White House praises Walmart hours after company announces massive layoffs


Life comes at you fast.

Companies have been working overtime trying to give the Trump tax scam a public relations boost with token bonuses and the like, but one company exposed that sham with a big assist from Donald Trump and team.

On Thursday morning, Trump touted Walmart as an example of "Great news as a result of our TAX CUTS & JOBS ACT!"

At the White House daily briefing a few hours later, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin echoed Trump's comments:

MNUCHIN: I'd also like to highlight the announcement this morning from Walmart. We want to thank them. They will be increasing their minimum wages, issuing bonuses, and expanding family leave benefits for over a million employees.

But Walmart announced, just hours before the briefing, that it will be closing 63 of its Sam's Club stores and laying off thousands of workers.

Mnuchin was asked why the Trump administration deserves credit for the earlier announcement, but not the layoffs. Mnuchin danced around the question, before finally settling on a pretty dismal response:

MNUCHIN: What I'm saying is that the administration's economic policies are a function of what we see, growth in investment. Different companies will do different things. Some companies will invest capital. Some companies will return money to workers. Lots of things are going on in the economy, and we appreciate what Walmart's doing.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was later pressed on the layoffs several times, and refused to comment, immediately pivoting to the White House talking points praising Walmart for increasing its wages.

The fact is that while companies are publicly crediting the GOP tax scam for short-term, one-off benefits to some employees, layoffs like those by Walmart have continued, and job growth under Trump is at a six-year low.

Some companies are doing everything they can to make the tax scam look good, but this Walmart debacle is the perfect illustration of how the bill actually rewards wealthy corporations, and rips off people like the ones being laid off.