Herman Cain afraid he might not pass the FBI background check for fed seat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said he will face a “cumbersome” process as he is vetted for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board.

In a video posted on Facebook late Friday, Cain said he must turn over records from 50 years in business, including numerous professional jobs, service on boards, and extensive speeches.

The 73-year-old said it was not clear if he will pass the ongoing FBI background check, a standard practice before a high-ranking nomination.

“Whether or not I make it through this process – Time will tell,” Cain said. “Would I be disappointed if I don’t make it through this process? No. Would I be thrilled and honored if I make it through this process? Yes. That’s the bottom line.”

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he plans to nominate Cain, a former pizza chain executive. “I have recommended him highly for the Fed,” Trump said. “I’ve told my folks that’s the man.”

Cain’s nomination would need to be approved by the U.S. Senate. “They have to collect an inordinate amount of information on you, your background, your family, your friends, your animals, your pets, for the last 50 years,” Cain said.

Cain said people who dislike him are “already digging up all of the negative stuff that’s in storage from eight years ago.” He added, “I will be able to explain it this time.”

Cain led opinion polls for a while during the Republican nominating contests, buoyed by his signature 9-9-9 tax proposal, which would have levied a flat 9 percent corporate, income and sales tax.

But his popularity slipped amid sexual harassment allegations from several women, which he denied as “completely false.”

Cain made his fortune as chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza before launching a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

Trump has been a strident critic of the Fed’s rate hikes under Jerome Powell, whom the president picked two years ago to chair the U.S. central bank. Trump‘s other Fed appointees have also supported the Powell Fed’s rate hikes, which the president has said hurt the economy.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Daniel Wallis)