Trump says he never threatened to demote Fed Chair Powell, but has the ‘right’ to do so

President Donald Trump, left, and Jerome Powell, governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve and Trump’s nominee for chairman of the Federal Reserve, walk to a nomination announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump said he never threatened to demote Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, though he maintained that he has the authority to do so.

“I didn’t ever threaten to demote him,” Trump said in an interview with NBC’s Meet The Press that aired Sunday. “I’d be able to do that if I wanted, but I haven’t suggested that.”

Trump went on to criticize the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates, saying Chairman Powell made a mistake.

“Obama had someone who kept the rates very low,” Trump said. “I had somebody who raised the rates very rapidly — too much. He made a mistake, that’s been proven.” 

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday held interest rates steady, indicating that there would not be a cut in 2019. The central bank, however, forecast one to two possible rates cuts in 2020. 

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