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Trump slams Fed chief: 'Who is our biggest enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?'

NBC News logo NBC News 8/23/2019 Adam Edelman

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President Donald Trump on Friday savaged his hand-picked Federal Reserve chairman in a pair of tweets, slamming Jay Powell as an “enemy” who could pose a bigger risk to the U.S. than Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“As usual, the Fed did NOTHING! It is incredible that they can ‘speak’ without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly,” Trump tweeted. “We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed. I will work ‘brilliantly’ with both, and the U.S. will do great.”

Trump added: “My only question is, who is our biggest enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?” referring to the Chinese leader. Trump misspelled Powell's name in an initial tweet, before correcting it.

President Trump picked Jay Powell for the role of Federal Reserve chairman last year. © Carlos Barria President Trump picked Jay Powell for the role of Federal Reserve chairman last year. The tweets came after Powell, whom Trump picked for the role of Federal Reserve chairman last year, spoke at a highly anticipated conference in Wyoming, where he pledged to help maintain a growing economy while also saying that U.S. trade policies and tariffs could be causing the economy to slow.

Earlier Friday morning, Beijing announced it would impose $75 billion in new tariffs on American soybeans, crude oil, and cars, escalating the trade war between the two countries and causing the stock market to drop.

“While monetary policy is a powerful tool that works to support consumer spending, business investment, and public confidence, it cannot provide a settled rulebook for international trade,” Powell said, according to his prepared remarks. “We can, however, try to look through what may be passing events, focus on how trade developments are affecting the outlook, and adjust policy to promote our objectives.”

Trump has repeatedly criticized Powell in recent months.

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