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- Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker recounted his two meetings with President Donald Trump during an interview with The New York Times.
- In 1987, Trump ran across a New York City street to introduce himself to Volcker.
- Later, Volcker had lunch with Trump to suggest the then-reality TV star use “The Apprentice” to raise money for charity.
- Trump did not follow Volcker’s idea.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker’s longest meeting with President Donald Trump was not an Oval Office meeting to discuss policy, according to a new report, but rather an unsuccessful attempt to get Trump to be more charitable.
In an interview with the New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin about his new memoir, Volcker recounted two meetings with the now-president. They both took place well before Trump got anywhere close to the Oval Office.
The first encounter with Trump came in 1987, when the then-real estate investor yelled at Volcker from across a New York City street and then rushed across to shake the central banker’s hand. Volcker had by that time already left the Fed.
The only other meeting, Volcker told the Times, came during Trump’s run as the host of the reality TV show “The Apprentice.” The former Fed Chairman said he tried to convince Trump to use the “Apprentice” platform to raise money for charity.
“We had a very nice lunch, and he said, ‘Interesting idea,’ but put me off otherwise,” Volcker told the Times.
According to Sorkin, Volcker’s suggestion was ultimately unsuccessful, though the celebrity edition of “The Apprentice” did see contestants donate winnings to a charity of their choice.
Outside of the two encounters, Trump has not asked Volcker for advice on monetary or economic policy as Barack Obama did. And the former Fed Chairman isn’t particularly fond of Trump, according to the Times.
But Trump did speak to a class of people left behind economically by globalization, Volcker admitted, albeit “in kind of an erratic way.”
Volcker also recounted a tense meeting with President Ronald Reagan prior to the 1984 election during which the president’s chief of staff ordered the then-Fed chair not to raise rates, a move that echoes Trump’s current attacks on the politically independent Fed.