Jun 18, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Report: White House considered "legality of demoting" Fed Chair

This image is a two-way splitscreen between Powell and Trump.

Jerome Powell and President Trump. Photos: Scott Olson/Getty Images and Alex Wong/Getty Images

The White House considered the "legality of demoting" Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in February, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

The big picture: This, according to anonymous sources, reportedly took place after Trump discussed firing Powell last year following frustrations with the central bank's interest rate increases, per another Bloomberg scoop. Toward the end of 2018, Trump briefly mused about whether he could replace Powell with Kevin Warsh, a former Fed governor and aide to President George W. Bush.

Details: The White House counsel's office "studied whether Powell could be stripped of his chairmanship but remain a board member," Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs reports. Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Bloomberg that the administration is not currently considering the issue.

  • Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith, in an email to Bloomberg: “Under the law, a Federal Reserve Board chair can only be removed for cause.”

Go deeper: Fed chair Jerome Powell denies Trump influenced interest rate decisions

Go deeper