Washington: Stephen Moore, who was
picked by US President Donald Trump to serve on the Federal Reserve
Board, said he is facing a "smear campaign", but showed confidence that
he will make it through the process and be formally nominated.
Moore told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that he was "apologetic" for the content of some of the humour columns he wrote years ago that have recently sparked controversy, but argued that the focus for the Fed board nomination should be on his economic qualifications, Xinhua reported.
CNN, among others, has reported about Moore's past writings disparaging women. In a 2000 column, Moore criticised female athletes advocating for pay equality, saying that they wanted "equal pay for inferior work."
"What's happened is there's five or six full-time reporters investigating every area of my life," Moore told ABC, adding that the so-called "smear campaign" against him began two or three weeks ago.
Moore said the discussion should be centred on his economic expertise. "I'll debate anybody on economics... Let's make this about the economy," he said.
In March, Trump offered a Fed board seat to his former campaign adviser Moore, who has criticised the Fed's tight-money policy, calling it a threat to US economic growth, which echoed the view of the US President.
Moore, a visiting fellow for Project for Economic Growth at The Heritage Foundation, and the founder of the conservative Club for Growth, is also the author of the book "Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive our Economy."
Some are concerned that the nomination of Moore, who holds similar views with the US President, might undermine the Fed's independence.
Moore has also faced mounting criticism after court documents filed in 2018 surfaced in late March showed that he owed USD 75,000 in unpaid federal taxes, interest and penalties.
Larry Kudlow, the director of the White House National Economic Council, has said that the administration still supports Moore for the Fed seat.
"He's in the process, being vetted by the FBI and so forth, and if he gets through that we will nominate formally," Kudlow said Wednesday.
There are currently two vacancies on the seven-member Fed board, and nominations have to be approved by the Senate.