Once again, Donald Trump is trying to dig himself out of a hole by lying and doing a spectacularly bad job of it. After threatening an ill-advised trade war against China and then actually going through with it without consulting anyone because he was having a bad day, the stock market naturally panicked and continues to plummet as China retaliated.
Since Trump has foolishly made the historically volatile stock market a key metric for the "success" of his presidency, he tried to calm it down by claiming that, in fact, there is no trade war:
It's possible that someone, somewhere besides Trump believes that but it's not terribly likely. After promising that trade wars are "easy to win" (they aren't) and slapping tariffs on imports from China prompting retaliatory tariffs in response, even Trump's most gullible supporters aren't going to swallow this one. Especially when a few hours later Trump went back to his original message that we're totally going win this trade war that isn't actually happening:
A trade war with China will be disastrous for the American economy, particularly with Trump and his team at the helm. This kind of economic warfare would be dangerous even with a team of competent experts waging it and we currently have the exact opposite. We are very much at risk of being outmaneuvered because we are being lead by amateurs and imbeciles. The fact that China's tariffs target Trump's voters is not an accident. When the economic pain starts, no one is going to forget Trump threw the first punch and they're not going to give a damn about the trade deficits and intellectual property rights he keeps yammering about.
As of this writing, the Dow Jones is down almost 3000 points from its peak just a little over 2 months ago, much of that loss attributable to Trump's insane pronouncements although the job market seems to be holding steady. Had Obama not left him such a strong economy and stock market, we would already be deep into a recession. As it is, it's only a matter of time until Trump brings it all crashing down and the constant tweeting blaming everyone except himself begins.
Let's hope the Democrat that replaces Trump in 2021 can fix the mess he leaves behind.