Friday afternoon, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the president no longer considers the federal unemployment rate to be a "phony" number.
"I talked to the president prior to this," Spicer said. "He said to quote him very clearly: They may have been phony in the past, but it is very real now."
During the campaign, President Trump repeatedly called the federal meaure of unemplyment rates a "phony number"
"It is such a phony number," Trump said about the measure in 2016. "Because when people look and look and look and then they give up looking for a job, they're taken off the rolls so the number isn't reflective."
He suggested the unemployment rate could really be much higher: "I've seen numbers like 24%. I actually saw a number of 42% unemployment. 42%. And it could be."