President Biden’s top spokesperson was accused of lying on Wednesday in a tweet touting “0% inflation in July” — even as federal data indicated that the consumer price index rose by 8.5% year over year.
“We just received news that our economy had 0% inflation in July,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted on Wednesday.
“While the price of some things went up, the price of others, like gas, clothing, and more, dropped.”
Jean-Pierre also hailed the dip in gasoline prices, which she called “the fastest in a decade” which was “saving American families with two cars $106 per month on average.”
In the same tweet thread, Jean-Pierre wrote that “real wages went up for the first time in almost a year.” She also urged the House to pass the Inflation Reduction Act “as soon as possible” in order to “lower health care, prescription drugs, and energy costs.”
But Twitter users pushed back against Jean-Pierre’s claims.
“Great. No need for the ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ anymore…” tweeted Yossi Gestetner.
Another Twitter user, Kevin Dalton, posted a link to a news article indicating that inflation was 8.5% in July, writing: “Other than the complete lie you just told, I totally believe you…”
Joel Griffith, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, posted a tweet showing the increased prices of key goods.
“Inflation this past year of 8.5% is near a 40-year high,” he noted.
One Twitter user went so far as to add a “clown face” filter to a clip of Jean-Pierre touting the strength of the economy from the White House press room podium.
Supporters of the administration, however, tried to clarify Jean-Pierre’s tweet. One noted that the press secretary meant that “inflation over the last month has been 0%” and that it “hasn’t increased in the past month.”
But another Twitter user responded: “You don’t compare inflation month to month. It is compared year to year. But you wouldn’t know that.”
Last month, Jean-Pierre was widely mocked for claiming that “we are stronger economically than we have been in history.”
She cited low unemployment as well as “more than 8.7 million new jobs created” — although critics noted that was due to the end of pandemic-related lockdown measures and Americans returning en masse to the workforce after the vaccination drive.
The 8.5% rise in inflation last month was lower than the sharp, 9.1% increase in June, but still hovering at a high not seen since four decades ago.
Core inflation, which excludes food and gas prices, rose by 5.9% annually and by 0.3% compared to June.
Analysts said that a drop in demand has led to falling gas and energy prices, although that trend can easily reverse itself given volatile geopolitical conditions, including the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as possible hurricanes in the US.