President Donald Trump reportedly mentioned wanting to fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who despite Trump’s protests, raised interest rates for the fourth time this year on Wednesday.
Trump has privately discussed Powell’s ouster several times this week, two Trump advisers told Bloomberg. Advisers have reportedly warned Trump of the consequences of firing Powell, which may come at the cost of his political capital.
Trump previously protested against potential rate hikes after the Federal Reserve was expected to raise them for a fourth time by the year’s end. Trump claims the rate hikes would slow the economy and described it as a “mistake” and his “biggest threat.”
“I think the Fed is making a mistake,” Trump said in October. “They are so tight. I think the Fed has gone crazy.”
Powell took command of the Fed in February and succeeded economist Janet Yellen. Preventing Powell from serving his four-year term would challenge the integrity of the institution, which relies on its reputation of being an independent body, free of the White House’s politics.
Trump previously praised Powell after announcing his appointment to the Fed.
“He’s strong, he’s committed, he’s smart,” Trump said in November 2017. “I am confident that with Jay as a wise steward of the Federal Reserve, it will have the leadership it needs in the years to come.”
On Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee voted to raise the rate by 25 basis points to a range of 2.25% to 2.5%, the highest since 2008.