Mnuchin: Trump believes he does not have the power to fire Fed chief

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: DOJ offers legal opinion backing refusal to release Trump tax returns | Centrist Democrats raise concerns over minimum wage | Trump bashes Powell ahead of crucial Fed meeting | Design leaks for Harriet Tubman bill On The Money: DOJ offers legal opinion backing refusal to release Trump tax returns | Centrist Democrats raise concerns over minimum wage | Trump bashes Powell ahead of crucial Fed meeting | Design leaks for Harriet Tubman bill Justice releases legal opinion backing Treasury's refusal to release Trump tax returns MORE tweeted that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants MORE does not believe he has the power to fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Mnuchin tweeted Saturday that Trump told him that he had "never suggested" firing Powell despite reports of his anger toward Powell over the Fed's recent decision to raise interest rates.

"I have spoken with the President @realDonaldTrump and he said 'I totally disagree with Fed policy. I think the increasing of interest rates and the shrinking of the Fed portfolio is an absolute terrible thing to do at this time,' " Mnuchin tweeted, quoting the president.

ADVERTISEMENT

" '[E]specially in light of my major trade negotiations which are ongoing, but I never suggested firing Chairman Jay Powell, nor do I believe I have the right to do so,' ” he added.

The president's conversation with his Treasury secretary comes following a late report from Bloomberg News Friday night detailing reported discussions between Trump and his aides centered around Powell's potential firing. Mnuchin's tweets are the White House's first public comments on the report.

Powell, whom Trump appointed to replace Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenPowell told Congress Fed is preparing for economic 'damage' from climate change Senate needs to stand up to Trump's Nixonian view of the Fed The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington braces for Mueller report MORE in 2017, publicly pushed back against the president weeks ago after Trump urged the Fed to resist raising interest rates, citing a stock market sell-off.

“I know, and everyone who works at the Fed knows, that we’re going to do our jobs the way we’ve always done them,” Powell said at a press conference at the time.