President Donald Trump has made it crystal clear. Not only will he remain tough on Iran, China and Mexico, he will also keep that same type of pressure on the Federal Reserve.
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Trump, who has been unhappy with the Federal's interest rate policies for months, publically and frequently lashes out at Chairman Jerome Powell and his Fed colleagues.
He continued that rant on Friday, telling ABC News 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. He has made similar comments in the past.
Again this week, Trump bashed the Fed saying "They don't have a clue!" as he blamed the Fed for a rising U.S. dollar and weaker international currencies.
Even so, 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.
“We do not know how or when these issues will be resolved. We are closely monitoring the implications of these developments for the U.S. economic outlook and, as always, we will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion, with a strong labor market and inflation near our symmetric 2 percent objective,” he said in a speech earlier this month. Many investors interpreted the comments as a doveish sign.
Additionally, economists including Steve Moore, who have advised President Trump on economic and tax policy, are also hammering the Fed to lower rates.
The Fed has long sought to operate free of political influence to maintain 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.
The Associated Press' Martin Crutsinger contributed to this report.