Trump accuses Fed of keeping rates low to help Obama

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Trump Accuses Fed of Keeping Rates Low to Help Obama

Republican White House contender Donald Trump accused the U.S. Federal Reserve on Tuesday of keeping interest rates low at the bidding of Democratic President Barack Obama.

Trump, speaking at a news conference at his company's New York City headquarters, also called Fed Chair Janet Yellen "highly political."

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The White House rejected Trump's assertions shortly after his news conference.

Trump's comments made him the latest Republican presidential candidate to bash the U.S. central bank. At a debate last month, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas criticized the Fed, saying he thought its monetary policy decisions should be audited and that the country should move toward a system backed by gold.

Another candidate vying to represent the Republican Party in the November 2016 election, U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, has also called for an audit of the Fed as part of greater oversight of the central bank.

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Trump accuses Fed of keeping rates low to help Obama
Real estate developer Donald Trump annouces intentions to build a $100 million dollar Regency Hotel. (Photo by John Pedin/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY - 1980: Donald Trump and Ivana Trump attend Roy Cohn's birthday party in February 1980 in New York City. (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)
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Donna Mills and Donald Trump during 1983 Annual American Image Awards at Sheraton Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Portrait of real estate mogul Donald John Trump (b.1946), smiling slightly and facing to his right, 1983. New York. (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
New York real estate magnates Steve Ross, right, and Donald Trump, left, announce agreement, Thursday, August 1, 1985 in New York, to merge the Houston Gamblers and the New Jersey Generals United States Football League teams. Ross heads a group of investors that last week agreed to buy the troubled Houston franchise. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)
Real estate magnate Donald Trump poses in front of one of three Sikorsky helicopters at New York Port Authority's West 30 Street Heliport on March 22, 1988. (AP Photo/Wilbur Funches)
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Donald Trump and his wife, Ivana, pose outside the Federal Courthouse after she was sworn in as a United States citizen, May 1988. (AP Photo)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 4: Billionaire Donald Trump and his wife Ivana arrive 04 December 1989 at a social engagement in New York. (Photo credit should read SWERZEY/AFP/Getty Images)
Shown in photo is Donald Trump, Nov. 20, 1990. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Billionaire developer Donald Trump, right, waits with his brother Robert for the start of a Casino Control Commission meeting in Atlantic City, N.J., March 29, 1990. Trump was seeking final approval for the Taj Mahal Casino Resort, one of the world's largest casino complexes. (AP Photo)
Developer Donald Trump, center, is flanked by super middleweight champion Thomas Hearns, left, of Detroit, and Michael Olajide of Canada at a news conference in New York Thursday, Feb. 15, 1990. The three announced the super middleweight title bout at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort at Atlantic city, N. J on April 28.(AP Photo/Timothy Clary)
Real estate magnate Donald Trump and his girlfriend Marla Maples are seen at the Holyfield-Foreman fight at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, N.J., April 19, 1991. (AP Photo)
Donald Trump and Daughter Ivanka Trump during Maybelline Presents 1991 Look of the Year at Plaza Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 7: Donald Trump touches 07 April 1993 Marla Maples stomach to confirm published reports that the actress is pregnant with his child. The two arrived for Maples appearance in the Broadway musical 'The Will Rogers Follies'. (Photo credit should read HAI DO/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 21: US business tycoon Donald Trump(C) enters the PLaza Hotel in New York past supporters 21 December 1994. Hundreds of supporters showed up at a news conference where Trump denied a New York newspaper report that the Sultan of Brunei had bid 300 million USD to buy the Manhattan hotel. (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
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In this June 7, 1995 file photograph, Donald Trump is seen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange after taking his flagship Trump Plaza Casino public in New York City. Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., based in Atlantic City, New Jersey, filed for Chapter 11 protection on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey. Trump and his daughter Ivanka resigned from the company's board Friday, Feb. 13, 2009, after growing frustrated with bondholders. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens,File)
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The Fed has been a target of some conservative critics in the U.S. Congress, who say the bank risked sparking inflation with its policies in response to the global financial crisis.

Fed officials say their independence is critical to making sound policy decisions.

Asked whether the Fed should raise rates, Trump said it should but would not for "political reasons."

"They are not raising them because Obama has asked them not to raise them," the billionaire real-estate developer said, echoing similar comments he made in interviews last month. "He wants to get out of office, because we're in a bubble, and when those rates are raised, a lot of bad things are going to happen."

He added, "Janet Yellen is highly political and she's not raising rates for a very specific reason: because Obama told her not to because he wants to be out playing golf in a year from now and he wants to be doing other things and he doesn't want to see a big bubble burst during his administration." Obama is due to leave office in January 2017.

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White House spokesman Josh Earnest dismissed Trump's comments when asked about them at a news conference later on Tuesday. He said the administration "goes to great lengths" to ensure that the Fed can make monetary policies that are in the best interests of the country and the economy.

A Fed spokesman declined to comment on Trump's accusations.

Trump had called the news conference in Trump Tower's marble-lined atrium to mark the release of his new book, "Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again," which he described as something he had written "quickly" so as to be topical.

He repeated his complaint that the dollar is not "competitive."

"If you look at the (currency) devaluations of China, of Japan, of many, many different countries," he said, "they're making it impossible for our companies to compete with them because we don't have leaders that know how to say to China, 'Don't do that. Don't do that, because if you do that, we're going to put a big fat tax on you.'"

(Reporting By Caren Bohan, James Oliphant, Doina Chiacu, Susan Heavey and Jonathan Allen; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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