When asked about his Commerce Secretary's widely criticized remarks, the President told reporters he had not heard them but was aware there was controversy surrounding them. It has been a top story all day, after several other Trump officials also offered out-of-touch remarks on the unpaid federal workers.
The President then falsely suggested grocery stores and banks will just let federal employees pay whenever they want or can because they're not getting paychecks.
"Local people know who they are," he said, referring to federal workers, "when they go for groceries and everything else," the President claimed, suggesting grocery stores will just give customers free food, or not charge them until they receive a paycheck.
"I think what Wilbur was probably trying to say is they will work along. I know banks are working along. If you have mortgages, the mortgagees, the folks collecting the interest and all of those things will work along," Trump told reporters, which is largely false.
"That's what happens in times like these, they know the people, they've been dealing with them for years, and they work along. The grocery store. And I think that's probably what Wilbur Ross meant."
"Trump went on to claim, "I haven't see [Ross'] statement, but he's done a great job."
Some financial institutions have said federal workers should contact them if they are in trouble. Some banks have suggested they will try to waive late fees, but there are few if any reports of banks telling homeowners they don't have to pay their mortgages, renters being told they don't have to pay rent, or grocery stores telling federal workers to just pay for their food when they can.
TRUMP on Wilber Ross's comments: "I think what Wilbur was probably trying to say is that [unpaid federal workers] will work along. I know banks are working along... The grocery store." #WorkAlong pic.twitter.com/I8ONKcRv8v
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 24, 2019
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