President Donald Trump is not currently considering removing Jerome Powell as head of the Federal Reserve, despite persistent White House criticism of the way the central bank is handling monetary policy, one of the president’s top advisors said.
Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said Trump is not planning to demote Powell. A Bloomberg News report Tuesday morning said the White House had looked at such a move back in February.
Kudlow refused to confirm or deny the report but said it is no longer relevant.
“It’s a six-month-old story,” he told reporters. “It allegedly happened six months ago and it’s not happening today and therefore I have nothing to say about it. It is what it is.”
Amid multiple reports that Trump is not happy with Powell, the Fed chair himself has pushed back on the notion of him being removed from his post, saying that he can be dismissed only for cause.
Trump has been unhappy with the Fed for raising interest rates. The central bank approved four hikes in 2018, though markets expect up to three cuts by the end of 2019.
However, it’s unclear what removing Powell would accomplish. All of the rate hikes during his tenure were approved with broad-based support from the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee.