A White House top economic official is stepping down

Trump announces departure in Sunday tweet

By Poppy Harlow and Rob McLean, CNN Business
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett

(CNN) - Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, is leaving his post.

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday evening that Hassett, who had been in the position since September 2017, "will be leaving shortly."

"I want to thank Kevin for all he has done - he is a true friend!" Trump tweeted.

The Council of Economic Advisers is "charged with offering the President objective economic advice on the formulation of both domestic and international economic policy," according to the White House website. The chairman of the council is generally seen as the White House's chief economist.

Hassett told CNN Sunday night that no one asked him to leave the role, adding that it is normal for CEA chairmen to step down after two years.

"That turnover is really healthy for the CEA because it is meant to be an independent advisory body," Hassett said.

Hassett said he discussed the departure with Trump last week.

"We went over lots of things and had a very cheerful, friendly and then somewhat sad conversation because we were both sad about it," Hassett said.

It was not clear when Hassett would officially leave the role, or who would replace him. The White House could not be reached for additional comment late Sunday.

Hassett previously served as a senior economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He told CNN that he would not be joining the Federal Reserve Board.

In April, Hassett refused to endorse Trump's pleas for the Federal Reserve to slash interest rates to juice growth.

"It's not my job at CEA to give the Fed advice," Hassett told CNN at the time. "My job at CEA is to remind people to respect the independence of the Fed."

Trump, who is currently on a state visit to the United Kingdom, said he would name Hassett's replacement after returning to the United States.

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