Biden says he hasn’t spoken to Fed chairman Jerome Powell since taking office

President Biden said Tuesday he has not spoken to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell since taking office, saying he wants the Fed to maintain its independence.

“I have not,” Mr. Biden told reporters after an unrelated event. “Look, I think the Federal Reserve is an independent operation. And starting off my presidency, I want to be real clear that I’m not going to do the kinds of things that [had] been done in the last administration.”

“Either talking to the attorney general about who he’s going to prosecute or not prosecute and under what circumstances, or the Fed — telling them what they should and shouldn’t do – even though that wouldn’t be the basis upon which I’d be talking to them,” he continued. “So I’ve been very fastidious about not talking to [them].”

He said he does speak with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who preceded Mr. Powell as head of the central bank.

When former President Trump was in office, Mr. Trump would needle Mr. Powell, often via Twitter, on subjects like interest rates and the economy.

In 2017, Mr. Trump announced Mr. Powell as his pick to lead the Fed.

Toward the tail end of the 2020 campaign, Mr. Trump had urged then-Attorney General William Barr to appoint someone to probe the business dealings of Mr. Biden and his son Hunter Biden.


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