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 TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated 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 ErnstAir Force probe finds no corroboration of sexual assault allegations against Trump pick Gun control activists set to flex muscle in battle for Senate Businesses, farmers brace for new phase in Trump trade war 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 ThuneSchumer blasts 'red flag' gun legislation as 'ineffective cop out' Lawmakers jump-start talks on privacy bill Trump border fight throws curveball into shutdown prospects 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.