Since he was elected in 2016, Donald Trump has tweeted more than 60 times about how great the stock market has performed under his leadership.
“The world was gloomy before I won—there was no hope,” Trump tweeted a month before he was sworn in as president. “Now the market is up nearly 10% and Christmas spending is over a trillion dollars!”
“If the Dems (Crooked Hillary) got elected, your stocks would be down 50% from values on Election Day,” he tweeted a year later. “Now they have a great future - and just beginning!”
Yet for some reason, the president has been oddly quiet about the stock market on Twitter this week after the Dow Jones Industrial Average dove 1500 points on Monday before closing down 1100, wiping out all of those great early 2018 gains Trump eagerly continued to take credit for.
That changed Wednesday morning, when he finally found someone to pin to the economy besides himself. And it was perhaps his favorite target: the media.
In his first public comments about the global market rout, Trump wrote, “In the ‘old days,’ when good news was reported, the Stock Market would go up. Today, when good news is reported, the Stock Market goes down. Big mistake, and we have so much good (great) news about the economy!”
During Trump’s silence, officials from past administrations acknowledged the political peril of basking in the stock market’s temporary glow.
“Even though the stock market tripled under Bill Clinton, his view was that you should always focus your policies and your public messages on bread-and-butter kitchen table issues,” economic adviser Gene Sperling to both Clinton and Obama told Reuters this week, “and that focusing on the stock market would take your eye off the real economy.”
President Obama’s former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney put it more bluntly on Twitter:
According to America’s current businessman in chief, if the stock market goes up, he deserves all the credit. But when it goes down, the media must be reporting all that “good (great) news about the economy” wrong. He thinks he can claim the rise without owning the fall.