President Donald Trump told Breitbart News last week in an exclusive interview in the Oval Office at the White House that his biggest accomplishment as president so far is a rejuvenated economy.
“Maybe the economy,” Trump replied when Breitbart News Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle asked him what his biggest accomplishment was in his view. “Look at jobs. Best jobs record in 60 years. Best individual records for Asians, for African-Americans, for Hispanics ever. I think the economy—but I think a lot of things. Regulations—I think regulations led to the economy, the tax cuts. Even in the tax cuts we got ANWR. Nobody for 50 years could get it and I got it approved—you know, the biggest drilling site. So we’ve done a good job—so in theory it’s easier because I can say, ‘look what I’ve done’ as opposed to the first time where I said, ‘I can do this.’”
Trump touted a variety of economic statistical records including rising wages, a low unemployment rate across various demographics, and a major return of manufacturing jobs to the United States from overseas locations where they had gone in prior administrations.
“We have the best numbers ever,” Trump said in response to a question from Boyle about the numbers.
He added in his explanation that had his Democrat opponent Hillary Rodham Clinton won in 2016, the economy would be in shambles—much like it was during the Barack Obama administration—because she would not have taken the steps he has to open up the U.S. economy.
“If Hillary would have gotten elected—our stock market is just about at an all-time high—I have all the records,” Trump said. “I think it’s 28 days or 30 days of records. They’re all records. If she had gotten elected, the economy would have been one half of what it was the day she got in. Regulations were killing the country. The regulations were stopping it. You could look at those first couple of months or the last months of [Obama], they were down to one percent or lower. We were going down. If I didn’t open it up with the regulations, and don’t underestimate—you brought up the word regulations—we started to do really well even before I got the tax cuts approved. The tax cuts were a year later, more than that, but the regulations I was able to do quickly because it was within the confines of the secretaries and myself to do. If Hillary were elected, meaning if that whole group came in, you would have an economy now that would be in a bad recession or worse—or worse, maybe even the ‘D-word’—it was going to be a disaster. I think also, and I really believe this, that if I didn’t win—if the Democrats win in 2020—I think this country would be in tremendous problem because their thinking is way off.”
Earlier in the interview, in response to a question from Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alexander Marlow, Trump said that the “reason” the economy is performing so well is his deregulation efforts.
“And that’s why the economy is so good,” Trump said. “And it’s been good even before I got the tax cuts. The regulations, you know it’s taken 20 years to get a highway approved. It’s taken 19 years to get modest infrastructure approved. I have it down to two years—you know, just an average—I have it down to two years, I think I’ll get it down to one and it may get disapproved too. It could be there may be a reason but you’re not going to spend your entire life trying to get something approved only to have them vote against you 3-2. I think if you look at what we’ve done, even medically with regulations, we’ve brought that way down. You look at generic drugs, which in a way is a form of regulation. We were regulated out of generic drugs. This year for the first time in 50 years, drug prices came down—you know, prescription drug prices. You know, that’s a huge thing, but it’s not satisfactory to me. Because, you know, if you go to Europe, and you go to even Canada, you can get the exact same drug from the exact same plant for a fraction of the cost because we pick up research and development. As usual, the United States got screwed. But for the first time in over 50 years, drug prices went down. But they’re going to go down a lot, they’re going to go down a lot. But we are subsidizing the world, as we do with military, as we do with trade.”
Trump added that he believes “one of the biggest things I’ve done” is to do “deregulation.” He also mocked French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron over the Paris Climate Accords, saying that Macron’s backing of the climate treaty led in part to the high gas prices that caused mass protests in France. Trump added that his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris deal was a form of deregulation that helped the U.S. economy.
“Look at the Paris Accord,” Trump said. “I called up Macron, I said ‘how’s it working?’ as they’re rioting in France because he’s giving, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars to countries that nobody ever heard of and the gas prices in France are going up. So I said to him, ‘how’s the Paris Accord going?’ Getting out of that was a form of deregulation. That was going to take our wealth. We would have been in big trouble if I didn’t do that.”
Alexander Marlow is the Editor-in-Chief of Breitbart News, Matthew Boyle is the Washington Political Editor of Breitbart News, Amanda House is the Deputy Political Editor of Breitbart News, and Charlie Spiering is the Senior White House Correspondent for Breitbart News.