Goldman's Gary Cohn Meets with Donald Trump

Features Dow Jones Newswires

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump laid into Goldman Sachs Group Inc. On Tuesday, he planned to sit down with the bank's No. 2 executive, another sign the President-elect's campaign rhetoric about Wall Street might be toned down as he sets out his administration's priorities.

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Gary Cohn, Goldman's president and chief operating officer, was among those set to meet with the president-elect Tuesday, the Trump campaign said.

It isn't clear whether Mr. Trump is considering Mr. Cohn for a job or simply soliciting his advice. Joining the administration would give Mr. Cohn, who has been heir apparent for most of the past decade, an exit strategy should Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein remain in his job for the foreseeable future.

A spokesman for Goldman Sachs didn't immediately comment. A spokesman for Mr. Trump wasn't immediately available to comment.

Mr. Cohn is a Republican donor, having given $72,500 this cycle to the national party committee and candidates including Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Mr. Blankfein said he was supporting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Cohn, 56 years old, said earlier this month that he wasn't surprised by Mr. Trump's win because it followed other outcomes, such as Brexit, where polls had been wrong. Mr. Cohn, who grew up in Ohio and started his career with U.S. Steel in Cleveland, told CNBC that given his "Midwestern context" he "had a feeling that we may end up in this situation."

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"We're all giving President Trump and his transition team the benefit of the doubt," Mr. Cohn said in the televised interview.

Mr. Trump was highly critical of Goldman during his campaign, criticizing Ms. Clinton for receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches given to the firm and its clients.

A Trump television ad showed Mr. Blankfein at a Clinton Global Initiative event and accused Ms. Clinton of secret meetings with global banks "to plot the destruction of US sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends and her donors."

However, one of Mr. Trump's closest advisors, Stephen Bannon is a former Goldman banker. The president-elect is also considering Goldman alum Steven Mnuchin for Treasury secretary, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

Write to Liz Hoffman at liz.hoffman@wsj.com