Politics

After Rosy Rhetoric, Trump Says Economy Has 'Long Way To Go'

A day earlier, the president said he is 'liberating the American economy'

A coardboard cutout of President Donald Trump, who signaled on Tuesday the U.S. economy needs a boost after describing it as going gangbusters in recent weeks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump increasingly describes the U.S. economy as going gangbusters since he took office, but he struck a different tone on Tuesday morning.

Trump tweeted that the stock market and economy “have a long way to go after the Tax Cut Bill is totally understood and appreciated in scope and size.”

He was referring to a sweeping Republican-crafted tax overhaul bill that he and GOP members argue will give a boost to the economy and further accelerate the growth that has occurred since Trump was sworn in on Jan. 20. Both chambers could send the president the legislation by Tuesday evening.

The Commerce Department bumped its estimate of the economy’s third quarter growth from 3.0 percent to 3.3 percent in the second of three estimates it makes each quarter. Nonresidential fixed investment, state and local government spending and inventory investment were all revised upward from the earlier estimate. The economy grew 3.1 percent in the second quarter.

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Trump’s Tuesday tweet featured an apparent contradiction to his typical comments about the state of the American economy after 11 months of his presidency.

On Monday, during a speech about his first national security strategy, he declared that “at home, we are keeping our promises and liberating the American economy.”

“We have created more than 2 million jobs since the election. Unemployment is at a 17-year-low,” Trump said. “The stock market is at an all-time high and, just a little while ago, hit yet another all-time high - the 85th time since my election.”

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Last Thursday evening, the White House issued a summary of Trump’s call with Russian President Vladimir Putin that featured this line: “President Trump thanked President Putin for acknowledging America’s strong economic performance in his annual press conference.” The next morning, Trump again brought up his Russian counterpart’s economic praise: “He said very nice things about what I've done for this country in terms of the economy.”

Trump’s Tuesday morning tweet — and one that came before it — contradicted his own recent upbeat assessments.

In addition to stating that the stock market and economy “have a long way to go,” he also wrote that the GOP tax bill’s immediate expensing provisions, which would allow companies to deduct the cost of new acquisitions as soon as they acquire those assets, would give a boost to both. That part of the bill “will have a big impact,” he wrote.

(Democratic members and economists warn the bill would mostly help the wealthiest earners and corporations, while adding trillions to the deficit.)

In another contradiction, Trump’s first tweet of the morning seemed at odds with the next one that signaled the economy and stocks need some help. In that post, he touted the level of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Doug Sword contributed to this report.

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