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Former Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn: Shutdown is ‘completely wrong’

Gary Cohn, former director of the National Economic Council, participates in an interview during a Washington Post Live event in June. (Kristoffer Tripplaar/For The Washington Post)

Gary Cohn, President Trump’s former top economic adviser, said in an interview published Thursday that the partial government shutdown is “completely wrong” and that he is confused by the White House’s strategy in the standoff with Congress.

“I don’t understand what the outcome is here, and I don’t understand where we’re going with it,” Cohn was quoted as saying in a Boston Globe story about his appointment as a fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. “I’m confused as to what the White House’s strategy is on this a little bit.”

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In the interview, Cohn criticized the shutdown as “completely wrong” and said the furloughing of thousands of federal workers “makes absolutely no sense whatsoever,” according to the Globe.

Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion for funding a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border remains the sticking point in a partisan stalemate that has closed large parts of the government since Dec. 22.

As the longest shutdown in history continues, President Trump's options for reopening the government are becoming limited. Here are a few paths he could take. (Video: Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post, Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Cohn, a free-trade advocate, stepped down as director of the National Economic Council March 6 after Trump announced he was imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.