A top Trump adviser was fact-checked live on CNN about the strong Obama economy. He still said it was 'horrible.'

CNN Navarro Poppy Harlow

Via CNN

CNN Anchor Poppy Harlow and White House trade advisor Peter Navarro.

  • CNN host Poppy Harlow and White House adviser Peter Navarro clashed on the Obama economy during a segment on Tuesday.
  • "Don't both presidents deserve credit for good economies?" Harlow asked Navarro.
  • The CNN host showed Navarro a series of charts with government data that contradicted his claims, but Navarro still called the Obama economy "horrible."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A CNN segment turned testy on Tuesday for White House trade adviser Peter Navarro after he was fact-checked on what he called the "horrible" Obama economy with government data that contradicted his claims.

Harlow first highlighted data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showing Obama had four quarters when gross domestic product growth surpassed 4%, peaking at 5.5% once in 2014.Advertisement

By comparison, Trump hasn't broken 4% so far during his time in office, and the last two quarters of 2019 saw 2.1% growth (the Trump figures were not displayed on CNN).

Then she showed figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that displayed Obama outpacing Trump on job growth in the last 35 months of his presidency compared to Trump's first 35. The average job gains for the former president were 227,000 per month compared to 191,000 for Trump.

"Don't both presidents deserve credit for good economies?" Harlow asked Navarro.
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"If you lived through the Obama years ... [people] remember what it is was like," the top White House adviser said. "What President Obama did was double the debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion."

Navarro went on to say that President Trump "fixed structural problems" caused by cumbersome regulations and high taxes. "Back in the Obama-Biden years, it was horrible."Harlow then cut off Navarro.Advertisement

"Peter, I'm sorry, I can't," the CNN host said, before displaying the same data again.

Navarro told Harlow to "put your numbers up," leading the CNN host to note the data was generated from government agencies.

"It's a great economy now. All I'm asking you is, wasn't it a good economy then as well?" Harlow asked.Advertisement

Navarro responded: "No it was not, it was a horrible economy during the Obama years."

Trump has made the strength of the economy central to his re-election bid, touting the half-century low unemployment rate as well as steady wage growth.

On Monday, Trump ripped into Obama after the former president commemorated on Twitter the 11th anniversary of an $800 billion stimulus package he said paved the way for "more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history."Advertisement

The president called it "a con job" in back-to-back tweets and derided Obama's handling of the economy.
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