On Wednesday, President Donald Trump sat down with the New York Times for an expansive, wide-ranging interview.
In the interview, Trump stated that he would not have selected Jeff Sessions to serve as attorney general if he knew that Sessions would recuse himself from the investigation into Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
And while that proclamation seems to be grabbing all the headlines, Trump also discussed a number of other, salient issues, including the administration’s push to roll back the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and other regulatory reforms.
With much of the focus lately on the Republican Party’s push to repeal and replace Obamacare, Trump hasn’t spoken much about Dodd-Frank lately, but earlier in his term, the subject of rolling back Dodd-Frank came up often.
Back in April, Trump told a group of CEOs that his administration is planning a “very major haircut” on Dodd-Frank. Later in the month, told another gathering of CEOs that a full repeal of Dodd-Frank is a possibility.
Those were the first inclinations that Trump and members of his administration were going to seek regulatory reform. On several other occasions, the Trump administration made it known that Dodd-Frank is a target.
The Trump administration supports the Republican-led Financial CHOICE Act, which would abolish the Dodd-Frank, and the Department of the Treasury recently released a report suggesting significant regulatory reforms, including major changes to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the mortgage lending market.
During the interview with the New York Times (full transcript available here), Trump talked about the regulatory reform efforts already undertaken by his administration and said that more are coming.
When prompted about the state of the financial markets (“The markets are doing great,” New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt said), Trump said that the markets are going to “really go up if we do what we’re doing” in terms of rolling back regulations.
“I mean, cut regulations tremendously,” Trump said, per the published transcript. (Note: All quotes below are taken directly from the Times’ published transcript.)
Trump then digressed into discussing the Times’ coverage of his regulatory rollback efforts, suggesting that the Times did not properly frame the amount of regulations the Trump administration has cut so far.
“Sometimes — you know, one thing they hadn’t thought about at The Times, where they said I didn’t really cut regulations as much. I heard that because I said — it could have been a little slip-up in terms of what I said — I meant, for the time in office, five months and couple of weeks, I think I’ve done more than anyone else. They may have taken it as more than anyone else, period,” Trump said.
“But I’m talking about for my time. I heard that Harry Truman was first, and then we beat him,” Trump added. “These are approved by Congress. These are not just executive orders. On the executive orders, we cut regulations tremendously.”
Trump continued, suggesting that his administration’s regulatory efforts will lead to more homebuilding.
“By the way, I want regulations, but, you know, some of the — you have to get nine different regulations, and you could never do anything,” Trump said. “I’ve given the farmers back their farms. I’ve given the builders back their land to build houses and to build other things.”
Trump then talked specifically about Dodd-Frank, walking back his previous claims about delivering a “major haircut” to Dodd-Frank or repealing the legislation entirely.
Trump also suggested that he wants some rules and regulations, but does not want to “choke” the market with regulations.
“We’re doing well. I mean, the banks, you look at rules and regulations, you look at Dodd-Frank, Dodd-Frank is going to be, you know, modified, and again, I want rules and regulations,” Trump said.
“But you don’t want to choke, right? People can’t get loans to buy a pizza parlor, to buy a — you know, I saw out on the trail — people say, Mr. Trump, we’ve dealt with banks, my own bank, and they can’t loan me anymore,” Trump said. “I’ve never had a bad day with a bank. You know? So we’ll put — yeah, because of statutory [garbled], they can’t loan to that kind of a business. And they’re good businesses to loan to. So I think we’ve — I think we’re set to really go [garbled].”