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Trump campaign press secretary Hogan Gidley

Photo by Ninian Reid

Trump's campaign press secretary Hogan Gidley claimed on Wednesday that Americans were better off than they were three years ago. The Fox & Friends co-host interviewing him disputed that claim.

Gidley said in the interview that Trump plans to use an outdoor campaign rally in New Hampshire on Saturday to boast about his accomplishments.

"It answers the age-old question: Are you better off now than you were before?" he said to Fox News. "And the answer, undoubtedly, is yes."

Host Brian Kilmeade questioned this assertion, noting, "With the pandemic, now you know that the growth is not there. You know the unemployment is still 11 percent. So you can't really say 'you're better off than you were three years ago,' because — at the very least — the pandemic. So you can't really say that, right?"

"No, absolutely. Of course you can say that!" Gidley answered.

Gidley, Trump's longtime deputy White House press secretary before he was named campaign press secretary last month, then changed the subject, saying the coronavirus pandemic "hit all of us, not just in this country, but across the world."

He repeated a false claim that Joe Biden had called Trump's January partial China travel ban "racist" and "xenophobic." That frequent Trump campaign attack has been debunked by independent fact-checkers and even by Donald Trump himself.

Next, Gidley repeated another false Trump claim: that his handling of the coronavirus crisis has "saved almost two million lives in this country."

Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, the lead author on a widely reported virus modeling study that suggested the United States could see up to 2.2 million deaths if it didn't implement safety measures, debunked that argument, telling HuffPost, "The final death toll from this pandemic will depend as much on what policymakers in different U.S. states do in the next few months as what they did since March."

Finally, Gidley bragged of record-setting job growth in May and June, ignoring the fact that this was mostly driven by a fraction of the 20 million-plus people who lost their jobs in April returning to work as the economy partially reopened.

"This president built this economy once. He will rebuild it again," Gidley concluded. He promised that, under Trump, the country would get back to "being how great he made it the first time."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Kathy Barnette

MSNBC Screenshot

Kathy Barnette, a Trumpist conspiracy-peddling Republican candidate in the Pennsylvania Senate race who has been rising through the ranks, speeding even past big-spending rivals, is facing waves of criticism and public backlash for her past anti-Muslim tweets.

On Sunday, in an interview with Fox News Sunday host Shannon Bream, after bobbing and weaving on questions probing her military service, Barnette tried to downplay the gravity of Islamophobic tweets that she had penned.

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