Spicer: Trump Says Formerly ‘Phony’ Jobs Numbers Are Now ‘Very Real’

AP

President Donald Trump, through his spokesperson, said Friday that while he repeatedly called employment numbers “phony” during the presidential campaign, they were “very real now.”

The quip came during a press briefing and hours after the the Labor Department reported that U.S. employers had added 235,000 jobs in February, exceeding expectations. Spicer said on his Twitter account that it was “Great news for American workers,” and “Not a bad way to start day 50 of this administration.”

Trump retweeted a post from the Drudge Report on its Twitter account which read simply: “GREAT AGAIN: +235,000”

“Does the President believe that this jobs report was accurate and a fair way to measure the economy?”

“I talked to the President prior to this, and he said to quote him very clearly,” Spicer said. “They may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.”

Spicer later responded to reports that he broke a federal rule by responding to the jobs report online within an hour of its release – 22 minutes after it was announced, according to the New York Times.

“So, I apologize if we were a little excited and we were so glad to see so many fellow Americans back to work,” he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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