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Larry Kudlow asks Gary Cohn’s National Economic Council staff to stay on

Larry Kudlow. (Richard Drew/AP)

Larry Kudlow, President Trump’s pick to head the National Economic Council, has asked the staff of departing White House economic adviser Gary Cohn to stay on and assured them in recent days that he does not want to overhaul the office.

“It’s a terrific staff, and I’ve asked everyone to stay on,” Kudlow said Monday in an interview with The Washington Post. “I’ve met with all of them, and they’re great.”

Kudlow praised Shahira Knight, the NEC’s deputy director for domestic policy, and Everett Eissenstat, who works on international issues, among others, as “truly talented.”

Additional hires are possible, Kudlow added, but he does not foresee major staff changes.

Kudlow, 70, said he has been working closely with Cohn on the transition and hopes for a smooth entry into the West Wing in the coming weeks, after years of working for CNBC as a television anchor and economic analyst.

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Speaking with CNBC earlier in the month, Kudlow said his biggest concern is keeping staffers who will help guide him as he takes over the high-ranking post.

Kudlow declined to comment on the status of his security clearance. But a White House official said the administration expects Kudlow to pass the clearance process.

In the meantime, Kudlow said he is speaking regularly with Cohn and other White House aides — and, with his wife Judy, looking for a residence in Washington. And he has continued to host his radio show on New York-based WABC, although his show over the weekend was probably his last program.

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)