After repeatedly accusing the government of inflating its monthly jobs reports while on the campaign trail, President Donald Trump on Friday praised the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest numbers, which showed 227,000 new jobs in January, as “really big league.” He even appeared to take credit for the report, even though the data were collected during Barack Obama’s final days in office.
“A couple of things happened this morning,” Trump said referring to the report. “So we are very happy about that. I think that it’s really big league. We’re bringing jobs back, we’re bringing down your taxes. We are going to get rid of your regulations.”
Conservative outlets, including Fox News and Breitbart, also misleadingly implied that the reported job growth came under Trump:
First jobs report of the new administration. https://t.co/TpvK3g2nbm
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 3, 2017
While running for president, Trump took a strikingly different approach to the Labor Department’s reports. He routinely accused the Obama administration of purposely understating the true unemployment rate, which he believed to be as high as 42 percent.
“Don’t believe those phony numbers when you hear 4.9 and 5 percent unemployment,” Trump said at a rally nearly a year ago. “The number is probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.”
Some of the president’s Cabinet picks, including treasury secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin and labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder, have also mocked the government’s official unemployment rate.