U.S. President Donald Trump continued his tirade against the Federal Reserve in a late Wednesday television appearance, laying into the central bank’s policy decisions and suggesting it is to blame for Wednesday’s sharp market decline.
Saying he’s “not happy” with the Fed, Trump told Fox News he couldn’t understand why it was continuing to tighten U.S. monetary policy. The president has previously expressed displeasure with the central bank, and that’s led some to fear the institution’s independence is at risk.
“The problem I have is with the Fed. The Fed is going wild. I mean, I don’t know what their problem is that they are raising interest rates and it’s ridiculous,” Trump said during a telephone interview with Fox host Shannon Bream.
In recent months, U.S. officials have sought to emphasize that Trump would honor the Fed’s historic ability to make decisions independent of political interference. “We as an administration absolutely support the independence of the Fed,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly said in July.
As recently as Tuesday, Trump had signaled that he understood the importance of maintaining a firewall between the White House and the Fed. Even as he expressed concerns about the Fed’s interest rate policy, Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday that he had not spoken to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell about them.
“I like to stay uninvolved with them. I have not spoken to Powell all year,” Trump said.
Trump’s attitude towards the Fed seemed to change Wednesday, however, as fears about rapidly rising rates helped cause the Dow Jones Industrial Average to drop more than 800 points by day’s end. The S&P 500 posted its worst day since February and clinched its first five-day losing streak since 2016.
Early on Wednesday afternoon, Trump knocked his central bank as he deplaned from Air Force One in Erie, Pennsylvania for a campaign rally. “I think the Fed is making a mistake. They are so tight. I think the Fed has gone crazy,” the president told reporters.?(SD-Agencies)