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BET Co-Founder Praises Trump For Economy, Credits Tax Cuts For Low Black Unemployment

On Friday, Black Entertainment Network co-founder Robert Johnson praised President Donald Trump for the current economic boom, specifically lauding the GOP tax cuts as a catalyst for employment of black Americans.

“You’ve never seen African-American unemployment this low and the spread between African-Americans and whites narrowing,” Johnson said during a CNBC interview on Friday. In December, unemployment for blacks reached the lowest percentage (6.8%) in its recorded history.

“Business is very good,” Johnson said when asked about the economy by “Squawk Box” co-host Jor Kernen.

“I believe that if you take into account the Trump tax cut, you take into account the drop in unemployment and particularly unemployment for African-Americans, it’s the lowest it’s ever been in history. And you take into account the fact that interest rates are fairly stable, they will probably drift up, but so far,” he said.

“And I think the business community is committed to reinvest capital that they get from some of the tax advantages and that as a result of that, I think the economy is going to grow.”

Johnson, 71, is beyond business savvy. He became the first African-American billionaire in the nation after selling BET in 2001 to Viacom. He also currently owns RLJ Companies, an asset management firm based in Maryland.

“We’re about the 21st largest car dealership group in the country. People are still buying cars as interest rates are favorable,” the entrepreneur said of the business. “Hotels seem to be coming back, business travelers are going back on airplanes and traveling and staying in hotels. That works for us. And there’s still capital out there to raise in the private equity field,” he added.

Johnson explained that all of these policies, in total, have led to black unemployment dropping about 4-5 percentage points. “That’s a pretty good testament to the fact that there are a lot of jobs out there looking for people who are traditionally underemployed,” he said.

As noted by The Hill, “Johnson attended Harvard Business School with the president’s new senior economic adviser Larry Kudlow, a former CNBC contributor who was tapped by the president to replace Gary Cohn last month.”

“I’m glad he’s in D.C., I’m going to call and tell him, ‘Welcome to D.C.,'” he said of Kudlow.

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