Gary Cohn, the National Economic Council director and former president of Goldman Sachs, is enjoying his new role as an increasingly influential adviser to President Donald Trump, but says Washington is a “sh–show,” according to a Thursday Washington Post report.
Cohn’s comment comes as the White House is being consumed by increasingly visible drama between warring camps led by Trump’s more moderate son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, an anti-Wall Street economic nationalist.
Cohn is reportedly working hard to cut through Washington drama and politics to enact his agenda of reforming the tax code, crafting an infrastructure plan, cutting financial regulations, and renegotiating international trade agreements.
He’s hired about two dozen policy experts to help him develop these plans.
“Cohn might be a newbie to policy and Washington, but you have to give him credit for one thing,” Gene Sperling, the director of the NEC under President Barack Obama, told The Washington Post. “While others seemed engaged in ideological and ‘House of Cards’-like staff warfare, he quietly and quickly focused on the first rule of governing: He hired some competent, professional staff at the NEC, and it has paid off for him.”
Cohn, who received a $US285 million payout when he left Goldman to advise President Donald Trump on domestic and global economic policy, may have moved to Washington, but is maintaining his ties to Wall Street. He recently had drinks at the Four Seasons with Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein, according to The Washington Post.
Kushner, Cohn, and former Goldman colleague Dina Powell are reportedly behind Trump’s recent shifts towards a more moderate economic agenda.
Over the past week, Trump has retracted his criticism of Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen, said he would not — as he has promised — label China a currency manipulator, and announced his support for government subsidies for exports.
Much like Ivanka Trump, who told the Republican National Convention that she votes based on policy, not party, Cohn reportedly frequently tells business executives that he is neither a Republican, nor a Democrat, but just wants to “get things done.”
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