Economic guru Larry Kudlow says he thought former chief strategist Steve Bannon offered financial advice to President Donald Trump that was full of “economic nonsense and economic illiteracy.”
“Steve Bannon and I are friends. Treated me great. His policies always troubled me,” the former Ronald Reagan adviser recently told CNBC.
Bannon “wanted to raise tax rates on the most successful people in fact, He wanted the top rate to go from 39.6% to 44%,” said Kudlow, also a Newsmax Finance Insider.
Kudlow also aired his opinon on Twitter, calling Trump's dismissal of Bannon "one of the best move of his presidency."
“It's not personal, but on economic grounds alone, Bannon's self-immolation is good for the president, it is good for our country, it is good for the rest of the world," said Kudlow, who served as the Trump campaign's senior economic adviser.
"Bannon's ultranationalism would have been very damaging on foreign policy and, by the way, the president moved away from most of it, moderated on most of those issues," Kudlow explained.
"And the president publicly rebuked Bannon on a 44% tax rate. But Steve Bannon is going to be gone for a while what we need to do is focus on a lot of good things that are happening,” said Kudlow, also a radio talk-show host and CNBC senior contributor.
“Steve Moore and I and Art Laffer on several occasions tried to talk him out of that. He has this notion that we want to hurt the upper end in order to help the middle. That's just economic nonsense. It's economic illiteracy,” said Kudlow, who served as the Trump campaign's senior economic adviser.
“The basic definition of populism is prosperity for all. That's the most populist thing any administration can possibly do and Steve Bannon's economics would have ruled that out,” said Kudlow, who worked as Reagan’s budget deputy between 1981 and 1985.
Kudlow also said Bannon was very anti-trade. “Fierce protectionist, wanted tariffs everywhere, wanted no deal the anywhere. He was for the B.A.T. Tax, imports and so forth,” said the radio host of "The Larry Kudlow Show."
“Bannon didn't have prosperity policies I'm glad he's out of commission for a while,” said Kudlow.
Kudlow spoke just hours after the release of the controverial book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," written by Michael Wolff, who interviewed Bannon just a month or two after he was fired from the Trump White House.
“Steve Bannon stabbed the president in the back,” said Kudlow. “What Steve Bannon did to his benefactor Donald Trump is to commit political treachery,” said Kudlow.
Trump on Wednesday, in response to the Bannon quotes in the book, said his former aide had nothing to do with him or his presidency, and he "lost his mind" when he lost his job.
Trump seemed most angry at comments made by Bannon, first reported by The Guardian, which obtained an early copy of the book.
For his part, Kudlow doesn't think the controversy will hurt Trump's presidency at all, but will backfire on Bannon.
“Steve Bannon was great for the president in a sense that Bannon's political standing is now zero. He has self-immolated. His PAC has no money. He may even lose his Breitbart chairmanship, as Rebecca Mercer hinted," Kudlow said.
"This idea that Bannon is going to run a counterrevolution against the Senate and the House, that's all out the window,” said the author of "JFK and the Reagan Revolution: A Secret History of American Prosperity," written with Brian Domitrovic and published by Portfolio.
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