President Donald Trump and his biggest boosters have frequently touted the performance of stock indices as evidence of the success of his slash-and-burn approach to tax policy and industry regulation.
“The reason our stock market is so successful is because of me,” Trump said in November. “I’ve always been great with money, I’ve always been great with jobs, that’s what I do. And I’ve done it well, I’ve done it really well, much better than people understand and they understand I’ve done well.”
But after the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its largest single-day point decline in history on Monday, some of the president’s most dedicated followers were positive that the erasure of 2018’s market gains is anyone’s fault but his.
“Is the historic -1500 DOW drop a false flag by the big banks?” tweeted InfoWars host Alex Jones, a moon-landing denier who counts President Trump among his fans. “Should we investigate Goldman Sachs?!”
Jones—who believes that the federal government had a hand in both the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and in rising rates of amphibian homosexuality—went on to retweet a poll showing 66 percent of respondents believe the cratering of the Dow to be orchestrated by the so-called “Deep State.”
“The globalists are the ones trying to bring Trump down who are [also] killing the exuberance, killing the confidence and driving the market down,” Jones quoted himself as saying in May 2017, in a post lauding his “prediction” of the stock market plunge. But if you read the news? ‘Trump is causing the stock market to go down.’”
Not every fringe fan of the president’s pinned the erasure of billions of dollars in wealth on a financial “false flag”—Goldman Sachs is unlikely to engineer a market correction when its alumni make up a stunning percentage of Trump Administration staffers and appointees—so other Trump supporters merely derided any attempts to connect President Trump with market performance.
“CNN: Ok cmon it’s simple. Obama is aways [sic] responsible for the stock market going up, Trump is always responsible for it going down,” tweeted Jack Posobiec, a popular peddler of pizza-related conspiracy theories who once likened performers of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar to Nazi propagandists. “And just like that the media decided suddenly to give Trump credit for the economy.”
Other longtime Trump stans said that the Dow’s drop—which plummeted to more than 1,500 points before slightly recovering in the final hour of trading—was actually proof that Trump’s economy is too strong for its own good.
“Stocks sold off today because the #TrumpEconomy is TOO STRONG (5.4% GDP growth) which will result in HIGHER INTEREST RATES resulting in HIGHER BOND YIELDS making bonds a less risky, more attractive investment than frothy stock prices,” wrote/yelled longtime supporter and Trump Nostradamus Bill Mitchell. “This is HOW IT WORKS folks.”
(Sidenote: The U.S. gross domestic product did not increase by 5.4% in 2017, or in any quarter of 2017.)
Economists and financial journalists cautioned that tying any president to corrective market moves in either direction represents a misunderstanding of the complexities of the global market. But when Trump is president, one might argue, you play by his rules:
The White House did not return a request for comment on Monday’s stock-market rout.