White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday found herself in the position, yet again, of defending President Donald Trump’s false claims about the U.S. tax rate.
Trump frequently says that the U.S. is the “highest taxed nation in the world,” and did so again Tuesday morning at a meeting with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
In reality, the U.S. ranks 13th among developed nations, and well behind countries such as Norway, Luxembourg and Sweden, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. But this doesn’t stop Trump from repeating the falsehood.
One America News Network’s Trey Yingst asked Sanders at Tuesday’s White House press briefing why the president keeps repeating something that isn’t true.
“The president repeated again today that we’re the highest taxed nation in the world. It’s not true. Why does the president keep saying that?” Yingst asked.
“We are the highest taxed, corporate taxed, [nation] in the developed economy. That’s a fact,” Sanders replied.
“But that’s not what he said.”
“That’s what he’s talking about, we are the highest corporate taxed country in the developed economies across the globe,” Sanders said.
“Sarah, that’s accurate. But the president keeps repeating this claim that we’re the highest taxed nation in the world.”
“That’s right, we’re the highest taxed corporate nation,” Sanders repeated.
But Yingst persisted. “But that’s not what he said, he said we’re the highest taxed nation in the world.”
“The highest taxed corporate nation,” Sanders repeated again. “Seems pretty consistent to me, she said, adding, “Sorry, we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.”
The entire exchange lasted less than a minute, but it epitomized the difficulty that financial markets, journalists and U.S. allies around the globe encounter in trying to determine what the Trump administration believes, and why that doesn’t always square with accepted facts.
Trump is scheduled to visit Pennsylvania on Wednesday to deliver a speech on the need for tax reform. Similar speeches the president has delivered in North Dakota and Indiana have all included references to America as the “highest taxed nation in the world.”