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EXCLUSIVE: Trump says he has the power to remove Federal Reserve chairman 'if I wanted to'

President Trump Donald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says' stubborn child 'Fed' was not cutting rates MORE on Monday said he has the power to fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said he has no intention to do so.

year term that expires in 2022.

Asked if he thinks he has the power to remove Powell, Trump said "If I wanted to, but you have no plans to do anything." Experts have questioned that assertion. 1[ads1]9659004] The president has been fiercely critical of Powell's stewardship of the central bank, accusing it of hindering economic growth through rate hikes. His constant critiques have roiled observers of the Fed, which is meant to be nonpartisan.

The Fed has hiked interest rates nine times since 2015, seven since 2017 including four times during Powell, who took over as chairman in 2018 after being nominated by Trump.

"You have to understand we're competing against other parts of the world and they're manipulators, "Trump said. "They manipulate their currency. And I don't want to do that, but I want to be treated fairly. And we have to be given a level playing field." Trump repeated his claim that Powell had refrained from raising rates. and using quantitative tightening, gross domestic product and the stock market would both exceed their current numbers. He called the Fed "artificial barrier" to improved economic numbers.

Asked if he believes Powell is sabotaging him, Trump said he did not think that was the case.

"I don't think he knows," Trump said. "I don't think he understands. He doesn't get it."

Brett Samuels contributed.

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