In a surprise appearance on Sean Hannity‘s radio show, President Donald Trump expressed his confidence that the economy could grow at eight or nine percent.
“Mr. President, congratulations,” Hannity began, referring to Friday’s stunning GDP report which showed the U.S. economy growing at 4.1 percent.
“It’s going to get better, it’s totally sustainable, I look forward to next quarter,” Trump said by phone aboard Air Force One, according to The Hill. “I think the 4.1 is just a stepping stone.”
Trump shared that the economy was “far ahead of what anybody thought” and said it could only improve as trade deficits are cut.
“We’re doing great. We could do a lot better, the fact is that if I can cut the trade deficit from $817 billion, think of that, we have a trade deficit with other countries — that’s trading with other countries, 817 billion — if I cut it in half, right there, we’ll pick up 3 to 4 points, so you could add that to the 4 of 5 and so we’d be at 8 or 9,” the president told Hannity.
“Now, I don’t want to say that too much and I didn’t want to say too much during the campaign because I would have been criticized, people wouldn’t have believed it… But now they’re starting to believe,” he said.
Trump took a jab at critics, including New York Times Nobel-winning columnist Paul Krugman, who warned of a “global recession” the day after Trump won the presidency.
“You look at a guy like Krugman, he doesn’t know a thing,” Trump said.
“One of the more under-reported stories is we now have a trade deficit that dropped by more than $50 billion,” Hannity noted.
“You’re right Sean, that’s so important, a $52 billion drop in trade deficits, that hasn’t happened for decades,” the president agreed.
“We have countries out there who charge us a 100% tariff or tax and we charge them nothing for the same product coming into our country,” he said. “Yet when I say we’re going to tax them everyone goes crazy and says it’s not free trade.”
“They can do it, but we can’t? Those days are over,” Trump added. “If we can straighten out trade we can pick up a lot of points on GDP.”
Hannity mentioned earlier in the show that since “everything is a negotiation” with the president, he had asked for 25 minutes of Trump’s time but he had countered with 10 minutes.
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