A trader works at the Goldman Sachs stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 16, 2012.
Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Despite promises, Trump keeps adding Goldman Sachs vets to his team

Updated
The Rachel Maddow Show, 1/11/17, 9:52 PM ET

Trump announces 5th high-profile hire from Goldman Sachs

Rachel Maddow notes that despite Donald Trump’s attacks on Senator Ted Cruz during the Republican primary for his ties to Goldman Sachs, Trump has now made five high-profile hires from Goldman Sachs to his administration.
Given everything Donald Trump said during the campaign, it’s almost hard to believe how many Goldman Sachs veterans he’s adding to his administration’s team. Politico reported yesterday:
Dina Powell, a Goldman Sachs partner with deep ties to both Republicans and Democrats in Washington, is leaving the bank to join the Trump administration in a senior role that will focus on entrepreneurship, economic growth and the empowerment of women, people familiar with the matter said. She is expected to work closely with President-elect Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and her highly influential husband, Jared Kushner.

Powell, president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation and a major advocate for women, would instantly become one of the more powerful people in Trump’s Washington.
This afternoon, the Washington Post’s Robert Costa reported that Anthony Scaramucci, who also worked for Goldman Sachs, is also joining Team Trump as a “confidant” to the president.

If announcements like this one seem familiar, there’s a very good reason. As regular readers know, she’s hardly alone in making the transition. Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s choice for Treasury Secretary, is a Goldman Sachs veteran. Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief White House strategist, is a Goldman Sachs veteran. Gary Cohn, who’s been offered the directorship of Trump’s National Economic Council, is the president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs. Jay Clayton, Trump’s nominee to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, is a Goldman Sachs attorney.

And now Powell and Scaramucci joining the team, too. None of this would be especially noteworthy were it not for the way in which the president-elect used the Wall Street giant as a combination wedge/punching bag.

As we discussed a month ago, during the Republican presidential primaries, for example, one of Trump’s most common attacks against Sen. Ted Cruz was blasting the Republican senator’s ties to – you guessed it – Goldman Sachs. “Is Cruz honest?” Trump asked in January. “He is in bed w/ Wall St. & is funded by Goldman Sachs.” Trump added, “Goldman Sachs owns [Cruz], he will do anything they demand. Not much of a reformer!”

In the general election, the fact that Hillary Clinton once gave a speech to Goldman Sachs was, somewhat inexplicably, also a popular line of attack – with Trump claiming the investment giant has “total control” over her.

As Rachel put it on last night’s show, if you were told you shouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton because of Goldman Sachs, “you got suckered.”

* Postscript: About a year ago, Edward Snowden characterized the 2016 presidential election as “a choice between Donald Trump and Goldman Sachs.” Oops.


Donald Trump and Goldman Sachs

Despite promises, Trump keeps adding Goldman Sachs vets to his team

Updated