It has been apparent since Mr. Trump took office that he feels he has the power to do anything he wants even if his actions are a huge overreach for the role of a sitting president.
On Monday, Trump announced that he has the power to fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell although he seems to have no intentions of doing so.
Powell has said that he is entitled to serve a four-year term that ends in 2022, but Trump in an interview with The Hill, said he is “incorrect.” When Trump was asked about whether he felt he had the power to remove Powell, he responded with:
‘If I wanted to, but I have no plans to do anything.’
According to The Hill:
‘Experts have questioned that assertion.
‘The president has been fiercely critical of Powell’s stewardship of the central bank, accusing it of hindering economic growth through rate hikes. His constant critiques have roiled observers of the Fed, which is meant to be nonpartisan.’
Powell took over as chairman in 2018 after being nominated by Trump. Since 2015, the Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates nine times including four times under Powell.
‘You have to understand we’re competing against other parts of the world and they’re manipulators. They manipulate their currency. And I don’t want to do that, but I want to be treated fairly. And we have to be given a level playing field.’
Trump continued to repeat his claim that if Powell would not have raised rates or used quantitative tightening, the gross domestic product and stock market would be exceeding their numbers.
Trump said he did not feel Powell was sabotaging him. He said:
‘I don’t think he knows. I don’t think he understands. He doesn’t get it.’
According to MSN News:
‘While the president can appoint its chair and fill open seats on the board with governors serving 14-year terms, the Federal Reserve doesn’t need approval from the White House or Congress to raise or lower rates. Even its budget remains independent, with operations paid for through fees and income generated from the securities it owns.’
Firing a federal reserve chairman is feasible under certain circumstances but virtually unheard of. The last president to strongly clash with a chairman was Lyndon B. Johnson, but William McChesney Martin did not resign.
In an interview with ABC News, Trump said:
‘We have great numbers. The companies are very strong. They’ve very liquid. Frankly, if we had a different person in the Federal Reserve that wouldn’t have raised interest rates so much, we would have been at least a point and a half higher. I mean -‘
According to MSN:
‘In his interview, Trump said he was “allowed” to criticize Powell and claimed it was commonplace in the “old days” for a president to “settle” with the bank’s chairman.’
During that ABC interview, George Stephanopoulos did point out to Mr. Trump that Powell wouldn’t be in his position if it weren’t for him. Trump admitted:
‘He’s my pick. And I disagree with him entirely.’
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube