Trump says he plans to keep criticizing Fed over rates

FILE - In this June 4, 2019, file photo Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a conference involving its review of its interest-rate policy strategy and communications in Chicago. The slightest hint that the Federal Reserve might lower interest rates often puts investors in a buying mood, stoking their expectations of greater stock market returns. But it doesn’t always work that way. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says he has no intention of ending his public attacks on the Federal Reserve's interest rate policies even though he knows he has made Chairman Jerome Powell's job more difficult.

Trump told ABC News in an interview released Friday that he thinks economic growth and stock market indexes would be substantially higher if the chairman "wouldn't have raised interest rates so much." The Fed raised rates four times last year. But Powell has signaled that the Fed is prepared to cut rates should it decide that Trump's trade war with China threatened the economic expansion.

The Fed has long sought to operate free of political influence to maintain its credibility as the world's leading central bank. Powell, whom Trump elevated to chairman, has said before that he wouldn't resign despite pressure from Trump.

In the ABC interview, which will air Sunday, Trump is asked if he was concerned that his public attacks on Powell were inappropriate and were putting the Fed chairman "in a box."

"I'm gonna do it anyway because I've waited long enough," Trump said. "If he did the interest rate increases half as much, if he didn't do tightening," the economy would be growing faster and the stock market would be higher.

In an earlier interview this week with CNBC, Trump lamented that he had to deal with a Fed that is "very destructive to us" and suggested that President Xi Jinping of China was much luckier because Xi essentially controls his country's central bank.

Four of the Fed's five current board members are Trump nominees, and two vacancies on the seven-member board are available for the president to fill.

Must Read

The Latest: Trump meets Macron in France

Jun 6, 2019

President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron are meeting in Caen on the northern...

Iranian president visits 2 Gulf Arab states to...

Feb 15, 2017

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has met with the leaders of Oman and Kuwait as part of a two-state...

Tillerson aims to ease Qatar crisis with shuttle...

Jul 10, 2017

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Kuwait to try to resolve a dispute between Qatar and...

Irish border dispute looms large over the UK-EU...

Oct 15, 2018

Britain and the European Union are stuck on the tricky question of how the Irish border fits into...

Malian extremist pleads guilty to Timbuktu rampage

Aug 22, 2016

An Islamic extremist has pleaded guilty to destroying historic mausoleums in the Malian desert city...