Economist Larry Kudlow told Newsmax TV on Friday that Steve Bannon's ouster "is a plus" over all for the nation's business community and economy.
"Steve Bannon is a friend of mine," Kudlow, among several Trump campaign advisers on economic issues, told Bill Tucker on "Newsmax Now" in an interview. "We disagreed on many issues.
"Steve is a staunch protectionist who wanted to raise tariffs in any number of places. I don't agree.
"I'm a free-trader," Kudlow continued. "I don't want a trade war.
"I don't want tariffs because tariffs are taxes. That's bad for the economy and the stock market.
"Bannon also wanted to increase the top tax rate — and I guess some way helping, he thinks that would've helped middle-income people.
"I couldn't disagree more," he said. "He lost that battle. Protectionism is his big thing.
"Wall Street rallied on the news that Bannon was out. And this strengthens the hand of probably people like Gary Cohn and Steven Mnuchin, who are both more free-traders and — of course — who want to get the tax cuts done.
"So, on the whole, for the business community and the economy, probably Bannon's departure is a plus," Kudlow said.
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While "some people that are up in arms about Bannon's leaving and there will be some people that are happy," Kudlow told Tucker that the CEOs who quit President Trump's advisory panels did so over his political statements, not his business agenda.
"The CEOs are backing away on the social issue with respect to Charlottesville, although I frankly think they're misreading Trump.
"Trump is completely opposed and has disavowed these white supremacists or neo-Nazis," Kudlow said. "They are bad people.
"Trump has completely disavowed them — and he's gotten a very bad rap from the media.
"But I don't think the CEOs or the business world is leaving Trump's policies," he observed.
"The very same CEOs who jumped off his advisory councils very much will support tax reform, particularly corporate tax cuts and infrastructure and rolling back costly regulations.
"With respect to his policies, I don't think these laws touch with business at all," Kudlow told Tucker. "But these CEOs are probably wanting to get out of politics as fast as they can.
"It's not been a pleasant experience for them," he said. "Overly political."
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