Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has reportedly drawn
President Donald Trump’s ire after a series of economic
decisions and recommendations, according to The Wall Street
Trump is said to have blamed Mnuchin, who backed the
appointment of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
Powell has raised interest rates three times in 2018,
and more hikes are expected in 2019. Trump has been openly
critical of the Fed’s moves.
After The Journal published its report on Friday
afternoon, Trump appeared to dispel the notion that he was
irritated with Mnuchin.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has reportedly drawn President
Donald Trump’s ire after a series of economic decisions and
recommendations, according to a
Wall Street Journal report on Friday.
Trump is said to have blamed Mnuchin, who backed the appointment
of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
Powell has raised interest rates three times in 2018, and more
are expected in 2019. Trump has
railed against rate hikes, which he described as a “mistake”
and his “biggest threat.”
“I think the Fed is making a mistake,” Trump said to reporters in
October. “They are so tight. I think the Fed has gone crazy.”
Although Trump appointed Powell to replace chairwoman Janet
Yellen in 2017, he did so based on Mnuchin’s recommendation,
people close to the White House said to The Journal. Sources
added that Trump’s frustration towards an appointee
extended to those who recommended them to him.
“I thought you told me he was going to be good,” Trump said to
Mnuchin, according to people familiar with a briefing of the
In another conversation, Trump reportedly pointed to a shaky
stock market after someone spoke highly of Mnuchin: “If he’s so
good, why is this happening,” Trump said, according to a person
familiar with the matter.
Trump voiced his concern with aides and reflected on whether he
should have appointed JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon for Treasury
Secretary, according to The Journal. Trump eventually chose
Mnuchin for the position after his service as finance chairman
during the presidential campaign.
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said in a statement that
Trump “appreciates” Mnuchin’s duties. Mnuchin has attempted to
salvage Trump’s trade policy with China, which is frequently
agitated by threats of tariffs from both countries. Mnuchin
and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke on the phone on Friday,
ahead of Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the
Group 20 summit next week.
“The president has been long clear about his views on the Fed,”
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said to The Journal,
adding that Mnuchin “has been effective in carrying out the
After The Journal published its report on Friday afternoon, Trump
appeared to dispel the notion that Mnuchin’s fate would mimic
that of other
former aides in his administration.
“I am extremely happy and proud of the job being done by
[Secretary Steven Mnuchin],” Trump said in a tweet. “The FAKE
NEWS likes to write stories to the contrary, quoting phony
sources or jealous people, but they aren’t true.”
“They never like to ask me for a quote b/c it would kill their
story,” Trump added.