Director of the White House National Economic Council Gary Cohn arrives prior to U.S. President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2017.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump is increasingly unlikely to nominate Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen next year for a second term, and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn is the leading candidate to succeed her, Politico reported on Tuesday, citing four people close to the process.
Politico said sources in the White House, the Treasury Department and on Capitol Hill said that if Cohn decides he wants the job, he is likely to get it.
"It's Gary's if he wants it, and I think he wants it," Politico quoted one Republican whom it said was close to the selection process as saying.
A few Senate Republicans may express reservations about Cohn but he would probably receive widespread support, a senior congressional Republican aide said, according to Politico.
In response to a query from Reuters, White House spokeswoman Natalie Strom said: “Gary is focused on his responsibilities at the NEC.”
Cohn, a Democrat and former Goldman Sachs president, did not work on Trump's campaign and only got to know him after the November election.
Yellen took over from Ben Bernanke as Fed chair in February 2014 with the U.S. economic recovery from the 2008 financial crisis still on shaky ground. She has made no secret she puts a priority on growth in jobs and wages and a broad recovery in U.S. household wealth.
Yellen begins two days of congressional testimony on Wednesday on the Fed's semi-annual report on the state of the U.S. economy. Under her leadership the Fed has pared the massive stimulus it put in place to counteract the 2007-2009 financial crisis and begun raising interest rates. Later this year Yellen expects to begin trimming the Fed's $4.5 trillion balance sheet in a gradual and predictable manner.
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