President Trump is considering firing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin amid increasing frustration over the plummeting stock markets, sources claim.
Mnuchin appears to be in ‘serious jeopardy’ after a particularly bad trading day on Christmas Eve which ended in a 653-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the source close to the White House told CNN.
Trump and the treasury secretary have also had multiple phone calls over the past few days to address the concerns over the stock markets, government shutdown and trade talks.
Yet in the press, the president appears to be keeping things civil – for now.
When asked whether he had confidence in Mnuchin, he replied ‘Yes, I do’, before praising the secretary as a ‘very talented, very smart person.’
Behind the scenes, however, it’s a different story, the source claimed.
‘Mnuchin is under the gun,’ they told CNN.
A source claims Donald Trump is considering firing Steven Mnuchin despite the president saying he has confidence in him, calling him a ‘very talented guy’ and a ‘very smart person
U.S. stocks have fallen sharply in recent weeks on concerns over slowing economic growth, with the S&P 500 index on pace for its biggest percentage decline in December since the Great Depression
Mnuchin’s aides have reportedly been scrambling to find economic data to support their boss’s case, while he takes a vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
An insider had previously claimed Trump was upset over Mnuchin’s recommendation to hire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
One source told Bloomberg that a lot of people would support getting rid of him.
‘There are plenty of people inside the White House who are not fans of Mnuchin who are happy to throw him under the bus,’ Stephen Myrow, managing partner at Beacon Policy Advisors in Washington and a former Treasury official said. ‘Up ’til now, he’s been protected by the fact that Trump liked him and he’s been a loyalist.’
Another administration source denied the conflict and any suggestion Mnuchin was in trouble.
‘This is nonsense,’ the source said about Mnuchin and who worked with Trump during his 2016 campaign.
‘I convened individual calls with the CEOs of the nation’s six largest banks,’ Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Twitter Sunday
But Bloomberg has reported that Trump has asked one or more of his advisers to meet with Powell, a possible sign that he doesn’t trust Mnuchin.
The publication said a request for comment from the Treasury Department was referred to the White House, which didn’t respond.
In his Christmas Day speech Trump reiterated his view that the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates too fast, but called the independent agency’s rate hikes a ‘form of safety’ for an economy doing well.
The president lashed out at the Fed on Monday after administration officials spent the weekend trying to assure financial markets that Powell’s job was safe.
Trump expressed displeasure with the Fed after Mnuchin tweeted that Powell’s job was safe.
POTUS has largely laid the blame for economic headwinds on the Fed, openly criticizing its chairman, Powell, whom he appointed.
Media reports have suggested Trump has gone as far as discussing firing Powell, and he told Reuters in August that he was ‘not thrilled’ with the chairman.
On Monday, Trump said: ‘The only problem our economy has is the Fed.’
On Saturday Mnuchin tweeted that the president told him he never suggested firing Powell.
‘I have spoken with the President and he said ‘I totally disagree with Fed policy. I think the increasing of interest rates and the shrinking of the Fed portfolio is an absolute terrible thing to do at this time especially in light of my major trade negotiations which are ongoing, but I never suggested firing Chairman Jay Powell, nor do I believe I have the right to do so,”’ Powell tweeted.
Mnuchin also tweeted that he had checked with the heads of the six largest U.S. banks to ensure they had enough liquidity to operate in a stock market that has tumbled sharply since October.
An insider had previously claimed Trump was upset over Mnuchin’s recommendation to hire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell (pictured)
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin talks with reporters at the White House on December 3
The treasury secretary had called six top US bankers on Sunday amid concerns over falling stocks, and has revealed he plans to convene a group of officials known as the ‘Plunge Protection Team.’
However a source told Bloomberg that Mnuchin had done so without the advice of POTUS.
U.S. stocks have fallen sharply in recent weeks on concerns over slowing economic growth, with the S&P 500 index on pace for its biggest percentage decline in December since the Great Depression.
‘Today I convened individual calls with the CEOs of the nation’s six largest banks,’ Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Twitter shortly before financial markets were due to open in Asia.
The Treasury said in a statement that Mnuchin talked with the chief executives of Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo.
‘The CEOs confirmed that they have ample liquidity available for lending,’ the Treasury said.
Mnuchin ‘also confirmed that they have not experienced any clearance or margin issues and that the markets continue to function properly,’ the Treasury said.