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White House economic advisor says Fed chief's job is safe

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Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell's job at the head of the US central bank is safe, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Tuesday.

[WASHINGTON] Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell's job at the head of the US central bank is safe, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Tuesday.

President Donald Trump has lambasted Mr Powell repeatedly for raising interest rates, which he complains is undercutting his attempts to supercharge the US economy.

Asked at an economic forum if Mr Powell's job was safe, Mr Kudlow said, "Yes, I believe it is. There is no effort to remove him - I will say that unequivocally - at the present time."

The White House explored whether Mr Trump could replace the central bank chief, according to media reports.

Mr Trump's frequent attacks break from longstanding tradition of US presidents to refrain from commenting on monetary policy to preserve the central bank's operational independence.

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Mr Trump on Friday said the Fed "doesn't have a clue" and is a threat to the US economy. He has tapped potential nominees to serve on the Fed board who openly support the president's position and Bloomberg cited sources saying Mr Trump might replace Mr Powell with one of the new officials.

Mr Kudlow acknowledged there are candidates who appear to be jockeying for Mr Trump's favour but said "I personally believe the Fed should be independent."

But, he added, "that doesn't mean they shouldn't listen to advice from their elders."

AFP

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