Kudlow: Trump ‘fully behind’ Fed pick Stephen Moore despite scrutiny

Stefani Reynolds

President Trump’s top economic adviser said Wednesday that the White House is fully supportive of Stephen Moore despite controversy surrounding the Federal Reserve Board nominee.

“I spoke to the president yesterday. He completely supports Steve. I certainly do,” Larry Kudlow, the chairman of the National Economic Council, told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor event.

“People are being awful hard on him,” he continued. “This town is a toxic town in some respects. So we are fully behind him. He’s a smart guy and I think he will be a breath of fresh air in the Fed. So far it’s all systems go.”{mosads}

Trump announced late last month that he was nominating Moore, a conservative economist and informal adviser to the president, for one of two vacant seats on the Federal Reserve Board.

Moore is a fierce advocate for the president’s economic agenda and co-authored a book released last year entitled “Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive Our Economy” with prominent conservative economist Arthur Laffer.

Moore’s nomination, which has not yet formally been submitted, will require Senate confirmation. His candidacy has garnered some initial support, but he has come under scrutiny amid concerns over some of his economic views, as well as personal finances.

The government said last week that Moore owes $75,000 to the IRS. Moore disputed the claim and lamented that he’s been unable to resolve the issue with the tax agency.

Moore has also raised concerns from critics and some in the banking industry who said they worry he could undercut the Fed’s independence.

Kudlow was asked multiple times on Wednesday about whether Trump’s frequent criticism of the Fed’s decisionmaking, including direct barbs at Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, infringed upon the central bank’s independence.

The president tweeted as recently as last Friday that the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates was to blame for capping the economy.

Kudlow insisted on Wednesday, however, that the president and the rest of the administration respect the Fed’s independence, but that it was fair to share their own views on rate hikes and other economic indicators.

“The Fed will move when the Fed moves,” Kudlow said. “The Fed is on its own timetable. They’ll take action whenever they see fit to take action. So it’s not a pressure, it’s not a matter of pressure, it’s just a matter of our point of view.”

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