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- Behind closed doors at the White House, efforts to influence the Federal Reserve have reportedly dated back months.
- But since the Trump reelection campaign kicked off in June, Trump’s public criticism of the central bank has grown increasingly bold.
- The president has sent more than a dozen tweets about the Fed since officially announcing his bid for 2020 last month, according the social-media research firm Keyhole.
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"The Fed has made all of the wrong moves," Trump said in one of the three tweets. "A small rate cut is not enough."
Behind closed doors at the White House, efforts to influence the Fed have reportedly dated back months. But since the Trump reelection campaign kicked off in June, Trump’s public criticism of the central bank has grown increasingly bold.
The economy is important for any incumbent up for reelection. Polls suggest that is particularly the case for Trump, whose presidency has been rattled by investigations and scandal. His approval ratings on the economy have generally been higher than those on his overall performance as president.
"He would clearly like to see the economy in overdrive and lowering interest rates would be a way to do it," Douglas Heye, a longtime GOP operative who was formerly the spokesperson of the Republican National Committee, told Markets Insider.
He continued: "The economy is the most important thing for President Trump’s reelection. That’s always the case with the president. In this case specifically, it is the one thing that is really buttressing his support in the polls."
On Twitter, where the president has more than 62 million followers, criticism of the central bank has become especially apparent. The president has sent more than a dozen tweets about the Fed since officially announcing his bid for 2020 last month, according the social-media research firm Keyhole.
Such public broadsides offer the president a chance to reframe the narrative around the economy. With gross domestic product consistently below the annual 3% target set by the White House, Trump has frequently repeated the claim that the economy would be better off if the Fed had not raised interest rates in December.
"It gives a place to lay blame on the economy but also fits into this larger narrative they want of how the system is rigged against people," Heye said.
Trump’s pressure has come alongside a broader slowdown in growth and consistently below-target inflation readings — issues White House officials have pointed to when asked about the call to slash rates. The Fed has weighed a historic labor market against those strains, along with a series of global trade disputes the Trump administration ignited last year.
"If a growing group of voters believes the economy is headed in the wrong direction and consumer confidence starts to erode, it could rise to the top of the list of concerns voters have and ultimately cost the president support he should be able to count on in a strong economy," said Republican strategist David Kochel, who helped lead Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign in 2016.
A spokesperson for the Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
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