The White House held a press briefing Tuesday afternoon to combat accusations from former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman. The now-estranged aide released tapes of a conversation between her, spokeswoman Katrina Pierson, and Housing & Urban Development Secretary Lynne Patton appearing to corroborate that President Donald Trump had been recorded using the N-word.
While White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that she couldn't guarantee that a tape of the president using the N-word doesn't exist, she began to tout the president's black employment rate. Sanders asserted that Donald Trump created 700,000 jobs during his first year and a half in office to former President Barack Obama's 195,000 in eight years in office. The claim was false.
The exchange begins at approximately 20:50.
This President, since he took office, in the year and a half that he’s been here, has created 700,000 new jobs for African Americans. That’s 700,000 African Americans that are working now that weren’t working when this President took place. When President Obama left, after eight years in office — eight years in office, he had only created 800 — or 195,000 jobs for African Americans. President Trump in his first year and a half has already tripled what President Obama did in eight years.
The rate of black job creation hasn't notably changed between the two presidents. Sanders's claim that 700,000 African Americans have gained employment during Trump's term is true, but by no means does it dwarf the black employment rate of President Obama's entire eight years. By the end of Obama's two terms, three million jobs had been filled by African Americans.
The gaffe was promptly noted on Twitter by the White House's own economic advisory council.
However, the council went on to tweet figures during Obama's first term that showed black employment falling, not mentioning the Great Recession which brought the national unemployment rate to upwards of 10 percent--before the current 94 month streak of job growth began later during Obama's tenure. The chart also begins in November 2008, nearly three months before Obama's inauguration in January of that year.
Sanders eventually apologized for the false statement.
The statement is beginning to shed light on the veracity of this administration's claims on black employment--claims it has reverted to frequently throughout a tenure fraught with accusations of racist sentiments and policies.
Increasing black employment has long been a point of the Trump administration, though these numbers show that it, like the national job growth for which Trump has been quick to credit himself, began under Obama and is growing at roughly the same rates.
While Sanders may have acknowledged the misstep, many on social media felt that she--like her boss--was still misplacing the credit.
While it's likely that the administration will continue taking credit for not bungling the longest consecutive streak of job creation in United States history, the White House's misstep may result in more accountability when the administration inevitably reverts back to numbers that started with the predecessor it loves to vilify.