President Barack Obama hasn't been shy about attacking Donald Trump, whether directly criticizing the Republican nominee in pointed comments, or knocking his ideas and campaign promises with thinly-veiled references during press conferences about other topics.
But Trump says his campaign wouldn't be as successful as it is if Obama had been a better president, leading to voter dissatisfaction with the unemployment rate and Obama's economic policies.
"He's doing a lousy job," the businessman-turned-candidate said in an interview with Fox News on June 4.
He made the comments during an interview with Jeanine Pirro, a former judge and former district attorney in Westchester County, New York. Pirro noted it's unusual for a sitting president to inject himself into a campaign for his successor as Obama has in 2016.
"Why is it that you have the president of the U.S. who is coming out and basically saying all these horrible things about you?" Pirro asked Trump. "I've never seen that in history -- I mean, this early on when a guy is coming out and trashing you. Why?"
Trump replied that Obama is trying to deflect attention away from a still-sputtering economy. The Republican candidate said he believes the unemployment rate is higher than the 5.5 percent rate reported in May by the Department of Labor.
"He's actually trying not to use my name because he's not supposed to. He doesn't really focus on his job, because he's done a lousy job as president, and what he should do is focus on his job and find out why we're losing so many jobs."
The total unemployment rate was 9.7 percent in May, according to MSNBC, which reported what's known as the "U-6" rate -- a figure provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that includes all unemployed workers, not just those receiving unemployment benefits. The U-6 rate includes people who have timed out of unemployment benefits, workers who are in part-time jobs but are looking for full-time employment, and other "employment situations" not included in the standard reported jobs figures, the network reported.
"If you look for a job, Jeanine," Trump said, "and you don't find it, then you give up, and you go home and you go to sleep,"
"You're still unemployed," Pirro cut in, "but you're not a statistic."
Trump attributed the large crowds at his rallies to disenfranchised blue-collar workers and others who are unemployed or underemployed, not earning enough to make a living.
While the widely-reported 5.5 percent figure is unlikely to hurt the Clinton campaign, other measurements -- like the fact that the U.S. economy added just 38,000 jobs in May -- could damage her case, former senior Obama advisor David Axelrod told the Wall Street Journal.
“If you’re Hillary Clinton, you’re rooting for stronger jobs reports coming down the stretch here,” Axelrod said. “A series of disappointing jobs reports would be headwinds for Hillary.”
Clinton herself has been mum on the subject in recent weeks but in May, she made headlines by saying she'd put her husband, former President Bill Clinton, "in charge" of fixing the economy. Nick Merrill, the press secretary for Clinton's campaign, said that doesn't mean the former president will serve in any official capacity.
"It would be getting ahead of ourselves to talk about any sort of formalized role for anyone in her administration," Merrill told CNN. "I think that her point has been time and again that he has a lot to offer and it would be foolish not to use that in some capacity. It has not gone any further than that."