- The Washington Times - Monday, September 12, 2016

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Monday that President Obama is holding down interest rates and that the Federal Reserve is “obviously not even close to being independent.”

“The interest rates are kept down by President Obama. I have no doubt that that’s the reason that they are being kept down,” Mr. Trump said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “As a real estate person, I love it, but … for the last 14 months, I haven’t been exactly active.”

“I love low interest rates, but for the country, something has to happen,” Mr. Trump said. “I don’t think it’s going to happen very much because he wants to go out, he wants to play golf for the rest of his life, and he doesn’t care what’s going to happen after January.”

“It’s staying at zero because she’s obviously political, and she’s doing what Obama wants her to do,” Mr. Trump said, apparently referring to Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen.

“She’s keeping them artificially low to get Obama retired,” he said. “I think it’s very political. I think she’s very political and to a certain extent, I think she should be ashamed of herself … it’s not supposed to be that way.”

Mr. Trump was asked about the notion of Federal Reserve independence.

“Well, I used to think that the Justice Department worked independently, also, and I used to think that the FBI was independent, also, but that’s obviously not possible because Hillary Clinton is guilty as hell, and everybody knows it,” he said. “Any third-rate lawyer will tell you that.”

That’s a reference to the controversy over Mrs. Clinton’s private email server. FBI Director James B. Comey declined to recommend charges against Mrs. Clinton for mishandling classified information, but he said Mrs. Clinton and her aides were extremely careless with the set-up.

“So I used to think they were independent. I used to hope that the Fed was independent, and the Fed is obviously not independent — obviously not even close to being independent,” Mr. Trump said.

He said as soon as interest rates go up, the stock market is going to go “way down — most likely or possibly.”

“They want to keep the market up so that Obama goes out and let the new guy — let’s call it the new guy, OK, because I like the sound of that much better — but that the new person that becomes president, let him raise interest rates or her raise interest rates,” Mr. Trump said.

“And watch what happens to the stock market when that happens, OK? Because you have no choice,” he said.

Mr. Trump also said he wouldn’t go by what “Pocahontas” wants to do. That’s a reference to Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a frequent Trump critic whose claims of Native American heritage have been called into question.

“Her agenda is obvious,” Mr. Trump said. “I mean, she’s a disaster. She’s also one of the least effective senators in the United States Senate. Nobody really understands that, but she’s done nothing.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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