Trump picks Goldman Sachs chief for top economic adviser: report

Trump picks Goldman Sachs chief for top economic adviser: report
© Getty Images

Donald Trump has picked Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn to direct the National Economic Council in the White House, NBC News reported Friday morning.

ADVERTISEMENT

The council helps advise the president on economic policy.

Cohn would be the second Goldman-linked appointment for the president-elect, who already named former Goldman Sachs partner Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary.

Cohn met with the president-elect at Trump Tower in late November, according to pool reports, setting off speculation that the Wall Street executive would be a part of the administration.

Trump was a vocal critic of Wall Street banks on the campaign trail and repeatedly called on Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillicon Valley: Trump's exclusive interview with Hill.TV | Trump, intel officials clash over Russia docs | EU investigating Amazon | Military gets new cyber authority | Flynn sentencing sparks new questions about Mueller probe READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV Keeping up with Michael Avenatti MORE to release the transcripts of the paid speeches she delivered to Goldman Sachs. He also accused former GOP primary rival Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSinger Leon Bridges to join Willie Nelson in performing at O’Rourke rally Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls Poll: Beto O'Rourke leads Cruz by 2 points in Texas Senate race MORE (Texas) of being “owned” by Goldman Sachs.

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said in October that he was backing Clinton for president. 

Critics have scrutinized some of Trump’s Cabinet picks, arguing they go against his vow to “drain the swamp” in Washington.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV MORE (I-Vt.), an outspoken critic of Wall Street, blasted the Cohn appointment.

Cohn is the latest wealthy addition to a Cabinet that already has a net worth of $14.5 billion, according to NBC News. According to Vanity Fair, his salary from Goldman Sachs is around $22 million a year.

During a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday night, Trump defended his Cabinet selections, saying rich people are especially qualified to run the government.

“One newspaper criticized me: ‘Why can’t we have people of modest means?' " he said. “Because I want people that made a fortune. Because now they’re negotiating with you.”

“These people are giving up fortunes of income in order to make a dollar a year, and they’re so proud to do it," Trump added.

Cohn, who is a registered Democrat, has donated to members and committees in both parties. He contributed to Senate Democrats’ campaign arm between 2004 and 2008. More recently, he gave money to House Republicans’ campaign arm in 2015, as well as to senators on both sides of the aisle.