Trump made false claim about economy, GDP, unemployment rate: White House

President Trump on Monday mocked his predecessor Barack Obama for saying more than two years ago that Trump would need a "magic wand" to bring back jobs to the United States.

But Trump's mention of Obama's comments about a "magic wand" appear to reference a June 2016 town-hall event in IN when the former president was asked about Trump's promise to kick-start manufacturing jobs in the country.

He pointed out it was the first time in 10 years that GDP growth exceeded the unemployment rate.

White House economist Kevin Hassett fact-checked a seemingly extraordinary claim about the country's GDP growth rate overtaking the unemployment rate for the first time in more than 100 years.

His comments prompted some to recall Mr. Obama's relationship with the press while in office. "And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations", Obama said in April of 2008.

The Trump administration has been in trouble in the past for inaccurate economic statistics with CNBC reporting that White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders made false claims about the black employment rate.

"The notion that what we're seeing right now is just a continuation of trends is not super defensible", he said.

Recessions bookended the start and end of George W. Bush's presidency and marked the end of George HW Bush's.

But economists tell AFP the truth is closer to splitting the baby: neither president is exclusively responsible and yet both deserve some of the credit for an economic recovery that without a doubt began under Mr Obama.

"There's no question that there's a mixture of credit involved. President Obama took office during the worst downturn since the Great Depression", he said. At that time, the American jobless rate was 4.4 percent, and the gross domestic product increased at 16.5 percent in the third quarter - a difference of 12 points.

That's not just because lower unemployment is better, while higher GDP is preferable.

Vanessa Coleman

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