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President Trump swiped at the Federal Reserve while criticizing China and the European Union in tweets on Friday, complaining that currency manipulation is "taking away our big competitive edge. ... As usual, not a level playing field."

Expand chart
Data: Money.net; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: The trade war between the U.S. and other countries is shifting into a currency war. This is the second time this week Trump has roiled currency markets with comments about Fed policy. The dollar fell shortly after Trump's tweets.

  • Our thought bubble... Axios' Dan Primack says: "Trump pledged during the campaign to label China a currency manipulator but, once in office, chose against actually doing so. Probably because his own Treasury Department said it wasn't true."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper: The WSJ's Greg Ip on what Trump is missing with his Fed criticism.

  • "Mr. Trump is especially upset by the dollar’s rise, which threatens to widen the trade deficit which he badly wants to shrink. Yet the Fed is the secondary player here. The dollar is up against the euro because Mr. Trump’s tax cut is lifting U.S. growth above Europe’s."
  • "The bigger problem—for the president and the Fed—is optics. ... His schedules show that since becoming chairman, he has not met with Mr. Trump; given the arched eyebrows it’s sure to provoke, he’ll think twice before doing so now. And that’s a pity because there may be times, for example during a crisis, when for the good of the country he should."

Go deeper

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."

Scoop: Conservative group puts $700k behind Hawley

Sen. Josh Hawley explains his objection to certifying the 2020 election results hours after the U.S. Capitol siege. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

A Republican group is raising and spending huge amounts of money defending Sen. Josh Hawley after he was ostracized for early January’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Why it matters: The Senate Conservatives Fund is plugging Hawley's ideological bona fides and backfilling lost corporate cash with needed political and financial support, helping inoculate him as he weighs reelection or a possible presidential campaign in 2024.