WASHINGTON – President Trump met Monday night with the Federal Reserve leader, Jerome H. Powell, whom the president has repeatedly criticized as threatening economic growth by raising interest rates.
It was the first meeting between the two men since Mr. Powell became Fed's chairman last year.
The Fed said in a statement that the topics of the discussion included "the latest economic developments and prospects for growth, employment and inflation." Fed's statement emphasized that Mr. Powell did not discuss Fed's monetary policy plans with the president, "except to emphasize that the policy path will depend entirely on incoming financial information."
Herr. Trump repeatedly urged the Fed last year to stop raising interest rates and to stop reducing its bond holdings and warned that the "crazy" policy was at risk for economic expansion. The Fed did not feel the councils, and increased its reference rate four times in 2018, most recently in December.
When Mr. Trump became increasingly angry, he asked if he could remove Mr. Powell from the office and fumble that he should "strike me into Hoover," a reference to the president who presided over the beginning of The Great Depression, his advisers suggested a meeting with Mr. Powell to ease the tension.
That meeting came – but after a sharp shift in the Fed's trajectory. The Fed announced last week that it had no plans to raise interest rates again for the foreseeable future.
The Fed said there were breaks due to increasing risk of economic growth, some of which are the result of Mr. Trump's policies, including trade tensions with China and the threat of another government's closure.
Mr. Powell had suggested he would meet with Mr. Trump and note that meetings between presidents and Fed presidents are not unusual.
He has also emphasized several times over the past few months that the Fed intends to make monetary policy irrespective of the president's opinions.
"We should always do what we think is right," Powell said at a press conference in January after the last meeting of the Fed's policy committee. "We never take into account political considerations or discuss them as part of our work. We make mistakes, but we will not make mistakes in character or integrity. And I want the public to know and I want them to see it in our actions. "
Fed's statement on Monday night said that Mr. Powell's comments to the president were" in accordance with his remarks at the press conference. "