach would differ from Cohn’s.
“There’s no way Larry would quit in a huff when he lost a policy debate,” one person who has known Kudlow for several years said. “He would support free trade but when the president made a decision, Larry would step up and do the work of getting the president’s policy and message in place.”
Kudlow’s stance against the tariffs softened when the Trump administration announced that Mexico and Canada would initially be exempt. And Kudlow takes a tough stance against China that will sound familiar to those familiar with the president’s rhetoric.
“I believe China is major trade violator. The Chinese break all the rules. They counterfeit our goods, steal our international property rights, and cyber-hack our industries and government. Something must be done about it,” Kudlow wrote in March 2016.
While Kudlow is known for his unwavering support for tax cuts, he has shown that he has an open mind and an ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Long a supporter of a relatively open immigration policy, Kudlow changed his stance after the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.
“I have come to believe there should be no immigration or visa waivers until the U.S. adopts a completely new system to stop radical Islamic terrorists from entering the country. A wartime lockdown,” Kudlow wrote in a 2015 article for National Review.
Despite some differences, Kudlow is on good terms with the president’s economic nationalist supporters and advisers and doesn’t attract the same ire that Cohn did.
“Kudlow is a patriot and an American revivalist. He isn’t Wall Street first, he’s America first, even if he still needs to learn some new tricks on trade,” one of these supporters said.