White House economic adviser acknowledges Trump shared inaccurate claim about GDP numbers

A top economic adviser to President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE acknowledged on Monday that the president's tweet earlier in the day inaccurately claimed the country's gross domestic product (GDP) is higher than the unemployment rate for the first time in 100 years.

Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), told reporters during a White House press briefing that the correct statistic is 10 years, and said he was unsure how the number was mixed up before Trump tweeted it.

"The history of thought of how errors happen is not something that I can engage in. Like, from the initial fact to what the president said, I don’t know the whole chain of command," Hassett said.


"But what is true is that it’s the highest in 10 years, and at some point somebody probably conveyed it to him, adding a zero to that, and they shouldn’t have done that," he added, telling reporters they'd "have to ask the president" about where he got the wrong number from.

The president shared the inaccurate claim during a series of morning tweets touting the success of the economy under his watch. The incorrect tweet had not been deleted as of Monday afternoon. 

Hassett noted that the CEA was responsible for inaccurate information the White House press secretary shared during a press briefing last month, telling reporters that he appreciates the opportunity to correct mistakes.

The CEA chief began Monday's press briefing by sharing a series of charts and numbers showing the success of the economy during the Trump administration, and dismissing suggestions that the positive numbers are a result of the economy inherited from former President Obama.

Hassett denied that he was speaking Monday in response to critical comments Obama made during a Friday speech at the University of Illinois.