Fed's Yellen Met With Ivanka Trump in July -- Update

By Harriet Torry Features Dow Jones Newswires

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen met with Ivanka Trump in July, roughly a week before President Donald Trump said he was considering nominating the central bank chief to a second term.

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Ms. Yellen met the president's eldest daughter and senior adviser for a one-hour breakfast July 17 in a room at the central bank, according to the latest release of the Fed leader's monthly calendar, which didn't provide further details.

Mr. Trump told The Wall Street Journal in an interview July 25 that he thought Ms. Yellen was doing a good job and he had "a lot of respect for her." He also said Ms. Yellen was in the running to serve a second four-year term as leader of the central bank, after her current term expires in February.

"I like her; I like her demeanor. I think she's done a good job," he said of Ms. Yellen. "I'd like to see rates stay low. She's historically been a low-interest-rate person."

Mr. Trump had also said in an April interview with The Wall Street Journal that it was possible he might nominate Ms. Yellen for a second term, saying then she was "not toast" when her term ends.

During her time at the White House, Ms. Trump has promoted issues concerning women and children. On June 5, she tweeted about a May 5 speech Ms. Yellen gave at Brown University on female labor participation. In the tweet, Ms. Trump quoted Ms. Yellen's remark that "too many women struggle to combine aspirations for work and family."

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Ms. Trump reached out to Ms. Yellen after reading the speech, "as it was about women's participation in the economy" and how to address "the barriers small business owners (particularly women and minorities) face, " a White House official said in an email Monday.

A Fed spokesman declined to comment on the nature of the July meeting.

Mr. Trump and Ms. Yellen have met just once, for about 15 minutes, in the Oval Office in February, although she meets regularly with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economic policy director Gary Cohn. The president and Ms. Yellen discussed how economic policy might help the millions of U.S. citizens who felt left behind during the postcrisis recovery, according to people familiar with the exchange.

Ms. Yellen said during a March press conference that she had been "introduced to the president," and added, "I had a very brief meeting and appreciated that as well."

Ms. Yellen hasn't publicly said whether she would agree to serve a second term as Fed chairwoman if asked. She told reporters at a June press conference that she hadn't had conversations with the president about future plans.

Mr. Trump also said in the July 25 interview that he was then considering Mr. Cohn for the Fed leader's job, as well as other unnamed candidates. But people familiar with the president's thinking said last week Mr. Cohn is unlikely to get the nomination, largely because of his criticism of Mr. Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va.

Write to Harriet Torry at harriet.torry@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 11, 2017 19:17 ET (23:17 GMT)