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Federal Reserve building. Photo: uschools via Getty Images

President Trump announced on Twitter Tuesday that he intended to nominate two people to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors: Christopher Waller of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and Judy Shelton, an economist and a Fed critic.

Why it matters: Trump has been urging the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates, stoking widespread concern that he is seeking to politicize the Fed. Waller's boss has publicly favored a rate cut, while Shelton, who has repeatedly endorsed a return to the gold standard, recently told the Wall Street Journal that the Fed should cut rates.

What's happening: Trump's last three consecutive picks for the Fed board — Nellie Liang, Herman Cain and Stephen Moore — all withdrew from consideration. Cain and Moore did so following intense media scrutiny of their public records. Trump's attempt to fill seats on the Fed board have come amid his outspoken and unprecedented attacks against interest rate hikes by Chairman Jerome Powell.

The backstory:

  • Waller works for St. Louis Fed President James Bullard — who has been known to advocate for more dovish monetary policy and, more recently — a rate cut. The White House approached him last month about the Fed, a St. Louis Fed spokesperson told Axios. Waller met with Trump on Tuesday. Bullard disclosed last week that the Trump administration had approached him for a seat on the Fed governor’s board.
  • Bloomberg reported in May that Shelton was in the running for a potential nomination.

What’s next: Both Waller and Shelton will need to be confirmed by the Senate. Waller, a former economics professor who has been at the St. Louis Fed for 10 years, is considered a more traditional Fed pick, with a similar background to other Fed governors. He recently defended the St. Louis Fed’s opposition to interest rate hikes in an interview with Bloomberg, before news of a potential nomination came out.

  • Though Shelton was already confirmed by the Senate for a separate position, Fed watchers suspect she might face difficulty, given comments in recent weeks in which she shifted previous criticism of low rates to support for such a move — falling more in line with Trump’s expressed views.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear. Read episode 1.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.