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Trump demands rate cut, seizing on Fed official’s own words

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US President Donald Trump on Monday used a Federal Reserve official’s own words to amplify his continual demands for lower interest rates.

The latest in Trump’s daily attacks on the Fed, turns up the temperature for the central bank a week before its latest policy meeting, when it expected to cut rates for the first time in a decade.

“It is far more costly for the Federal Reserve to cut deeper if the economy actually does, in the future, turn down!” Trump said on Twitter.

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“Very inexpensive, in fact productive, to move now.”

Without naming him, Trump’s tweet repeated a central claim made last week by New York Federal Reserve President John Williams made last week.

In a speech to economic researchers on Thursday, Williams said decades of research suggested that when interest rates are already low, policymakers should cut them at the first signs of “economic distress” rather than waiting for more input.

Markets welcomed the news, which some investors took to mean the Fed could cut benchmark lending rates by as much as 50 basis points, something it has not done since the worst moments of the 2008 global financial crisis.

A large move would be unusual for the central bank which prefers to move in 25 bps increments, since a bigger rate cut would signal real concern about the economy, which policymakers continue to expect to grow.

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A New York Fed spokesperson last week told reporters that Williams’ remarks were a comment on years of research, not a forecast of what the Fed will do later this month.

As president of the New York Fed’s branch, Williams’ serves as the influential vice chair of the Fed’s rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee.

While Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has steadfastly insisted policymakers discount political pressure, but has also said in recent weeks the Fed will do whatever it can to keep the economic expansion going, amid a slowing world economy and Trump’s trade wars enter their second year.

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John Bolton had concerns about Donald Trump’s favors to autocrats: report

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Former national security advisor John Bolton privately told the US attorney general last year about concerns that President Donald Trump was essentially granting favors to autocrats, The New York Times reported Monday.

It said the revelations, concerning the leaders of China and Turkey, come in an unpublished book manuscript by Bolton.

The same manuscript says Trump told Bolton that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security aid to Ukraine until officials there helped to investigate his political rivals, the Times previously reported.

Those allegations have roiled Trump's impeachment trial that is ongoing in the US Senate.

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Fox News host scolds Mike Pompeo for scuffle with reporter: ‘Don’t be such a baby!’

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Fox News host Steve Hilton scolded Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for being a "baby," a "bully" and an "embarrassment" after NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly reported that he berated and cursed at her for asking questions about the Ukraine scandal.

"Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got into an ugly dustup with an NPR reporter this week, and I've got something I want to get off my chest," Fox's Steve Hilton told his viewers on Sunday.

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White House grants press access to Christian site whose founder called impeachment a ‘Jew coup’

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The White House granted press credentials to a Christian news site whose founder claimed that President Donald Trump's impeachment was a "Jew coup" organized by a "Jewish cabal" in anti-Semitic remarks.

Five employees of the Florida-based conservative Christian news outlet TruNews received press credentials from the White House to cover Trump's trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, founder Rick Wiles told The New York Times from a ski lodge reserved for press members by the Trump administration. The outlet was not granted special access to Trump, though TruNews' Edward Szall asked Ivanka Trump a question during a news conference, according to the report.

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