Trump thought he could run on the economy in 2020, despite the fact that growth and employment has continued along the same trajectory that existed under Obama when he took office, but his trade wars and other factors are making risk of a new recession much higher. What to do? What Trump always does, refuses to take responsibility and blames everyone else, all of whom are involved in a conspiracy to bring him down.
President Trump, confronting perhaps the most ominous economic signs of his time in office, has unleashed what is by now a familiar response: lashing out at what he believes is a conspiracy of forces arrayed against him.
He has insisted that his own handpicked Federal Reserve chair, Jerome H. Powell, is intentionally acting against him. He has said other countries, including allies, are working to hurt American economic interests. And he has accused the news media of trying to create a recession.
“The Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election,” Mr. Trump tweeted last week. “The problem they have is that the economy is way too strong and we will soon be winning big on Trade, and everyone knows that, including China!”
Mr. Trump has repeated the claims in private discussions with aides and allies, insisting that his critics are trying to take away what he sees as his calling card for re-election. Mr. Trump has been agitated in discussions of the economy, and by the news media’s reporting of warnings of a possible recession. He has said forces that do not want him to win have been overstating the damage his trade war has caused, according to people who have spoken with him.
Yes, yes, yes. Fox News is conspiring against him, along with virtually every economist in the world, the Federal Reserve Board and multiple real-world measurements that show the economy starting to enter serious danger territory. This is SOP for Trump — make extravagant promises (remember 4,5, 6% growth?) and when they don’t come true, as no rational person believed they would, blame everyone else and their anti-Trump conspiracy. Including his own appointees. Whatever it takes to point the finger anywhere but at himself.