ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
80°
Mostly Sunny
H 93° L 75°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    80°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Sunny. H 93° L 75°
  • clear-day
    76°
    Morning
    Mostly Sunny. H 93° L 75°
  • cloudy-day
    90°
    Afternoon
    Mostly Cloudy. H 92° L 75°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Does Cohn's exit mark end of Trump's Goldman era?

Has President Donald Trump's romance with the Goldman Sachs crowd gone cold?

Top economic adviser Gary Cohn is only the latest Goldman figure to head for the White House exits, suggesting the influence of the oh-so-establishment banking powerhouse has been overwhelmed by the more nationalistic voices in the West Wing.

Cohn, Goldman's former president, announced his resignation this week after an unsuccessful effort to block Trump from imposing sweeping new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Trump threw Cohn a laurel on the way out, saying, "He may be a globalist, but I still like him."

But there was plenty of skepticism about Trump's relationship with the big-name bank from the start.

"I think we all knew this was coming to an end someday," said Barry Bennett, a former Trump campaign aide.

It's not that Trump's views have changed, Bennett added, but that "people gave up trying to change him."

Cohn is the fourth high-profile Goldman alumni to leave the administration. He was preceded earlier this year by Dina Powell, former deputy national security adviser, who is returning to Goldman.

In August, onetime chief strategist Steve Bannon said farewell. And in July, after just 11 days as communications director, Anthony Scaramucci was out the door.

That leaves Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as the last Goldman veteran holding a top administration job.

Of course, handing big jobs to Goldman alumni is an Oval Office tradition. The influential bank has produced Treasury secretaries, White House chiefs of staff and top economic advisers in both Republican and Democratic administrations. But Trump's reliance on Goldman talent was a surprise to some, given his anti-Wall Street, drain-the-swamp campaign rhetoric.

On the campaign trail, Trump suggested Wall Street was getting "away with murder." He argued that he would not be beholden to bankers, saying that Democrat Hillary Clinton's ties to the industry meant that she'd never advance financial reform. And he promoted himself as a champion for the "forgotten men and women" left behind in a growing economy.

Trump also specifically attacked his opponents over their ties to Goldman, lambasting rival Ted Cruz because the senator's wife worked for the bank. He slammed Clinton for taking big speaking fees from the firm.

"I know the guys at Goldman Sachs. They have total, total control over him," Trump said of Cruz. "Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton."

But, for all that, Trump seemed to enjoy the prestige of hiring Goldman talent, says William Cohan, author of "Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World."

"I think Donald Trump wanted these Goldman people as a way to stroke his own ego. Don't forget that Goldman never wanted to do business with Donald Trump," Cohan said. "It was a way for (Trump) to say 'Ha, ha, now I've got some of your best people working for me.'"

Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein said in Vanity Fair last year that he found the hires "validating." He added that as Trump was "looking for good people, it happens that a lot of them had Goldman Sachs affiliations. It makes me feel good that he sees in those people the same thing I see in those people."

So far, Trump's presidency has been good for Goldman and other major banks. Since taking office, Trump's main legislative achievement was a $1.5 trillion tax cut applauded by Wall Street. Cohn and Mnuchin were deeply involved in that process and Cohn stayed in the administration to work on it, after he was upset by the president's comments about the racial violence in Charlottesville last August.

But Wall Street has been appalled with Trump tariff plans, hastily announced last week without full details and prompting worries of a trade war that could undermine the benefits of the tax cut.

Cohn's departure has raised concerns about who within the White House will seek to temper Trump's nationalistic instincts.

Cohn was viewed as a moderating, pro-business voice in the West Wing. He accompanied Trump to an annual global financial meeting in Davos earlier this year and sought to reassure financial markets that the administration's "America first" rhetoric does not mean "America alone."

Blankfein weighed in on Twitter saying: "Gary Cohn deserves credit for serving his country in a first class way. I'm sure I join many others who are disappointed to see him leave."

Looking forward, it's not clear if more Goldman veterans will come inside. Said Cohan: "I think Trump has played his Goldman card."

Trump said Cohn might come back to the White House, but added: "I don't know if I can put him in the same position though — he's not quite as strong on those tariffs as we want him to be."

