Jerome Powell said on Friday that he does not plan to resign from his role as head of the Federal Reserve, even if President Trump requests his resignation.
Powell said “no” when asked if he would resign from his role if asked. It was one simple word but it resonated strongly in media reports. Powell was a panelist at an event hosted by the American Economic Association in Atlanta. He discussed the state of the economy with former Federal Reserve Chief’s Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke.
The Fed has a long history of nonpartisanship “it’s had a very strong culture around nonpolitical activity,” said Powell.
Powell spoke just before the Labor Department announced Friday that the economy added 312,000 jobs in December, according to the Associated Press. That announcement rallied the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 746 points before the closing bell.
Powell was appointed by Trump for a four-year term in February 2018. By December 2018, however, Trump was already indicating that he wanted to fire Powell due to rising interest rates that forced deep dives in the stock market.
Trump has been vocal about his dissatisfaction with Powell, Tweeting on Christmas Eve, “The only problem our economy has is the Fed…The fed is like a powerful golfer who can’t score because he has no touch- he can’t putt!”
The only problem our economy has is the Fed. They don’t have a feel for the Market, they don’t understand necessary Trade Wars or Strong Dollars or even Democrat Shutdowns over Borders. The Fed is like a powerful golfer who can’t score because he has no touch – he can’t putt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 24, 2018
For Trump, Powell’s decision to raise interest rates didn’t make sense, said sources familiar with Trump and the situation.
The Associated Press and Sara A. Carter contributed to this report.