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

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Taxpayers slow to file as they grapple with tax law | Schiff says Dems to charge ahead with Trump probes | Feds charge Avenatti with trying to extort Nike | Yellen sees no recession in sight House Oversight Dem wants Trump to release taxes and 'get it over with' Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week MORE tweeted that President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos claims he was pressured to sign plea deal Tlaib asking colleagues to support impeachment investigation resolution Trump rips 'Mainstream Media': 'They truly are the Enemy of the People' 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.

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" '[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 YellenOn The Money: Taxpayers slow to file as they grapple with tax law | Schiff says Dems to charge ahead with Trump probes | Feds charge Avenatti with trying to extort Nike | Yellen sees no recession in sight Yellen sees no recession in sight, says rate cut may be needed Female economists report discrimination, sexual assault in survey 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.