During her winding explanation about why she can’t say for sure that President Trump hasn’t used the n-word, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told a whopper about the apparently staggering number of jobs Trump has created for black Americans compared to former President Obama. But then she did something incredibly rare for her: She half-apologized and corrected the record.
When asked directly during Tuesday’s briefing about the allegation in Omarosa Manigault Newman’s new book—in which she claims the Trump campaign was aware that there were tapes of Trump using the slur on the set of The Apprentice—Sanders said she couldn’t “guarantee” anything.
“This is a president who is fighting for all Americans, who is putting policies in place that help all Americans—particularly African Americans. Just look at the economy alone,” she said.
Sanders continued, as quoted by The Root:
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. 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—eight years in office—he had only created 195,000 jobs for African-Americans. President Trump in his first year-and-a-half has already tripled what President Obama did in eight years. Not only did he do that for African-Americans, but for Hispanics. 1.7 million more Hispanics are working now. This is a president who cares about all Americans, who is committed to helping them and is putting policies in place that actually do that.”
But that wasn’t true. Official statistics pulled by the Washington Post found black employment in the U.S. increased by nearly 3 million jobs from January 2009 through January 2017 under Obama—who inherited a deep economic recession—and has increased by around 700,000 jobs between January 2017 and July of this year.
Oddly enough, the White House Council of Economic Advisers later took credit for the lie on Twitter:
Then came the strange part from a woman paid to lie on the president’s behalf: She half-apologized!
Since this is the Trump administration, even the correction was a bit questionable:
So close, better luck next time! Because there absolutely will be a next time, likely sooner rather than later.