In an interview with CNBC, President Donald Trump told Joe Kernen he is “not thrilled” about interest hikes and that the Federal Reserve could jeopardize the economic recovery with further hikes.
In the interview, Trump criticizes the Fed's decision to raise rates saying that it might put the U.S. at a disadvantage when its counterparts like the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan maintain a loose monetary policy.
“Now I’m just saying the same thing that I would have said as a private citizen,” he said. “So somebody would say, ‘Oh, maybe you shouldn’t say that as president.' I couldn’t care less what they say, because my views haven’t changed,” Trump said.
“I don’t like all of this work that we’re putting into the economy and then I see rates going up. But at the same time I’m letting them do what they feel is best,” he added.
It is important to note that Trump has no control over what the Fed does and that one of its hallmarks is its independence from partisan influence.
Trump has a fluctuating relationship with his opinion on interest rates.
Back in 2017, he told Fortune that he favored the Fed’s policy of keeping interest rates low, but in 2016, he accused then-Fed Chair Janet Yellen of conspiring with President Barack Obama to keep interest rates low for political reasons.
Shortly after today's interview, the White House issued a statement walking back Trump’s comments regarding the Fed.
WH statement on Trump interview with @CNBC: “Of course the President respects the independence of the Fed. As he said he considers the Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell a very good man and that he is not interfering with Fed policy decisions.”
— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) July 19, 2018
“Of course the president respects the independence of the Fed. As he said he considers the Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell a very good man and that he is not interfering with Fed policy decisions,” the statement read.