Trump Claims Treasury Secretary Was Misinterpreted, Says He Wants 'Strong Dollar'

President Donald Trump said Thursday he wants a strong U.S. dollar, claiming that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was misinterpreted when he said earlier this week that the weak U.S. currency is good for trade.

"I think [the remarks] were taken out of context because I read the exact statement," Trump said in an interview with CNBC while in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum. The president said the U.S. "is becoming so economically strong again—and strong in other ways too, by the way—that the dollar is going to get stronger and stronger."

"Ultimately, I want to see a strong dollar," Trump added. The comment follows remarks by Mnuchin at the World Economic Forum Wednesday that a weaker U.S. currency is good for trade.

"Obviously a weaker dollar is good for us as it relates to trade and opportunities,” Mnuchin told reporters. Despite Trump's claim that the Treasury secretary was misinterpreted, Mnuchin told reporters he thought his comment was "quite clear."

"I thought it was balanced and consistent with what I said before, which is we are not concerned with where the dollar is in the short term," Mnuchin said Thursday. In the long term, he said "we fundamentally believe in the strength of the dollar." Following the original comment, the U.S. dollar sank to a three-year low on Wednesday.


Trump arrived at the gathering of business elites and global leaders on Thursday to promote his "America First" agenda. Trump is the first president to attend the forum in nearly 20 years. The forum was last attended by President Bill Clinton. 

Trump is set to give a special closing address to leaders in Davos on Friday, though several conference attendees told Quartz that they are planning to walk out of the speech in protest of disparaging remarks that Trump made about African countries earlier this month. 

Trump Cabinet members and insiders including Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner were also in Davos this week. 

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