Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks at a sheet of notes and talking points as he speaks during a rally in Eugene, Ore., May 6, 2016.
Photo by Ted S. Warren/AP

Trump demands credit for jobs he had nothing to do with

General Motors confirmed yesterday that it’s making another major investment in domestic manufacturing, which will save or create about 1,500 jobs. Donald Trump wants Americans to credit his awesomeness for the announcement, but an NBC News report makes clear that the president-elect doesn’t actually deserve the acclaim.
[S]everal GM officials stressed that the latest moves were in the works for months and, in some cases several years, and were not a reaction to criticism by president-elect Donald Trump. […]

Investment decisions of this magnitude and involving changes to manufacturing operations are typically the result of several years of study and require months of consideration by a company’s board of directors, noted David Cole, director-emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in a discussion this week. That would suggest that the latest GM investment project began as far back as 2014.
This morning, the Republican president-elect interrupted his busy schedule to complain on Twitter that NBC News’ report was “biased.” (He keeps using that word, but I don’t think it means what he thinks it means.) He said any reports that fail to acknowledge Trump’s role in recently announced job creation are “FAKE NEWS” – the all-caps appeared in the original – adding that the jobs “came back because of me!”

The man clearly loves his exclamation points.

I can appreciate why he’s frustrated. When Trump sees news reports about positive economic developments, he probably thinks to himself, “Wow, I’m amazing. I haven’t even taken office yet and look at all the great news.” Then pesky media organizations point out annoying details – such as the fact Trump had nothing to do with the positive economic developments – which likely leads Trump to think, “Those reports can’t be right, because I really am amazing.”

The president-elect’s fragile ego notwithstanding, the relevant facts are plain and unbiased. As a Slate report explained with additional details, there’s literally nothing to connect Trump to GM’s announcement. If this hurts the president-elect’s feelings, that’s a shame, but reality can be unforgiving.

The broader point, meanwhile, is that Trump keeps demanding credit for jobs he had nothing to do with.

Jan. 9, 2017: Trump demanded credit for a Fiat-Chrysler announcement about new investments in Michigan and Ohio. In reality, the announcement was part of a project the company initiated a year ago.

Jan. 3, 2017: Trump demanded credit for a Ford decision about scrapping plans for a new assembly plant in Mexico. In reality, the announcement “did not actually reverse the central decision the automaker announced last April.”

Dec. 28, 2016: Trump demanded credit for expanded Sprint hiring. In reality, those jobs were announced long before Election Day.

Dec. 7, 2016: Trump demanded credit for a domestic Softbank investment. In reality, the investment was initiated months earlier.

Nov. 17, 2016: Trump demanded credit for Ford’s decision to keep a Lincoln SUV plant in Kentucky. In reality, Ford hadn’t intended to close the Kentucky plant in the first place.

There may come a point at which Trump can legitimately claim credit for new jobs and business investments, but that won’t make these made-up claims any less bogus.