President Donald Trump seized on a new report showing a startling drop in unemployment Friday, then said murdered George Floyd was 'looking down' at the country and it was a 'great day' for him.
Trump made the odd comment during a rambling 53-minute appearance celebrating the good economic news – which he said defied expectations of top analysts and proved the U.S. economy was back on track.
'Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying, 'This is a great thing happening for our country,'' Trump said. 'A great day for him, a great day for everybody. This is great day for everybody.'
President Donald Trump tweeted out shock at the unexpected drop in unemployment and promptly scheduled a news conference Friday. He later said murdered George Floyd was 'looking down' and that Friday was a 'great day' for him, but took no questions
'I think it was incredible in a couple of ways,' Trump said during 45 minutes of remarks in the sun in the White House Rose Garden. 'Number One the numbers are great and this leads us onto a long period of growth,' he said. 'We'll go back to having the greatest economy in the world.'
Trump upped his predictions for the nation's recovery. 'I think you're going to have a very good August, very good July,' he said, and a 'maybe spectacular September.
Trump veered into a number of topics besides the good economic report – trashing the Green New Deal, repeating his claim that 'you have to dominate the streets,' and calling out 'the greatest miscalculation in the history of business shows.'
He also called it, 'To me, if you think about it, the greatest comeback in American history.'
'We're going to work together. It will all work out. It will all work out,' he said, after days of images of major protests and angry, sometimes violent clashes with police.
He congratulated the National Guard and the Secret Service, who rushed him to a bunker beneath the White House Friday night amid protests and street violence. 'There was never any form of, 'Oh gee, this sounds dangerous,'' he said.
Trump called the guard 'fantastic' and said 'National Guard was barely used' – after the mayor of Washington D.C. requested he remove all military units from the city and questioned why some federal forces on D.C. streets wore no insignia.
'They came in, and this was like a piece of cake,' Trump said.
The president appeared unaffected by the heat, even as small business administrator Jovita Carranza could be seen repeatedly dabbing her face. 'I'll be brief as I can I know it's pretty darn hot,' economic advisor Larry Kudlow said when Trump had finally relinquished the podium. An official then brought paper cups of water to top officials who were stranded behind Trump for a 45-minute monologue at the start of the event.
Trump's extended remarks, extended past the 11 am start time of an online interview where former Trump chief of staff John Kelly sided with former Pentagon chief Jim Mattis, who provided a blistering critique of the president and accused him of politicizing the military.
WHAT TRUMP SAID ABOUT GEORGE FLOYD
Equal justice under the law must mean that every American receives equal treatment in every encounter with law enforcement regardless of race, color, gender or creed, they have to receive fair treatment from law enforcement. They have to receive it. We all saw what happened last week. We can’t let that happen.
Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying ‘this is a great thing that is happening for our country. It’s a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of quality. It’s really what our constitution requires and what our country is all about. It really is what our Constitution requires.
I want to finish by saying to save the economy we passed critical legislation, totaling trillions of dollars, meaning three. We are set up to do more. I think we should because we are dominant. For many years, as a bystander, but somebody that has loved government, somebody who loves this country, I would watch and study and see, you know, naturally study by watching.
'The idea you would unleash American active duty folks unless it's an extreme situation… the troops hate it,' Kelly said. 'The separation of powers is very very important,' he added. 'No president ever is a dictator or a king.'
Trump said at his White House statement governors should not be 'too proud.'
'In New York, you see what’s going on there. Don’t be proud, get the job done. You’ll end up looking much better in the end. Call in the National Guard. Call me. We’ll have so many people. More people than - you have to dominate the streets. You can’t let what’s happening, happen. It’s called dominate the streets,' Trump said.
Earlier Friday, Trump congratulated himself on a new jobs report that showed an unexpected reduction in U.S. unemployment even at at time when the nation is reeling from the impacts of the coronavirus.
Trump sent out a series of exclamatory tweets after getting the good news, and promptly announced a press conference – which turned out to be an extended statement – to talk about it.
'Really Big Jobs Report. Great going President Trump (kidding but true)!' Trump wrote.
'Market up Big!!!' Trump wrote in another tweet, as the Dow jumped more than 700 points immediately following the news.
He also blasted out stunned reactions from market-watchers. 'THESE NUMBERS ARE INCREDIBLE! @MariaBartiromo,' Trump wrote, tagging the Fox Business Network host who recently interviewed him.
'This is an AMAZING JOBS REPORT! Edward Lawrence @FoxNews,' Trump wrote, tagging a Fox Business journalist.
Employment figures unexpectedly rose by 2.5 million in May and the jobless rate declined to 13.3 percent, according to a stunning jobs report that showed the country's unemployment rate dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic.
'Great going President Trump' President Trump tweeted, adding parenthetically 'kidding but true'
He tagged Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo in one tweet
The president congratulated Fox News commentator Charles Payne
Trump immediately took a partisan look at the numbers, claiming Democrats are 'worried' about the improved employment picture
Trump also tagged CNBC host Jim Cramer
Economists had been predicting that the Labor Department report on Friday would reveal the unemployment rate had increased to a record 20 percent and about eight million jobs had been lost.
Trump didn't save all his tweets for Fox Business. 'It is a stunner by any stretch of the imagination! @CNBC,' he wrote, tagging another financial network.
'It's a stupendous number. It's joyous, let's call it like it is. The Market was right. It's stunning! @jimcramer @CNBC,' Trump wrote.
Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer said the multi-trillion stimulus passed by Congress 'helped get the economy going, but we need a lot more.'
'We need to double down,' he told MSNBC, saying a 13 per cent unemployment rate 'is not a time to get joyous.'
Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale came out with a statement on the news even before the president was to face the cameras.
'The great American comeback is underway after the economy was artificially interrupted by the global pandemic. Doomsday economists had predicted a loss of 8.5 million jobs in May, but the economy roared back and added 2.5 million jobs instead, thanks to President Trump's leadership and the solid foundation his policies have laid,' Parscale said in a statement sent out by the campaign.
The report attributed the unexpected gains to 'a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it.'
Instead of the bad news being forecast, the Labor Department's closely watched monthly employment report showed the jobless rate dropped to 13.3 percent last month from 14.7 percent in April.
Nonfarm payrolls rose by 2.5 million jobs after a record plunge of 20.6 million in April.
President Donald Trump immediately took credit for the rise in jobs just moments after the report was released, tweeting: 'Really Big Jobs Report. Great going President Trump (kidding but true)!'
The Labor Department's closely watched monthly employment report on Friday showed the jobless rate dropped to 13.3 percent last month from 14.7 percent in April. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 2.5 million jobs after a record plunge of 20.6 million in April
The overall job cuts have widened economic disparities that have disproportionately hurt minorities and lower-educated workers.
Though the unemployment rate for white Americans was 12.4 percent in May, it was 17.6 percent for Hispanics and 16.8 percent for African-Americans.
The latest figures are a surprisingly positive reading in the midst of a recession that has paralyzed the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The May job gain suggests that businesses have quickly been recalling workers as states have reopened their economies following weeks long lockdowns.
Other evidence has also shown that the job market meltdown triggered by the coronavirus has bottomed out.
The number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits has declined for nine straight weeks, according to weekly job numbers released on Thursday.