Stephen Moore out of Fed board consideration, Trump says
US President Donald Trump said Thursday that Stephen Moore, who was picked by him to serve on the Federal Reserve Board, has decided to withdraw from consideration.
The president's announcement came after weeks of tussling with opponents over Moore's past comments about women, his personal financial issues, as well as his similar view with the president on Fed policy.
"Steve Moore, a great pro-growth economist and a truly fine person, has decided to withdraw from the Fed process," Trump tweeted.
Earlier Thursday, however, Moore told The Wall Street Journal that he didn't plan to withdraw from Fed consideration and that a White House official had urged him to stay in the process.
Moore, who was going through the vetting process, has faced mounting criticism in recent weeks, partly due to his past comments disparaging women. In a 2000 column, Moore criticized female athletes advocating for pay equality, saying that they wanted "equal pay for inferior work."
Moore told ABC's program "This Week" on Sunday that he was "apologetic" for the content of some of the humor columns he wrote years ago that have recently sparked controversy, but argued that the focus for the Fed board nomination should be on his economic qualifications.
Several Republican senators had expressed reservations about his candidacy, making it difficult for him to be formally nominated, as nominations have to be approved by the Senate, in which the Republicans currently hold a 53-47 majority.
In March, Trump offered a Fed board seat to his former campaign adviser Moore, who has criticized the Fed's tight-money policy, calling it a threat to US economic growth, which echoed the view of the president.
Moore, a visiting fellow for Project for Economic Growth at The Heritage Foundation, and the founder of the conservative Club for Growth, is also the author of the book "Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive our Economy."
"Steve won the battle of ideas including Tax Cuts and deregulation which have produced non-inflationary prosperity for all Americans. I've asked Steve to work with me toward future economic growth in our Country," Trump tweeted Thursday.
Some are concerned that the nomination of Moore, who holds similar views with the president, might undermine the Fed's independence.
Moore has also faced criticism after court documents filed in 2018 surfaced in late March showed that he owed US$75,000 in unpaid federal taxes, interest and penalties.
Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, also considered a Trump loyalist, withdrew himself from consideration for a spot on the Fed board last week after a bipartisan pushback. There are currently two vacancies on the seven-member Fed board.