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

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Trump teases 'major announcement' Saturday on shutdown | Fight with Dems intensifies | Pelosi accuses Trump of leaking trip to Afghanistan | Mnuchin refuses to testify on shutdown impacts The case for Russia sanctions Treasury issues final rules on key part of Trump's tax law MORE tweeted that President TrumpDonald John TrumpWashington Post reporter: I didn't know if call with Trump was a joke Researchers find undisclosed missile site in North Korea Sending troops to border is legal 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.


" '[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 YellenOvernight Energy: House Dem to offer measure backing Paris climate deal | Former Federal Reserve chiefs call for carbon tax | Watchdog urges agencies to update climate guidance Former Federal Reserve chairs, economists, back carbon tax Jay Powell ignores the stock market at the economy's peril 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.