WASHINGTON – White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders falsely claimed that President Donald Trump has created three times as many jobs for black workers as his predecessor, Barack Obama, did during his entire time in office.
Sanders asserted at a White House press briefing Tuesday that Trump had tripled Obama’s eight-year job creation record in just 18 months, quoting numbers that are not even close to accurate.
“This president since he took office, in the year and a half that he’s been here has created 700,000 new jobs for African-Americans,” Sanders told reporters Tuesday. “That’s 700,000 African-Americans that are working now that weren’t working when this president took place. When President Obama left, after eight years in office, he had only created 195,000 jobs for African-Americans.”
The claim isn’t true, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the U.S. economy has added about 700,000 jobs held by black workers since Trump took office, it added about 3 million while Obama was in office, according to BLS data.
There were 15.5 million black workers with jobs when Obama took office in January 2009, as the country struggled to emerge from one of the worst economic recessions in decades. By the time Obama left office, 18.4 million black people had jobs. Trump inherited an economy on the upswing, and the rate of job growth has not changed significantly during his administration.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request to explain the data she cited. Her statement invoking Obama came in response to a question about whether Trump had ever used a racial slur to describe black Americans.
The Trump administration has been beset by accusations of racism in recent weeks, after former White House aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman said she had heard a tape of Trump using the n-word. Manigault-Newman, who is the highest ranking black person to have served in the Trump West Wing, released a book Tuesday titled “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House.”
Sanders said Manigault-Newman has no credibility and called her claims outrageous. She went on to disseminate the false statistics about the first black president’s job-creation record.