Dem leader: Trump's Fed picks like something out of 'SNL'

LEESBURG, Va. — House Democratic leaders on Thursday bashed President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE’s picks for the Federal Reserve Board — Herman Cain and Stephen Moore — with caucus Chairman Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesAnti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump Appetite for Democratic term limits fizzling out Jeffries dismisses optics: We wanted testimony from Mueller, not Robert De Niro MORE (D-N.Y.) likening the pair of nominations to a "'Saturday Night Live' skit."

“It’s not clear to me if that’s reality or a 'Saturday Night Live' skit,” Jeffries told reporters during Democrats’ annual policy retreat at a resort here outside of Washington.

“It’s an embarrassment,” Jeffries continued. “The likelihood is they will be withdrawn because even Republicans are aghast at the fact that you could nominate singularly unqualified individuals such as Herman Cain.”

Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, ran for president in 2012 on his simplified “9-9-9” tax plan, but he dropped out after a slew of sexual harassment allegations, which he denied.

The nomination of Moore, a longtime conservative commentator who advised the 2016 Trump campaign on economic policy, also has come under fire. His detractors have lambasted Moore as an unabashed partisan who is a frequent critic of the Fed’s current leadership and too cozy with Trump.  

The attacks on Cain and Moore come on the same day Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is set to address House Democrats and take their questions here at their “issues” retreat at the Lansdowne Resort and Spa 35 miles northwest of Washington.

Following Jeffries, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMoulton drops out of presidential race after struggling to gain traction Conservatives push Trump tariff relief over payroll tax cuts Democrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence MORE (D-Calif.) said it will be “pretty exciting” to hear from Powell but took her own shots at Cain and Moore.

“With stiff competition, these two appointments to the Fed are the worst, ill-suited appointments the president could come up with,” Pelosi said. "If Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceFormer sheriff's deputy files lawsuit claiming he was fired for not wanting to be alone with a woman Iceland's prime minister will not be in town for Pence's visit Trump's latest plan to undermine Social Security MORE is saying they share his view, does that mean meddling in the decisions of the Fed?"

“The Fed should be an independent agency; it is an independent agency,” she added. “We, as Democrats in the Congress, have always said that the Fed should be determining the [interest] rates, not any politicians, and that is a dangerous thing for the economy. When a central bank of a country has a political influence, it’s just wrong.”

Earlier Thursday morning, Pence said during an appearance on CNBC that both Cain and Moore “really understand” Trump’s economic philosophy.

Asked if Cain’s nomination was on the ropes, Pence replied: "We're very early in the nomination process. … We'll see how it plays out."