WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump called his outgoing top economic adviser, who is Jewish, a “globalist” — a term used by the “alt-right” that has taken on anti-Semitic connotations.
“This is Gary Cohn’s last meeting in the Cabinet,” Trump said Thursday at the meeting. “He’s been terrific. He may be a globalist, but I still like him. He is seriously a globalist. There’s no question. In his own way, but you know what, he’s a nationalist. He loves our country.”
Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, made a similar statement on Tuesday on the official OMB Twitter feed.
— OMB Press (@OMBPress) March 6, 2018
“As a right-wing conservative and founding member of the Freedom Caucus, I never expected that the coworker I would work closest, and best, with at the White House would be a ‘globalist,’” he said in wishing Cohn well.
“Globalist” has been used by the Republican Party’s far-right wing to describe those who favor free trade as Cohn, a former president of Goldman Sachs, has done.
That usage has overlapped on the “alt-right” with anti-Semitic connotations. Steve Bannon, a former adviser to Trump who has been identified with the alt-right, called Trump’s Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a “globalist.” Cohn is close to Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump.
Trump in a move last week that surprised many of his top advisers wants to introduce stiff tariffs on the import of steel and aluminum. That reportedly triggered Cohn’s departure from the administration.
Cohn reportedly considered quitting last August after Trump equivocated in his condemnation of neo-Nazis and white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia. A white supremacist rammed counter-protesters with his car during that march, killing one and injuring at least 20 others.