President Trump broke a 25-year precedent today by complaining about Federal Reserve interest rates, telling CNBC he's "not thrilled" by rate increases under Chairman Jerome Powell.
- "I am not happy about it. But at the same time, I’m letting them do what they feel is best. But I don’t like all of this work that goes into doing what we’re doing ... and then I see rates going up."
Why it matters, by Axios' Dan Primack: Presidents are usually loathe to credit or criticize the Fed, believing there should be a separation between monetary and fiscal policy.
- Trump even acknowledged in the interview that he was setting himself up for criticism, but said that he "couldn't care less" because his views haven't changed from when he was a private citizen.
- The precedent dates back to the Clinton administration, according to the WSJ's Nick Timiraos.
- Flashback 1.0... Larry Kudlow in June: The Fed should be very cautious about rates, and if raising them, should do so "very slowly."
- Flashback 2.0... Kudlow predecessor Gary Cohn in 2017: "The Fed will do what they need to do, and we respect the powers of the Fed."
- White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters today: “Of course the president respects the independence of the Fed... The President’s views on interest rates are well known and his comments today are a reiteration of those long held positions, and public comments.”