During Friday’s White House press briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked whether or not President Trump still thought the jobs report was “phony” as he had asserted in the past when former President Obama was still in office.
Spicer responded by saying that the president had requested that he be quoted as saying: “They may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.”
Although Spicer and the reporters laughed when he made the comment, it is unclear if Spicer was joking or not.
President Trump’s Twitter account would point more toward the assumption that he wasn’t joking because America’s 45th president has retweeted news about the positive jobs numbers more than once.
On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted out ADP’s jobs numbers, which showed that jobs grew by 298,000 instead of the 190,000 originally projected.
Then when the Depart of Labor Statistics released their non-farm payroll jobs report showing that the economy had added 235,000 jobs in February, he retweeted Drudge Report’s tweet that read, “GREAT AGAIN: +235,000”
His reaction to February’s jobs report is in stark contrast to his reaction to the jobs reports released during Barack Obama’s term. In September 2015, during a televised conference, Trump said that the unemployment rate at the time, which sat at just over 5 percent, was wrong, saying:
I’ve seen numbers of 24 percent — I actually saw a number of 42 percent unemployment. Forty-two percent. 5.3 percent unemployment — that is the biggest joke there is in this country. […] The unemployment rate is probably 20 percent, but I will tell you, you have some great economists that will tell you it’s a 30, 32. And the highest I’ve heard so far is 42 percent.
At the time, Politifact gave his comments a “Pants on Fire” truth rating.