The Conspiracy Theory You Probably Didn't Notice At Monday's Debate

Trump thinks the Fed is holding interest rates down to help Democrats.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump lashed out at the Federal Reserve in Monday’s debate. 

The U.S. central bank, which operates independently, sets target interest rates and is a crucial financial regulator. Trump said the chair of the Fed, Janet Yellen, is artificially propping up the economy and pushing the nation into a stock market bubble. He insinuated that Yellen is holding the rate until President Barack Obama leaves office, in order to help swing the election for Democrats.

Such attacks are far beyond the political norm and undercut the legitimacy of an institution with a crucial role in managing America’s economy. They’re yet another example of the many conspiracy theories peddled by the GOP leader.

Trump has attacked the Fed before. On CNBC earlier this month, he said Yellen should be “ashamed of herself” and that her policies were producing a “false stock market.”  

Yellen responded to Trump’s criticism in a regularly scheduled press conference after the Fed’s decision not to raise interest rates last week.

“Congress very wisely established the Federal Reserve as an independent agency in order to insulate monetary policy from short-term political pressures,” she said. “I can say emphatically that partisan politics plays no role in our decisions about the appropriate stance of monetary policy.”

“We do not discuss politics at our meetings,” Yellen added. “And we do not take politics into account in our decisions.”

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.