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Trump aide: White House, central bank tension not unusual

December 23, 2018
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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speak at a news conference in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018. The Federal Reserve is raising its key interest rate for the fourth time this year to reflect the U.S. economy's continued strength but signaling that it expects to slow hikes next year. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speak at a news conference in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018. The Federal Reserve is raising its key interest rate for the fourth time this year to reflect the U.S. economy's continued strength but signaling that it expects to slow hikes next year. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House official says tension between a president and the interest-rate setting Federal Reserve is “traditional as part of our system.”

Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney says it should come as no surprise that President Donald Trump is unhappy the central bank, an independent agency, “is raising rates and we think driving down the value of the stock market.”

Speculation about the fate of Trump’s appointed Fed chairman, Jerome Powell, has swirled after Bloomberg News reported that Trump discussed firing Powell after this past week’s rate increase.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO’-shin) tweeted Saturday that Trump has denied ever suggesting that and doesn’t believe he has the right to dismiss Powell.

Mulvaney also tells ABC’s “This Week” that the economy’s “fundamentals are still strong.′

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