President TrumpDonald John TrumpOnly one way with Huawei — don’t let it control 5G Japan’s emperor is first to abdicate throne in two centuries Air Force secretary warns against European military force MORE on Tuesday trashed his own White House infrastructure plan released last year, blaming his former top economic adviser Gary CohnGary David CohnCNN’s Jake Tapper presses Conway on Trump’s Charlottesville response: Was it ‘perfect?’ Journalists close out WHCD at MSNBC/NBC News after-party Trump frustrated with aides who talked to Mueller MORE for drafting a proposal that was “so stupid.”  

Trump, meeting with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D’Alesandro PelosiThe road from Pittsburgh to Poway: Why it’s different now The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden’s bid gets under Trump’s skin Dems lack unified plan for pushing Paris climate bill MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer jokes NY Times erred in crossword clue: ‘Chuck’ has ‘five letters!’ MJ Hegar announces Texas Senate bid Hillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at ‘premature’ subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars MORE (D-N.Y.), made clear that he was never supportive of the proposal calling for public-private partnerships because “you get sued,” according to a senior Democratic source who attended the private meeting in the White House’s Cabinet Room. 

“That was a Gary [Cohn] bill. That bill was so stupid,” Trump told the Democratic leaders, according to the source.

A second person present at Tuesday’s White House meeting confirmed Trump’s remarks criticizing his administration’s plan. Unveiled in February 2018, the proposal calls for $200 billion in federal spending that would be used to leverage at least an additional $800 billion in private investment over the next decade.

Cohn, Trump’s first director of the National Economic Council, resigned from his White House post in April 2018, two months after rolling out the White House infrastructure plan.

“[Trump] said definitively he doesn’t like private-public partnerships, and he did not at all support the plan that was put forward last year,” recalled House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioDems want climate change, tax hikes in infrastructure deal Congress: Pass legislation that invests in America’s water future Not-So-Fat Cats: Over 25 million lower income workers will be paying the Wall Street Tax MORE (D-Ore.), who was among the group of Hill Democrats who met with Trump. 

“He said he never supported it,” DeFazio added. “It was a product of a think tank guy, DJ Gribbin, and he said, ‘That was Gary’s thing. I never supported that.'”

Gribbin, an infrastructure policy adviser, also left the White House last year. 

Tuesday’s meeting marked a rare bipartisan breakthrough for Trump and Democratic leaders, who agreed to come up with a $2 trillion infrastructure package. But the two sides did not reach a deal on how to pay for the package and will meet again in three weeks to talk details, Pelosi and Schumer announced. Democrats want to raise taxes to generate revenue for roads, bridges, waterways and broadband projects. 

Democrats now hope that Trump’s rejection of public-private partnerships means he’ll move a step closer to their position. 

“I would like to do something. It may not be typically Republican,” Trump told the Democrats, according to the senior Democratic source.

Naomi Jagoda contributed.

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