Trump said he expects the economy to collapse in the next 12 months

(CNN) — Former President Donald Trump predicted the US economy would “collapse” and said he expected it to happen within the next year before taking the Oval Office if he wins a second term in November.

“If there’s an accident, I hope it happens within the next 12 months because I don’t want to be Herbert Hoover. The only president, I just don’t want to be Herbert Hoover,” Trump said in an interview that aired this Monday on the right-wing platform Lindell TV.

The American stock market crashed during former President Herbert Hoover’s first year in office in 1929, marking the start of the Great Depression.

The comments come as the frontrunner for the GOP nomination tries to convey his message on the economy — and his criticism of President Joe Biden — less than a week before the crucial Iowa caucuses.

Trump, who regularly criticizes Biden over his economic policies, called the economy “very fragile” in the interview and said he was “getting the gas off” of the Trump administration.

However, the December jobs report released Friday beat expectations for total monthly jobs, capping a year of strength in the labor market that has boosted consumer spending and economic growth over the past year.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen defended the state of the economy in an interview with CNN on Friday.

“There was a lot of pessimism about the economy, which actually turned out to be unfounded. A year ago, most forecasters believed we would fall into a recession. Obviously that didn’t happen,” Yellen said, adding: “We have a good, strong labor market.”

Last year, the US stock market not only avoided a recession, but also weathered regional banking turmoil, a debt ceiling crisis and geopolitical tensions. The S&P 500 ended the year up 24%, the Dow Jones rose 14% and the Nasdaq jumped 43%. However, fears of a recession remain on Wall Street, as do concerns about war in the Middle East. The election threatens to cause market volatility, although history shows the S&P 500 index tends to rise during the fourth year of a president’s term.

CNN’s Alicia Wallace and Crystal Hur contributed to this report.

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