Wall Street basher Trump loving Goldman guys for his team

Goldman Sachs president meets with Trump
Goldman Sachs president meets with Trump

President-elect Donald Trump is looking to fill his Cabinet and administration with former Goldman Sachs executives after running as an anti-establishment and anti-Wall Street candidate.

Trump first picked former Goldman Sachs investment banker and managing partner Steve Bannon to be the White House chief strategist. Then, on Wednesday, Trump tapped 17-year Goldman veteran Steven Mnuchin for Treasury secretary. Now, he is meeting with current Goldman Sachs President and COO Gary Cohn, who is reportedly under consideration to be director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Cohn has been weighing his future at the firm and has had discussions about leaving, Dow Jones reported Wednesday, citing sources. The investment bank's president is as a member of the Goldman Sachs management committee and board of directors. During his 25-year career at Goldman Sachs, Cohn has held a variety of leadership positions in the firm's securities division.

During his campaign, Trump sharply criticized Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for not releasing transcripts of speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street banks. He also accused Clinton and former Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of being controlled by Goldman Sachs.

"I know the guys at Goldman Sachs. They have total, total control over (Ted Cruz). Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton," he said earlier this year during the primaries.

Cruz's wife, Heidi Cruz, worked at the investment bank as a vice president before taking an unpaid leave of absence to help with her husband's campaign. Immediately after Ted Cruz's speech at the Republican National Convention where he failed to endorse Trump, she had to be escorted from the arena out of concern for her safety after at least one Trump supporter started chanting "Goldman Sachs" at her. She has reportedly returned to the bank's Houston office in a newly created role, focusing on strategic relationships.

Trump's pick for Treasury secretary, Mnuchin, spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs, ultimately rising to partner before leaving to start his own hedge fund and launching a production company that bankrolled Hollywood hits like "Avatar" and "American Sniper." At the time a relatively unknown banker, Mnuchin became Trump's finance chairman in May and helped the real estate mogul raise millions for his campaign.

The three former executives would bring more than 40 combined years of investment banking experience to Trump's Cabinet, and Wall Street is taking notice. Shares of Goldman Sachs reached a 9-year high Wednesday, up more than 3 percent. Goldman's stock was tracking for its best month since January 2012 when it gained 23.27 percent.

Pre-election: Trump and Goldman Sachs

At least one lawmaker has pointed out that Trump's Cabinet picks thus far seem to contradict with his populist campaign rhetoric and pledge to be the "voice" for blue-collar workers.

Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California criticized the president-elect's choice for Treasury secretary in a statement Wednesday. "Donald Trump ran a campaign on anti-Wall Street rhetoric, but appointing a former hedge fund manager, Goldman Sachs executive, and bank CEO as Treasury Secretary shows his true colors," she said.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden earlier this year also characterized Clinton — not Trump — as the "Goldman Sachs" candidate.

@Snowden: 2016: a choice between Donald Trump and Goldman Sachs.

—CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.