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

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTrump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week Democrats push judge for quick action on Trump tax returns lawsuit Five key players in Trump's trade battles MORE tweeted that President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president 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 YellenThink of this economy as an elderly friend: Old age means coming death On The Money: Rising recession fears pose risk for Trump | Stocks suffer worst losses of 2019 | Trump blames 'clueless' Fed for economic worries Recession fears surge as stock markets plunge 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.