Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox News Sunday that the President of the United States “absolutely respects” the Federal Reserve’s independence.
Mnuchin’s defense came after Trump downed Fed Chairman Jerome Powell for increasing interest rates in an interview with CNBC:
“I’m not thrilled. … We go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again. I don’t really — I am not happy about it. But at the same time I’m letting them do what they feel is best. … I don’t like all of this work that we’re putting into the economy and then I see rates going up.”
And…there was also Twitter:
“….The United States should not be penalized because we are doing so well. Tightening now hurts all that we have done. The U.S. should be allowed to recapture what was lost due to illegal currency manipulation and BAD Trade Deals. Debt coming due & we are raising rates – Really?”
….The United States should not be penalized because we are doing so well. Tightening now hurts all that we have done. The U.S. should be allowed to recapture what was lost due to illegal currency manipulation and BAD Trade Deals. Debt coming due & we are raising rates – Really?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2018
On FNS, Mnuchin explained the President’s disposition:
“We as an administration absolutely support the independence of the Fed. … These are really more just comments saying, as interest rates are going up, it’s something that the president has a concern.”
Trump’s statements against the nation’s central banking system were a break from precedent. However, Mnuchin maintained there is no rift between Donald and Jerome:
“We think the Fed will be very careful in managing the economy.”
Normally, those in the Oval Office are loathe to speak on the Fed’s policies, since it was created to operate free from political influence.
Trump told CNBC he wasn’t applying presidential pressure on the Fed:
“I’m just saying the same thing that I would have said as a private citizen.”
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