Warning signs of a recession are mounting, and Donald Trump is responding in totally predictable fashion: by claiming there’s a conspiracy against him. It’s all a Fake News lie, he says, tweeting that “The Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election.” It’s the Federal Reserve’s fault (including the fault of his own handpicked Fed chair, Jerome Powell), he says.
And he has sycophants eager to shore up his sense of resentment, The New York Times reports: “several aides agree with him that the news media is overplaying the economic fears, adding to his feeling of being justified, people close to the president said.” Aides are also insisting—against the data—that American consumers are not paying Trump’s tariffs, a claim Trump himself has made.
The thing is, recessions happen. Trade wars probably don’t help. But if a recession happens while Trump is in office—after he’s spent years claiming credit for the economy he inherited—of course he’s going to take it as a personal insult, a thing done to him by nefarious forces, and yet another reason to lash out. That’s how he operates. So really, he’s right on schedule gearing up his temper tantrum the instant the warning signs of recession start appearing.