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    Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee

    Trump Reaffirms Support for Treasury Secretary, Refutes Criticism Reports

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    A recent report from the Wall Street Journal claimed US President Donald Trump is displeased with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – but Trump himself has since taken to Twitter to refute the speculation as 'fake news'.

    Kristian Rouz — US President Donald Trump says he's happy with the job performance of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a decisive dismissal of a report claiming otherwise. Trump's statement comes after allegations that he was critical of Mnuchin over the latter's support for Fed Chair Jerome Powell during his nomination earlier this year.

    In a tweet Friday, Trump criticised the report from the Wall Street Journal claiming the President's dissatisfaction with the Federal Reserve has spread to the Treasury Department as well. The WSJ said Secretary Mnuchin had recommended that Trump appoint Powell as a replacement for then-outgoing Fed Chair Janet Yellen in early 2018.

    READ MORE: Trump Refutes Reports Alleging Dissatisfaction With Treasury Secretary Mnuchin

    Subsequently, in the wake of Trump's criticism of Powell's policies at the Fed, the report claimed, the President has become frustrated with the Treasury Secretary as well.

    "I thought you told me he (Powell) was going to be good," Trump allegedly said to Mnuchin, according to the report.

    But Trump refuted such claims, labelling the WSJ as 'fake news'.

    Over the past few weeks, a flurry of reports — and Trump himself — have stated that the President is unhappy with the Fed's policy of raising base interest rates. Trump said Powell's policy of rate hikes is too aggressive and could choke off the robust pace of GDP growth.

    "I think the Fed is making a mistake," Trump said last month. "They are so tight. I think the Fed has gone crazy."

    READ MORE: US Treasury Head Mnuchin Rebuffs Allegations About Trump Wishing to Leave WTO

    In its report, the WSJ referenced unnamed sources — which is likely to add to Trump's frustration with overall media reporting on his administration. Over the past few months, Trump has repeatedly urged the media to avoid citing anonymous sources, even suggesting that some media outlets could be 'making up' their stories.

    The WSJ also claimed Trump was unhappy with Mnuchin's handling of the China trade. The Journal alleged Mnuchin could be sceptical of the Trump administration's restrictions on the imports of Chinese goods.

    Additionally, the WSJ claimed Trump is concerned with the recent turbulence in US financial markets, and is blaming Mnuchin for the elevated volatility. This comes as the benchmark S&P 500 Index has so far fallen by 10.2 percent since its all-time high posted on 20 September — a sign America's stock market has entered a period of correction.

    Nonetheless, the WSJ also said the Trump administration has not confirmed the report's claims in its official statement.

    "The president has been long clear about his views on the Fed," White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said, according to the WSJ. Walters reportedly stressed that Mnuchin "has been effective in carrying out the president's agenda."

    The speculation over a possible rift between Trump and Mnuchin comes amid allegations the US President could reshuffle his cabinet in the aftermath of the recent midterm elections.

    "Administrations makes changes, usually, after midterms. And probably we'll be right in that category as well," Trump said. "I think it's very customary."

    READ MORE: Chinese Firms With Dollar Debts Under Pressure As Key Funding Source Dries Up

    According to CNN, several top administration and cabinet officials could leave their positions over the coming weeks. These could include White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

    CNN's report has yet to be corroborated, as Nielsen, in particular, has recently been quite active dealing with the mounting security concerns at the US southern border.

    It remains to be seen whether Trump indeed embarks on a major reshuffle at the helm of the US governance, and, if so, who would be his likely picks to replace the supposedly outgoing officials.


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