President Donald Trump’s embattled nominee for the Federal Reserve board, Stephen Moore, defended himself Thursday against accusations that he’s unqualified for the role and asserted that the central bank can be “divorced from politics.”
“I have 35 years experience in the policy game. I was the youngest budget analyst in Washington at the age of 25. I was, served as Donald Trump’s economic adviser. I’m very proud of what we accomplished. A lot of people said it would be impossible to make this agenda work,” Moore told CNN’s Erin Burnett on “OutFront.”
“I think my qualifications stand up pretty well,” he said.
Moore also said he would not be the first member of the board with close ties to a sitting president, referencing former Chairman Ben Bernanke, who served as chief economist to President George W. Bush.
“I do believe in the importance of an independent Fed,” said Moore, a former CNN analyst. “I think it can be divorced from politics.”
He added: “It’s not unusual for the president to take someone who agrees with a lot of his economic views.”
Trump’s choice of Moore, a distinguished visiting fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, has raised eyebrows given the commentator’s often colorful views of the Fed and his close relationship with the President, who has broken with precedent and directly criticized the Fed’s recent interest rate hikes.
In December, Moore blasted Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and other members of the board for raising rates at the end of the year, saying they “should be thrown out for economic malpractice” and going so far as to suggest that Powell – who was appointed by Trump – should resign. Moore later told Bloomberg that his comment was most likely made “in anger.”
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged colleagues Thursday to vote against Moore’s and Herman Cain’s nominations to protect the independence of the institution, calling them “ill-suited” and “unqualified” and charging that they would serve as Trump loyalists.
Moore, however, said Thursday that although he agreed with many of Trump’s economic policies, he has differed with the President “on issues of trade, on issues of the budget” over the years.
CNN’s Ashley Killough and Donna Borak contributed to this report.