Trump Blames Federal Reserve for Bad Economic News

President has departed from norms by criticizing the central bank

President Donald Trump is blaming Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for a slew of bad economic news. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday blamed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for recent bad economic news that has critics training their fire on White House policies on trade and tax policy, claiming it is Powell’s fault that stocks are sliding and General Motors is laying off workers — and expressing regret over tapping him for the job.

“I’m doing deals and I’m not being accommodated by the Fed,” Trump told the Washington Post. “They’re making a mistake because I have a gut and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”

During the interview, the president deflected blame for a slowing U.S. economy, instead blaming Powell’s decision to hike interest rates and other moves. The recent spate of bad news has cast a spotlight on Trump’s promises of rosy economic scenarios under his policies, from tax cuts to tariffs that hit the automobile sector particularly hard. 

But according to the president, it’s all Powell’s fault. 

“So far, I’m not even a little bit happy with my selection of Jay. Not even a little bit,” Trump said. “And I’m not blaming anybody, but I’m just telling you I think that the Fed is way off-base with what they’re doing.”

Trump has been more outspoken than his predecessors in criticizing the Fed. But his top economic adviser, Lawrence Kudlow, told a group of reporters Tuesday morning that his boss has never suggested removing Powell.

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