Trump defends trade war with China: 'It's imperative'

A new study says that the president's 10% tariff on Chinese goods will cost U.S. families an additional $1,000 each year.
2:53 | 08/20/19

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Transcript for Trump defends trade war with China: 'It's imperative'
Now, to president trump tonight, who today was asked about a possible recession, because of his trade war with China. The president conceding a, quote, two-month recession, in his words, could be the result of what he describes as a much-needed trade war. The president contradicting his own aides who said there was not a payroll tax cut in the works, but what the president said today when asked. Here's ABC's Cecilia Vega tonight. Reporter: President trump today defending his trade war with China, saying it's worth it even if it hurts the economy. Whether it's good for our country or bad for our country short-term, long-term, it's imperative that somebody does this. I am doing this whether it's good or bad for your statement about, oh, will we fall into a recession for two months, okay? The fact is, somebody had to take China on. And the smart people say thank you very much and the dumb people have no idea. Reporter: The president standing his ground despite growing concern his trade war could help bring on a recession. A new study today says the president's 10% tariff on Chinese goods could cost American families an additional $1,000 each year. The white house now trying to tamp down economic fears during a re-election campaign, but their messaging far from consistent. This morning, aides insisted a payroll tax cut is not on the table. Is that payroll tax cut being considered? It's not being considered at this time. Reporter: But just hours later -- Payroll tax is something that we think about and a lot of people would like to see that and that very much affects the workers of our country and we have a lot of workers. Reporter: Still, the president insists there will not be a tax cut any time soon. He's promised tax cuts before for the middle class, ahead of last year's midterms, only to abandon the idea after election Let's get right to Cecilia Vega. There was a lot of news out of the white house today, as you know. President trump also making headlines with new attacks tonight against congresswoman OMAR and Talib. As you know, he said this. Where's the democratic party gone? Where have they gone where they're defending these two people over the state of Israel? And I think any jewish people that vote for a Democrat -- ah, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty. Cecilia, made immediate headlines. Reporter: It certainly did, particularly from some of the largest and most prominent jewish organizations. The head of the anti-defamation league says it's time to stop using Jews as political footballs. And David, tonight, from the American jewish committee, their they're calling these comments, quote, divisive, disrespectful and unwelcome. E so Celia, thank you. And the new headline tonight

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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