On CNN Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro tried to sell the GOP’s fiscal plans — and reporter Poppy Harlow ambushed him with a series of hard data contradicting his claims.
“I want to ask you about the budget released from the White House,” said Harlow. “As you know, it does not eliminate the federal deficit in ten years. And as you know, when the president was running, because you were advising him, I remember meeting with you during that time, he promised to the Washington Post he’d eliminate the national debt if given eight years in office. What happened to that promise?”
“Well, we still have five more years to go, and I think we can get there,” said Navarro.
“Yeah, but even this budget — no, no, but this budget says it’s going to take to 2036 to even start narrowing, not eliminating it,” said Harlow.
“Just let me make this point. Elections do have consequences,” said Navarro. “One of the problems we faced in the short term with the Democrats holding the House is that when we made the last budget deal, that was more expenditures than we otherwise would have had. The trick of the budget, really, is not cutting expenditures or raising taxes so much as growing faster. The difference between the 2 percent growth rate and 3 percent growth rate is all the difference in the world.”
“Kevin Hassett, your good friend, formerly worked with you, said there’s aggressive growth projections in this budget, and when you look at the tax cut impact on all of this, it was a big factor,” said Harlow. “Even he admitted it. Listen to this with me just last week.”
“The military spending is way above what we originally thought, which the president has advocated,” said Hassett in the clip. “And then the tax cuts reduced revenue by more than we thought in the first year.”
“Fair to say the tax cuts aren’t paying for themselves as promised and just adding to the deficit?” said Harlow.
“Well, Kevin was one of the architects of those tax cuts,” said Navarro, looking slightly thrown. “And if he were sitting in this chair, he’d say the tax cuts are doing great to stimulate this economy. Things like opportunity zones, helping blue-collar workers, lowest unemployment rate in history for Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, veterans.”
“No, I hear you on all of that, but they’re adding to the deficit,” Harlow pressed him. “I’m asking about the president’s promise to the American people and Republicans, who used to care about these things, Peter.”
“So, look, the economy is doing great,” said Navarro. “We’ve got a great economic plan to do it. If we get back the House of Representatives, we’ll have a lot better fiscal situation than we do now. The bond market doesn’t seem to be worried about the prospect of a large fiscal deficit, which I think is supportive of President Trump’s economic policies, because they believe that our economy will grow faster because of the Trump policies.”
“Let me ask you about this,” said Harlow. “The president overnight slamming former President Obama for what he calls taking credit for the good economy. The president was marking 11 years since the Recovery Act. Of course, the depths of the great recession. When you look at the numbers, we have not yet seen one quarter of 4 percent economic growth under President Trump. We saw that four times under President Obama. And if you compare job growth in the last, you know, 36 months of President Obama’s term, it was 227,000 jobs on average and President Trump, also good, but 191,000 jobs per month on average. Don’t both presidents deserve credit for good economies?”
“If you lived through the Obama years, which everybody watching this show did, they remember what it was like,” said Navarro. “What President Obama did was double the debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion … what President Trump realized is that we had a structural problem, primarily with offshoring our jobs and overregulation and high taxes relative to around the world. He fixed those structural problems. That set up the economic boom that we’re having right now. And back in the Obama-Biden years, it was horrible. We had this new normal of a growth under 2 percent—”
“Peter, I’m sorry, I can’t let — Peter, I am just going to pull back the numbers up,” said Harlow. “These are numbers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Over 4 percent economic growth, four quarters under President Obama. We’ve not seen growth above 4 percent on a quarterly basis under President Trump. It’s a good economy now. It’s a great economy now. All I’m asking you is, wasn’t it a good economy then as well?”
“No, it was not. It was a horrible economy during the Obama years,” said Navarro. “If you can tell me that higher regulation, higher taxes are going to really propel growth like the Democrats want to do, I got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn, which i think you’re probably close to right there … but we can have that debate. This is all politics.”
“Well, actually, I was just asking about the numbers,” said Harlow.
CNN’s Cuomo destroys Trump for cutting off aid to governors he doesn’t like: ‘This is not about you’
On Friday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," Chris Cuomo tore into President Donald Trump for attacking Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) at a time when her state is in dire need of federal help amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"Governors all over the country are echoing the cries of the sick, the scared, the desperate on the front line, and the president's response to their calls for help? Ask nicely," said Cuomo, playing a clip of Trump at the day's press conference.
"All I want them to do, very simple. I want them to be appreciative," said Trump in the clip. "I say, Mike [Pence], don't call the governor of Washington. You're wasting your time with him. Don't call the woman in Michigan. It doesn't make any difference what happens. If they don't treat you right, I don't call."
Trump refuses to invite Speaker Pelosi to coronavirus bill signing after she delivers the votes for him
On Friday, CNN reported that President Donald Trump is not inviting any Democrats to the signing ceremony for the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package — even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and the rank and file Democrats in Congress played a huge role in its negotiation and passage.
"On the signing ceremony, it appears no Democrats have been invited to President Trump's signing ceremony, despite the fact that every now and then he says that the country needs to come together, how great it is that the bill passed the Senate 96-0," said anchor Jake Tapper to reporter Kaitlan Collins. "Is there a strategy behind this? Is he trying to make it seem as though only Republicans are bringing this well-needed aid to the American people? Or is this just petulance and pettiness?"
Sanjay Gupta does the math on how many could be killed by COVID-19 in the next 2 weeks — and it’s frightening
During a panel discussion on health authorities and governors across the country begging for desperately needed ventilators to combat the effects of COVID-19, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta sketched out the numbers for how many will be needed and said he was stunned that President Donald Trump is still dragging his feet.
Speaking with "New Day" host John Berman, the doctor noted that U.S. is still behind the curve when it comes to getting a handle on the pandemic.
"We heard from the president last night questioning whether he really believed that New York City needed the 30,000 ventilators that Governor [Andrew] Cuomo says he needs. What is the need?" host Berman asked. "Doesn't the federal government tell us how many ventilators we need and how many we have, and isn't there a discrepancy there?"