U.S. President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss transition plans in the White House Oval Office in Washington, Nov. 10, 2016. 
Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Trump keeps demanding credit for Obama’s successes

Updated
Desperate for a little good news, Donald Trump seemed eager to boast on Friday about a company called Charter Communications moving forward with plans to add 20,000 jobs in the United States. Soon after, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer bragged about the news from the briefing room podium, and the White House’s communications office sent out a press release, pointing to the news as proof of a president who’s “delivering on jobs for the American people.”

Just on the surface, this entire approach makes Trump appear more like a mayor than a president. It’s a massive country with the world’s largest economy, and individual companies are going to sometimes hire and fire people. Trump seems to think he can claim credit for every piece of positive economic news, which is plainly silly.

But in the case of Charter Communications, it’s actually worse, because as the Washington Post noted, these jobs were actually announced in the Obama era, and had nothing to do with Trump.
[P]arts of that pledge by Charter chief executive Tom Rutledge had already been made months ago…. [T]here is little evidence to suggest the Trump administration played a major role in securing those commitments.

Charter had announced those intended hires as far back as October, and the jobs – which will largely be filled by customer service workers – are “new” only in the sense that they have yet to be filled.
Oh. So the jobs Trump is pretending to create were actually announced before the election, when Obama was in office. Trump is trumpeting the hires now, hoping to take credit for jobs he had nothing to do with, while simultaneously hoping the public won’t know the difference.

Worse, this keeps happening.

We saw this same thing unfold a couple of weeks ago, for example, when Trump sought credit for oil-industry jobs that were announced under Obama. A fact-check piece from the Washington Post noted, “Trump’s bravado on these jobs announcements is becoming a bad joke.”

The piece highlighted a series of jobs announcements – from Ford, Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, Walmart, Intel, Lockheed Martin, Softbank, Sprint, and Alibaba – in which the president sought credit for developments he not only had nothing to do with, but also, in most instances, pointed to Obama-era news.

When asked how he thinks his presidency is going, Trump couldn’t be more impressed with himself. He recently gave himself a grade of “A” for his “accomplishments,” pointing specifically to his jobs record: “I brought Ford back from Mexico. Ford was going with a massive plant. I brought Fiat in.”

Except, he didn’t. Trump’s accomplishments are Obama-era successes, which the previous president didn’t feel the need to brag about. Maybe, at some point, the Republican will have earned the right to brag about his record, but in the meantime, Trump would probably be better off working than bragging about developments he had nothing to do with.