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Conan O’Brien Posts Tweet Mocking White House Dodge On Recession
Conan O'Brien of TBS’s CONAN speaks onstage during the WarnerMedia Upfront 2019 show at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 15, 2019 in New York City.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

Former late-night host Conan O’Brien mocked the White House on Wednesday, making a crack about the administration downplaying and denying the economic recession hurting Americans.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen turned heads over the weekend when she denied that the U.S. economy is in a recession, instead saying we’re in a “period of transition in which growth is slowing,” The Daily Wire reported.

“The White House now says it’s only a recession if you see a salamander wearing a top hat,” O’Brien mocked on Wednesday.

Despite the White House denial, the U.S. has suffered two consecutive quarters of negative growth, which most economists widely define as a recession, The Daily Wire reported Thursday morning.

“This is not an economy that’s in recession,” Yellen contended, speaking to NBC host Chuck Todd on Sunday. “But we’re in a period of transition in which growth is slowing and that’s necessary and appropriate and we need to be growing at a steady and sustainable pace. So there is a slowdown and businesses can see that and that’s appropriate, given that people now have jobs and we have a strong labor market.”

Again trying to deny the economic reality, a White House post last week told Americans that the nation is “stronger economically than we have been in history.”

“While some maintain that two consecutive quarters of falling real GDP constitute a recession, that is neither the official definition nor the way economists evaluate the state of the business cycle,” the White House insisted. “Instead, both official determinations of recessions and economists’ assessment of economic activity are based on a holistic look at the data — including the labor market, consumer and business spending, industrial production, and incomes. Based on these data, it is unlikely that the decline in GDP in the first quarter of this year — even if followed by another GDP decline in the second quarter — indicates a recession.”

Further, on Tuesday, Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese said, “two negative quarters of GDP growth is not the technical definition of recession,” seemingly trying to bail out the Biden administration.

“It’s not the definition that economists have traditionally relied on,” the Biden economic adviser said, appearing at a White House press briefing, the New York Post reported.

However, by Wednesday, comments from Deese back in 2008 resurfaced online.

“Economists have a technical definition of recession, which is two consecutive quarters of negative growth,” Deese said in 2008, according to RNC Research.

Related: U.S. In A Recession After Second Straight Quarter Of Negative Growth

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