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Trump has tweeted about the Fed 100 times since nominating Jerome Powell

Brian Cheung
Reporter

During the Federal Reserve’s policy pivot in 2019, President Donald Trump relied heavily on his Twitter account to call for more aggressive rate cutting, later demanding that the central bank push rates into negative territory.

An analysis of tweets mined through the Trump Twitter archive as of Jan. 24, 2020 shows that the president tweeted about the Fed 100 times since nominating Jerome Powell to lead the central bank (106 when counting the six repeat tweets deleted due to typos). 

President Donald Trump has tweeted 100 times since nominating Jay Powell to head the Federal Reserve. Forty-eight of those tweets were sent before the Fed's Sept. 18, 2019 meeting. (Credit: David Foster / Yahoo Finance)

A majority of the tweets (53%) were sent before 10 a.m. ET. Trump also sent almost 30% of his tweets during the 11 days leading up to a policy decision referred to as the “Fed blackout,” when policymakers are not permitted to make public remarks.

Almost half (48) of Trump’s Fed-related tweets were sent in advance of the Fed’s Sept.18 meeting, in which Powell delivered the second of three rate cuts in 2019. Trump appeared to be jawboning a Fed that had begun easing amid escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

The Fed ultimately ended 2019 with interest rates in the target range of 1.5% to 1.75% and signaled that rates may not move at all through 2020.

Trump has since pulled back on the Fed. After the Fed’s last rate cut on Oct. 30, Trump has only tweeted about the Fed and monetary policy 11 times. He has mostly reiterated his call for negative interest rates and lamented the strength of the U.S. dollar.

Powell told Congress in October that negative interest rates “would certainly not be appropriate in the current environment.”

Although Trump has also repeated his Fed-related talking points in public speeches and press briefings, his in-person relationship with Powell may not be as contentious as his Twitter feed reflects.

Twice last year, once in February and then again in November, Powell met with Trump at the White House. A tweet from the president recalled the November meeting as “very good & cordial.”

Two weeks later Trump again bashed Powell on Twitter, blasting the Fed for what he sees as “ridiculous policies.”

For his part, Powell has reiterated that the Fed is insulated from executive branch pressure and that the president does not have the authority to fire him.

Trump’s monetary policy-related tweets since placing Powell at the Fed are archived below:

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve will meet again on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

Brian Cheung is a reporter covering the banking industry and the intersection of finance and policy for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter @bcheungz.

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