President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe takes tougher stance on Democrats in Washington Democrats troll Trump over Virginia governor's race Tom Glavine, Ric Flair, Doug Flutie to join Trump for Herschel Walker event MORE on Tuesday called the Federal Reserve his “biggest threat” and said he was unhappy with several of his additions to the independent central bank.
Trump continued his criticism of the Fed and its chairman, Jerome Powell, in a Fox Business Network interview scheduled to air Tuesday evening. The president said the Fed was raising interest rates too quickly and saw no reason to break from stimulative monetary policy.
“The Fed is raising rates too fast and it’s independent so I don’t speak to them but I’m not happy with what he’s doing because it’s going too fast because you looked at the last inflation numbers they are very low,” Trump told FBN’s Trish Regan, according to excerpts shared by the network.
Trump also said that he might have made a mistake in elevating Powell to chair the Fed in 2017.
“Can I be honest? I’m not blaming anybody. I put him there and maybe it’s right maybe it’s wrong, but I put him there,” Trump said.
Trump has blasted the Fed since July for raising interest rates as unemployment nears record lows and economic growth accelerates due in part to the 2017 tax cuts.
Most Republicans back the Fed’s efforts to prevent the economy from overheating. But Trump has argued that inflation hasn’t risen high enough to warrant rate hikes.
The Fed has increased interest rates eight times since 2015, six times since Trump took office, and three times under Powell, a Republican. The president has repeatedly griped about Powell’s support for rate hikes, and said Tuesday he was frustrated some of his other Fed nominees.
“I put a couple of other people there I’m not so happy with too, but for the most part I’m very happy with people,” Trump said.
The president did not specify which Fed officials displeased him, but the Senate has so far only two of his additions to the bank: Vice Chairman Richard Clarida and Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles. Powell, appointed to the Fed in 2012, was already a member of central bank when Trump nominated him to be chairman.
Powell, Quarles and Clarida are all moderate Republicans with similar views on monetary policy and financial regulation. All three have called for gradual interest rate hikes that would slowly cut back stimulus while allowing the economy to grow without overheating.
Trump has said that he felt duped by Powell and expected him to keep interest rates low. Powell had voted lockstep with former Fed Chair Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenDemocrats face growing storm over IRS reporting provision Hoyer signals House vote on bill to 'remove' debt limit threat Biden's IRS proposal could mark the end of privacy in banking MORE, who was criticized by Republicans for holding off on rate hikes far longer than they had preferred.
Trump had considered renominating Yellen to chair the Fed, but ultimately chose Powell after Republicans pressured him to choose a member of his own party. Yellen on Monday said she feared the economy could soon overheat, an indication that she would also support hiking interest rates.