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Trump knocks out an awful Fed chair contender -- for an awful reason

Catherine Rampell on

But Trump has now reportedly ruled Cohn out. Why? Because of what Cohn told the Financial Times last month about neo-Nazis.

"Citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK," he said, implicitly criticizing his boss. "I believe this administration can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups and do everything we can to heal the deep divisions that exist in our communities."

Again, normally, a White House adviser's call to condemn white supremacists and salve social wounds would hardly merit a story. Cohn's comments dominated a full news cycle.

Trump was reportedly furious about his underling's disloyalty -- or at least, his underling's greater loyalty to the cause of anti-Nazism than to the knee-jerk defense of everything the boss does.

And so, apparently, decideth the president: No Fed chair for you.

Taking Cohn out of the running for the second-most-powerful job in the world over a too-forceful denunciation of Nazis looks pretty damning.

You know what's almost as damning? The fact that Trump was considering Cohn in the first place.

Cohn, former president at Goldman Sachs, is not an economist, as Fed chairs have been for the past few decades. That's not necessarily disqualifying.

What should have been disqualifying were the many demonstrably false things he appears to believe about the economy.

Things such as: Trump's tax cuts will get us to sustained rates of economic growth above 3 percent (something no respectable economist believes, partly for demographic reasons).

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