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A teen girl helped a blind, deaf man communicate on a recent Alaska Airlines flight, according to KIRO. Dianne McGinness with Alaska Airlines shared the heartwarming story after a passenger on the flight wrote a post this week about the interaction that was shared over 400,000 times. The passenger, Lynette Scribner, was traveling on the same flight as the teen and man, and was moved to write a post on the touching encounter.  >> Read more trending news  Scribner said the man, Tim Cook, was traveling home to Portland after visiting his sister. Cook lives at Portland's Brookdale Senior Living.  When passengers of the flight realized Cook was blind and deaf, many helped ensure he was comfortable. A man sitting next to Cook gave him the aisle seat and helped with little tasks like opening his coffee creamer and pouring it into his coffee, Scribner shared. A flight attendant made an announcement asking if a passenger on board knew American Sign Language. Fifteen-year-old Clara Daly, who has studied ASL for the last year, rang her call button. When Daly learned the man could communicate only if someone signed into his hand, she immediately went to help. Cook asked Daly questions and she patiently sign-spelled answers into his hand. Scribner said Daly learned ASL because she has dyslexia, and it was the easiest foreign language for her to learn. “Clara was amazing,” an Alaska Airlines flight attendant said in the news release. “You could tell Tim was very excited to have someone he could speak to -- and she was such an angel.” “When (Cook) asked (Daly) if she was pretty, she blushed and laughed as the seat mate, who had learned a few signs, communicated an enthusiastic yes to Tim,” Scribner shared. “I don't know when I've ever seen so many people rally to take care of another human being. All of us in the immediate rows were laughing and smiling and enjoying his obvious delight in having someone to talk to.” After the flight, McGinness said Cook met a service provider from Brookdale Senior Living at the gate. Cook said the flight was the best trip he's ever taken. Daly told her mom she thought the encounter was 'meant to be,' since her original flight was canceled and she was redirected to Cook's flight. On Thursday, Scribner added a note on her beloved post: “We are all starving for good news and this was just what we needed.”
  • Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Wueizman Leal, 41, after he allegedly shot and killed his 59-year-old mother Friday evening during an argument at a home near Winter Garden, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said. Deputies were called shortly after 8:45 p.m. to a fight at a home on Bridgewater Crossings Boulevard near Ficquette and Winter Garden Vineland roads, Orange County Deputy Ingrid Tejada-Monforte said. When deputies arrived at the home, they heard people arguing followed by gunfire, Tejada-Monforte said. Investigators said they apprehended Leal while he was trying to leave the home. His mother, Tania Perez Creek , was shot multiple times, deputies said. She was taken to Florida Hospital Winter Garden where she later died from her injuries, deputies said. The man's stepfather was also at the home when the woman was shot, Tejada-Monforte said. The shooting remains under investigation.
  • Anthony Bourdain’s mother revealed that while she was “never really a fan” of her son’s tattoos, she plans to get one in his memory. Gladys Bourdain told the New York Times that she plans to get “Tony” tattooed in small letters on the inside of her wrist some time next week, and use his tattoo artist. >> Read more trending news  The 61-year-old chef and host of CNN’s “Parts Unknown” was found dead on June 8 in a hotel room in France. Investigators say he hanged himself. On Friday, a prosecutor said Bourdain had no traces of drugs or alcohol in his system.  The famous chef had several tattoos, getting his first at 44. Bourdain told Maxim in August 2017 that each tattoo marks a significant moment in his life. “I don't overly place importance on them, but [tattoos] do commemorate in a way that photographs can't,” Bourdain said. “I stopped taking photographs a long time ago when I travel. There's this realization that the lens is inadequate to capture the moment, so maybe I'm just looking to mark time in another way that's very personal.” Gladys Bourdain said that a private ceremony will be held soon, adding, “He would want as little fuss as possible.” A Bourdain family spokesperson told the BBC the family has no plans for a public memorial at this time.
  • White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she and seven members of her family were kicked out of The Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia on Friday night. TMZ first reported that the restaurant’s owner kicked out Sanders and her family out of “moral conviction.”  >> Read more trending news  A waiter posted on Facebook that Sanders was in the restaurant for “a total of two minutes” before being asked to leave. Sanders confirmed the incident on Twitter. “Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left,” Sanders tweeted Saturday. “Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.” Sanders’ father, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, tweeted his support, saying it was an act of “bigotry.” The Red Hen’s Facebook and Yelp pages were bombarded with reviews from people from both sides. While some praised the restaurant, many others said the owner was being “intolerant.” This comes after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen bolted from a Washington, D.C. Mexican restaurant after protesters confronted her at her table -- with the blessing of the manager.
  • Police in Pittsburgh are searching for the driver of a dark sedan who drove through a crowd of protesters on Friday night.  Officials told WPXI no one was hurt.  This happened during the third straight night of protests related to the police shooting death of Antwon Rose, 17, who was killed during a traffic stop earlier in the week. >>Read: Protesters gather in Pittsburgh for third straight night The car plowed into the crowd near PNC Park, where fans were leaving a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game. >>Read: LIVE UPDATES: Car drives through crowd of protesters at PNC Park One person at the scene Friday night tweeted, “Someone tried to drive through us, police responded in riot gear.” Allegheny County police officials said that Rose was a passenger in a vehicle stopped in East Pittsburgh Tuesday night, because it fit the description of a car seen fleeing the area of a shooting in the nearby borough of North Braddock.  As an officer handcuffed the driver of the car, which investigators said had bullet damage to the back window, Rose and a second passenger got out of the car and ran.  Rose, who police officials said was shot three times, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.  Police are now investigating reports that Rose may have fired a weapon during a drive-by shooting before his death, and he had gun powder residue on his hands. In a statement to WPXI, Coleman McDonough, Allegheny County Police superintendent, stated that those claims are “false.” “While ACPD does have a video showing the North Braddock incident, that video does NOT show Antwon Rose firing a gun. The information about gunshot residue is also false. Crime Lab reports are still pending and have not yet been issued,” McDonough said. The East Pittsburgh police officer who fatally shot Rose has been identified as Michael Rosfeld. >>Read: Officer was sworn in hours before killing unarmed teen, mayor says He was sworn into the department just hours before the shooting, but has worked for several police forces, including the University of Pittsburgh. No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing.