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Trump Fed pick 'not necessarily' in favor of half-point rate cut

Stephen Moore, President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE’s nominee to serve on the Federal Reserve Board, on Friday broke with White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, saying he did not necessarily favor a half-point rate cut.

“By the way, I'm not necessarily in favor of a 50 percent, 50 basis point rate cut,” Moore told Fox News's Neil Cavuto. “Larry saying 50 basis points, I would at the at the very least I think if I were on the Fed Reserve Board and I'd have to look at the information that they have.”

Kudlow earlier Friday called on the Fed to “immediately” cut interest rates by 50 basis points.

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Still, Moore said he is aligned with the White House in its opposition to past interest rate hikes.

“I think what happened in December, you remember Neil that was a week before Christmas when the Fed raised rates. That's when I was really outspoken critic of the Fed and said, ‘this is a big mistake’ and it turned out to be a big mistake,” he said. “I would certainly think very seriously about reversing that rate hike that happened in December.” 

Trump announced last week that he would be nominating Moore, an economic adviser to his 2016 campaign and a staunch supporter of the president’s economic policies. Moore had often echoed Trump’s criticisms of the bank after it raised interest rates four times in 2018, calling the Fed’s monetary policy “a threat to growth” in a Wall Street Journal column

Moore will need to be confirmed by the Senate, which has already derailed two of Trump’s nominees to the Fed board. However, his nomination has been gaining support among the Republicans in the upper chamber.

“I’ve known Stephen Moore for a long time. He would be an independent voice at the Fed, and that’s not all bad,” said Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbySpending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Trump, Pelosi barrel toward final border wall showdown On The Money: Push for student loan forgiveness puts Biden in tight spot | Trump is wild card as shutdown fears grow | Mnuchin asks Fed to return 5 billion in unspent COVID emergency funds MORE (R-Ala.), the former chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. “He’ll probably add a different dimension to the Fed, which sometimes they need.”

The Fed has become a top target of the Trump administration, with the president frequently taking to Twitter or the airwaves to slam it over its past decisions over interest rates.

“Had the Fed not mistakenly raised interest rates, especially since there is very little inflation, and had they not done the ridiculously timed quantitative tightening, the 3.0% GDP, & Stock Market, would have both been much higher & World Markets would be in a better place!” Trump tweeted Friday.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said last week that the bank will not raise interest rates for the second consecutive month.