President Trump reportedly blamed the Federal Reserve once again for slowing down the nation's economy, despite the central bank recently saying that it foresees no interest rate hikes in the year ahead. The senator has heard Trump make similar complaints in the past and is not anxious Trump would try to fire Powell.
"I guess I'm stuck with you", the Journal quoted Trump as recalling he told Powell, citing a person who heard the comments at one of the meetings in the past week. Powell and the Fed made no public comment on the comments from the President and Kudlow.
A Fed spokeswoman confirmed to CNN that Powell had a brief conversation with Trump on March 8, but declined to elaborate any further.
The White House had no immediate comment on the reported phone call but one official familiar with Trump's complaints about Powell said it would not be surprising if Trump had said what the newspaper reported.
Powell explained that the Fed's decision in January to pause raising rates was because the global economy was showing signs of slowing and other risks to the U.S. economy were rising.
The President stepped up criticism of Powell and the Federal Reserve after a series of interest rate hikes in 2018. At its second policy meeting of the year, the Fed voted to keep interest rates steady, in addition to signaling there will be no hikes for the remainder of 2019.
Despite repeated rebukes by Trump, Powell said in a recent "60 Minutes" interview that he does not think he can be fired by the president.
"The law is clear that I have a four-year term, and I fully intend to serve it", Powell told CBS. The committee said it was considering winding down the balance sheet reduction, and would be "patient" in raising rates.
- Read the entire Wall Street Journal report here.
Bloomberg News reported December 21 that Trump had discussed firing Powell amid mounting frustration over stock-market losses.