Florida Republican Rep. Allen West defended his scepticism surrounding the September non-farm payrolls report in an interview on CNBC early this afternoon. West got rather testy with interviewer Tyler Mathisen, who wasn’t buying West’s reasons for joining the conspiracy. Here’s a particularly edgy exchange:
MATHISEN: “You are alleging specifically that the president is engaging in a cover-up of the data. You are saying that the administration is actively manipulating that data. Correct?”
WEST: “Well, absolutely. Look at what happened with our GDP numbers. Fourth-quarter GDP numbers last year were 3 per cent…”
MATHISEN: “Do you have any basis on which you say that? Do you have any basis on which you say that? Any source? Anyone that has come to you and said, ‘This is the case?’ I mean, do you realise how difficult it would be for someone to pull off that kind of conspiracy, given the number of people in the labour department, given the number of surveyors out there, one of whom would probably say, ‘Wait a minute! That’s not the right number!'”
WEST: “Well, if you would stop yelling in my ear and allow me to answer your questions, maybe we could get to the bottom of this. When you look at the GDP numbers — which have gone from 4.1 per cent, then it went to 1.9 per cent, then it was at 1.7 per cent. It got revised down just about a month ago to 1.3 per cent. We’ve got numbers that are all over the place. And we don’t understand the direction this economy is going. … I don’t see these numbers that people are talking about, and I don’t see how they can come back later in this month and say they’re revising the numbers from July and August. So I’m very questionable with what we do see out of this administration, because the numbers don’t add up.
Here’s the full video, during which West accuses Mathisen of “questioning [his] intelligence”:
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