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Trump: U.S. would be near recession now if Democrats won in 2016

Trump: U.S. would be near recession now if Democrats won in 2016
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing MORE slammed former President Obama after his predecessor noted during a speech Friday that the recent U.S. economic recovery started while he was in office.

“When you hear how great the economy's doing right now, let's just remember when this recovery started,” Obama said at the University of Illinois.

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Trump, speaking at a rally later that day, said Obama was trying to take credit for a strong economy. The president added that a victory by Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMueller's team asking Manafort about Roger Stone: report O'Rourke targets Cruz with several attack ads a day after debate GOP pollster says polls didn't pick up on movement in week before 2016 election MORE in 2016 would have significantly harmed the economy.

“I have to say this to President Obama: If the Dems got in with their agenda in November of almost two years ago, instead of having 4.2 up, I believe honestly we’d have 4.2 down,” he said, referring to gross domestic product growth at a 4.2 percent rate in the second quarter of this year.

“This is not called a recovery, this is called a rocket ship,” Trump added.

The Department of Labor released a healthy jobs report on Friday, showing that employers added 201,000 workers in August following smaller gains in July. The unemployment rate held near an 18-year low, at 3.9 percent.

Trump has said that the economy was on a downturn when he took office. Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the unemployment rate dropped from 9.6 percent in August 2009 to 4.9 percent in August 2016, and Commerce Department data show that the economy had been consistently expanding heading into the 2016 presidential election.