President Donald Trump’s top economist said at a White House press briefing that the president’s latest tweet celebrating the economy overstated the achievement by 90 years. Earlier Monday, Trump tweeted that the GDP rate was higher than the unemployment rate for the first time in 100 years.
“So I can tell you what is true,” Kevin Hassett, the Chairman of Economic Advisers, said from the briefing room podium. “The history of thought about how the error happened is not something that I can engage in because from the initial fact to what the president said, I don’t know the whole chain of command. But what is true is that it’s the highest in 10 years and at some point somebody probably conveyed it to him adding a zero to that and they shouldn’t have done that.”
In contrast to Trump, who has labeled negative reports about him and his administration “fake news,” Hassett said he welcomed corrections from the media.
“I can say that, at least we numbers geeks here at the White House, when the press finds mistakes that we make, we don’t like making mistakes, but we’re grateful when they’re pointed out because we want to correct them.”
Hassett concluded: “You’d have to talk to the president about where the number came from but the correct number is 10 years.”
The GDP Rate (4.2%) is higher than the Unemployment Rate (3.9%) for the first time in over 100 years!
Trump has often tweeted misleading numbers, about the economy and on a range of different issues. Last month, he celebrated reaching a 52 percent approval rating, despite the fact that no poll existed giving him such a high number. Trump did not correct the error. In his less than 20 months in office, Trump has made more than 4,700 false or misleading claims, according to a Washington Post analysis. In the past three months, the number has rapidly increased, up to more than 15 false or misleading claims per day.
Monday’s briefing, which was the first the White House had hosted in more than two weeks, began with Hassett trumpeting the economic gains made during Trump’s presidency. The presentation came days after former President Barack Obama suggested that credit for the booming economy should lay with his administration.
“When you hear how great the economy’s doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started,” Obama said in a speech Friday.
Trump hit back on Twitter Monday.
“’President Trump would need a magic wand to get to 4% GDP,’ stated President Obama. I guess I have a magic wand, 4.2%, and we will do MUCH better than this! We have just begun,” Trump wrote.
“President Trump would need a magic wand to get to 4% GDP,” stated President Obama. I guess I have a magic wand, 4.2%, and we will do MUCH better than this! We have just begun.
Obama never made such a comment about economic growth. Instead, at a 2016 town hall, Obama suggested that Trump would need a “magic wand” to convince American companies to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States.