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Trump’s Fed choice Moore confident about confirmation

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Washington, April 29 (IANS) 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.

America

US unemployment rate falls to 50-year low

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The U.S. unemployment rate fell in September to a new five-decade low of 3.5%, while employers added a modest 136,000 jobs.

The Labor Department says that despite the ultra-low unemployment rate, which was down from 3.7% in August, average hourly wages slipped by a penny. Hourly pay rose just 2.9% from a year earlier, lower than 3.4% at the beginning of the year.

Hiring has slowed this year as the U.S.-China trade war has intensified, global growth has slowed, and businesses have cut back on their investment spending. Still, hiring has averaged 157,000 in the past three months, enough to lower the unemployment rate over time.

The unemployment rate for Latinos fell to 3.9%, the lowest on records dating from 1973.

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America

Trump embarrassed by TV channel

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”

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New York, Sep 26 : US President Donald Trump was subjected to an embarrassment when the MSNBC news channel cut away from his press conference while he was speaking on the controversy surrounding him over the Ukrainian probe against former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump on Wednesday was addressing the press conference against the backdrop of impeachment proceedings announced against him by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi following allegations that he put pressure on the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to order a probe against Biden whose family has business interests there.

The allegation against Trump came to light because of a whistleblower and a transcript of the conversation between him and Zelensky in July, which has become public.

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”

She added that Trump was trying to do it to deflect the attention from his impeachment.

According to the transcript of the telephonic conversation that has gone public, Trump is heard asking Zelensky to “do us a favour”, after the latter expresses gratitude for the military aid the US provided to his country.

Trump’s words of “do us a favour” is seen as a quid pro quo for the American military aid, because of which the impeachment proceedings have been announced.

After Wallace cut the press conference, her guest on the programme, justice and security analyst Matthew Miller, rebuked Trump for saying that Biden and his son had done wrong.

“This story has been looked at and thoroughly debunked by everyone involved,” Miller said, adding the real issue was whether Trump’s conduct is “impeachable”.

Trump is facing problem at a time when he is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

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Kim Jong-un receives ‘excellent’ letter from Trump

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Pyongyang, June 23 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has received a personal letter with “excellent” and “interesting” content from US President Donald Trump, Pyongyang’s state media said on Sunday.

“After reading the letter, the Supreme Leader of the Party, the state and the armed forces said with satisfaction that the letter is of excellent content,” the Korean Central News Agency said, referring to its leader.

“Appreciating the political judging faculty and extraordinary courage of President Trump, Kim Jong-un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content,” it added.

The KCNA did not disclose when and how the letter was delivered to Kim, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The letter appears to be in response to the one Kim sent to Trump recently in time for the anniversary of their first-ever summit in Singapore last June.

Trump had described Kim’s letter as “beautiful” and “very warm”. He also emphasized that the relationship between them remains strong and that “something will happen that’s going to be very positive”.

The exchange of correspondence between the leaders renewed hopes for a resumption of denuclearization talks which have stalled since the breakdown of their second summit in February.

The summit collapsed as Pyongyang wanted sanctions relief as a corresponding measure in exchange for dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear complex, while Washington insisted that sanctions should remain in place until the North completely gives up its nuclear weapons programme.

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