Graham says Stephen Moore's nomination would be 'problematic'

“It will be a very problematic nomination,” Graham, a top Senate ally of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORE's, told reporters.


Asked if he would not support Moore, Graham said that he was still reviewing him.

Separately, GOP Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstGOP cautions Graham against hauling Biden before Senate Farmers: New Trump ethanol proposal reneged on previous deal Overnight Energy: Farmers say EPA reneged on ethanol deal | EPA scrubs senators' quotes from controversial ethanol announcement | Perry unsure if he'll comply with subpoena | John Kerry criticizes lack of climate talk at debate MORE (Iowa) said it was "very unlikely" that she would support his nomination. 

The remarks from Graham and Ernst underline the trouble Moore’s possible nomination would face if Trump formally sends it to the Senate.

A number of senators have expressed disgust or opposition to Moore's past writings about women. In one column written for National Review in 2002, Moore wrote that women should have no role in men's college sports unless they dress in halter tops.

Several female senators have voiced concerns, and Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneTurkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate GOP cautions Graham against hauling Biden before Senate War of words at the White House MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, warned that reservations about Moore likely spread beyond just female senators. 

Trump has not actually nominated Moore to the Federal Reserve board. The White House is sticking behind him publicly, even as he’s faced growing questions among Republicans.

"We're still behind him," National Economic Council Director Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE told reporters at the White House, adding that Moore is still going through "the process of vetting" and there has been "no change" in Trump's position.

Republicans have 53 seats in the Senate, meaning they could lose three Republicans and still confirm Moore if Vice President Pence broke a tie.

Sylvan Lane contributed.