Larry Kudlow accepts offer to replace Gary Cohn as top economic adviser

Last Updated Mar 14, 2018 4:22 PM EDT

Television pundit Larry Kudlow has accepted an offer to replace outgoing Gary Cohn and head of the White House National Economic Council (NEC), CBS News' Jacqueline Alemany reports. 

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders later confirmed the selection.

"Larry Kudlow was offered, and accepted, the position of Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council," Sanders said. "We will work to have an orderly transition and will keep everyone posted on the timing of him officially assuming the role."

Kudlow, speaking to CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Wednesday, said the president had first spoken to him about the position on Sunday. "I was in Connecticut, I just finished playing tennis, I thought he was going to call me to ball me out because I had problems with the across the board tariffs," said Kudlow.

He went on, saying "We got into the conversation and he started to talk about the NEC director job and that's when I realized that that was what this was going to be about."

Kudlow called the offer an "enormous honor" and said his immediate reaction was "yes." He said he formally accepted the job Tuesday night. 

"There are greater responsibilities, I'm aware of that. I believe I'm up to the task, I have a lot of energy," he added.  

The announcement comes just days after Cohn announced he was on his way out, and comes in the midst of a number of staff shakeups. On Tuesday, Mr. Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — on Twitter. 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has said there are no personnel announcements "right now," but did confirm that President Trump and Kudlow spoke yesterday. 

Kudlow, a regular MSNBC guest, is an economic analyst who worked in the Office of Management and Budget during the Ronald Reagan administration. Kudlow is known for his stalwart defense of Mr. Trump and conservative economic policies, such as low taxes and reduced spending.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

— CBS News Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.