Gary Cohn: Jamie Dimon would make a 'phenomenal president'

  • "I think Jamie [Dimon] would make a phenomenal president. I think Jamie would be a spectacular president," Gary Cohn said during a live interview with Reuters.
  • Cohn's comments came less than a week after the J.P. Morgan Chase chief said he could beat Trump in a head-to-head election.
  • The former Goldman Sachs executive announced his resignation as Director of the National Economic Council in March.

Gary Cohn, the White House's former top economic advisor, said Monday that Jamie Dimon would make a "phenomenal president" days after the J.P. Morgan Chase chief executive said he could beat President Donald Trump in an election.

"I think Jamie would make a phenomenal president. I think Jamie would be a spectacular president," Cohn said during a live interview with Reuters.

"Look, after having seen the inside of the Oval Office and worked inside there for hours and hours a day, it's in many respects very similar to running a complex, multinational global firm. It really is," he added.

Cohn's comments came less than a week after Dimon said he could beat Trump in a head-to-head election.

"I think I could beat Trump," Dimon said Wednesday during an event held at his bank's Park Avenue headquarters in New York. "Because I'm as tough as he is, I'm smarter than he is. I would be fine. He could punch me all he wants, it wouldn't work with me. I'd fight right back."

Shortly after, the CEO walked back his statement, saying "I should not have said it. I'm not running for president." Dimon added that the off-the-cuff remark "proves I wouldn't make a good politician."

As an outspoken voice on American economic policy, Dimon has advocated for reform on topics ranging from immigration policy to infrastructure spending. Even barring last week's outburst, many have wondered if the J.P. Morgan chief would consider a bid for the Oval Office.

Cohn, whose own experience in the White House was cut short earlier this year, said he believes Dimon's role at the helm of a multinational bank would help him tackle the myriad issues faced by the White House.

"The problems are different, the magnitude of the problems is different, the impact is different," he added. "But Jamie would be a phenomenal president."

Cohn supervised a historic overhaul of the U.S. tax code that resulted in the reduction of the corporate tax rate to 21 percent. But despite agreements over deregulation and tax cuts, Cohn and Trump frequently sparred over the president's plans to impose trade sanctions on economic allies.

Trump, who's championed a policy of "America First" since his 2016 campaign, has employed tariffs against a slew of nations including China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union in an attempt to garner better trade agreements.

The former Goldman Sachs executive announced his resignation as Director of the National Economic Council in March, days after Trump decided to pursue tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

Cohn was also depicted in veteran Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward's recent book about the Trump administration, entitled "Fear." Woodward wrote that multiple White House staff members, including Cohn, stole documents off Trump's desk to keep him from signing them.

For his part, Cohn told Axios in a statement that "This book does not accurately portray my experience at the White House."

— CNBC's Hugh Son contributed reporting.