President Donald Trump said Thursday that he’s recommended Herman Cain, a former pizza executive who dropped his bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination amid sexual harassment allegations, for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board.
“I’ve recommended Herman Cain. A terrific man, a terrific person. He’s a friend of mine,” Trump told reporters. “I’ve recommended him highly for the Fed. I’ve told my folks that that’s the man and he’s doing some pre-checking now and I would imagine he’d be in great shape.”
Since the start of his presidency, Trump has moved to reshape the world’s most powerful central bank, appointing four people to the seven-member Fed Board so far.
That includes Chairman Jerome Powell, a former investment banker, who the President has repeatedly accused of trying to undercut him politically by raising interest rates, which Trump believes will slow down the economy.
Cain, the former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza Inc., has some prior experience at the Fed. From 1992 to 1996, he served as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Each of the 12 regional Fed banks has a nine-person board that includes local executives.
“I find Herman to be an outstanding person, a truly outstanding individual. I would think he would do very well there,” Trump said during an Oval Office availability with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.
With two seats open, the President could seize the opportunity to appoint nominees who disagree with how Powell has steered the central bank’s interest rate policy. So far, Powell has been able to build consensus with his existing board, with not a single dissenting vote on any policy decision since he took the helm in February 2018.
By Donna Borak and Maegan Vazquez, CNN