President Donald Trump, clearly angry at the Federal Reserve over last year’s interest-rate hikes, decided to push forward candidates that he’d selected himself for two remaining vacant seats on the central bank’s board of governors.
Neither survived the vetting process.
The latest to depart is Stephen Moore, the former Wall Street Journal editorial writer and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
Just after noon, Trump tweeted that Moore had decided to step aside.
“Steve Moore, a great pro-growth economist and a truly fine person, has decided to withdraw from the Fed process,” Trump said.
The president said Moore “won the battle of ideas including tax cuts and deregulation which have produced non-inflationary prosperity for all Americans.”
Trump suggested Moore might work at the White House.
“I’ve asked Steve to work with me toward future economic growth,” he said.
The president’s tweet came barely an hour after Moore appeared on Bloomberg TV and vowed he was not going to quit the race.
Moore was dogged by a messy divorce and past columns and speeches in which he denigrated women. His comments clearly lost him favor with several Republican senators.
Trump also put forward Herman Cain, the former pizza executive and a onetime candidate for president. But Cain decided not to pursue a seat on the Fed board last month after several Republican senators said they would not support him.
Both unconventional picks, neither Cain nor Moore is a trained economist.
The Senate Republican leadership didn’t try to hide the fact that it was irked that Trump hadn’t sought to clear Cain or Moore before stating publicly he would be putting their names forward for the Fed board.
In a statement, Moore said that “the unrelenting attacks on my character have become untenable for me and my family and three more months of this would be too hard on us.” He said he asked Trump to withdraw his name from consideration.
Tim Duy, an economics professor at the University of Oregon who blogs about the Fed, called Trump’s effort “an ugly chapter in Federal Reserve history.”
Robert Brusca, chief economist at FAO Economics, said “now maybe we can get on with some real appointments.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
dropped on Thursday, in part on the hawkish overhang to the Wednesday’s Fed decision, where Chairman Jerome Powell didn’t promise a future rate cut.