President Donald Trump blamed the General Motors plant closures and recent stock market dips on the Federal Reserve and the man he picked to lead it, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
“I’m doing deals and I’m not being accommodated by the Fed,” Trump told the Post in an interview. “They’re making a mistake because I have a gut and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”
GM announced Monday that it will shut production at five plants in North America and reduce its salaried workforce by 15%, including a quarter of the company’s executives.
The President told the Post that he is “not even a little bit happy” with Jerome Powell, the man he picked to head the Federal Reserve.
Trump has long expressed frustration with Powell. Leading up to the November midterm elections, Trump repeatedly bashed him and called the Fed “crazy” and “loco” over recent interest-rate increases. Since July, Trump’s repeated scrutiny of Powell has gradually escalated with new veiled threats that he might consider firing his Fed chairman.
In the wide-ranging interview with the Post, Trump also dismissed the US government report released last week that delivered a dire warning about climate change and its devastating impacts.
Trump told the Post “I don’t see” climate change as man-made, despite the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community that climate change is caused by human activity.
“One of the problems that a lot of people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence, but we’re not necessarily such believers,” Trump told the Post. “You look at our air and our water, and it’s right now at a record clean.”
The government report said the US economy could lose hundreds of billions of dollars – or, in the worst-case scenario, more than 10% of its gross domestic product – by the end of the century.
Trump also threatened to cancel his scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin later this week after Russian ships opened fire on and seized three Ukrainian vessels near Crimea. The President is expected to meet with the foreign leader at a G20 meeting in Argentina, and is scheduled to discuss security and regional issues, Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, said Tuesday during the White House briefing.
Trump said he was waiting for the “full report” from his national security team, according to the Post, and said the report “will be very determinative.”
“Maybe I won’t have the meeting. Maybe I won’t even have the meeting. … I don’t like that aggression. I don’t want that aggression at all,” Trump told the Post.
CNN’s Donna Borak contributed to this report