By Tommy Christopher,
Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a rare apology from the Trump White House. But only after another White House agency had already outed her for lying about job creation for black Americans.
During Tuesday’s White House daily briefing, Sanders tried to pivot away from her disastrous handling of the alleged tape of Trump using the N-word — by launching into a digression about job creation with bad facts.
Sanders tried to claim Trump has helped African Americans in particular by saying that since taking office Trump “has created 700,000 new jobs for African Americans.”
“When President Obama left, after eight years in office,” Sanders continued, “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.”
Hours later, Sanders was forced to issue a snippy “correction” in which she said “Jobs numbers for Pres Trump and Pres Obama were correct, but the time frame for Pres Obama wasn’t,” and added, “I’m sorry for the mistake, but no apologies for the 700,000 jobs for African Americans created under President Trump.”
Sanders only made the apology after the White House Council of Economic Advisers had tweeted the figures Sanders was supposed to be quoting, which were, themselves, cherry-picked and highly misleading.
The facts are that under President Obama, black employment increased by 2,955,000 jobs, despite the fact that the Bush economic crash continued to bleed jobs until March of 2010, when the black unemployment rate reached a high of 16.8 percent.
When Obama left office in January of 2017, he left Trump an economy that was near full employment, including a 7.8 percent black unemployment rate. Under Trump, that rate has fallen an additional 1.2 percent.
But Trump has made a second career out of taking credit for Obama’s economy, especially the trend in black unemployment that Obama achieved.
According to Factbase, Trump has deployed this boast 48 times in the past year, and never to a predominantly black audience. The purpose of this lie isn’t to court black voters, but to deflect criticism of his overt racism.
It is no surprise, then, that Sanders would use this lie as a shield for Trump’s racism. But she deserves no credit for an apology that she was forced into.