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Trump's magic math on jobs from the Saudi arms deal

In a 2007 deposition, Donald Trump said his estimates of his net worth go "up and down with the markets and with attitudes and with feelings, even my own feelings..."

Why it matters: Now that he's president of the United States, Trump appears to be taking a similar feelings-based method to assessing the number of U.S. jobs gained from his arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

The Toronto Star's Daniel Dale points out:

  • On March 20, during the Crown Prince's visit, Trump claimed the Saudi purchases of U.S. weapons he arranged would generate "over 40,000 jobs in the United States."
  • Last Saturday, Oct. 13, when Trump was asked if he's considering punishing Saudi Arabia for murdering Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Trump mentioned the same arms deal as the reason he was reluctant to stop the arms sales. That time, he said the deal created 450,000 jobs.
  • On Wednesday, Oct. 17, during a Fox Business interview, Trump inflated the statistic to 500,000 jobs.
  • On Friday, at lunchtime during a water rights memorandum signing, Trump increased the jobs number to 600,000.
  • A few hours later, on Friday evening at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, Trump said the deal was worth 600,000 jobs for the military but "over a million jobs" in total.

The bottom line: From which source did Trump get these rapidly inflating statistics? I asked the White House press office. No response by deadline.

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