Mnuchin: Herman Cain should be confirmed to Fed

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinWorld Bank approves billion-plus annual China lending plan despite US objections On The Money: Congress races to beat deadline on shutdown | Trump asks Supreme Court to shield financial records from House Democrats | House passes bill to explicitly ban insider trading Hillicon Valley: Pelosi works to remove legal protections for tech companies from USMCA | Treasury sanctions Russian group over 0 million hack | Facebook sues Chinese individuals for ad fraud | Huawei takes legal action against FCC MORE said Wednesday that Herman Cain should be confirmed to the Federal Reserve Board despite mounting Republican opposition.

“I don't know Cain very well, but I have every reason to believe the president supports him and feels strongly, so yes, I would think he should be confirmed,” Mnuchin said during a Wednesday interview with CNBC.

Mnuchin’s support for Cain comes as Republican senators are expressing opposition to him being nominated to the Fed, an idea which President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 MORE first floated on Thursday.

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Several GOP senators said Tuesday that Cain, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate and staunch Trump ally, lacked the character and qualifications to serve on the independent central bank.

Cain was accused of sexual harassment by four women who worked for him at the National Restaurant Association, a Washington trade group he led from 1996 to 1999. Two of those women received financial settlements, though Cain has denied all of the allegations.

Senators have also expressed concerns about Cain's leadership of a super PAC supporting Trump's reelection, arguing that his loyalty to the president could impinge on the Fed's independence.

Mnuchin dismissed those concerns Wednesday, saying "I don't think there's any reason whatsoever to be concerned about the independence of the Fed."

"If and when these people are confirmed, I'm sure that they will have the responsibilities on the Fed board as do all the other Fed board members to uphold the mandate of the Fed," Mnuchin said of Cain and Stephen Moore, a former Trump campaign adviser whom the president has also said he will nominate to the central bank.

Cain’s nomination is contingent on a White House background check, which he called “cumbersome” in a Friday video posted to his Facebook page. While Cain said he was eager to defend himself before the Senate, he said he was unsure if he would survive the formal vetting process.

Trump told reporters Wednesday that Cain is a “wonderful man,” but expressed doubts about the viability of his nomination.

“He's been a supporter of mine for a long time,” Trump said of Cain. “As to how he's doing in the process, that I don’t know. You go through a process. But Herman is a great guy, and I hope he does well."