Mnuchin: Trump hopes to announce Fed chair within a month

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER Markets Associated Press

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that President Donald Trump hopes to decide within a month whom he will choose to lead the Federal Reserve starting next year but is still going through the interview process.

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Trump said two weeks ago that he had had four meetings to interview potential nominees for Fed chair and expected to decide within two to three weeks.

Interviewed on CNBC, Mnuchin said he is participating with the president in the interviews. He wouldn't confirm a published report that his own favorite candidate is Jerome Powell, the only Republican now on the Fed's board.

"There has been no decision made, and it would be inappropriate for me to comment on any of the people being considered one way or another," Mnuchin said.

The report by Politico quoted three unnamed sources as saying that Mnuchin was promoting Powell for the top Fed job in part because he knows Powell well and sees him as a safe choice.

Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly, told reporters at the White House on Thursday that the interview process is proceeding and that a decision was "some time away."

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"All of the people that have been in to interview have been really first-round draft choices, and we have more to come," Kelly said.

The White House confirmed that Trump interviewed John Taylor, a Stanford University economist, on Wednesday, with Mnuchin and Vice President Mike Pence attending the meeting.

The other candidates the White House has said Trump is considering for the Fed job are the current chair, Janet Yellen, whose four-year term will end in February; Kevin Warsh, a former Fed board member; Gary Cohn, head of the president's National Economic Council; and Powell.