The White House press corps erupted in laughter when White House press secretary Sean Spicer admitted that President Donald Trump doesn’t really believe that job reports from the Labor Department are fake.
The Labor Department on Friday released a strong jobs report showing the US economy added 235,000 jobs in February. During his White House press briefing later in the day, Spicer was asked about Trump’s previous claims that positive job reports under the Obama administration were “phony or totally fiction.”
“I talked to the president prior to this, and he said to quote them very clearly. They may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now,” Spicer replied, prompting laughter from reporters in the room.
“I know it was delivered as a laugh line from Sean and got laughter in the room from reporters — I’m not so sure all of America will laugh at that,” CNN political director David Chalian said afterward.
“It is an admission of blatant hypocrisy,” he continued. “I mean, it’s like the most traditional politician thing you could do — which is not Donald Trump’s brand necessarily — to say that when it is not in my favor I’m going to say this, and when it is in my favor, I’m going to say that. That is the thing about politicians most people in the country don’t like. So I don’t know it is necessarily a joke. It is a total admission of blatant hypocrisy.”
“Spicer’s breezy dismissal of the question was a tacit admission that Trump had indeed lied when he trashed good employment news during the administration of his predecessor Barack Obama,” Jon Levine wrote at Mediaite. “If the fourth estate treats future administration falsehoods as a joke, they will become the fake news which they have so often been accused.”
Given the reaction on Twitter, many Americans were in fact not laughing:
glad everyone just laughs off trump being a pathological liar https://t.co/eKqLvkTKZH
— Brian Tashman (@briantashman) March 10, 2017
He also lets us know when job numbers are real and when he lies about them. So let's just laugh it off and continue to laugh at trump's lies https://t.co/PiXmFb6J0G
— MJiAmTheResistance (@mjcastro360) March 10, 2017
.@PressSec quotes Trump on jobs report: "They may have been phony in the past but they are very real now." Laughs. Just a joke. Deplorable.
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) March 10, 2017
@voxdotcom I'm outraged, offended, saddened and more hopeless- are all the reports in on the joke? Making a mockery of the American public
— Zoe Hess (@ZoeHess13) March 10, 2017
— Michael J Lando (@MJL_Uncensored) March 10, 2017
@MSNBC Real funny–everyone accepting that our President is a serial liar & does so when it fits his own view of alt-reality. Ha-Ha-Ha.
— Hari Bhajan Khalsa (@HariBK) March 10, 2017
@MSNBC I don't know what is more appalling, him saying it or the press all laughing at that absurdity.
— Nate Mcg (@gamer_politics) March 10, 2017
Spicer quoting Trump on jobs report: "It may have been phony then but it's real now!" Everyone laughs. So Trump's lying is funny now?!
— Don Alt Rump (@Subject2DVision) March 10, 2017
Sean Spicer jokes jobs numbers "may have been phony" before but are real now. Press laughs. Lying is now embedded. https://t.co/JXpxDKBJE1
— glitterbitch shauna (@goldengateblond) March 10, 2017
Trump just confirmed he was undermining confidence in government data for purely cynical purposes: https://t.co/TFd5RilFeA
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 10, 2017
Trump tax returns show he held a bank account in China — as he spent years pursuing business deals there: report
On Tuesday, as part of their series on President Donald Trump's tax returns, The New York Times revealed that the president has held a previously unknown bank account in China, as he spent years pursuing business deals in the country.
"Mr. Trump’s own business history is filled with overseas financial deals, and some have involved the Chinese state," reported Mike McIntire, Russ Buettner, and Susanne Craig. "He spent a decade unsuccessfully pursuing projects in China, operating an office there during his first run for president and forging a partnership with a major government-controlled company."
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America is on pace for record-shattering early voter turnout — including in critical states: report
On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that voters are casting early ballots in numbers on track to set a historic record — including in some critical battleground states.
"Early-voting counts suggest a record level of civic participation before Election Day. The tens of millions of ballots already cast show highly enthusiastic voters are making sure their votes are counted amid a pandemic," said the report.
15.8 million people in battleground states have already voted, and in some states, like Michigan and Wisconsin, more people have voted early so far than did in the entire early voting period of 2016. In North Carolina, meanwhile, 2 million ballots have been cast — more than double the same amount at this point in 2016.