Trump says he never threatened to demote Fed chair but he could
WASHINGTON : US President Donald Trump said on Sunday on NBC that he has the power to demote Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell but has not threatened to do so.
"I didn't ever threaten to demote him," Mr Trump said.
"I'd be able to do that if I wanted to, but I haven't suggested that."
He has been pressuring the Fed to cut interest rates for months, a campaign that began last October when he said the US central bank had "gone crazy" under Mr Powell after several rate hikes.
The Fed on Wednesday last week said it was ready to battle growing global and domestic economic risks with rate cuts starting as early as next month. It left its benchmark interest rate unchanged for now.
A day later, Mr Trump said the Fed should have lowered rates sooner but "you can't win 'em all". He said Mr Powell eventually "will do what is right, perhaps".
Bloomberg said last week the White House Counsel's Office in February had explored the possibility of stripping the Fed chairmanship from Mr Powell and demoting him to a member of the Fed board of governors.
In the NBC interview recorded on Friday last week, Mr Trump repeated that he was "not happy" with Mr Powell's actions.
"No I don't think he is doing a good job." - REUTERS