Jerome Powell, governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve and President Donald Trump’s nominee as chairman of the Federal Reserve, right, pauses while speaking while Trump listens during a nomination announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Bloomberg)

Trump Expresses Confidence in Fed After Reports on Firing Powell

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump expressed confidence in the Federal Reserve and its Chairman, Jerome Powell, following reports that he’s discussed firing the central bank chief -- though the president complained again that interest rates have been rising too quickly.

Asked about Powell, Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday: “Well, we’ll see. They’re raising interest rates too fast. That’s my opinion. But I certainly have confidence. But I think it will straighten. They’re raising interest rates too fast because they think the economy is so good. But I think that they will get it pretty soon. I really do. I mean, the fact is that the economy is doing so well that they raised interest rates and that is a form of safety in a way.”

Trump also said he has “great confidence in them” after discussing the Fed, though it wasn’t clear if he was referring to the central bank.

Trump has discussed dismissing Powell, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News last week. But Trump concluded over the weekend that it wasn’t within his power, according to tweets by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The president has repeatedly expressed outrage about the Fed’s interest-rate increases, which he and his allies blame for a swoon in the stock market.

He suggested higher rates would complicate his re-election campaign.

“President Obama didn’t do much of that,” he said of his predecessor. “Much easier to run when you have no interest rate. He had a really low interest rate.”

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