White House: Trump was "inflection" point for economic growth

Facing criticism from former President Barack Obama and Democrats, the White House Monday said the recent surge in economic growth is clearly a result of Trump Administration policies, even as new polling suggested that the President is not getting seeing benefit of that economic success from voters.

"It's not a sugar high at all," said White House chief economic adviser Kevin Hassett, who told reporters at a briefing that President Donald Trump's plans to ease regulations, cut taxes, and push pro-growth policies had obviously shifted the trajectory of the economy.

"There was an inflection at the election of Donald Trump," Hassett said in the White House Briefing Room, who said a "whole bunch of data items" started going in a positive direction soon after the 2016 election, fueling more growth overall.

"You don't have to reach too far for a theory of what happened," he added.

"The unemployment is really low, and we've created a capital spending boom," Hassett said.

Pressed about a claim today by the President on Twitter that the nation's GDP was higher than the unemployment rate for the first time in 100 years - Hassett acknowledged that Mr. Trump might have been guilty of a bit of hyperbole.

"I don't run the council of Twitter advisers," Hassett said in a good-natured admission that few at the White House can control what gets tweeted out by the President. "What is true is that it's the highest in 10 years."

The briefing came as a new poll from Quinnipiac University showed great polling numbers on how Americans regard the economy - but a big disconnect between that number, and the approval ratings for President Trump.

"A total of 70 percent of American voters say the nation’s economy is “excellent” or “good,” matching the all-time high rating for the economy," the Quinnipiac poll stated.

But the numbers were nowhere near that for the President.

"American voters disapprove 54 – 38 percent of the job President Trump is doing, compared to a 54 – 41 percent disapproval August 14," the poll found.

"The only listed groups approving of the president are Republicans, 84 – 7 percent and white voters with no college degree, 51 – 40 percent," the poll stated.

Asked if Monday's economic briefing was a direct response to the comments of former President Obama, economic adviser Hassett denied that, saying he has wanted to meet with reporters for some time.

"We were prepared to do this briefing a few weeks ago," Hassett added.

After Hassett was finished, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took questions from reporters at a briefing for the first time since August 22, as the pace of briefings slowed dramatically this summer.

Sanders conducted just five briefings for reporters in August, and only three in July.

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