US economic advisor Larry Kudlow in good condition following heart attack, White House says

  • Larry Kudlow suffered a heart attack and has been hospitalized in good condition, the White House says.
  • Trump tweeted the news only minutes before his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
  • Kudlow, a former CNBC contributor and Wall Street economist, plays a leading role in crafting trade policy.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow, an important voice in U.S. trade policy, suffered a heart attack and is in good condition at Walter Reed Medical Center.

"Earlier today National Economic Council Director and Assistant to the President Larry Kudlow, experienced what his doctors say was a very mild heart attack," press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Monday evening.

"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. The president and his administration send their thoughts and prayers to Larry and his family," she said.

President Donald Trump tweeted the news earlier, literally minutes before his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un:

Kudlow, a former CNBC contributor and Wall Street economist, has played a leading role in crafting policy toward America's major trade partners, including China.

Just last weekend, Kudlow accused Canada of directing "polarizing" comments toward the United States following a fractious G-7 meeting of advanced economies. The conclave in Quebec pitted the United States against its traditional allies, which are trying to head off a full-blown trade war.

"Here's the thing," he told CNN, speaking of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "He really kind of stabbed us in the back."

Health concerns for Kudlow are unlikely to alter ongoing talks between the United States and its global commerce partners, said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank.

"I probably would venture to answer that it wouldn't materially affect anything around the trade talks," Varathan said. The U.S. is negotiating trade disagreements with the European Union, China and NAFTA partners including Mexico, among others.

"A lot of the trade thoughts and the trade motivations were formed long before Larry Kudlow joined the team," Varathan said. "They were already formed. You've got people like (trade advisor) Peter Navarro and all — hawkish views on trade."

Kudlow replaced Gary Cohn in the post of National Economic Council director in March.

Kudlow, 70, took the job after Cohn resigned following a fight against tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Prior to assuming his current role, Kudlow was a vocal free trader and was generally opposed tariffs, but he has strongly supported Trump's hard line on international commerce.

"This president's got some backbone, others didn't, and he's raising the issue in full public view, setting up a process that may include tariffs," Kudlow told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" in April.

"Somebody's got to do it," Kudlow continued at the time. "Somebody's got to say to China, 'You are no longer a Third World country. You are a First World country and you have to act like it. The president's got to stick up for himself and the United States."

Word of Kudlow's hospitalization came in the moments before Trump and Kim shook hands in Singapore, marking the first meeting between sitting U.S. and North Korean leaders in history.

Walter Reed Medical Center is located in Bethesda, Maryland.

Prior to the White House statement, Kudlow's wife, Judy, said he was "doing fine," according to Robert Costa, a reporter at the Washington Post.

—CNBC's Saheli Roy Choudhury contributed to this report.

Watch: Trump and Kim meet for the first time