President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results 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 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 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.”
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 HeitkampWashington's oldest contact sport: Lobbyists scrum to dilute or kill Democrats' tax bill Progressives prepare to launch counterattack in tax fight Business groups aim to divide Democrats on .5T spending bill MORE (D-N.D.), who lost reelection in November.