Former US president and 2024 White House contender Donald Trump said he would look to replace the "political" chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, when his term ends in 2026.

In an interview published Friday, Trump accused Powell, who he as president first appointed to run the independent US central bank, of being "political," suggesting Powell may move ahead with interest rate cuts to help the Democratic party win reelection.

"I think he's going to do something to probably help the Democrats," Trump said in an interview with Fox Business published on Friday, referring to the upcoming presidential elections in November.

"It looks to me like he's trying to lower interest rates for the sake of maybe getting people elected," added Trump, who is the frontrunner in the race for the Republican nomination.

Trump is likely to face incumbent President Joe Biden, who has been highlighting positive economic data in recent weeks as he prepares for what will likely be a grueling bid to retain the White House.

The US Fed has a mandate to act independently of Congress and the White House in its twin battles to control inflation and unemployment.

But US presidents are responsible for nominating the chair of the Fed every four years, giving them some say over the direction -- if not the day-to-day operations -- of the powerful central bank.

Despite appointing Powell to the top job back in 2018, Trump later criticized him while in office for not doing more to support his economic agenda, breaking with a long tradition of respect for the independence of the US central bank.

After winning the presidency in 2020, Joe Biden reappointed Powell to a second four-year term in 2022, which is due to end in 2026.

Under Powell's leadership, the Fed has been battling high inflation by hiking interest rates, and recently voted to hold rates steady while signaling cuts ahead.

Asked who he might replace Powell with as Fed chair, Donald Trump said he would have "a couple of choices" available.

But he added: "I can't tell you now."