Trump says he doesn't regret picking Powell to lead Fed

Trump says he doesn't regret picking Powell to lead Fed
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE said Thursday that he doesn’t regret picking Jerome Powell to lead the Federal Reserve, stepping back from his recent intense criticism of the central bank’s chairman.

Trump said in a Thursday interview with Bloomberg that he “put a man in there who I like and respect,” backing Powell despite repeatedly ripping the Fed chairman and his colleagues for raising interest rates.

The Fed has raised interest rates five times since Trump took office and twice since Powell, a Republican, took over the Fed chairmanship from Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenTrump considering Herman Cain for Federal Reserve seat: report New year, new Fed Rise of the stock market vigilantes MORE, a Democrat. Powell, like Yellen, has supported gradually raising interest rates after the Fed slashed them to counter the 2008 recession.

Trump has criticized Powell and the Fed for raising rates, a policy he says will derail a torrid job market and hinder the his efforts to strike more beneficial trade terms for the U.S. The president has accused the central banks of the European Union and China of driving down their currencies, which the Treasury Department refutes.

Fed interest rate hikes tend to increase the value of U.S. dollar, making American exports more expensive compared to goods from other nations and widening trade deficits, a constant source of ire for Trump.

“We are not being accommodated,” Trump told Bloomberg on Thursday, asking the Fed to assist him with looser monetary policy. “I don’t like that.”

But Trump added, “I’m not sure the currency should be controlled by a politician.”

Trump’s criticism of the Fed and Powell breached roughly 20 years of presidents avoiding commentary on monetary policy out of respect to the bank’s independence. Trump has said that he’s “not thrilled’ with Powell and privately griped at a GOP fundraiser that he thought the chairman would hold off on rate hikes.

Powell, appointed to the Fed in 2012, has brushed aside Trump’s comments and insisted the bank would act independently of the White House. The Fed has raised interest rates twice this year, and is expected to do so again in September.