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

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump grapples with Turkey controversy Trump hypes China trade deal as new doubts emerge Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump to slap sanctions on Turkey for Syria offensive | Trump calls on Turkey to broker ceasefire | Pelosi, Graham seek deal on sanctions | Ex-Trump aide testifies in impeachment probe MORE tweeted that President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? 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 YellenWhat economic recession? Think 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 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.