Trump says he will decide on Fed chair within 2 or 3 weeks

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday that he has held four meetings to discuss who should lead the Federal Reserve starting early next year and expects to decide within two or three weeks.

Trump made the disclosure in comments to reporters on the White House lawn. He did not name the candidates he has met with. But a White House official said the president and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had met Thursday with Kevin Warsh, a former Fed board member.

Another report said Trump had also met with Jerome Powell, the only Republican on the Fed board.

The White House official who discussed Trump’s meeting with Warsh spoke on condition of anonymity to talk about a private White House meeting. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Trump and Mnuchin have also met with Powell.

Trump has said previously that he is considering re-nominating Chair Janet Yellen when her term ends in February. But he has said he is also looking at other candidates including Gary Cohn, the head of Trump’s National Economic Council.

Warsh, who served on the board from 2006 to 2011, was a key adviser to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke during the 2008 financial crisis. He is married to Jane Lauder, granddaughter of cosmetics giant Estee Lauder. Her father, Ronald Lauder is a longtime Trump friend.

Warsh was 35 when he was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve on the board in January 2010. He is now a distinguished visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute and a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.