Trump consults Senate Republican senators on Fed chief candidates

WASHINGTON, Oct 24 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Tuesday used a luncheon with Senate Republicans to survey them on their views of who he should tap to be the next leader of the Federal Reserve, according to senators who attended.

"He said he'd make a decision soon," Senator John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, told reporters. Cornyn declined to say who appeared to garner the most support.

In an interview with Fox Business Network that aired on Sunday, Trump said he was considering nominating both current Fed Governor Jerome Powell and Stanford University economist John Taylor for top spots at the Fed, but added that he also liked the current head of the U.S. central bank, Janet Yellen.

RELATED: High-profile Congressional Republicans

High-profile Congressional Republicans
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High-profile Congressional Republicans
Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
House of Representatives Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Senator Lindsey Graham
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC)
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)
U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AL)
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

White House officials have said Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn and former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh were also under consideration.

Asked who won the poll, Senator John Kennedy told reporters he did not remember. "Some people raised their hands on some names and some on others, but I don't think anybody counted them," he said.

Another senator who attended, Tim Scott, said he thought Taylor had won, Bloomberg News reported, remarks that pushed yields on U.S. government debt higher and weighed on stocks.

SEE ALSO: 'Heaven help us': Jeff Flake announces he won't seek re-election in speech slamming Trump

Yellen, who was nominated to the top job at the Fed by Democratic President Barack Obama, has led the central bank since early 2014. Her term expires in February, but Trump could decide to renominate her.

Any nominee would have to win Senate approval.

"He mentioned he'd had a really great meeting" with Yellen, Kennedy said. "But I couldn't tell which way he was going, and its not my place or anybody else's to ask." (Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Writing by Tim Ahmann; Editing by David Gregorio)

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