Fed Chair Janet Yellen had a breakfast meeting with Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka, on Monday, July 17 from 8am to 9am, at the U.S. central bank, according to Fed public schedules, posted earlier this month on the Fed website. Bloomberg first reported the encounter.
Eight days after the one-hour meeting in a private dining room at the Fed, on July 25 Trump told the Wall Street Journal that Yellen was “in the running, absolutely,” for a second term as chair. “I like her; I like her demeanor. I think she’s done a good job,” he said. “I’d like to see rates stay low. She’s historically been a low-interest-rate person" the president added about the Fed chairman.
The Fed chair often meets with administration officials and members of Congress. But as the LA Times notes, a sit-down with a member of the First Family is highly unusual for the chief of the nation's independent central bank.
The breakfast came as Yellen's four-year term is set to expire in February. She has not said publicly if she is interested in a second term but Trump has said he is considering renominating her.
Ivanka Trump is an unpaid assistant to the president and a key advisor. She has advocated for women's issues, such as paid family leave and an expanded child tax credit. On June 5, Ivanka Trump tweeted an excerpt of a speech Yellen gave a month earlier at Brown University in which she said: “Too many women struggle to combine aspirations for work and family.” Ivanka Trump’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ivanka Trump and Yellen had breakfast in a room in the Fed's beaux arts Marriner S. Eccles Building, where Yellen frequently dines with guests. In July, Yellen also had breakfast there twice with Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. She also had lunch there in July with Gary Cohn, the White House's top economic advisor and a possible rival for the Fed chairmanship.
A Fed spokeswoman declined to comment Monday on what was discussed at the breakfast or who requested it. A White House spokesman also did not provide details.
As of today, according to the PredictIt online market, Yellen is back on top in the ranking of who the "market" sees as most likely Fed Chair on February 4, in other words, Yellen is expected to remain in her position.