President Trump on Friday morning held a press event that amounted to a victory lap for the Gross Domestic Product growing by 4.1 percent in the second quarter of this year.
Trump gave himself all the credit for economic growth, while discrediting the record of his predecessor, Barack Obama.
“We have accomplished an economic turnaround of historic proportions,” Trump said. “Once again we are the economic envy of the entire world.”
Trump went on to tout jobs numbers in particular.
“We have added 3.7 million new jobs since the election,” Trump said. “A number that is unthinkable if you go back to the campaign. Nobody would have said it. Nobody would have even in an optimistic way projected it.”
Trump was fibbing. Though he claimed to have “added 3.7 million new jobs since the election,” 3.2 millions jobs have been created since his inauguration.
And it is simply not the case that Trump’s jobs record would have been “unthinkable” during the campaign. In fact, Obama’s jobs record during the final 17 months of his administration — a period of time encompassing Trump’s campaign — outperformed Trump’s during his first 17 months.
Trump says 3.7 million jobs have been created since his election and that this number is "unthinkable"
Actually, in first 17 months of Trump's presidency, there have been 3.216 million jobs created. In final 17 months of Obama's, job creation was 3.84 million.
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 27, 2018
While Trump attempted to gaslight people, his eldest son touted the GDP number with a brazen lie.
“Incredible numbers,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted. “I remember when ‘the experts’ laughed about breaking 3%. Just because Obama never broke 2% doesn’t mean that someone with great policies can’t. Let’s keep this going.”
Incredible numbers. I remember when “the experts” laughed about breaking 3%. Just because Obama never broke 2% doesn’t mean that someone with great policies can’t. Let’s keep this going. https://t.co/05LyLBw22j
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 27, 2018
In fact, under Obama, quarterly GDP growth “broke 2%” 16 times, hit 3 percent or higher eight times, hit 4 percent or higher four times, and even exceeded 5 percent once.
Meanwhile, Brad Parscale, Trump’s 2020 campaign director, reacted to the GDP news by exclaiming that the economy “has surged into the ‘impossible’ zone. This President is delivering the best economy in decades. Job opportunity is like almost no time before. Take advantage! 4.1!!!”
The economy has surged into the “impossible” zone. This President is delivering the best economy in decades. Job opportunity is like almost no time before. Take advantage! 4.1!!!https://t.co/qgELJBWfIR
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) July 27, 2018
Parscale’s claim that 4.1 growth is in the “impossible” zone is belied by the fact that quarterly GDP growth under Obama exceeded that number on three separate occasions.
While Parscale characterized 4.1 percent GDP growth as “impossible,” the White House’s official Twitter account touted the number with a tweet suggesting the rate is sustainable.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 27, 2018
That “if” in the White House’s tweet is doing a lot of work. Prior to 4.1 percent growth in this year’s second quarter, quarterly GDP growth under Trump hadn’t exceeded 3.2 percent.