Trump Tells States To Hide Labor Data, What He Accused Obama Administration Of Doing In 2016

Washington DC — The Trump Administration has not had the best track record for telling the truth, but their latest efforts to prop up their own version of reality is especially troubling as it comes during a worsening health and economic crisis. After weeks of telling Americans coronavirus was “totally under control”, we now learn the Trump Administration has directed states to stop providing unemployment data to the public that isn’t first run through the federal government.

This type of Orwellian misdirection is particularly rich coming from Trump and his associates after they heavily criticized the Obama administration for allegedly manipulating jobs and unemployment data during his second term. In response to these revelations, Allied Progress Director Derek Martin released the following statement:

“As Congress continues to negotiate the most effective measures to minimize the economic harm of this crisis, they need to have accurate, up-to-the-minute information. But for some reason the President’s team insists on keeping lawmakers and the public in the dark about how bad things already are on the employment front. Whether they are doing this to protect Trump’s poll numbers or to excuse their plan to bailout big industries before helping workers, this is irresponsible, reckless, and inexcusable. If this President needs good news for his daily press conferences, he should focus on ensuring testing for all who need it and making sure hardworking Americans can put food on the table. Lying about key government data isn’t going to cut it.”

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Donald Trump And His Administration Officials Have Repeatedly Criticized The Obama Administration For Allegedly Falsifying The Unemployment Rate To Make It “‘Look Smaller Than It Actually Was.’”

During The 2016 Campaign, “Trump Repeatedly Claimed” That The “Government Was Understating The Real Unemployment Rate,” Told His Supporters “‘Don’t Believe These Phony Numbers,’” And That The Obama Administration’s Unemployment Numbers Were “One Of The Biggest Hoaxes In Modern American Politics.”

During The 2016 Campaign, “Trump Repeatedly Claimed” That The “Government Was Understating The Real Unemployment Rate” And Told His Supporters “‘Don’t Believe These Phony Numbers.’” “Trump repeatedly claimed during the campaign that the federal government was understating the real unemployment rate. ‘Don’t believe these phony numbers,’ Trump told supporters early last year. ‘The number is probably 28, 29, as high as 35 [percent]. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.’” [Scott Horsley, “Ahead Of Trump’s First Jobs Report, A Look At His Remarks On The Numbers,” NPR, 01/29/17]

In 2016 Donald Trump Claimed “The Five Percent Figure” For The Unemployment Rate “Is One Of The Biggest Hoaxes In Modern American Politics.” “DONALD TRUMP: […] We have the lowest labor force participation rates in four decades. 58 percent of African-American youth are either outside the labor force or not employed. 1 in 5 American households do not have a single member in the labor force. These are the real unemployment numbers – the five percent figure is one of the biggest hoaxes in modern American politics.” [Tim Hains, “Trump: The 5% Unemployment Figure Is One Of The Biggest Hoaxes In Modern Politics,” RealClearPolitics, 08/08/16

During Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s Confirmation Hearing, He Claimed “‘The Unemployment Rate Is Not Real,’” Because, According To Him, “‘I’ve Traveled For The Last Year. I’ve Seen This.’”

During Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s Confirmation Hearing, He Claimed “‘The Unemployment Rate Is Not Real,’” Because, According To Him, “‘I’ve Traveled For The Last Year. I’ve Seen This.’” “Trump’s nominee for treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, echoed that sentiment during his confirmation hearing. ‘The unemployment rate is not real,’ Mnuchin told the Senate Finance Committee. ‘I’ve traveled for the last year. I’ve seen this.’” [Scott Horsley, “Ahead Of Trump’s First Jobs Report, A Look At His Remarks On The Numbers,” NPR, 01/29/17]

Outgoing White House Chief Of Staff Mick Mulvaney Said He Thought “‘The Obama Administration Was Manipulating The Numbers’” To Make The Unemployment Rate “‘Look Smaller Than It Actually Was.’”

Mick Mulvaney Said He Had “Thought For A Long Time” That “‘The Obama Administration Was Manipulating The Numbers, In Terms Of The Number Of People In The Workforce, To Make The Unemployment Rate — That Percentage Rate — Look Smaller Than It Actually Was.’” “Mick Mulvaney told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that he has long thought the previous administration framed data to make the unemployment rate ‘look smaller than it actually was.’ ‘What you should really look at is the number of jobs created,’ Mulvaney said on ‘State of the Union.’ ‘We’ve thought for a long time, I did, that the Obama administration was manipulating the numbers, in terms of the number of people in the workforce, to make the unemployment rate — that percentage rate — look smaller than it actually was.’” [Jill Diss “Trump’s budget director claims Obama was ‘manipulating’ jobs data,” CNN Business, 03/12/17]

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