Herman Cain steels himself for tough Fed board selection process

Cain is Trump's pick to lead Federal Reserve board

By CNN'S CAROLINE KELLY, DONNA BORAK AND MAEGAN VAZQUEZ CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT.
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Washington, DC - President Donald Trump's pick to sit on the Federal Reserve Board, Herman Cain, said Friday he's steeling himself for a tough selection process after sexual harassment allegations rocked his 2012 presidential bid.

Alluding to those sexual harassment allegations, which he has denied, the former business executive said on Facebook Watch's "The Herman Cain Show" he was eager to air things out in the open.

"You better believe that the people who hate me, who do not like conservatism, Republicans, are already digging up all of the negative stuff that's in stories from eight years ago," Cain said.

"So be it. Let them go back and dig up eight-year-old stuff. I will be able to explain it this time where they wouldn't let me explain it the last time," Cain said. "They were too busy believing the accusers. I'm not mad, y'all. I'm just not going to let the accusers run my life. Or determine my career."

Cain suspended his bid for the Republican nomination for president in 2011 after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment when he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s and one woman claimed she had a 13-year affair with Cain.

At the time, Cain said the allegations were incorrect but acknowledged "he had made mistakes in my life," according to Bloomberg.

Trump told reporters Thursday that he is recommending Cain to sit on the Federal Reserve Board. There are currently two vacancies on the seven-member Fed Board.

"I've recommended Herman Cain. A terrific man, a terrific person. He's a friend of mine," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. "I've recommended him highly for the Fed. I've told my folks that that's the man, and he's doing some pre-checking now and I would imagine he'd be in great shape."

Cain seemed resigned Friday to the fact that much of the process would ultimately be out of his hands, saying it would be a "more cumbersome" selection process after his lengthy career.

"Whether or not I make it through this process, time will tell. Would I be disappointed if I don't make it through this process? No. Would I be thrilled and honored if I make it through this process? Yes. That's the bottom line," Cain said.

From 1992 to 1996, Cain served as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Each of the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks has a nine-person board that includes local executives.

With two seats open, the President could seize the opportunity to appoint nominees who disagree with how Chairman Jerome Powell has steered the central bank's interest rate policy. Trump has repeatedly accused Powell, a former investment banker, of trying to undercut him politically by raising interest rates, which Trump believes will slow down the economy.

So far, Powell has been able to build consensus with his existing board, with not a single dissenting vote on any policy decision since he took the helm in February 2018.

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