The White House defended President Donald Trump on Friday after the Associated Press reported that in its report on the state of the Union, he revealed the truth about a formerly homeless veteran who changed his life with a job at a company that Opportunity Zone tax breaks.
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "The AP report noted that construction worker Tony Rankins, who is known in the state of the Union for a standing ovation, is not working at a location that takes breaks and has never done so. In fact, the hotel renovation job he credits for his comeback two years ago isn’t even in an opportunity zone. “Data-reactid =” 23 “> The AP report found that Tony Rankins, a construction worker, has been presented with a reputation for ovation in the state of the Union, does not work in a place that takes breaks, and has never done so the hotel renovation job he credits for his comeback two years ago is not even in an opportunity zone.
White House spokesman Judd Deere said the AP had “taken the disgusting way of distorting the history of a man and a company that would benefit from a monumental program,” and noted that Rankins’ employer in Opportunity Zones invested and Rankins is currently working in a Cincinnati building in a zone. AP reported this, but also found that the building did not take the breaks and its employer only used them in one project.
“Tony has founded a company that invests in opportunity zones. He is now drug free, reunited with his family and helping to rebuild his community and his own life,” said Deere. “The subject of the President’s speech was” A Great American Comeback “and Tony Rankins is part of the comeback.”
The Opportunity Zone program, adopted by Trump as part of the 2017 tax revision, offers investors huge savings on capital gains taxes if they put money in more than 8,000 poor neighborhoods that the Treasury has classified as neglecting and in need of help. Trump has touted the program in several speeches as an example of how he helps African Americans.
Rankins’ story was one of several introductions to the state of the Union that seemed to be an overture to black voters, and the second to prove less truthful. Trump announced that a fourth grader from Philadelphia would receive a scholarship that would allow her to move from a “failing government” school to a charter school of her choice. However, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that it had been attending a charter school for months.