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Trump is reportedly unlikely to pick Gary Cohn as next Fed chair

  • President Donald Trump is unlikely to pick Gary Cohn to lead the Federal Reserve, according to The Wall Street Journal.
  • Cohn's chances reportedly went down after he criticized the president's response to violence at a white supremacist rally last month.

President Donald Trump is "unlikely" to choose his top economic advisor Gary Cohn as the next Federal Reserve chairman, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing sources.

Trump soured on appointing Cohn to lead the central bank after the White House advisor criticized the president's reaction to violence at a white supremacist rally in Virginia last month, according to the Journal.

The report follows Fed vice chairman Stanley Fischer's decision to step down in October. Fischer's departure makes it appear even less likely that current Fed Chair Janet Yellen will stay in the job beyond the end of her February 2018 term, Fed watchers told CNBC.

Gary Cohn
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
Gary Cohn

Prediction markets had recently pinned Cohn as the favorite to become the next Fed chair. As of Wednesday evening, though, Cohn's chances at PredictIt fell to 9 percent from 25 percent on Tuesday, while Yellen's rose to 25 percent from 20 percent the day before.

After Trump's defiant response to the Charlottesville violence, Cohn said the White House had to do better to condemn racism. He even reportedly drafted a resignation letter.

A senior administration official told CNBC that Trump is considering several candidates for Fed chair.

CNN reporter Jake Tapper tweeted that a source close to the White House told him that Cohn is "more likely to get electric chair than Fed Chair."

Read the full Wall Street Journal report here.