President Donald Trump has maintained an uncharacteristic silence since the stock market took a nose dive, notable for a businessman president who regularly points to the rising market as evidence of the success of his presidency and economic policies.
His reaction highlighted the risks for politicians who take credit for soaring stocks: the fall.
Trump avoided any mention of the stock market during an economic speech Monday in Ohio, and he ignored the questions reporters shouted at him as he returned to the White House after the markets had closed for the day. He did not tweet about the subject Tuesday morning.
At Monday’s close, the Dow Jones industrial average had fallen more than 1,150 points, its largest one-day point drop. Foreign markets plunged overnight.
Trump let his chief spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, do the talking for him.
“The President’s focus is on our long-term economic fundamentals, which remain exceptionally strong, with strengthening U.S. economic growth, historically low unemployment, and increasing wages for American workers,” Sanders said in a written statement issued in response. “The President’s tax cuts and regulatory reforms will further enhance the U.S. economy and continue to increase prosperity for the American people.”
In an interview last year with The Associated Press, Trump seemed to recognize the risk of pointing to the markets as a sign of progress.
“You live by the sword, you die by the sword, to a certain extent,” he said.
During his wide-ranging remarks on Monday, Trump criticized House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California for describing as “crumbs” the bonuses of $1,000 or more that some companies, including where he spoke, are giving their workers as a result of the tax cuts.
He also accused congressional Democrats of being “un-American” for not clapping, even for positive news during his State of the Union address last week, in contrast to Republicans, who Trump said were “going totally crazy, wild” over everything.
“They were like death. And un-American,” Trump said about the Democrats. “Somebody said treasonous? I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”
Pelosi responded on Twitter: “Every American should be alarmed by how @realDonaldTrump is working to make loyalty to him synonymous with loyalty to our country. That is not how democracy works.”
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