Trump: Yellen doing Obama's bidding

Trump: Yellen doing Obama's bidding
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Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHealth insurers Cigna, Humana waive out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus treatment Puerto Rico needs more federal help to combat COVID-19 Fauci says April 30 extension is 'a wise and prudent decision' MORE accused Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Monday of doing President Obama’s bidding by keeping interest rates low.

In an interview with CNBC, the Republican presidential nominee charged that the Fed was no longer politically independent and instead was pursuing policies to boost Obama in his final months in office.


“She’s obviously political, and she’s doing what Obama wants her to do,” he said in a phone interview. “As soon as [rates] go up, your stock market is going to go way down, most likely. Or possibly.”

While Yellen was Obama’s pick to lead the Fed, the central bank prizes itself as a politically independent institution and strongly rebuts any claims that outside politicians weigh on its efforts to steer the U.S. economy.

Trump did not offer any evidence to support his claim but went on to argue that the Fed’s policies are now aimed at keeping the stock market strong until Obama leaves office.

“They want to keep the market going up,” he said. “Let the new person that becomes president, let him raise interest rates, or let her raise interest rates, and watch what happens to the stock market then.”

Of course, the president has no say over how the nation’s interest rates are set, short of making picks to fill out the Fed. Trump has previously said that he would replace Yellen if elected president, but her term as chair does not expire until 2018.

Trump’s Fed critique requires him to perform a balancing act of sorts. As a real estate developer, Trump has frequently said he loves being able to borrow at low costs, and has even described himself as the “king of debt.” But as a candidate, Trump’s Fed critiques fall more in line with traditional GOP thinking.

He said that people trying to save money are being hurt by Fed policies, as the central bank has kept interest rates low for years following the financial crisis.

“The ones that did it right, they saved their money. … Now they’re getting practically zero interest,” he said. “Those people have really been, you can almost say, discriminated against.”