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 TrumpActivists highlight Trump ties to foreign autocrats in hotel light display Jose Canseco pitches Trump for chief of staff: ‘Worried about you looking more like a Twinkie everyday’ Dershowitz: Mueller's report will contain 'sins' but no 'impeachable offense' 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 ClintonCohen once teased Hillary Clinton about going to prison. Now he's been sentenced to 36 months The Hill's 12:30 Report — Cohen gets three years in prison | Fallout from Oval Office clash | House GOP eyes vote on B for wall Contest offers 'Broadway play and chardonnay' with Clinton 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.