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Trump wages Twitter war against Jay-Z

This probably won't end well.

Jay-Z performs onstage during his 4:44 tour at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on November 26, 2017 in New York City.  (CREDIT: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation)
Jay-Z performs onstage during his 4:44 tour at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on November 26, 2017 in New York City. (CREDIT: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation)

A little over a year into his presidency, it has become increasingly clear that President Donald Trump loves tweeting, feuding with celebrities of color, and taking responsibility for things that he has had no measurable impact on.

But on Sunday, Trump managed to do all three things at once, tweeting to rapper Jay-Z that “because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!”

During an interview with CNN’s Van Jones, which aired Saturday, Jay-Z made several critical comments about Trump, calling the president “misinformed” and characterizing his description of countries like Haiti as “shithole” countries as “really hurtful.” Jones asked Jay-Z whether the state of the economy — including the low rate of black unemployment — made Trump’s comments and actions irrelevant, to which Jay-Z replied that “it’s not about money at the end of the day.”

“Money doesn’t equate to happiness,” Jay-Z said. “It doesn’t. That’s missing the whole point.”

Sunday’s tweet about Jay Z is not the first time that Trump has tried to take credit for the low levels of unemployment among black Americans. In early January, after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its numbers for December 2017, Trump took to Twitter to claim responsibility for the drop.

A few days later, Trump again tweeted about the low unemployment, taking an opportunity to criticize Democrats as well.

While black unemployment has reached the lowest rate since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began breaking unemployment rate down by race in the 1970s, Trump is incorrect to claim that the number is a result of his policies. Unemployment for black Americans has fallen steadily for the past several years, and the decline does not appear to have measurably picked up pace since Trump took office, suggesting that recent declines are a result of policies that pre-date the Trump administration.

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And despite the historically low levels of black unemployment, the numbers still aren’t great — black unemployment is still 2 percentage points higher than the general population, and almost twice as high as white unemployment.