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Trump: Cohn, Yellen Are Top Fed Chair Contenders, "Two Or Three Other Candidates"

In a continuation of the same WSJ interview, in which president Trump once again slammed Jeff Sessions, Trump laid out his current thoughts on who, if anyone, will replace Janet Yellen when her terms runs out next February. That said, Trump did not reveal much, saying that he is considering renominating Yellen as Fed chair but also said his econ adviser Gary Cohn (who was present in the interview) is a top candidate for the position.

Trump first expressed his appreciation of Yellen several months ago, also to the WSJ, surprising market who had expected Trump's animosity against Yellen, revealed during the presidential campaign, would persist. It did not. Trump reiterated that he thinks Yellen is doing a good job and he has “a lot of respect for her,” and said she is still in the running to serve a second four-year term as leader of the central bank.

“I like her; I like her demeanor. I think she’s done a good job,” he said. “I’d like to see rates stay low. She’s historically been a low-interest-rate person" Trump added, reneging on yet another of his campaign promises.

Trump also confirmed recurring rumors that Cohn is the top outside candidate, saying the former Goldman COO is also the top candidate to replace Yellen.

“He doesn’t know this, but yes he is,” he said, when asked if Mr. Cohn, who was present during the interview, was a candidate for the job. “I actually think he likes what he’s doing right now.”

Actually, Cohn was quite aware that "he is." And, in an especially delicious phrasing by the WSJ, this became quite apparently:

Mr. Cohn and other White House officials have said he is focused on his current job. But former colleagues have said he has developed an appreciation for the power of the Fed during his long career on Wall Street, and for the central bank’s relative independence during his current stint in Washington.

All one can respond to that is "LOL."

While the above was widely known, the only new information in the WSJ article was Trump said there are "two or three" other contenders in the mix, but declined to name any other potential candidates and said he probably wouldn’t announce a nominee until the end of the year. "It’s early to make the decision." He said he expected the confirmation process for the Fed job would move quickly.