WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Thursday that he would not nominate Stephen Moore for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, the second time in a month that concerns over a potential nominee’s treatment of women have torpedoed Trump’s attempt to place a loyalist at the central bank.
The downfall of Moore, a conservative commentator and Trump campaign economic adviser, came after Republican lawmakers criticized his past comments about women, including that they should not earn more than men, along with financial issues stemming from a 2010 divorce. Several senators relayed those concerns to the White House this week and made clear that Moore did not have the votes to clear the Republican-controlled Senate.
“I think it’s probably a good thing; I think it’s an important thing,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R- Alaska, who had expressed reservations about the nomination.
Trump’s decision to cut Moore loose appeared to come as a surprise to his potential nominee, who had spent the morning telling several news media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, that he would not withdraw and that he retained the full backing of the White House.
On Thursday afternoon, Trump tweeted that Moore was bowing out, saying that “Steve Moore, a great pro-growth economist and a truly fine person, has decided to withdraw from the Fed process.”
Trump praised Moore’s work and said he would “work with me toward future economic growth in our Country.”
Moore released a letter to Trump shortly afterward, citing family strain for his decision to step aside.
“I am respectfully asking that you withdraw my name from consideration,” Moore wrote. “The unrelenting attacks on my character have become untenable for me and my family, and three more months of this would be too hard on us.”
This is the second time in recent weeks that one of Trump’s Fed picks was forced to withdraw over concerns about his views and attitudes toward women. Herman Cain, a former pizza magnate, bowed out as he battled previous accusations of sexual harassment that ended his 2012 presidential campaign.