- One of President Donald Trump’s top economic advisers, Shahira Knight, is thinking about leaving the White House, Politico reported Tuesday.
- The deputy director of the National Economic Council and a tax policy expert, Knight played a key role in the administration’s tax overhaul effort, the most significant policy win of the Trump administration so far.
- Knight has spent years as a lobbyist working for major corporations and is reportedly being courted by the financial services industry.
One of President Donald Trump’s top economic advisers and an architect of the GOP tax bill is thinking about leaving the White House soon, Politico reported Tuesday.
Shahira Knight, the deputy director of the National Economic Council and a tax policy expert, played a key role in the administration’s tax overhaul effort – the most significant policy win of the Trump administration so far.
“She is the leading person who combines the trust of the political appointees with technical knowledge, and it is clear that she is speaking to the highest levels,” a former Treasury official told Politico last July. “Frankly, she is one of the few people that the political people can talk to with the knowledge that she in on their side.”
Before joining the Trump administration, Knight spent seven years as a financial services industry lobbyist, working for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and Fidelity Investments, where she developed expertise in taxes concerning savings, retirements, and pensions. And she is reportedly in discussions with financial services sector firms that are looking to poach her from the White House.
Early on in her tenure at the White House, Knight reportedly butt heads with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin over what kind of tax structure that US should have. Several months later, Knight disagreed with Mnuchin over how to pay for the large tax cuts the administration proposed.
Knight would be the second top economic policy aide to leave the White House in recent weeks after Gary Cohn, the former head of the council, resigned last month over his disagreement with the president’s implementation of steel and aluminium tariffs.
Knight, a former Hill staffer who worked on the Bush administration’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, was promoted from her position as special assistant for tax and retirement policy to deputy director for policy in February, and was recently praised by the council’s new head, Larry Kudlow.
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