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Trump says dollar will get 'stronger and stronger,' Mnuchin was misinterpreted

  • "The dollar is going to get stronger and stronger and ultimately I want to see a strong dollar," Trump tells CNBC.
  • A day earlier, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he welcomed a weaker U.S. dollar.
  • Mnuchin's comments kicked off a 2 percent decline in the dollar index.

President Donald Trump told CNBC on Thursday the dollar will strengthen over time under his leadership and that recent remarks made by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about the greenback were misinterpreted.

"The dollar is going to get stronger and stronger, and ultimately I want to see a strong dollar," Trump said in an exclusive interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "Our country is becoming so economically strong again and strong in other ways, too."

Trump's latest remarks about the dollar diverge from his past comments. Last April, Trump said he was worried the dollar was "getting too strong."

At the WEF on Wednesday, Mnuchin said he welcomed a weaker U.S. dollar, adding that it would benefit the country's trade. On Thursday, Mnuchin said the comment was not a "shift in my position on the dollar at all. It is perhaps slightly different than previous Treasury secretaries who in recent times have just commented on the strong dollar."

President Donald Trump at the 2018 WEF in Davos, Switzerland.
CNBC
President Donald Trump at the 2018 WEF in Davos, Switzerland.

Trump said Mnuchin's comments "were taken out of context," adding he "read his exact statement."

Mnuchin's earlier remarks kicked off a 2 percent decline in the dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency's performance against six other currencies.

The index traded at 88.75 on Thursday, near its lowest levels in three years. It began Wednesday trading around 90.

— Reporting by CNBC's Joe Kernen.

— CNBC's full interview of President Trump will air on "Squawk Box" at 6 a.m. ET Friday.

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