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Trump touts economy, tax break as market tanks

Trump touts economy, tax break as market tanks
Posted at 2:07 PM, Feb 05, 2018

President Donald Trump on Monday boasted that the economy is roaring under his presidency during remarks at an Ohio manufacturing company, linking economic gains to his policies and the tax cut legislation he signed into law.

But Trump's economy-focused, campaign-style remarks on Monday ignored the beating the stock market has taken in the last two days of trading -- including while he was speaking -- with the Dow dropping more than 1,000 points in the biggest drop in the past two years amid turmoil in the US bond market. Instead, he focused squarely on the positive.

"Your taxes are going way down. And right now, for the first time in a long time ... factories are coming back, everything's coming back," Trump said as he touted jobs growth and increased investments in the US. "America is once again open for business."

Trump has repeatedly touted stock market rallies throughout the 13 months of his presidency, but did not say anything about the downturn in the stock market.

The stock market dip follows months of record highs, but still leaves the Dow at a significantly higher level than it was when Trump took office.

As Trump spoke, televisions across the West Wing -- including those tuned to Fox -- showed the stunning side-by-side images of Trump touting a booming economy while the Dow plummeted.

One aide said it was jarring to watch the President's speech cut off by Fox News, which broke in when the drop hit the 1,000 point-mark.

With a 1,175-point dive, the stock market on Monday delivered the largest single-day point drop in the market's history. The last biggest intraday point dive came on September 29, 2008, when the Dow fell 777 points.

Pressed ahead of Trump's speech about the stock market losses, White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah acknowledged "markets do fluctuate in the short term, I think we all know that. But the fundamentals of this economy are very strong."

Another White House official said the administration is "always concerned" when the market dips, but also noted that the US economy is fundamentally strong.

Trump's event Monday in Cincinnati is part of the President's latest effort to tout the tax cuts he and Republicans in Congress delivered late last year. And he didn't allow the stock market slide to dampen his remarks.

"When I signed the tax cut, six weeks ago, it set off a tidal wave of good news that continues to grow every single day. Before the ink was dry, companies were announcing thousands and thousands of new jobs and enormous investments to their workers," Trump said, before touting investment figures by major companies.

While Trump ignored the stock market decline and focused on jobs growth, tax cuts and other positives in the Trump economy -- he didn't stay on message altogether.

Instead, the President strayed from his prepared remarks at several points on Monday to level attacks at Democrats, at one point suggesting some Democratic lawmakers' refusal to applaud portions of his State of the Union address amounted to "treason."

Trump's speech on Monday offered a preview of how the President plans to wade into 2018 midterm election campaigning, with a focus on touting the extra money in Americans' pockets as a result of the tax cut legislation and criticism of Democrats.

While Trump struck a bipartisan tone the previous week during his State of the Union address, that tone appeared had all-but vanished on Monday as he instead focused on attacking Democrats for their lack of applause and accused them of not caring about US national security.