Gary Cohn was director of the National Economic Council under President Trump

The White House says US President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser Gary Cohn is resigning.

It is the latest in a series of high-profile departures from President Trump’s team.

There has been speculation that Mr Cohn, a supporter of free trade, was angered by Mr Trump’s plans to impose tariffs on aluminium and steel imports.

In a statement released by the White House, Mr Cohn said it had been “an honour to serve my country”.

The 57-year-old former president of the Goldman Sachs Bank had helped Mr Trump push through his sweeping tax reforms late last year.

Why has Mr Cohn gone?

Gary Cohn and President Trump were never believed to be close.

Mr Cohn wasn’t specific about the reasons, saying in a statement it had been “an honour to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people, in particular the passage of historic tax reform”.

Once that mission had been achieved, a number of differences may have prompted the departure, including the possible looming trade tariff war and his differences on that issue with trade adviser Peter Navarro and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

In August last year, Mr Cohn had also criticised Mr Trump over his reaction to a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, saying the administration “can and must do better”. He was reported to have drafted a resignation letter after the event.

What has the White House said?

An official said: “For several weeks Gary had been discussing with the President that it was nearing time for him to transition out.”

The exact departure date had yet to be determined.