During the first interview after reaching the 100-day milestone of his presidency, Donald Trump said he believed that he was the one who got China to stop manipulating its currency.
Speaking to CBS’ John Dickerson on “Face the Nation,” Trump said that China stopped manipulating its currency as soon as he came into office.
“When they talk about currency manipulation, and I did say I would call China, if they were, a currency manipulator, early in my tenure,” Trump said. “And then I get there. Number one, they — as soon as I got elected, they stopped. They’re not — it’s not going down anymore, their currency.”
Dickerson briefly interrupted to fact-check Trump, saying, “But that had been true before. That had been true … during the campaign, sir.”
“No, not true to the extent that we’re talking about,” Trump replied. “Much more important than that, as to when, but, you know, it did stop. And I was talking about it all during the campaign.”
He added: “And I would say that I was the one that got them to stop. But forget that.”
When Dickerson sought to clarify Trump’s response, asking him if he meant that he was the one who got China to stop manipulating its currency, Trump said, “I think so.”
While China has a history of pushing down its currency to drive up its exports, it hasn’t done so in years. In fact, over the last few years, China has been propping up the yuan, not depressing it.
Trump also reiterated another key talking point he’s made since tensions with North Korea have ratcheted up: labelling China a currency manipulator now may detract from the greater objective of cooperating with China to address the threat of North Korea.
“Can you imagine if I say [to China], ‘Hey, by the way, how are you doing with North Korea? Also, we’re going to announce that you’re a currency manipulator tomorrow,'” Trump told Dickerson. “So the mainstream media never talks about that. They never say that. And that’s, you know, unfortunate.”