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Trump's top economic advisor sees 3 percent GDP growth, with debt increasing near term

  • "We get to the 3 percent in a way that's transparent, well-documented and heavily leans on peer-reviewed research," Hassett told CNBC.
  • He highlighted Trump's focus on deregulation and recent tax cuts as reason for a brighter economic outlook but admitted debt is likely to increase near term.
  • "We're keeping a very close eye on government debt," Hassett added, saying that the president's policies could generate an additional $2 trillion to help pay debt down the road.

A top economic advisor to the White House says the economy has returned to a 3 percent growth rate thanks to President Donald Trump's new policies.

Kevin Hassett, the chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, joined fellow economic advisors in publishing the Economic Report of the President on Wednesday, which detailed the executive branch's economic outlook for the next several years.

"The headline in the economic report is that we're not in a new normal of low growth, but we're just in a normal period again where we can go back to growing about 3 percent that we always expected," Hassett told CNBC's Eamon Javers on Wednesday.

"We get to the 3 percent in a way that's transparent, well-documented and heavily leans on peer-reviewed research. We've got about a 2.2 percent baseline and then about 0.8 per year because of the president's policies."

The economist highlighted Trump's focus on deregulation and recent tax cuts as reason for a brighter economic outlook, though he admitted that national debt is likely to increase in the near term.

"We're keeping a very close eye on government debt and on deficits," Hassett added. "If we get the economic growth that the council of economic advisors expects out of the president's plan, something that we projected and then released today, then we're going to have about an extra $2 trillion in GDP 10 years from now that we wouldn't have if we didn't pursue these policies."

"If we've got that extra $2 trillion in GDP, then we have the wherewithal to address our debt problem."

Pressed on the Trump administration's thoughts on a gasoline tax hike, Hassett noted that a major infrastructure bill — a priority for the president — will likely require additional revenue.

"It's incredibly important to pass an infrastructure bill, just like it was important to have a tax bill last year, and to do that you're going to need to fund it," Hassett explained. "Right now the president says that we should put the options on the table and think about them."