Donald Trump was reportedly impressed after interviewing Janet Yellen while considering re-appointing her as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, but was hung up on one thing — her height.
A new report from the Washington Post cited White House sources who said that Trump “appeared hung up on Yellen’s height” when considering her re-appointment and repeatedly asked top aides if the 5-foot-3 Yellen should be re-appointed to the post.
Trump ultimately appointed Jerome Powell to serve as head of the Federal Reserve and it wasn’t clear if Yellen’s height ended up being a factor. The report noted that advisers told Trump he should see his own person rather than tap Yellen, who was nominated under Obama in 2014.
This is not the first time that Donald Trump has reportedly weighed some physical characteristics when choosing a top position. Earlier this year, the New York Times reported that Trump wrestled with whether to name John Bolton as national security adviser because he didn’t like the look of Bolton’s bushy mustache.
Donald Trump ultimately decided to name Bolton to the position, and the former Bush White House official later joked that he “appreciated the grooming advice” but would not be making any changes to his mustache.
It may not be all that unusual for Donald Trump to ruminate over the height of the Fed chair, however. As CNBC reported last year, there appeared to be a clear correlation between the height of the chairman (woman) and the interest rate, with a steady drop from the towering, 6-foot-7 Paul Volcker through the diminutive Yellen.
“President Trump’s choice for Fed chair will no doubt be important, both on its own merits and as a signal of future picks,” the financial analysis firm LPL Financial said in a note (via CNBC). “The chair role is the public face of the central bank, and by a strange coincidence the height of the Fed chair over time has tended to foretell the direction of interest rates. Joking aside, the chair is a very important position and is one of the most influential voices in monetary policy decisions.”
Trump vented repeatedly about Fed Chair Jerome Powell today. But after meeting with Janet Yellen for post, Trump was impressed with her intellect & rates decisions. But he told advisers she was too short for the job and kept asking others if they agreed. https://t.co/JraIfKS5Zw— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) November 28, 2018
Trump has expressed disappointment with his decision for the new chairman of the Federal Reserve, as Powell has continued Yellen’s interest-rate hikes.
“So far, I’m not even a little bit happy with my selection of [Powell]. Not even a little bit,” Trump told the Washington Post. “And I’m not blaming anybody, but I’m just telling you I think that the Fed is way off-base with what they’re doing.”
But Donald Trump can at least be happy about Jerome Powell’s height. He is nearly nine inches taller than Janet Yellen.