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Trump on demoting Fed Chair Jerome Powell, day before rate decision: ‘Let’s see what he does’

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Via CNBC

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. 

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

President Donald Trump, asked if he still wants to demote Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, told reporters Tuesday, “Let’s see what he does.”

Trump’s remark came a day before the Fed was set to announce its next decision on interest rates.

The president added that he wants a “level playing field” from the central bank.

Bloomberg News reported Tuesday morning that the White House had looked into demoting Powell in February. Top White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters that the Trump administration was not currently considering such a move.

The Fed will make a decision on interest rates on Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET, concluding a two-day meeting. The central bank is not expected to make any policy changes, but investors are hoping for the central bank to signal a rate cut as soon as July. Powell will be holding a news conference Wednesday following the decision.

Stocks have rallied this month in part because investors expect the Fed to ease its monetary policy stance. The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite are all up more than 6% for June through Tuesday’s close. Traders are pricing in a more than 80% likelihood that the Fed will cut rates next month, according to the CME Group FedWatch tool.

Trump in recent days has pressured the Fed under Powell not to raise rates, claiming that comparatively lower interest rates for the euro give other countries an advantage over the U.S.

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Trump spoke to reporters outside the White House en route to Orlando, Florida, where he will officially launch his 2020 reelection bid.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.


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