"We continue to back Stephen Moore," Larry Kudlow, director of the president's National Economic Council, told reporters at the White House. "He's in the process, being vetted by the FBI and so forth, and if he gets through that we will nominate formally."
Kudlow's comments come after two days of revelations about provocative articles Moore has written about women for various conservative publications. In a column for the Washington Times, for example, Moore wrote in 2000 that "Colleges are places for rabble-rousing. For men to lose their boyhood innocence .... To stay out way too late drinking. And the women seemed to survive just fine. If they were so oppressed and offended by drunken, lustful frat boys, why is it that on Friday nights they showed up in droves in tight skirts to the key parties?"
The column, along with many others, followed the emergence Monday of articles Moore had written complaining about the suitability of female referees and commentators in basketball. In other columns, Moore wrote about the perils of flirting with women while still married and driving his children around.
Kudlow said he accepts Moore's contention that the articles were intended as jokes. "I don't think it's germane," Kudlow said. "I think he was making a spoof. Our support is still there." On Tuesday, The Associated Press unearthed a column from April 2005 that Moore wrote for the National Review in which he agonized over the fact that his alma mater, University of Illinois, lost the NCAA championship basketball game to the University of North Carolina.
Moore wrote: "My wife has groused all year that I love this team more than her, but I was always the good husband. I would pat her on the head whenever she felt underappreciated and remind her that I loved them both the same."
On Monday, Herman Cain, a former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, withdrew his name from consideration for a second Fed board position. In 2012, Cain had dropped out of that year's presidential race after allegations of sexual harassment and infidelity arose — issues that resurfaced after Trump said earlier this month that he planned to nominate Cain for the Fed.
Moore has been a well-known conservative commentator for more than two decades, including for the Wall Street Journal editorial page, and is now a visiting fellow at the right-leaning Heritage Foundation. He also was an adviser to the Trump presidential campaign and helped design the 2017 tax cuts. He later co-authored "Trumponomics," a book touting the president's policies.
Many economists have argued that Moore is far too politicized a figure to serve on the Fed's board and in any case lacks the necessary qualifications. Several other controversies have also dogged Moore. A lien of more than $75,000 was filed against him in January 2018 for unpaid taxes. Reports have also indicated that he has fallen behind on alimony and child support payments to his ex-wife.
AP writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.