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Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow suffers heart attack, Trump says

Larry Kudlow on the set of CNBC at the New York Stock Exchange on March 8. (Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images)

Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow suffered a heart attack Monday and is at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, President Trump said.

“Earlier today,” Kudlow “experienced what his doctors say was a very mild heart attack. Larry is currently in good condition at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and his doctors expect he will make a full and speedy recovery,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. She added that Trump and other officials “send their thoughts and prayers to Larry and his family.”

Kudlow’s wife, Judith Kudlow, told The Washington Post in a brief conversation  Monday evening that her husband was doing well and recovering.

“He’s doing fine. The doctors here are fabulous,” Judith Kudlow said, saying she would have preferred not to comment but wanted to clarify his health status to the public.

Larry Kudlow, 70, had traveled with Trump to Canada for a contentious meeting of the Group of Seven industrial nations Friday and Saturday, and he had defended the president vigorously on television Sunday.

Kudlow, though on the job only since March, has become a popular figure in the White House and is known for his gregarious and seasoned manner in an administration frequently riven by rivalries and disputes.

Upon hearing of Kudlow’s health problem, several associates told The Post on Monday evening that while he is an energetic and outgoing official, they have had concerns for months that his entry into an at-times chaotic West Wing could strain him, especially after years away from federal work. The associates spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of Kudlow’s health status.

“Our Great Larry Kudlow, who has been working so hard on trade and the economy, has just suffered a heart attack. He is now in Walter Reed Medical Center,” Trump wrote in a Twitter post from Singapore, where he is meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

President Trump picked conservative television commentator Larry Kudlow to head the National Economic Council, after Gary Cohn's resignation. (Video: Jenny Starrs, Victoria Walker/The Washington Post)

Before joining the White House, Kudlow vocally opposed the protectionist trade agenda that Trump promoted, but he has become a forceful advocate for the president’s policies since joining the administration.

Kudlow, a veteran CNBC anchor and commentator, was brought in largely because of his close relationship with Trump and because of his visible comfort on television speaking about the value of the low-tax, high-growth proposals that Trump and Republicans have pushed.

Kudlow, a wry and upbeat speaker, has also adopted some of Trump’s hard-line rhetoric while working inside the West Wing.

On Sunday, Kudlow said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had stabbed Trump “in the back” by criticizing the White House’s trade agenda after the president left for Singapore.

Kudlow served in the Reagan administration and was a highflying Wall Street executive in the 1990s before undergoing treatment for drug and alcohol problems. His recovery has long been a source of pride for him and his friends, contributing to his optimistic outlook.