President Donald Trump believed he could lower the United States’ debt by instructing the Treasury Department to print more money, according to the new book Fear: Trump in the White House by veteran investigative journalist Bob Woodward, CNBC reported Tuesday.
Chapter seven of the book recounts a November 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that was organized by Jared Kushner. The purpose of the meeting was for Goldman Sachs’ then-president and chief operating officer Gary Cohn to brief president-elect Trump on the economy.
Also attending the meeting were Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, and Steve Mnuchin.
Cohen reportedly told Trump to expect interest rates to increase.
“We should just go borrow a lot of money right now, hold it, and then sell it to make money,” Trump suggested.
Woodward described Cohn as “astounded” that Trump didn’t realize that issuing bonds to borrow money would increase the national debt.
“What do you mean?” Trump asked, according to Woodward. “Just run the presses — print money.”
Cohn reportedly tried to explain that economics does not work as Trump suggested.
Following the meeting, Cohn was appointed director of the National Economic Council, a position he held until he was replaced by Larry Kudlow in April.