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Trump expected to tap Goldman Sachs banker for economic post

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Goldman Sachs COO Gary Cohn arrived at Trump Tower in New York, for a Nov. 29 meeting with President-elect Donald Trump.

WASHINGTON » President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn to an influential White House economic post, two people informed of the decision said today.

Cohn, 56, would lead the White House National Economic Council, a posting that would require him to leave his $21 million a year job as president and chief operating officer at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Trump repeatedly vilified the prestigious Wall Street bank on the campaign trail, yet with the selection of Cohn, he has now chosen three of its alumni to key positions in his upcoming administration.

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary nominee, and Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor, also worked at Goldman Sachs.

The National Economic Council helps to coordinate domestic and global issues, providing economic policy advice to the president and monitoring how the White House’s agenda is implemented across the government.

If Cohn accepts the nomination, he will also be the third Goldman executive to run the NEC. Robert Rubin was the NEC director under Bill Clinton, and Stephen Friedman had the job during George W. Bush’s administration.

The two people informed of the decision spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the expected move.

Raised in Ohio, Cohn took a more circuitous path to Goldman.

He graduated jobless from American University in Washington, D.C., and moved back into his parents’ home, according to a speech he gave at his alma mater. Cohn quickly found work at U.S. Steel to appease his father, only to pivot to a Wall Street job within a few months that eventually led him to Goldman in 1990.

During the campaign, Trump repeatedly attacked his rivals over their Goldman ties.

He criticized GOP primary opponent Ted Cruz for taking loans from the bank, where Cruz’s wife worked, to help pay for his Texas Senate race in 2012. And he chided Clinton for accepting large speaking fees from Goldman and for not publicly sharing what she had told the bankers.

“I know the guys at Goldman Sachs,” Trump said at a South Carolina rally in February, when he was locked in a fierce battle with Cruz. “They have total, total control over him. Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton.”

Trump even featured video of Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein in a campaign ad with the voiceover, “Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends and her donors.”

But Trump appears to have since changed his tune.

In a Dec. 9 speech in Des Moines, Iowa, Trump said, “I want people that made a fortune. Because now they’re negotiating with you, OK?”

AP writers Julie Pace and Julie Bykowicz contributed to this report.

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    • This has nothing to do about Goldman Sachs, and everything to do about Trump and those crazy enough to put him in a position to make these kind of decisions. It wasn’t too long ago that he was slamming one of the world’s largest financial investment companies in the world, and now he is in bed with them. This is just the beginning of Mr. Trump not keeping his word (not that it ever meant anything in the first place).

  • Power in Congress can change quickly. Significant change simply does not happen in just 4 years. And the reality of meaningful change is very different from campaign rhetoric and cabinet positions.

    Trump will be in for a reality check and if he does not act in the best interests of this country, he will be exposed. His current and past behaviors show who he really is and in a sad way, also reflects the frustration of many people and their perception of the swamp.

    You would think all of this is a wake up call for democrats and republicans alike. Maybe one of the best things to come out of all this is that the country will be able to see who is the swamp, and who actually does work for them.

    • Who did Trump sell the SWAMP as, who were we supposed to DRAIN from the swamp? Did Trump SELL Goldman Sachs as part of the swamp to his supporters? If he DID, then how should we fell about his current selections? Does his supporters agree with his New DEFINITION of The Swamp?

      Its interesting to see if his supporters behave like Obama supporters and also, look the other way on his “missteps” and lies…#MAGA

      • There are other billionaires, many of whom are on the left, who are seriously starting to consider running for president in four years. Maybe an equal amount of billionaires on the right as well.

  • Trump is lying here.

    Clinton would never have appointed any of those guys the government positions. It’s a very thing she was against.

    But of course Trump is under the control of these guys like he says.

      • Great pick, if you like a bunch of multi-billionaires running the economy of the country. The Great Recession was caused in large part by these Wall St. bankers. like Goldman Sachs, who sold all those different hedge funds and derivatives to the gullible, and caused the housing and financial collapse.

        • Why are you opposed to the appointments of very rich and successful business people who know how to create jobs and stimulate to economy? You apparently believe we would be better off appointing lawyers as were many of Obama’s appointments.

        • Trump said tthat Goldman Sachs was a bunch of crooks that ripped off the middle class and should be in jail. I saw his TV commercial where they had video fo the President of Goldman Sachs and a voiceover suggesting this man should be in jail. But every president, including Obama had these guys in their cabinet– Obama had at one point almost twenty of them. So far Trump has only 2 o3. They run the economy. It’s always Goldman Sachs. And the Breitbart gang is not happy and neither is Trump’s strategies Bannon.

        • IRT Tempmanoa: or Let’s try this: I LOVE Trump, I HATE Obama, I HATE Clinton but WHY is he behaving like Obama and putting people in positions that HE WARNED US AGAINST??? #MAGA

        • Goldman Sachs supported Hillary in the campaign. One of Obama’s major fundraisers is a Goldman banker (from Honolulu and Punahou). AS reported on Fox and Fortune magazine, Goldman banned their senior employees from giving to Trump. Goldman people have been in an important post or cabinet position of all the modern presidents. Ted Cruz is married to a Goldman investment banker You cannot escape them. But if you say they are crooks, like Trump did, why do you choose them for your administration (Cohn by the way is a registered Democrat) Adds to the myth that Goldman controls the country.

    • Read the article–Bill Clinton had Rubin, ex-Goldman Sachs on his cabinet and Hillary made 100’s of thousands of dollars giving speeches to them. I think the choice is valid and it’s important, as Trump is doing, is put people who are successful in the cabinet. What a contrast to the “other” administration. These people made it and know how to get the ball rolling!!! I am proud to be a Trump supporter!! If you have ever run a business and had to meet payrolls–the regulations, taxes, audits, and the ignorant public officials that you must deal with who can’t be fired–we do need a “change”.

      • This is a stu*id response. Clinton was against lobbyists and insiders gumming up the works. Trump may be an outsider, but he’s putting a lot of insiders and lobbyists with blatant conflicts of interest into positions of power in his government.

    • You are so right. The Trump and the billionaires will get richer. The upper 0.01% already own 50% of the wealth in this country, while we, the other 99.99% have they other 50%

      • But what you are missing IS the billionaires are going to give us some of their money and their magic will RUB off on us…and it will make us RICH like them. #MAGA

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