Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he would be inclined to replace Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen if he is elected U.S. president in the November election despite supporting the central bank’s low interest rates, he told Fortune magazine.
In an interview published late Tuesday, the billionaire real estate mogul also said he “absolutely” backed efforts to diminish the Fed’s power and allow congressional audits, and backed away from his pledge to erase the more than $19 trillion in U.S. debt in eight years.
“I think she’s done a serviceable job,” Trump said of Yellen. “I don’t want to comment on reappointment, but I would be more inclined to put other people in.”
Fed officials were not immediately available for comment.
Yellen, the most powerful figure in world finance, took office in February 2014 for a four-year term under President Barack Obama, a Democrat.
Still, Trump backed the Fed’s focus on holding U.S. interest rates down, saying that raising them now would be a blow to the U.S. economy. Trump had accused the Fed in November of keeping interest rates low to help Obama, an assertion the White House has flatly rejected.
“The best thing we have going for us is that interest rates are so low,” he told Fortune.
“If rates are 3 percent or 4 percent or whatever, you start adding that kind of number to an already reasonably crippled economy in terms of what we produce, that number is a very scary number,” he added.
Trump told the magazine he would take advantage of lower rates to refinance the country’s debt and boost government spending on infrastructure and the military. Fortune will publish a full transcript of the interview later this week.
On the nation’s debt, Trump moved away from comments he made to the Washington Post earlier this month in which said he would eliminate it “over a period of eight years.”
Instead, he told Fortune he could tackle a portion of it.
“You could pay off a percentage of it, depending on how aggressive you want to be,” he said. “I’d rather not be all that aggressive. I’d rather not have debt, but we’re stuck with it.”
Trump rival Ted Cruz, a U.S. Senator from Texas, has said he would audit the Federal Reserve and move to a rules-based monetary policy.
Other U.S. presidential candidates, including Democrat Bernie Sanders, have also vowed changes to the Fed.
(Reporting by Washington Newsroom; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
Japan wants to dump Fukushima radioactive water into ocean
Japan's top government spokesman slapped down the environment minister on Tuesday after he said there was "no other option" but to release radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.
"It is not true that we have decided on the disposal method," Chief Cabinet Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters after Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada's comments earlier in the day.
The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), is storing more than one million tonnes of contaminated water in tanks at the site of Fukushima Daiichi Plant that was wrecked by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.
Here’s one big reason why Trump is having a white-hot meltdown over the Fed not dropping interest rates
President Donald Trump has a personal conflict-of-interest that may be impacting his decisions in his public feud with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
"President Trump stands to save millions of dollars annually in interest on outstanding loans on his hotels and resorts if the Federal Reserve lowers rates as he has been demanding, according to public filings and financial experts," The Washington Post reported Saturday.
Trump approves of North Korea missile tests: ‘I have no problem’ because they’re just ‘short-range missiles’
On Thursday, in conversation with reporters, President Donald Trump said that he had 'no problem' with North Korea's new round of missile tests.
"Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that," said Trump. "I have no problem, we'll see what happens, but these are short-range missiles. They're very standard."
The thought that short-range missiles would still be capable of hitting our allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan, does not seem to have occurred to him.
Trump says he has "no problem" with North Korea testing missiles because they are just "short-range missiles" that are "very standard." pic.twitter.com/fdKtQ6yrBE