President Donald Trump on Monday took the opportunity to recognize the importance of the day — not by pointing it out as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but rather as the third anniversary of his own inauguration.
“It was exactly three years ago today, January 20, 2017, that I was sworn into office,” Trump started his tweet out by saying.
He did take note of MLK Day in his tweet, but only doing so in order to connect a claim he’s made several times in the past, and which many economists say is baseless for him to take credit for, regarding the unemployment rate of black workers in America.
“So appropriate that today is also MLK jr DAY,” Trump added. “African-American Unemployment is the LOWEST in the history of our Country, by far. Also, best Poverty, Youth, and Employment numbers, ever. Great!”
It was exactly three years ago today, January 20, 2017, that I was sworn into office. So appropriate that today is also MLK jr DAY. African-American Unemployment is the LOWEST in the history of our Country, by far. Also, best Poverty, Youth, and Employment numbers, ever. Great!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2020
Trump has frequently touted the low unemployment numbers as proof that his administration has been good to black Americans. But according to an Associated Press fact-check about unemployment, the president doesn’t deserve much credit at all.
The better employment situation for African American workers was steadily improving long before Trump took office, beginning with the Obama administration. It continued on roughly the same pace into the Trump administration.
The current president rarely ties his claims of better unemployment for black workers with any policy decision his administration put forward, making his argument that he’s responsible for the improving numbers more dubious.
Black voters themselves don’t think Trump deserves much credit for unemployment going down. A recent poll found that three-quarters of black voters say Trump wasn’t responsible for that trend at all — meanwhile, more than 8-in-10 black voters say that the current president is a racist, that same poll found.