President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE on Thursday praised outgoing Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — White House plans extreme heat workplace standard McConnell signals Senate GOP will oppose combined debt ceiling-funding bill Democrats aim to suspend debt limit with bill to avoid government shutdown MORE during an event announcing her replacement.
Trump veered from his prepared remarks to call Yellen “a wonderful woman who’s done a terrific job” leading the nation’s central bank.
“She is absolutely a spectacular person,” the president said. “For the past four years, she has served with dedication and devotion, and we are thankful for her total commitment to public service.”
The president, however, passed at the chance to nominate Yellen for a second term and instead selected Federal Reserve Board Governor Jerome Powell to replace her.
It's the first time the chairman of the Federal Reserve, after serving one four-year term, has not been nominated for a second term.
Trump was a fierce critic of Yellen and the Fed during his 2016 presidential campaign, accusing her of keeping interest rates low to artificially boost the economy.
But as the stock market rallied and economic indicators remained positive after his election, Trump turned into a fan of the Fed chairwoman.
He interviewed her along with other candidates for the job two weeks ago.
Speaking to Fox Business network last week, Trump called Yellen "very impressive" and said, "I like her a lot."
But the president also said he wanted to put his own stamp on the Fed.
"You like to make your own mark which is maybe one of the things she’s got a little bit against her, but I think she is terrific," he said.