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White House calls for Fed to reverse on rate hikes

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U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that the Federal Reserve had made a mistake by raising interest rates and blamed the central bank for hurting the U.S. economy and stock markets.

“Had the Fed not mistakenly raised interest rates, especially since there is very little inflation, and had they not done the ridiculously timed quantitative tightening, the 3.0 percent GDP, & Stock Market, would have both been much higher & World Markets would be in a better place!,” Trump tweeted.

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The remarks were part of a new broadside against the independent central bank by the White House in an unusual public split. The Fed’s Board of Governors did not immediately comment.

Prior administrations have taken care not to comment on Fed policy, but Trump has railed repeatedly against the U.S. central bank’s rate hikes. Friday’s comments were uniquely specific about the course of action now favored by the president.

The president’s top economic adviser said on Friday that the White House would like the Fed to reverse some recent rate hikes and stop shrinking its bond holdings to protect the U.S. economy from weakness overseas.

“This is our view. This is his view. This is my view,” National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told CNBC, confirming that he had told news website Axios that he would like the Fed to cut rates by a half-percentage point and stop cutting its bond holdings.

“The Federal Reserve is an independent central bank. They’re going to do what they’re going to do.”

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Stephen Moore, a prospective presidential nominee to an open seat on the Fed Board, also weighed in on Friday.

He told Fox News that he would consider reversing the Fed’s December interest rate hike but said he was not necessarily in favor of the half-point rate cut recommended by Kudlow. Moore was quoted as saying he favored such a cut by the New York Times on Tuesday.

The Fed last week brought a three-year rate-hike cycle to an abrupt end as it abandoned projections for any further increases in borrowing costs this year and said it would stop shrinking its bond holdings in September.

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The Fed bought bonds in the aftermath of the financial crisis to stimulate the economy but started letting those holdings run off in 2017 in an effort to put its policy back on normal footing.

While Kudlow said he felt the Fed had gone too far with rate hikes, he said the Trump administration was standing by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.

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“He’s our chairman. We’re not going to displace him.”

Reporting by Tim Ahmann, Trevor Hunnicutt and Eric Beech; Writing by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by James Dalgleish


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Trump declares impeachment ‘dead’ — and demands apology — in late night Twitter outburst

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President Donald Trump lashed out on his favorite social media platform late Thursday evening.

Eight minutes before midnight eastern time, Trump unloaded.

Trump wrote, "Democrats must apologize to USA: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said that 'United States Ambassador Gordon Sondland did NOT link financial military assistance to a request for Ukraine to open up an investigation into former V.P. Joe Biden & his son, Hunter Biden. Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigation.'”

Trump did not say why he was taking the word of a foreign official over multiple sworn testimonies from members of his own administration.

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Pelosi is ‘marrying up the facts and the law’: Ex-prosecutor says ‘bribery’ is a critical indictment of Trump

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi was masterful in using the word "bribery" to describe President Donald Trump's actions with Ukraine that are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, according to a former federal prosecutor.

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed former Assistant U.S. Attorney Berit Berger on Thursday evening's "The Last Word."

Please expand for us on why it is significant and why is it important to label this bribery," Williams said.

"So I think Nancy Pelosi was very specific in calling this bribery for two reasons," Berger replied.

"The first is that -- unlike quid pro quo -- ribery is something that most people understand, especially people who have children," she said, with a chuckle. "We all sort of have a general understanding of that."

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Giuliani henchmen showered Republican with cash — and Trump almost made him ambassador to Ukraine: report

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Yet another bombshell report has shed new light on President Donald Trump's suspicious Ukraine policies.

"At the same time that Rudy Giuliani and his now-indicted pals were pushing for President Donald Trump to remove Amb. Marie Yovanovitch from her post in Ukraine, Trump administration officials were eyeing potential contenders to take over her job. One of the people in the mix, according to three sources familiar with the discussions, was Rep. Pete Sessions, a former Congressman who called for Yovanovitch’s firing," The Daily Beast reported Thursday night. "He is also a longtime ally of the former New York Mayor, and is believed to have taken millions of dollars from Giuliani’s indicted cronies."

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