President Donald Trump on Sunday night praised the Federal Reserve’s surprise move to cut interest rates to near zero, just a day after he said he had the power to demote or dismiss the central bank’s chairman.
Appearing in the White House briefing room just minutes after the Fed’s announcement, Trump said he was “very happy” with the action and that people in the market should be “thrilled.”
The Fed cut interest rates by a full percentage point and launched a package of programs to help fix problems on Wall Street that have emerged in the aftermath of COVID-19, the disease that has infected nearly 160,000 people globally and claimed nearly 6,000 lives.
Trump has applied consistent pressure on the Fed to more aggressively cut rates, and has been critical of Chairman Jerome Powell.
On Saturday, Trump asserted he could dismiss Powell, whom he selected for the role.
“I think I have the right to remove. I have the right to also take him and put him in a regular position and put somebody else in charge. And I haven’t made any decisions on that,” Trump told reporters during a coronavirus briefing at the White House.
Read:Trump says he has the right to dismiss or demote Fed Chairman Powell.
After the Fed’s move, U.S. stock-index futures opened with heavy losses. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 3.7%, while S&P 500 futures dropped 4.2%.
See:Stock-index futures open sharply lower as Fed slashes rates.