As jobless numbers shattered records with 6.6 million new unemployment claims filed last week alone due to the coronavirus crisis, according to a CNN report, a newly resurfaced video shows Donald Trump appearing to cheer on an economic crash as a way to make America “great.”
The video — which is from 2014 and can be seen below — is excerpted from a February 10, 2014 phone-in interview by Trump on the Fox News program Fox & Friends. In the interview, Trump — then host of the NBC reality competition show The Apprentice — began by discussing the Affordable Care Act, the national health care policy better known as “Obamacare,” which he claimed would cause the loss of 2.2 million jobs.
But Trump quickly veered from his attack on Obamacare, moving instead to his suggestions on how to “solve” what he saw as the country’s economic woes, saying that the supposed problems would be repaired “when the economy crashes.”
“When the country goes to total hell and everything is a disaster, then you’ll have riots to go back to where we used to be when we were great,” Trump asserted in the interview.
Journalist Sarah Kendzior — author of the 2018 book The View from Flyover Country — analyzed Trump’s comments in an essay for the site The Correspondent just 10 days after the 2016 presidential election.
“This is what ‘Make America Great Again’ means to Donald Trump,” Kendzior wrote at the time, adding that the president’s comments about an economic crash in which the country goes “to total hell” were, in fact, his “desired outcome” for the country during what was then his coming term in the White House.
According to a separate analysis of Trump’s comments by HuffPo reporter Mary Papenfuss, Trump has since taken actions that appear to be consistent with his earlier predictions of “total hell” and “disaster” as a remedy for what he believes ails the United States.
Papenfuss cites the president’s claim in late 2018 — made to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer — that he would be “proud to shut down the government” in order to bring about the construction of the southern border wall that was a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign.
Trump did, in fact, refuse to sign a spending bill in 2018 that would have kept the government operating, causing a shutdown and economic havoc for hundreds of thousands of federal employees — including air traffic controllers, creating a perilous situation for the country’s commercial airlines and air travelers, according to the HuffPo account.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought both economic and personal damage to the country. For the first time on Wednesday, more than 1,000 Americans died of coronavirus infection in a single day, bringing the country’s death toll above 5,000.