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Donald Trump says he wouldn't stop Federal Chair Powell if he offered to resign

File photo of Donald Trump. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Washington, United States Aug 24, 2019, 07.10 PM (IST)

US President Donald Trump sharply criticized Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday and said he wouldn't try to stop the chief US central banker if he offered to resign.

Trump, departing the White House to travel to the G7 summit in France, told reporters, "I'm not happy with Jay Powell."

His comments continued a war of words against Powell that, along with retaliatory tariffs imposed on US goods by China, helped trigger a sharp drop on Friday in the US stock market.

"I don't think he's doing a good job at all," Trump told reporters as he left the White House shortly before midnight on Friday.

"I don't think he's much of a chess player, but I've got him so, you know, that's what I have," added the president, who earlier questioned on Twitter who was "our bigger enemy," Powellor Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Asked if he wanted Powell to resign, Trump replied: "Do I want him to resign? Let me put it this way if he did I wouldn't stop him."

Powell was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday for a meeting with other central bankers. 

He said the Fed would "act as appropriate" to keep the US economy healthy in a deteriorating global economy but stopped short of committing to a series of rate cuts sought by Trump.

Story highlights

Trump, departing the White House to travel to the G7 summit in France, told reporters, 'I'm not happy with Jay Powell.'