Gary Cohn criticizes the shutdown: 'Completely wrong'

Gary Cohn criticizes the shutdown: 'Completely wrong'
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE's former chief economic adviser says he doesn't understand the White House's strategy for the ongoing partial government shutdown.

Gary CohnGary David CohnChristie: Trump doesn’t give nicknames to people he respects On The Money: Congress pivots to prevent another shutdown | Trump hits Venezuelan oil company with sanctions | US criminal charges filed against Huawei | Next round of China trade talks set | Forecasts raise doubt on Trump’s economic goals Gary Cohn joked about sending Trump to help Brexit talks: report MORE told the Boston Globe on Thursday that the shutdown, which began last month, is "completely wrong" for the country, adding that the decision to furlough thousands of government workers “makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.”

“I don’t understand what the outcome is here, and I don’t understand where we’re going with it,” Cohn told the newspaper. “I’m confused as to what the White House’s strategy is on this a little bit.”

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Cohn resigned from the Trump administration last March amid differences with Trump over the president's protectionist trade actions.

His comments come days after the White House estimated that the economic impact of the shutdown will be worse than previously expected, while several agencies including the IRS have called some workers back to their jobs without pay to perform critical government functions.

The shutdown began Dec. 22 after Congress and the White House were unable to reach a deal to fund the government due to the president's demand for more than $5 billion in funds for construction of a border wall in any funding package.

Democrats in the newly-elected 116th Congress sworn in this month have refused to meet the president's demands while Trump has threatened to keep the government closed for months or even "years" to secure the border wall money.

Cohn, a Democrat and former president of Goldman Sachs, is set to begin a fellowship at Harvard this spring where he will co-lead a study group about the state of the economy with former Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction MORE (D-N.D.), who lost reelection in November.