There is perhaps no more efficient way to shred whatever reputation you have than going to work for Donald Trump. Larry Kudlow, the Director of the United States National Economic Council, was hardly an intellectual titan to begin with but since joining the administration he has transformed into a chattering clown, forced to defend the president’s reliably indefensible behavior and policy decisions.
Today, Kudlow appeared on CNN for a conversation with Poppy Harlow. Mustering every ounce of shameless spin he has, he tried to downplay the economic devastation unleashed on this country by COVID-19, conveniently eliding the heavy role his boss played in the current crisis. He said he didn’t “know” that we are experiencing a “slow-down.” Harlow pressed him on some of his previous comments.
“Everyone in America listens on the economy when you talk, Larry, and I’m wondering why you have consistently downplayed the severity of the pandemic,” asked Harlow. “Back on February 25th you said, ‘It’s pretty close to airtight.’ February 28th, ‘It’s not going to sink the American economy.’ March 6th, ‘Let’s not overreact America should stay at work,’ and just on June 12th, ‘There is no emergency, there is no second wave,’ but since June 12th, 45,978 Americans have died from COVID.”
“If I can answer those. On June 12th, when I said that, is what I also said it’s not a second wave, it’s part of the first wave, and that comes from our health scientists, so that’s…” said Kudlow, scrambling to explain.
“You said it’s not an emergency,” Harlow interjected.
“And in late February, I didn’t make a forecast, I said it would, I said at that time, as a matter of fact, there were only… There were fewer than twenty cases and a lot of people across the spectrum, doctors and others, who made the same case,” said Kudlow, doing his usual dissembling.
“There were even people who said it wouldn’t be worse than an ordinary flu,” said Kudlow, although he failed to name a single expert who claimed as much. “My point is there were fewer than twenty cases. Now, as those numbers deteriorated rapidly I of course changed my mind and of course with the facts. I was not making a forecast. I kind of resent your little nitpicking here because I don’t know what that has to do with today’s job numbers,” he went on, getting a bit flustered.
“I’m not nitpicking, Larry. I think people listen to you,” said Harlow.
“I will defend my statement,” Kudlow insisted, refusing to back down in the face of facts. Like Trump, Kudlow always defends his statements even when it makes him look totally ridiculous.
Watch the embarrassing performance below.
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