Trump discussed firing Fed chief | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 24, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 24, 2018

Trump discussed firing Fed chief

US President Donald Trump has privately discussed the possibility of firing Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, a move that could roil already volatile financial markets, two sources familiar with situation said on Saturday.

The sources added that they do not expect Trump to dismiss the US central bank chief, despite the president's public and private objections to the Fed's interest rate-hiking campaign and his repeated criticisms of Powell, whom he appointed.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, however, tweeted late Saturday that Trump had told him that never suggested dismissing the Fed chief.

"I never suggested firing Chairman Jay Powell, nor do I believe I have the right to do so," Mnuchin quoted Trump as telling him.

The White House and a Fed spokeswoman declined to comment.

An attempt to remove the Fed chairman would be unprecedented and seen as an attack on the US central bank's independence, which is meant to insulate it from political considerations. It would be on potentially shaky legal ground, and would probably hit financial markets around the globe hard.

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