US & Canada

Trump presidency: Third Goldman executive set to join his cabinet

Goldman Sachs Gary Cohn at Trump Tower Image copyright AP
Image caption Gary Cohn is expected to co-ordinate economic policy across the Trump administration

US President-elect Donald Trump is expected to appoint another Goldman Sachs executive to his administration.

Despite vilifying the Wall Street bank while campaigning, he is tipped to pick Goldman president Gary Cohn to lead the White House National Economic Council.

He would join former colleagues Steven Mnuchin - the incoming Treasury Secretary - and Steve Bannon - the new senior White House adviser.

Mr Trump had said if Hillary Clinton won, she would be the bank's puppet.

In another development, reports suggested that Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson was being considered for the crucial post of secretary of state. Veteran Republican politician Mitt Romney and others have also been discussed for the role.

Another CEO, Andrew Liveris of Dow Chemical Co, has been picked by the Trump team to head up an "American manufacturing council" tasked with bringing industry back to the US.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Rex Tillerson has been chairman of Exxon Mobil since 2006
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Trump says Andrew Liveris, right, will head up an American manufacturing council

And former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani ruled himself out of contention for a post in Mr Trump's cabinet.

Mr Giuliani had also been mentioned as a possible nominee for secretary of state but his foreign business dealings raised questions over his suitability.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr Trump is due to take over on 20 January

In a statement, the Trump transition team said Mr Giuliani had informed Mr Trump of his withdrawal at a 29 November meeting.

Goldman's dominance of Mr Trump's economic team is not incompatible, Mr Trump's advisers say, with his campaign promise to put the interests of Americans on main street ahead of Wall Street.

During the presidential campaign, Mr Trump had accused the bank of belonging to a "global power structure" that he said was robbing the US working class.

He had also poured scorn on rival Ted Cruz, saying that Goldman Sachs had "total control over him".

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Media captionThe Wall Street trader capturing life in America

But on Friday, Kellyanne Conway, his senior adviser, told MSNBC: "You're not going to find better people than those who have been at the top of finance, the top of our markets, understand the way our markets work."

Mr Cohn does not need to face a Senate confirmation hearing for his White House post, which will involve co-ordinating economic policy across the Trump administration.

The 56-year-old from Ohio struggled with dyslexia as a child and once told his parents that if they were really lucky he might grow up to be a truck driver.

According to Reuters news agency, Mr Cohn retains $190m (£150m) worth of stock in Goldman, where he was known for his abrasive manner.

Mr Mnuchin, the incoming treasury secretary, does need to face a hearing before senators, and is likely to be questioned about his Wall Street background.

Goldman Sachs has produced several Treasury secretaries, White House chiefs of staff and top economic advisers.

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