They are at it again.
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome H. (“Jay”) Powell and President Donald Trump spoke by phone for five minutes in May, according to the calendar for the month released by the Fed Friday. It was the fourth discussion between the two leaders, beginning in February with a dinner at the White House (prior to that, the two had not spoken in about a year). Since then, the two have held monthly – but short – discussions in every month.
The May schedule was released as per Fed custom of making public the chairman’s schedule about one month following. Trump has been a strong and recurring critic of the Fed’s actions on interest rates.
The call in May was from 4:42 to 4:47 p.m. ET, according to the calendar. The Fed offered no other details about the call, which was first reported Friday by the Wall Street Journal.
Powell’s schedule for March, released in May, showed an “unscheduled” phone call between Powell and Trump March 8 at 3 p.m. PT, also lasting for about five minutes. Powell, at the time, was in Palo Alto, Calif., at Stanford University. The April call occurred at about 9 a.m. ET. The call, the schedule states, lasted until 9:05. Powell at the time was attending a conference in Leesburg, Va., with House Democrats at the time of the call.
Also in May, Powell lunched with National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, who advises Trump on nominations for positions on the Federal Reserve, as well as economic matters. The lunch on May 7 lasted from 12:15-1:20 p.m. ET.
In June, Trump floated the idea of replacing Powell as chairman of the Federal Reserve; Powell has said he intends to serve out the remainder of his four-year term at the helm of the central bank.