Trump suggests he hasn't ruled out weakening dollar after top aide said it was off the table

President TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE said Friday he had not completely ruled out a proposal to artificially weaken the dollar hours after his top economic adviser said such a move was off the table.

Trump earlier this week shot down a pitch from trade adviser Peter Navarro, who suggested intervening in currency markets to strengthen the U.S. position in the global market, according to multiple reports.


National Economic Council Chairman Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE then told CNBC on Friday morning that the administration "ruled out currency intervention."

But asked about the possibility on Friday afternoon, Trump was less concrete.

“I could do that in two seconds if I want,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office when asked why he wouldn't consider Navarro's proposal. "I didn’t say I’m not going to do something."

The president boasted that other currencies had been weakened but that the dollar remained strong.  

“The dollar is very strong. The country is very strong," he said. "The dollar, it’s a beautiful thing in one way but it makes it harder to compete. And despite that ... we’re doing really well." 

Trump's remarks are likely to sow further confusion about whether he would like to intervene. He has spoken critically of the Federal Reserve's decisionmaking and is locked in an ongoing trade war with China, further raising questions about how he might proceed.

He renewed his complaints on Friday that China had devalued its currency in response to the trade dispute.

The New York Times reported that Trump expressed concerns on Tuesday that weakening the U.S. dollar could roil global markets, and he abruptly cut off Navarro's presentation.

Kudlow on Friday morning sought to put the matter to rest, arguing that Trump did not want to manipulate U.S. currency the way some other countries may have.

“The president wants a steady dollar and the dominant currency in the world,” Kudlow told reporters. “Our dollar is dependable and reliable.”