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Trump trashes his own administration's infrastructure plan as 'stupid'

President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE on Tuesday trashed his own White House infrastructure plan released last year, blaming his former top economic adviser Gary CohnGary David CohnOn The Money: Wall Street zeros in on Georgia runoffs | Seven states sue regulator over 'true lender' rule on interest rates | 2021 deficit on track to reach .3 trillion Former Trump economic aide Gary Cohn joins IBM The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience MORE for drafting a proposal that was "so stupid."  

Trump, meeting with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump White House associate tied to Proud Boys before riot via cell phone data Greene sounds off on GOP after Hill story 'Bloody Sunday' to be commemorated for first time without John Lewis MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food Ron Johnson forces reading of 628-page Senate coronavirus relief bill on floor MORE (D-N.Y.), made clear that he was never supportive of the proposal calling for public-private partnerships because "you get sued," according to a senior Democratic source who attended the private meeting in the White House’s Cabinet Room. 

"That was a Gary [Cohn] bill. That bill was so stupid," Trump told the Democratic leaders, according to the source.

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A second person present at Tuesday’s White House meeting confirmed Trump’s remarks criticizing his administration's plan. Unveiled in February 2018, the proposal calls for $200 billion in federal spending that would be used to leverage at least an additional $800 billion in private investment over the next decade.

Cohn, Trump's first director of the National Economic Council, resigned from his White House post in April 2018, two months after rolling out the White House infrastructure plan.

"[Trump] said definitively he doesn't like private-public partnerships, and he did not at all support the plan that was put forward last year," recalled House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioBiden turns focus to next priority with infrastructure talks Biden to meet with bipartisan lawmakers on infrastructure DOJ declined to take up Chao ethics probe MORE (D-Ore.), who was among the group of Hill Democrats who met with Trump. 

"He said he never supported it," DeFazio added. "It was a product of a think tank guy, DJ Gribbin, and he said, 'That was Gary's thing. I never supported that.'"

Gribbin, an infrastructure policy adviser, also left the White House last year. 

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Tuesday's meeting marked a rare bipartisan breakthrough for Trump and Democratic leaders, who agreed to come up with a $2 trillion infrastructure package. But the two sides did not reach a deal on how to pay for the package and will meet again in three weeks to talk details, Pelosi and Schumer announced. Democrats want to raise taxes to generate revenue for roads, bridges, waterways and broadband projects. 

Democrats now hope that Trump’s rejection of public-private partnerships means he’ll move a step closer to their position. 

"I would like to do something. It may not be typically Republican," Trump told the Democrats, according to the senior Democratic source.

Naomi Jagoda contributed.