who is stephen moore alesci pkg ebof vpx_00020308.jpg
CNN
who is stephen moore alesci pkg ebof vpx_00020308.jpg
Now playing
02:20
Trump's pick for Fed seat Stephen Moore faces backlash
U.S. Marines conduct an operation to clear a village of Taliban fighters in July 2009 in Mian Poshteh, Afghanistan.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
U.S. Marines conduct an operation to clear a village of Taliban fighters in July 2009 in Mian Poshteh, Afghanistan.
Now playing
03:19
Biden to announce Afghanistan withdrawal by September 11
roger wicker
CNN
roger wicker
Now playing
04:52
Sen. Wicker on Biden's infrastructure plan: Not ruling out tax hike
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) arrives for a House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing with members of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee on Capitol Hill on December 9, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Samuel Corum/Getty Images
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) arrives for a House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing with members of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee on Capitol Hill on December 9, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
03:02
Sources say Gaetz was denied meeting with Trump
CNN
Now playing
02:58
Avlon: This shows that crazy has a constituency
CNN
Now playing
07:27
CNN anchor pushes back on Texas state lawmaker's defense of voting bill
CNN
Now playing
01:12
Tapper asks Buttigieg for infrastructure plan timeline
Now playing
02:48
GOP governor calls Trump's RNC remarks 'divisive'
WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 19, 2018:  The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., is the seat of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Judicial Branch of government. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
Robert Alexander/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 19, 2018: The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., is the seat of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Judicial Branch of government. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:39
SCOTUS blocks California Covid restriction on religious activities
rep jim clyburn georgia voting law jim crow sot sotu vpx_00000000.png
rep jim clyburn georgia voting law jim crow sot sotu vpx_00000000.png
Now playing
02:13
Rep. Clyburn blasts GA voting law: It's the 'new Jim Crow'
Joe Manchin
CNN
Joe Manchin
Now playing
02:03
'I never thought in my life ...' Why Manchin won't walk away from bipartisanship
Gaetz speaks to members of the media outside the hearing Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, testifies at before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform at Rayburn House Office Building February 27, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Last year Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine for tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, unlawful excessive campaign contributions and lying to Congress as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Gaetz speaks to members of the media outside the hearing Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, testifies at before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform at Rayburn House Office Building February 27, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Last year Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine for tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, unlawful excessive campaign contributions and lying to Congress as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.
Now playing
06:11
'Bombastic, antagonistic, unapologetic': A look at Gaetz's political career
Former House Speaker John Boehner attends a ceremony to unveil a portrait of himself on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 in Washington.
Michael A. McCoy/AP
Former House Speaker John Boehner attends a ceremony to unveil a portrait of himself on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 in Washington.
Now playing
02:42
Boehner says Republican colleague held 10-inch knife to his throat outside House floor
President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, speaks about gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House, Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Washington.
Andrew Harnik/AP
President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, speaks about gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House, Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Washington.
Now playing
02:05
Biden calls for ban on assault weapons
CNN
Now playing
02:22
Biden: High-speed internet is infrastructure
AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:24
Donald Trump breaks his silence on Matt Gaetz
(CNN) —  

Top White House officials sent conflicting signals Monday over the future of Stephen Moore’s nomination for the Federal Reserve’s powerful Board of Governors.

Early Monday, press secretary Sarah Sanders said that the White House is reviewing past columns Moore wrote for the National Review, which were first resurfaced last week by CNN’s KFile.

“Certainly we’re reviewing those comments and when we have an update on that front we’ll let you know,” Sanders told reporters at the White House. It was the first time any White House official has openly acknowledged Moore’s past positions.

A few hours later, National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow came out to tell reporters that Moore still has the full support of the White House.

“We’re still behind him and he’s going through the process of vetting and we’ll see what happens through that process and then hopefully we’ll go up to the Senate Banking Committee,” Kudlow told reporters at the White House. “No change in our position.”

Questions about Moore’s fate come after President Donald Trump’s other Fed board pick, Herman Cain, withdrew from consideration last week, citing the pay cut he would have to take. His nomination had revived old claims of sexual harassment that sank his 2012 Republican presidential campaign, though Cain continues to deny them.

Trump has broken precedent in recent months with his public opposition to Fed interest rate hikes, which he claims are slowing the economy down rather than just keeping it stable. The Fed has in recent months halted its plans for further increases amid signs of a looming slowdown in the US and growing uncertainty abroad, particularly in China.

Trump said in late March that he plans to nominate the longtime conservative economic commentator, who served as a 2016 campaign adviser, but the White House is still vetting the pick before a formal nomination is forwarded to the Senate.

Moore, who was previously a CNN contributor, has also drawn criticism for reversing his public positions on interest rate policy and other issues once Trump took office, as well as for $75,000 in unpaid taxes.

His columns, written in the early 2000s, included arguments that women should be banned from refereeing, announcing or beer vending at men’s basketball games. Moore told CNN in an email last week: “This was a spoof. I have a sense of humor.”

Kudlow has repeatedly defended Moore, saying last Wednesday that Moore still had Trump’s support for a seat on the seven-member Fed board, which sets interest rate policy.

“We continue to back Stephen Moore, continue to back him,” Kudlow said last week.

Moore did not respond to a request for comment from CNN on Monday.

But he has repeatedly claimed the media was trying to “pull a Kavanaugh against me,” a reference to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose confirmation hearing last year was marked by allegations he had committed sexual assault as a teenager.

Even so, he acknowledged in an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week that he would be willing to bow out as a potential Fed nominee if he were to become a “liability.”

“I don’t want to be a liability,” said Moore in the interview. “Why should we risk a Senate seat for a Federal Reserve board person, you know? I mean that just doesn’t make any sense.

This is not the first time a Fed nominee has raised furor over his comments about women.

In 2013, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers withdrew his name from consideration for Fed chair amid an outcry over claims he made at a conference suggesting that men outperform women in math and science for biological reasons.

Summers had been floated by President Barack Obama as a possible replacement for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, but the job ultimately went to Janet Yellen.

Moore’s pending nomination has also drawn sharp criticism over his lack of traditional credentials and his close ties to the President, including from Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who sits on the Senate Banking Committee.

“There are very few cases where the nominees are so blatantly political and blatantly unqualified,” said Alan Blinder, an economics professor at Princeton University and a Fed vice chairman under President Bill Clinton.

In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan appointed Manley Johnson, a top Treasury official, and Wayne Angell, a Kansas banker backed by then-Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, to the Fed board to oppose Chair Paul Volcker – an appointee of President Jimmy Carter who was trying to control inflation.

Volcker threatened to resign after the pair outvoted him on a key interest rate decision, but ultimately he got his way.

But former Fed officials say the choice of Moore, and previously Cain, is a clear deviation toward political partisanship.

“Every vote would be, ‘What does the White House think about this?’ That’s not the way it’s supposed to be,” said Cornelius Hurley, the director of Boston University’s Center for Finance, Law and Policy and a former Fed official. “That’s not what the Fed is there for. The Fed is to depoliticize to the extent you can.”

Ironically, some former officials said, overt political pressure can sometimes backfire as the Fed seeks to assert its independence – a core element of its role in reassuring markets and investors about future stability.

“The President’s pressure will make the Fed more likely to not do what the President wants for the simple reason they don’t want people in the marketplace thinking that the Fed is caving,” said William Dudley, the former president of the New York Federal Reserve and a senior research scholar at Princeton University. “I don’t think this is going to work in terms of the President pushing the Fed into a different direction.”

CNN’s Allie Malloy contributed to this report.