Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview that Federal Reserve Board candidate Stephen Moore has no plans to withdraw his name despite outside pressure.
Kudlow sat down with Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House Thursday and said Moore, whose past comments about women have been recently unearthed, continues to be vetted.
"Steve's gonna hang in there. He's gonna hang in there," Kudlow said.
"Steve is staying on as a candidate. He is being vetted through our process with the FBI and so forth. Then he'll go through his Senate Banking Committee hearings."
Earlier this week, Kudlow insisted the White House is still behind Moore's candidacy for the Federal Reserve Board.
During his interview with Ruddy, Kudlow said he and others have been interviewing other candidates for the Fed, now that Herman Cain has withdrawn his name from consideration.
Cain, Kudlow said, decided to pull out of contention for the Fed seat because of "personal, financial reasons."
It had been reported Cain dropped out of the 2012 race for president over allegations of sexual harassment and infidelity. Cain, a former CEO of Godfather's Pizza who served as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in the mid-1990s, denied the allegations.
"Herman Cain was qualified as a successful businessman, as the chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City," Kudlow told Ruddy. "Herman had some issues in his presidential campaign. That seems to have been the problem. A bunch of Republican senators said they wouldn't vote for him now."
Among the Republicans who said they would not vote Cain onto the Fed were Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah; Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; and Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.
"I think if he had stayed in, he could have turned around those senators," Kudlow said. "But he chose to withdraw because of personal, financial reasons. He didn't want to give up some radio and TV and so forth. I get that."
On the larger issue of whether President Donald Trump has the right to criticize the Fed, which he has done on multiple occasions because of rate hikes last year, Kudlow said presidents are allowed to have and vocalize an opinion.
"People are all up in arms because the president dares to talk about the Fed. And I just think that's wrong," Kudlow said. "He's not trying to end the Fed's independence, he's not storming the walls, but he has opinions. And he's the president of the United States, he appoints the members to the Fed.
"So my take has been recognizing Fed independence, why shouldn't the president have opinions? By the way, past presidents have too."
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