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Goldman veterans brought vast wealth to Trump's White House

A man walks across a footbridge linking two buildings at the Goldman Sachs investment offices on October 10, 2016 in London, England.
Carl Court | Getty Images
A man walks across a footbridge linking two buildings at the Goldman Sachs investment offices on October 10, 2016 in London, England.

At the heart of the wealth amassed by top White House officials, there is a very familiar—and decidedly non-populist—name.

President Donald Trump put Goldman Sachs veterans at the top ranks of his White House staff, and alumni of the powerful firm brought vast wealth with them, according to financial disclosures released late Friday.

Chief economic advisor Gary Cohn, deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell and chief strategist Steve Bannon—all of whom worked at Goldman at one point during their careers—came to the Trump administration as multimillionaires, the documents show. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman partner who already had to disclose finances, is also estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars.

Trump rode into office on a wave of economic populism partly fueled by Bannon strong influence, but has faced criticism for filling his administration with wealthy officials. While rich individuals and Wall Street executives have served in past administrations, Trump's White House holds largely unprecedented collective wealth.

The filings released Friday are part of the government's legal process to identify possible conflicts of interest for White House employees. The reports reflect their holdings when they entered their White House jobs, and do not necessarily show planned sales of assets.

Cohn, the former No. 2 executive at Goldman, earned at least $40 million in income from Goldman-related dividends, interest, salary and bonuses. He disclosed assets of $252 million to $611 million.

He reported a $1.85 million salary from the firm last year, along with a $5.8 million cash bonus in 2015.

Powell headed many charitable initiatives at Goldman before joining the Trump administration. She reported $6.2 million in Goldman-related salary, bonus, stock compensation and retirement account income for last year.

Powell disclosed Goldman-related assets worth between $3.9 million and $14.1 million.

Bannon, who has advocated a brand of protectionism and populism the Trump administration adopted, disclosed at least $1.3 million in income last year, largely from a consulting firm and entities backed by the billionaire Mercer family. He also disclosed between $13 million and $56 million in assets.

While he worked at Goldman years ago, none of the income Bannon disclosed was related to the firm.

During his run for the presidency, Trump repeatedly slammed Goldman and other powerful Wall Street firms. He criticized primary opponent Sen. Ted Cruz for taking a loan from the firm, while he also slammed general election rival Hillary Clinton for links to donors from the finance community.

The White House has said the wealth of administration officials, and the complexity of their holdings, shows their success and abilities.