President Donald Trump’s top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, on Tuesday disavowed comments from White House trade advisor Peter Navarro, who last week lambasted Wall Street influence in U.S.-China trade negotiations in comments that helped weaken the stock market.
“He was not speaking for the president, nor was he speaking for the administration,” Kudlow told CNBC on Tuesday. “His remarks were way off base. They were not authorized by anybody. I actually think he did the president a great disservice.”
“I think Peter very badly misspoke,” added Kudlow, who took over as director of the National Economic Council earlier this year. “He was freelancing and he’s not representing the president or the administration.”
The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Navarro, known for his hawkish economic views toward China, has encouraged Trump’s tough talk with Beijing throughout an escalating trade war between the two countries. He doubled down on his aggressive tone last week, saying any agreement between the two countries will be on Trump’s terms and not subject to Wall Street intervention.
“If there is a deal — if and when there is a deal — it will be on President Donald J. Trump’s terms. Not Wall Street terms,” Navarro said Friday.
“If Wall Street is involved and continues to insinuate itself into these negotiations, there will be a stench around any deal that’s consummated because it will have the imprimatur of Goldman Sachs and Wall Street,” Navarro added.
Both economic powerhouses have imposed and threatened tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of each other’s goods.
Gary Cohn, the former top national economic adviser, argued against imposing tariffs on China. Cohn was formerly the president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs.