Political News

Larry Kudlow, Trump Adviser, Recovering After Heart Attack, Friends Say

Posted June 12, 2018 5:05 p.m. EDT
Updated June 12, 2018 5:09 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON — Larry Kudlow, the director of President Donald Trump’s National Economic Council, spent Tuesday morning calling friends who said they expected him to return to his White House job after recovering from a mild heart attack that landed him in the hospital Monday.

Kudlow, 70, seemed to be back to his usual self, friends and colleagues said, as he placed and fielded calls from Walter Reed Medical Center. On Tuesday afternoon, White House officials said Kudlow remained in the hospital and confirmed they expect him to return to his position.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said in a statement Tuesday that Kudlow’s doctors “expect Larry will make a full and speedy recovery.”

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said on Twitter that he had spoken with Kudlow and that he was “doing well.”

Other people who spoke with Kudlow on Tuesday said they expected he would return to his position as Trump’s top economic adviser. The high-profile position includes advising the president on trade and economic policy and, in Kudlow’s case, making frequent television appearances to promote what the administration considers its economic successes.

“He’s OK and will be back on the job,” said Stephen Moore, an economist at the Heritage Foundation and a longtime friend of Kudlow.

The economist Arthur Laffer, another longtime friend, said that Kudlow had called him Monday from his hospital bed.

“Larry called me from the hospital last night,” said Laffer, a mentor to Kudlow. “I talked for 22 seconds with him. He said, ‘Art, I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m doing fine.’ I said, ‘OK, I don’t need to hear anything more.'”

Asked whether he expected Kudlow to return to work, Laffer said he had never considered the possibility that he would not.

“I don’t think there’s a chance he’ll resign,” Laffer said. “This is the culmination of his life. And it’s that time for Trump, too. He needs Larry.”

Laffer noted that Kudlow had pushed hard to be appointed to succeed the economic council’s previous director, Gary Cohn. “He really wants that job,” he said. “He really loves it.”

Kudlow had complained to colleagues of exhaustion in recent days. Friends said they had begun to worry about his health after he looked uncharacteristically fatigued at a series of events. He did not respond to messages from colleagues Sunday and he canceled a key meeting on Monday, before being hospitalized and having doctors insert a stent.

Trump posted a message about Kudlow’s hospitalization on Twitter late Monday. A short time later, Sanders said in a statement that Kudlow was “currently in good condition at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and his doctors expect he will make a full and speedy recovery.”

Kudlow is a former Wall Street economist and frequent adviser on economic issues to conservative political candidates, including Trump, whose campaign tax plan Kudlow helped write. He was also a longtime radio and television host, including more than a decade on CNBC.

Laffer, whose friendship with Kudlow has spanned several decades, has spoken at least once a week with Kudlow since he started working at the White House. He said that Kudlow had occasionally complained about his health in the past, but had not done so since he began working for Trump.

“I do not think the stress levels at the White House are anything like he had at CNBC,” Laffer said.