Yellen lunches with Cohn at White House amid Fed chair rumors

Yellen lunches with Cohn at White House amid Fed chair rumors
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Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenPut the final nail in the coffin of 'voodoo economics' Powell to appear on '60 Minutes' with Yellen, Bernanke On The Money: Trump says trade deal with China ‘very close' | White House eyes budget ploy to avoid defense cuts | Economic panel predicts recession by 2021 MORE on Friday made her second trip in as many days to the White House as President Trump mulls who — if anyone — should replace her in 2018.

Yellen visited the White House on Friday to have lunch with National Economic Council Director Gary CohnGary David CohnOn The Money: Senate rejects border declaration in rebuke to Trump | Dems press Mnuchin on Trump tax returns | Waters says Wells Fargo should fire its CEO Gary Cohn says Trump trade adviser the only economist in world who believes in tariffs Hillicon Valley: Google takes heat at privacy hearing | 2020 Dems to debate 'monopoly power' | GOP rips net neutrality bill | Warren throws down gauntlet over big tech | New scrutiny for Trump over AT&T merger MORE, according to a White House spokesperson.

The White House said Yellen and Cohn lunch together “semi-regularly,” and that Friday’s meeting was “nothing out of the ordinary,” despite rumors Trump is considering Cohn to replace Yellen as head of the Fed.

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Yellen and Cohn have had a standing meeting over breakfast or lunch each month, according to Yellen's public calendars from February through August. Each time, they ate in the White House Mess, a cafeteria in the White House.

The Fed chair also had lunch in the White House's Oval Room with Steven Braun in July, the calendars say. He has served as the director of macroeconomic forecasting at the Council of Economic Advisors since 1996. The following month, Yellen dined with Trump's daughter and economic adviser, Ivanka Trump.

Yellen met with Trump on Thursday to discuss her tenure leading the Fed, which started in 2014. Yellen’s term as chairwoman ends in February and Trump is expected to announce within weeks whether he’ll try to retain Yellen or nominate a replacement.

Presidents have traditionally renominated the Fed chairman they inherit when taking office, regardless of party affiliation. While Trump routinely criticized Yellen’s insistence on slow interest rate increases under President Obama, he’s since praised her moderate monetary policy.

Trump is also reportedly considering Cohn, current Fed Governor Jerome Powell, former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh and Stanford University economist John Taylor to replace Yellen.

Cohn’s views on monetary policy are less defined than his rivals, but he benefits from a constant presence beside Trump. Powell, a Republican, would likely continue much of the Fed’s current policy, while Warsh and Taylor would likely pursue more aggressive rate hikes.

Updated at 1:39 p.m.