As the Federal Reserve continues to hike interest rates, President Donald Trump has grown increasingly annoyed with the strategy, reportedly asking advisers if he can legally fire Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, according to CNN.
Earlier this year, Trump's advisers told the President that it was doubtful he would have the law behind him if he fired Powell. But Trump has renewed the issue after the Fed again raised its benchmark interest rate this week.
So far, the White House hasn't come to a final legal determination on Trump's authority to fire his Fed chairman, whom he nominated a year ago. The law states the President can fire a Fed governor for cause, but it hasn't been tested on the firing of a chairman.
On Saturday night, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin -- who has become the object of Trump's ire after he recommended Powell for the position -- tweeted that he'd spoken with Trump on the matter.
"'I never suggested firing Chairman Jay Powell, nor do I believe I have the right to do so,'" Mnuchin wrote the President told him.
Trump is worried that blame for the tanking stock market will fall on him, according to White House aides, who have told him he is likely to take the heat.
Whipsaw markets and a string of steep dives have spawned a pervasive anxiety in the White House, according to senior officials, where for the past two years the strength of the US economy has provided steady reassurance amid even the deepest of political crises.
As Trump faces fresh vulnerability — most aspects of his life are now under investigation just as Democrats are preparing to assume control of the House — the economy no longer offers the same comfort it once did, despite rising wages and the lowest unemployment rate in half a century, according to interviews with multiple White House officials and people close to Trump.