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Sherrod Brown slams NCUA chairman's pro-Trump posts

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Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is calling on Rodney Hood, chairman of the National Credit Union Administration, to turn over a slew of documents and communications regarding his interactions with President Trump.

In an Oct. 23 letter to Hood, Brown called out the NCUA chairman for a series of online posts that he says could be “an attempt to inappropriately curry favor with the president, seriously compromising the independence of the agency you lead.”

The letter refers to a video posted to Twitter in early October in which Hood praised Trump’s leadership and said African-Americans had made greater gains under Trump than any other president in recent decades. Many questioned whether those remarks were appropriate coming from the head of a nonpartisan federal agency and how they might be seen had the chairman of a more high-profile regulator made them.

Brown also criticized Hood for a photo posted to LinkedIn of him and Trump at one of Trump’s golf courses.

“As chairman of the NCUA board, you are responsible for representing the ‘board and the National Credit Union Administration in its official relations with other branches of government’ and not the White House, the Trump Administration, or any political campaign,” Brown wrote.

The senator — who as a member of the Senate Banking Committee took part in Hood’s confirmation hearing earlier this year — asked Hood to respond to a series of questions and provide documents by Nov. 6, including:

  • Whether various government ethics officers were consulted in advance of the video posted to Twitter.
  • Whether the White House approved the remarks in that video before it went online.
  • If other NCUA board members were consulted in advance of the posts to Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Whether Hood's visit to Trump's golf course violates the Hatch Act and other ethics guidelines.
  • Data backing up Hood’s claims about African-Americans’ success under Trump.
  • A detailed list of all of Hood’s meetings with individuals or groups not directly associated with the NCUA.

“Politicizing an independent agency like the NCUA threatens our economy and puts working families at risk,” Brown said. “It is imperative that independent financial regulators insulate themselves from political pressures so that short-term political gains do not dictate the long-term stability of our financial system.”

The NCUA did not immediately respond to Credit Union Journal’s request for comment.

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