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Here’s the bizarre sequence of events that led Trump to offer Stephen Moore a Federal Reserve seat

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Stephen Moore

President Donald Trump reportedly offered his adviser Stephen Moore a seat on the Federal Reserve board after reading a Wall Street Journal op-ed the economist co-wrote praising his China trade policy and calling for a shrinking of the regulatory body.

Bloomberg News reported Friday that the offer came after Trump’s chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow showed the president Moore’s March 13 Journal column titled “The Fed Is a Threat to Growth.”

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According to two people familiar with the scene, Trump told Kudlow “he should have appointed Moore to be Fed chairman” and then directed the economic adviser to call the former CNN commentator to “gauge his interest in a board seat.”

This week, the report noted, the president called Moore himself.

In the op-ed, the economic adviser praised the president’s trade policy.

“The Trump administration appears to be closing in on a trade deal with China, and thus hopefully averting a damaging tariff war,” Moore wrote.

He went on to criticize the Fed for standing in the way of American economic growth — an argument he made in a December post at the Heritage Foundation, where he’s a visiting fellow, when he called on Trump to “fire the Fed.”

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“The Trump administration’s pro-growth policies have attracted investment from around the globe, triggering a spurt of demand for dollars at the same moment the Fed began sucking dollars out of the economy,” Moore wrote in the March op-ed. “When President Trump fumed that the Fed’s rate increases were smothering his growth policies, he wasn’t entirely wrong.”

Bloomberg noted that Moore also had harsh criticisms of the Fed during a December 22 appearance on a radio show hosted by a billionaire grocery store magnate.

“I believe the people on the Federal Reserve Board should be thrown out for economic malpractice,” Moore told grocery chain billionaire John Catsimatidis.

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“Janet Yellen couldn’t have been any worse than the guy he’s got in there now,” he added, referencing current Fed chair Jerome Powell and his predecessor, who was appointed by President Barack Obama. “I always thought he was a bad choice. He’s been a Fed guy for many years. Donald Trump wanted to drain the swamp. The Fed is the swamp.”


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