Before Donald Trump ‘won’ the presidential election, he repeatedly dismissed jobs report under former President Barack Obama. For example, in 2016, Trump claimed that the official unemployment rate of five percent was “one of the biggest hoaxes in modern politics.” Trump spoke of the unemployment rate after winning the New Hampshire primary, saying, “Don’t believe those phony numbers when you hear 4.9 and 5 percent unemployment. The number’s probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.”
White Press Secretary Sean Spicer said this week that the monthly BLS report “may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.”
So, Chris Wallace asked White House Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn on Fox News Sunday about Trump‘s past denials of jobs numbers. Wallace pointed out that during Trump’s campaign, he called similar reports “phony.”
Wallace played a video of Trump dismissing the “phony” numbers and asked Cohn, “If that’s true, why should we believe these numbers? And the fact is, did you inherit an economy that has been for the last 18 months somewhere between 4.6 and 5 percent unemployment?”
Instead of answering Wallace’s question, Cohn touted that the economy is continuing to grow and added there are CEOs telling Trump, “We are creating these jobs because [of] you, Mr. President, and your policies.”
Well, if a guy told him that then it must be true. Meanwhile, the jobs numbers did not shift upward in some dramatic fashion as Trump would like us to believe.
Because, facts matter:
Hard to see any Trump bump in these numbers. Nearly identical to last two Febs.
Feb. 2015: 238K
Feb 2016: 237K
Feb. 2017: 235K pic.twitter.com/Mbleugxhmp
— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) March 10, 2017
Trump is riding on the heels of a recovering economy and taking credit for it. After just over one month into the job, a president cannot take credit for a jobs report. That is – unless he’s an egomaniacal arsehole. It’s worth noting that Mr. Cohn said the economy ‘continues to grow.’ He inadvertently just gave Obama credit for the economy and rightfully so.
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