With the dollar spiking and rates surging to 7 years highs, President Trump doubled down on his criticism of the Fed and on his way to a rally in Iowa, said the Federal Reserve is moving too fast with interest rates increases, dismissing concerns about inflation.
“I don’t like what the Fed is doing”, Trump told reporters at the White House. “I think we don’t have to go as fast” on rate hikes. “I like low interest rates,” Trump said.
Trump also said that rates are too high because there’s no inflation, but said that he has not talked to Chair Powell about it because he doesn’t want to get involved.
Trump’s comments echoed prior criticisms of the Fed. When the Fed announced its third increase of the year in September, Trump said he was “not happy” about it. Trump has publicly criticized the Fed’s interest-rate increases on several occasions, breaking with more than two decades of White House tradition of avoiding comments on “independent” monetary policy.
Some commented that this is another sly move by the president to preemptively shift blame on the Fed chair ahead of what may be a turbulent 2019 when rates are expected to keep rising, potentially resulting in a sharp slowdown in the economy and/or a stock market crash.
Separately, hours after Nikki Haley announced her departure as US ambassador to the UN, Trump said he would consider Goldman’s Dina Powell for the post.
“Dina is certainly a person I would consider,” Trump told reporters at the White House on the way to board the presidential helicopter as he embarked on a trip to Iowa. But he added there are others he would also consider.
Earlier CNBC reported that Dina Powell, a Goldman Sachs exec and Trump’s former deputy national security advisor, has had discussions with senior members of the administration about possibly replacing Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
In the days leading up to Haley’s sudden and surprising resignation Tuesday, senior White House officials reached out to Powell about possibly taking the role, according to three people with direct knowledge of the matter.
Because of these conversations and her experience, Powell has become one of the leading candidates for the role in the eyes of some people close to the president, according to one of the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
That said, it was unclear how much interest Powell has in leaving Goldman again to rejoin the Trump team; CNBC quoted a person familiar with her thinking who said “she is happy at the investment bank” and has yet to make a decision about making another career-defining move.
Powell, who worked for a decade at Goldman before joining the Trump administration last year, would have to be confirmed by the Senate if Trump were to nominate her. Haley sailed through her confirmation hearing with lawmakers approving her nomination by a vote of 96-4.
While in Washington, Powell was criticized at times by the nationalist faction in Trump’s base of support, including then-chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Powell departed the White House last December, after less than a year on the job; at the time several Trump advisors praised her and appeared to keep open the possibility that she could make a return.
“Dina Powell has been a key, trusted advisor in this administration. She has always planned to serve one year before returning home to New York, where she will continue to support the president’s agenda and work on Middle East policy,” Sanders said at the time.
Prior to her return to Goldman, Powell was a “power player” within Trump’s inner circle. Powell, who was born in Egypt and immigrated with her family to the United States, was deeply involved with working to improve the administration’s relationships with allies in the Middle East and elsewhere.
She attended the president’s first meeting with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman. She also reportedly was involved with overseeing a $200 billion arms deal between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
Powell became particularly close with the president’s elder daughter, Ivanka Trump, as they formed an alliance during the early stages of the Trump administration. Kushner said when Powell’s departure was announced that she would “continue to play a key role in our peace efforts.”
Haley, a close colleague of Powell’s, was also known to be friendly with Ivanka Trump and Kushner.
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And speaking of Ivanka, who had also been cited as a potential replacement to Haley, Trump said his daughter would be “dynamite” as an ambassador to the United Nations, but conceded that he would be accused of nepotism if he appointed her to replace outgoing Ambassador Nikki Haley.
“I think Ivanka would be incredible,” Trump said, adding that “you’d be accused of nepotism even though I’m not sure there’s anybody more competent in the world,” Trump added.
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