Trump says he has confidence in Mnuchin but hits Fed

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat MORE on Tuesday expressed confidence in Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinIran: Rouhani, Trump won't meet at United Nations Trump denies reports he's willing to meet with Iran with 'no conditions' Turkey confirms delivery of second Russian anti-missile system MORE one day after markets continued their slide amid investor concerns about rising interest rates and chaos in the Trump administration.

“Yes, I do. Very talented guy, very smart person,” Trump told reporters when asked if he remains confident in the Treasury chief.

Trump spoke during an impromptu gaggle in the Oval Office after calling troops for Christmas.

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But the president reiterated his belief the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates too quickly, which he said is hampering his presidency.

“Well, we'll see,” Trump said when asked if he is confident in Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. “They're raising interest rates too fast ... they think the economy is so good but I think that they will get it pretty soon, I really do.”

The president's comments come a day after Bloomberg News reported that Trump has weighed dismissing Mnuchin, whose future may hinge on whether stock markets continue to drop.

Mnuchin has scrambled to reassure Trump, calling the heads of six major banks on Sunday and releasing an unusual statement saying that they have the capacity to lend to households and businesses.

But the comments stirred even more confusion and fear on Wall Street, where the financial health of major banks was not a major concern.

Investors are instead believed to be worried about interest-rate hikes in addition to uncertainty caused by the government shutdown and Trump's trade war with China, among other issues.

Trump, however, had placed sole blame on Powell and Fed policy. The president has also reportedly spoken about the possibility of removing Powell, which would be a virtually unprecedented move.

He has also reportedly blamed Mnuchin for recommending Powell to lead the central bank.

Trump earlier this year decided not to renominate 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 as Fed chair. While Trump was said to support her interest-rate policies, The Washington Post reported that the president thought she was too short to keep her job.