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Trump recommends Herman Cain for Federal Reserve

Trump: "Very good chance" of China trade deal

President Trump said Thursday that he has recommended former pizza executive Herman Cain for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. 

"I've recommended Herman Cain," he said, adding that Cain is currently undergoing a background check. Mr. Trump also called Cain an "outstanding person." 

"He's truly an outstanding individual. I would think he would do very well there," Mr. Trump said. 

Cain, who sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, is the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza and was on the board Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City as a director from 1992 to 1996, eventually becoming chairman. He served as a Class C director -- representing the public. By design, this position cannot be affiliated with the banking industry.

Former Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig described the role of fed directors like Cain as representatives of "Main Street business, community development, organized labor and financial services sectors" who help the Federal Reserve better understand the economy and oversee operations. 

During his 2012 presidential campaign, Cain famously touted an economic plan, the "9-9-9 Plan," which would have replaced the U.S. tax system with a flat 9 percent business, income and national sales tax. But his candidacy imploded after he was accused of sexual harassment during his time at the helm of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, and an Atlanta woman alleged they had an affair for 13 years.

Mr. Trump also announced last week he plans to nominate conservative economic analyst Stephen Moore to the Federal Reserve Board for the other open seat on the seven-member board.

Nominees to the Federal Reserve Board must undergo Senate confirmation. Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney, who competed against Cain for the Republican nomination and ultimately won the GOP nod, seemed to scoff at the idea that Cain would be Mr. Trump's pick. In an interview with Politico Thursday, Romney said, "I doubt that will be a nomination. But if it were a nomination, you can bet [what] the interest rates he would be pushing for...If Herman Cain were on the Fed, you'd know the interest rate would soon be 9-9-9."

Cain would also likely be asked by senators about an opinion piece he wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2012, in which he advocated for a return to the gold standard. He argued, "Economic growth was stronger, unemployment rates lower, the price level more stable, and recessions less frequent and less severe than under the present system."

There are no countries in the world still using the gold standard. The U.S. moved to a government-backed fiat currency in 1973, the system used by other major nations of the world.