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Trump criticizes Fed rate cut as insufficient: 'More easing and cutting!'

President TrumpDonald TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat MORE on Tuesday criticized the Federal Reserve’s decision to cut interest rates by half a percentage point as insufficient, demanding “more easing and cutting” in a tweet.

“The Federal Reserve is cutting but must further ease and, most importantly, come into line with other countries/competitors,” Trump tweeted. “We are not playing on a level field. Not fair to USA. It is finally time for the Federal Reserve to LEAD. More easing and cutting!”

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The president tweeted less than an hour after the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced that it would cut its baseline interest rate range by 0.5 percentage points to a 1 to 1.25 percent spread amid concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.

“The fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain strong. However, the coronavirus poses evolving risks to economic activity,” the FOMC said in a statement. “In light of these risks and in support of achieving its maximum employment and price stability goals, the Federal Open Market Committee decided today to lower the target range for the federal funds rate by 1/2 percentage point, to 1 to 1‑1/4 percent.”

The development market the first emergency rate cut between FOMC meetings since 2008.

Trump, who regularly targets Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell with criticism, has heaped further pressure the central bank to cut interest rates amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has caused volatility in the stock market over the past week as a result of rising concerns about cases in dozens of countries, including the United States.

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Trump continued to weigh in on the Fed’s decision to cut rates throughout the day on Tuesday, describing it as insufficient because the U.S. “wants to be competitive with other countries.”

“The Federal Reserve cut rates today, finally,” Trump said during remarks at the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference. “Do it more, do it a little bit more.”

“The Fed rate is too high, it’s very simple – it’s too high,” Trump said. “It puts us at a competitive disadvantage.”

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinDemocrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer Yellen provides signature for paper currency Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says MORE, however, struck a different tone than Trump on Tuesday, praising the Fed for "getting ahead of" the potential economic damage from the coronavirus.

"I very much support the Fed's decision," Mnuchin said during an appearance before the House Ways and Means Committee. "I think they did the right thing."

Speaking after Trump's tweet, Powell rebuffed questions of whether the president's pressure influenced the Fed, saying the bank is "never going to consider any political considerations whatsoever."

"We're always going to make our decisions in the interest of the American people to carry forward and try to achieve the mandates that Congress has given us," Powell said.

Trump had gone after Powell in a tweet sent overnight, saying the Fed chairman "should ease and cut rate big" and asserting that Powell has "called it wrong from day one." 

Sylvan Lane contributed.

Updated at 2:56 p.m.