President Trump often takes credit for any sign of America’s economic growth, but he’s brushing off blame for General Motors closing plants and laying off thousands and attributing recent stock market stumbles on the Federal Reserve.
The commander-in-chief on Tuesday blasted Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell as experts expect the U.S. economy to slow in the coming year, following six months of steady gains.
Critics have irked Trump by trained their fire on White House trade and tax policies, including the President’s questionable use of tariffs to bring trade partners to the bargaining table.
“I’m doing deals and I’m not being accommodated by the Fed,” Trump told the Washington Post. “They’re making a mistake because I have a gut and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”
During the interview, the President deflected blame for a slowing economy, instead blaming Powell’s decision to hike interest rates and other moves.
The recent spate of bad news has cast a spotlight on Trump’s promises of rosy economic scenarios under his policies, from tax cuts to tariffs that hit the automobile sector particularly hard.
GM announced thousands of layoffs and several plant closings on Monday, a major setback for Trump’s nationalist economic agenda and campaign promise to boost U.S. manufacturing.
Trump also spoke with reporters from Politico on Tuesday, questioning climate change and telling them he is “totally” willing to shut down the government over border wall funding.
A partisan fight over the billions he wants to build a border wall he once promised Mexico would pay for is a “total winner” for Republicans, the President promised.
“I don’t do anything … just for political gain,” Trump told Politico. “But I will tell you, politically speaking, that issue is a total winner.”
Trump has defended border agents’ use of tear gas against asylum-seekers at the San Diego-Tijuana crossing over the weekend. In the lead up to this month’s midterm elections, he railed against migrants moving north in Mexico, labeling them a threat.
The President also repeated his after his own government issued a dire warning about the effects of man-made climate change.
“One of the problems that a lot of people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence but we’re not necessarily such believers,” Trump told the Washington Post. “You look at our air and our water, and it’s right now at a record clean.”
The President also contradicted statements he made last year when he tried to defend the federal government’s highly-criticized response to the devastation Hurricane Maria wrought on Puerto Rico.
Trump said the American territory was “an island surrounded by water, big water, ocean water.”
On Tuesday, he sought to place blame for pollution in the Pacific Ocean on countries in Asia and South America.
“And when you’re talking about an atmosphere, oceans are very small,” he said.