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President Trump with Fed chair Jerome Powell. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

For a brief moment toward the end of last year, President Trump mused about whether he could replace Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell with Kevin Warsh, a former Fed governor and aide to President George W. Bush, two sources who discussed the matter with Trump tell me.

Between the lines: Trump talks about the appointment of Powell as one of the great mistakes of his administration, and wanted to fire him late last year. Trump often privately compares Powell to a golfer who has no "feel" for the game, and has told aides Powell poses the greatest threat to the U.S. economy.

Warsh had been on Trump's shortlist before he ultimately chose Powell at the strong urging of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

  • A source who has heard Trump complain about Mnuchin's recommendation says Trump privately gripes: "Steve was the one who did that. ... What a great pick. Thanks a lot!"

The Wall Street Journal's Nick Timiraos and Alex Leary report that Trump blasted Powell at three meetings in the past week, telling senators and others that if not for Fed rate increases, "economic output and stocks would be higher and the U.S. budget deficit would be rising less."

  • "I guess I'm stuck with you," Trump recalled telling Powell during a phone call.

Go deeper

Court rejects Trump campaign's appeal in Pennsylvania case

Photo: Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Friday unanimously rejected the Trump campaign's emergency appeal seeking to file a new lawsuit against Pennsylvania's election results, writing in a blistering ruling that the campaign's "claims have no merit."

Why it matters: It's another devastating blow to President Trump's sinking efforts to overturn the results of the election. Pennsylvania, which President-elect Joe Biden won by more than 80,000 votes, certified its results last week and is expected to award 20 electoral votes to Biden on Dec. 12.

Dave Lawler, author of World
43 mins ago - World

Belarus dictator Lukashenko says he'll leave post after new constitution

Photo: Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty

Longtime Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has said he will step down after a new constitution comes into force, according to Belarusian state media.

Why it matters: Lukashenko has faced three months of protests following a rigged election in August. He has promised to reform the constitution to reduce the near-absolute powers of the president, but has insisted that his strong hand is needed to see that process through.

3 hours ago - World

Iran confirms assassination of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadhe

The Iranian ministry of defense issued a statement on Friday confirming the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadhe, an Iranian scientist and the architect behind the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program.

Why it matters: Fakhrizadhe was the head of the Amad project in the Iranian ministry of defense, which focused on developing a nuclear bomb until 2003.