Trump picks Goldman's Gary Cohn as key economic advisor

Trump picks Gary Cohn to head National Economic Council

Donald Trump will appoint Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn to a key economic advisory post, adding another veteran of the powerful firm to his administration.

President-elect Trump has picked the 56-year old Cohn as assistant to the president for economic policy and director of the National Economic Council, his transition team announced Monday. Cohn, Goldman's president and chief operating officer, has been at the firm for 25 years and previously worked in commodities.

"Being chosen to serve in the President-elect's administration is a great honor," Cohn said in a statement. "I share President-elect Trump's vision of making sure every American worker has a secure place in a thriving economy, and we will be completely committed to building a nation of strength, growth and prosperity."

Cohn is Trump's latest pick who worked at the firm that he repeatedly bashed during his campaign. Trump Treasury secretary choice Steven Mnuchin and senior advisor Steve Bannon also worked at Goldman.

During the campaign, Trump cited Goldman as evidence that corporate and financial interests have influence over politicians. He criticized former opponent Sen. Ted Cruz for taking a loan from the firm, tweeting that it "owns him." Trump also hit general election opponent Hillary Clinton for ties to Wall Street, saying Sen. Bernie Sanders' endorsement of her "is like Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs."

The National Economic Council, which Cohn would lead, is meant to "coordinate policy-making for domestic and international issues, to coordinate economic policy advice for the president, to ensure that policy decisions and programs are consistent with the president's economic goals, and to monitor implementation of the president's economic policy agenda," according to the office's website.

Cohn will "make sure increasing wages for American workers will be a top priority" and "work closely" with the Treasury and Commerce departments, the transition team said.

In Cohn, Trump will get an economic advisor who has expressed doubts about Federal Reserve policy and its possible effects on the economy.

Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein said in a statement that the firm "will miss" Cohn but that he believes "the American people and president-elect are fortunate that he has chosen to serve his country."

"I am confident that Gary will bring his many talents and expertise to the White House and will do his part to make our economy stronger for all Americans," Blankfein said.

Fervent Wall Street critic Sanders decried the potential influence of Goldman veterans on Trump's administration when the Cohn pick was reported.

Sanders tweet: It's called a rigged economy and this is how it works.