Speaking to reporters last month, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow returned to a familiar refrain when asked about President Trump’s racist “go back” tweets.
“Look, I’m not going to go there,” Kudlow said. “That’s way out of my lane.”
It is a deflection Kudlow has employed nearly a dozen times over the past 16 months on topics ranging from foreign policy to offhand Trump remarks to economics, according to a Fix review. You can watch examples of Kudlow dodging questions that are out of his “lane” in the video above.
Asked in July about the prospects of Congress passing a new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, Kudlow said legislative forecasting was not his “lane.” (Moments later, Kudlow said the agreement would pass if there was a vote).
Asked in November 2018 whether U.S. energy policy was impacting the Trump administration’s response to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Kudlow said, “I’m trying so hard to swim in my own lane.”
And asked in August 2018 whether domestic Chinese political opposition to President Xi Jingping could provide an opening in trade negotiations, Kudlow replied, “Way out of my lane.”
Even as Kudlow dodges non-economic questions he does not want to answer, he will opine on non-economic questions he does want to answer, defending Trump’s immigration policies and foreign policy.
Kudlow’s dodges come as President Trump has restricted press access, gone a record 155 days without an official White House press briefing and regularly forces reporters to shout questions over a roaring helicopter, making the press increasingly reliant on informal and sometimes curtailed “gaggles” with White House officials.
At times, Trump officials have been hesitant to take positions on issues given Trump’s proclivity for openly contradicting them, sometimes minutes later. But even when a topic is seemingly in Kudlow’s economic “lane,” he will still dodge.
Asked in May 2018 about Trump asking the Postal Service to double the rate it charges Amazon, Kudlow attempted to dodge, telling ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, “That’s not in my lane.”
“Well it comes under the National Economic Council, doesn’t it?” Stephanopoulos replied.
“Well I suppose so, but again, I haven’t been involved in that discussion,” Kudlow conceded.
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