WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump offered praise Wednesday for Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, calling her “terrific,” but also acknowledged his conflicting desire to make his own mark on the Fed.
Trump said in an interview with the Fox Business Network that when Yellen met with him last week, she was “very impressive. I like her a lot.”
But the president also conceded, “You like to make your own mark which is maybe one of the things she’s got a little bit against her, but I think she is terrific.”
Referring to the Fed chair, he said, “We’ve had a great talk and we are obviously doing great together. You look at the markets.”
On Monday, Trump said he was “very close” to deciding who should lead the Fed once Yellen’s term expires in February. The president’s decision is expected to be announced before he leaves Nov. 3 for a trip to Asia.
In addition to Yellen herself, who could be offered a second four-year term, the final candidates for the top Fed post are Jerome Powell, a member of the Fed’s board; Kevin Warsh, a former member of the board; and John Taylor, a Stanford University economist. A fifth candidate, Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic adviser, had been among the candidates considered earlier but is now seen as out of the running.
At a meeting with Republican senators on Tuesday, Trump asked for a show of hands in support of Powell and Cohn. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that Trump’s action showed how seriously the president was taking the Fed search.
AP White House reporter Darlene Superville contributed to this report.