President Trump called on the Federal Reserve to drop rates Friday, saying that the central bank's efforts to shrink its balance sheet are imposing a drag on the economy.
"I personally think the Fed should drop rates. I think they really slowed us down," the president told reporters.
The comments come as the president is making an apparent effort to reshape the Fed. He announced Thursday that he would nominate former Godfathers Pizza president and conservative activist Herman Cain to fill a spot on the seven-person Board of Governors. That followed an announcement last week that he would pick Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore to fill a different open seat.
Both were unconventional picks that follow months of criticism of the Federal Reserve by the president.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Friday that Trump had a right to try to impose his economic philosophy upon the Federal Reserve. He argued that the effort didn't infringe the independence of the Fed.
"Presidents have been appointing people to the Fed for years," Kudlow said in an interview on Fox Business. "That is a way of expressing his philosophy. He is absolutely entitled to to this."
Kudlow argued that this was a natural part of the nomination process since that power was given to the executive branch: "We are not trying to damage the Fed's independence ... Lots of presidents appoint people," he said. "I don't know why you think that is political."
[Opinion: 3 bad reasons Democrats hate Trump's Fed pick Stephen Moore]