Former President Donald Trump is weighing in on the economy and the future of Federal Reserve leadership in an exclusive interview with Maria Bartiromo.
The 2024 Republican frontrunner took aim at Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and reacted to recent stock market records in a preview clip that aired Friday on “Mornings with Maria.”
“I think he’s political,” Trump told Bartiromo. “I think he’s going to do something to probably help the Democrats, I think, if he lowers interest rates.”
“But you have the potential of having massive inflation again, because the Middle East could drive up the price of energy,” he continued. “And the Middle East, again, the bombs are dropping all over the place and the ships are starting to get hit and hit hard. If that happens, you’re going to have tremendous spikes in the price of oil. And if you do that, you’re going to have big inflation. He’s not going to be able to do anything. But it looks to me like he’s trying to lower interest rates for the sake of maybe getting people elected.”
Powell took office as chairman in 2018 after being selected by then-President Trump. He was then sworn in for a second term under President Biden in 2022.
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But when it comes to Powell’s future under another Trump administration, the former president said the Federal Reserve will likely be led by someone else.
“Would you reappoint Jay Powell?” Bartiromo asked.
“No, I wouldn’t do that,” Trump responded. “He did miss [on inflation], he did miss… I would have a couple of choices. I can’t tell you now.”
Policymakers have raised interest rates sharply over the past two years, approving 11 rate increases in the hopes of crushing inflation and cooling the economy. In the span of just 16 months, interest rates surged from near zero to above 5%, the fastest pace of tightening since the 1980s.
Hiking interest rates tends to create higher rates on consumer and business loans, which then slows the economy by forcing employers to cut back on spending.
Following the Federal Reserve’s most recent meeting this week, the central bank decided to hold interest rates steady for the fourth straight time and cracked open the door to reducing rates later this year if inflation continues to subside.
Trump also took credit for the recent U.S. stock market rally, telling Bartiromo the highs are because investors “think I’m going to be elected.”
“If you take a look at Iowa, if you take a look at New Hampshire, the stock market’s been going crazy since then and long before then. When I announced I was running, I took the lead early, and then I beat everybody, including [Florida Gov.] Ron DeSantis,” he said.
Trump further argued in his interview that America “won’t survive” under a second term of the Biden administration.
“Our country cannot survive another Biden presidency. He’s incompetent,” Trump said. “He’s the worst president in the history of our country, and everybody knows it.”
The former president’s full interview with Bartiromo, where they also discuss the border crisis and AI, airs Sunday at 10 a.m. ET on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
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FOX Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.