Trump ally Stephen Moore withdraws from consideration for Fed after GOP senators object

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham had called Moore's nomination "very problematic.”

President Donald Trump announced on Twitter on Thursday that Stephen Moore has withdrawn his name from consideration for the Federal Reserve Board amid blunt-spoken concerns raised by Senate Republicans about how the White House is handing nominees.

Moore's withdrawal comes just about two weeks after another Trump supporter, Herman Cain, withdrew from consideration on April 22 after questions were raised about his past.

In his letter to Trump, Moore said "Trumponomics has been VINDICATED" then adding, "Your confidence in me makes what I am about to say much harder. I am respectfully asking that you withdraw my name from consideration. The unrelenting attacks on my character have become untenable for me and my family and 3 more months of this would be too hard on us."

The president’s desire to install Moore, a close ally of his who served as an economic adviser on his 2016 campaign, hit strong headwinds earlier this week on Capitol Hill as several Republican senators came forward to raise concerns.

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, was the first to say Monday that she is “not really enthused about” the nomination, before going further Tuesday to say she would be “very unlikely” to support it.

One of those Republicans, Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, said on Thursday, “I’m very thankful that he made that choice. That was the right thing to do.” Asked whether she had made her opposition clear to the White House, Ernst said, “Yes. We had indicated to the White House that I would not be supportive.”

She said she hopes Moore will “move on” and that the White House will now put forward someone who has “been much more thoroughly vetted and someone who is appropriate for that position.”

Sen Shelly Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican, said of Moore's move: “That’s the right decision. Flawed candidate.”

Asked about Moore's withdrawl so closely after Cain's, Capito said, "In my view, you’ve got to thoroughly vet people before names are put out. It’s only fair to us."

“Our leadership team also expressed that to the White House," Ernst said, "that perhaps we should know more about the nominees before their names are even floated.”

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, a member of the GOP leadership, “There were a lot of messages that were being delivered, our members expressing the concerns that they had. And I think the White House took them to heart - that it would probably be useful to have a little more advanced notice and an opportunity to bat some of these names around and talk to the Leader to see if (potential nominees) are confirmable.”

Earlier, in perhaps the greatest warning sign for the nomination’s viability, one of the president’s top allies on the Hill, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called Moore's nomination "very problematic.”

Moore’s nomination came into question as some of his past writings and statements about women surfaced. In one September 2000 column, Moore described college as a place for men "to chase skirts" and questioned why women would wear "tight skirts" to parties if they were so "offended by drunken, lustful frat boys."

In addition to Ernst and Capito, three other Republican women in the Senate raised questions about a Moore nomination.

“Obviously some of his past writings are of concern,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said. “Certainly it appears that he has a lot of personal financial issues and well as troubling writings about women and our role in society, in sports, and also how he views the Federal Reserve.”

“I’ve known him for a long time. If he’s nominated, then I’ll visit with him. Of course, his comments are not good, and you can guarantee - be guaranteed absolutely without fail - if I visit with him, that will be a topic of discussion,” said Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, also said there were "concerns” with the nomination but said she would do her homework before making her own judgment.

The nomination would have required a simple majority in the Senate to be approved, but there were enough Republican defections to sink the nomination.

As recently as Monday, the Trump administration was publicly expressing support for Moore.

“We’re still behind him and we’re going through the process of vetting and we’ll see what happens and then hopefully it will go up to Senate Banking Committee, no change in our position,” Kudlow told reporters.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said separately that Moore’s past comments remained under review by the White House.

In an interview with ABC News on Sunday, Moore said he was "apologetic" for the content of some of his old "humor columns" but that he had no memory of some of his controversial past writings.

"Frankly, I didn't even remember writing some of these they were so long ago...They were humor columns but some of them weren't funny so I am apologetic, I’m embarrassed by some of those things I wrote," Moore told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on "This Week." "But I do think we should get back to the issue of whether I'm qualified to be on the Federal Reserve Board, whether I have the, you know, economic expertise.”

But it’s not just Moore’s past comments that raised eyebrows. He drew fresh scrutiny on Tuesday in an interview on CNBC when he identified the decline in male earnings as the biggest problem facing the U.S. economy in the last quarter century.

"The biggest problem I see in the economy over the last 25 years is what has happened to male earnings -- for black males and white males as well. They've been declining and that is, I think, a big problem," Moore said during an interview with CNBC's "Squawk Box."

He continued: "Look I want everybody's wages to rise, of course, but you know, people are talking about women's earnings -- they've risen. The problem, actually, has been the steady decline in male earnings, and I think we should pay attention to that because I think that has very negative consequences for the economy and for society."

President Trump first announced his intention to nominate Moore to serve on the Fed Board on March 22.

ABC News’ Katherine Faulders and Quinn Scanlan contributed reporting.