In his announcement, the president called Moore “a great pro-growth economist and a truly fine person” and said he’s asked him to work with him in another capacity.
The announcement came only hours after Moore told Bloomberg News he was “all in” on the role despite mounting pushback from GOP lawmakers. He would only withdraw his name from consideration if Trump wanted him to, he added.
“I’m going to do what the president wants me to do,” he said. “If he wants me to keep fighting, I’m going to keep fighting. If he thinks it’s time to throw in the towel, I’ll do that.”
Earlier this week, two Republican senators went on the record saying they weren’t confident Moore, a controversial economic commentator, could be confirmed.
Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) both told reporters on Tuesday that they weren’t confident in Moore.
Ernst, the first Republican to speak out, told CNN it was “very unlikely” that she’d support Moore’s nomination and noted that several of her colleagues had privately expressed concerns about him to her.
Economists have criticized Moore as a partisan pick with a record of promoting conservative fiscal policy, and lacking any economic expertise. He’s perhaps most well-known for regularly flubbing comments about the economy in media appearances and for overseeing a a disastrous 2012 tax cut experiment in Kansas that led to state revenues falling $700 million overnight.
Trump had to make a similar announcement last week about Herman Cain, one of his other potential nominees for the two vacant Federal Reserve Board seats. As was the case with Moore, Cain lacked support from Republican senators, largely due to his facing sexual harassment allegations and launching a pro-Trump super PAC last year.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he was happy with the latest development.
“First, Cain. Now, Moore. Thank goodness neither were actually nominated,” Schumer said in a statement Thursday. “The only thing less funny than some of Mr. Moore’s tasteless, offensive, sexist ‘jokes’ was the idea that President Trump would even consider him for a seat on the Federal Reserve.”
This story has been updated throughout.