Trump: I thought it would be eas­ier

Sunday Express - - WORLD -

PRES­I­DENT Don­ald Trump, re­flect­ing on a first 100 days in of­fice that has fea­tured no ma­jor leg­isla­tive wins and low ap­proval rat­ings, said Thurs­day he thought the job would be eas­ier.

“I loved my pre­vi­ous life, I loved my pre­vi­ous life. I had so many things go­ing,” Trump said in an interview with Reuters.

“I ac­tu­ally, this is more work than my pre­vi­ous life. I thought it would be eas­ier.”

He later added, “I do miss my old life. This — I like to work. But this is ac­tu­ally more work.”

Trump also said he misses his pre-pres­i­dency free­dom — a sen­ti­ment of­ten ex­pressed by Oval Of­fice oc­cu­pants who find them­selves in the se­cu­rity bub- ble of the White House.

“And, while I had very lit­tle privacy, in my old life be­cause, you know, I’ve been fa­mous for a long time. I re­ally — this is much less privacy than I’ve seen be­fore.

This is, you know, some­thing that’s re­ally amaz­ing. At the same time, you’re re­ally into your own co­coon be­cause there’s such mas­sive pro­tec­tion, that you re­ally can’t go any­where.”

The Pres­i­dent said he missed be­ing able to take the wheel.

“I like to drive,” Trump told Reuters. “I can’t drive any more.”

‘Who knew?’

Trump has ad­mit­ted his sur­prise at the com­plex­ity of some of the is­sues in his in-tray dur- ing his brief time in of­fice so far.

In Fe­bru­ary, he noted with some ex­as­per­a­tion the com­plex­ity of the na­tion’s health care laws — which he has vowed to re­form as part of a bid to scrap Oba­macare.

“Now, I have to tell you, it’s an un­be­liev­ably com­plex sub­ject,” he added.

“No­body knew health care could be so com­pli­cated.”

The ad­mis­sion was met with some mirth by op­po­nents.

Trump also mar­veled at the in­tri­ca­cies of the geopol­i­tics of the Korean penin­sula, a sub­ject that China’s Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping was happy to tu­tor him on.

“After lis­ten­ing for 10 min­utes, I re­al­ized it’s not so easy,” Trump told the Wall Street Jour­nal.

“I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremen­dous power (over) North Korea ... But it’s not what you would think.” — CNN

Trump’s blus­ter to­ward Democrats also fell flat. Ear­lier this month, he threat­ened to sab­o­tage Oba­macare if they didn’t agree to pro­posed changes re­gard­ing the law.

White House bud­get di­rec­tor Mick Mul­vaney an­nounced Wed­nes­day that the ad­min­is­tra­tion was con­sid­er­ing cut­ting off cru­cial pay­ments to health in­sur­ance com­pa­nies ― a move that would be dev­as­tat­ing for peo­ple who buy cov­er­age on their own, rather than through em­ploy­ers.

Later that day, less than 48 hours be­fore a cru­cial gov­ern­ment fund­ing dead­line, Trump backed down and said he would honor the pay­ments after all.

Trump didn’t fare any bet­ter on fund­ing his pro­posed border wall, ei­ther. Fac­ing likely odds of a gov­ern­ment shutdown, the pres­i­dent on Tues­day backed off de­mands that Democrats agree to fund the con­struc­tion of a wall on the U.S.-Mex­ico border ― the same wall he said Mex­ico would pay for on the cam­paign trail.

Trump main­tained that the wall re­mained a pri­or­ity and that it would even­tu­ally get built. But it’s hard to see what more he could do to per­suade Democrats to vote to fund the wall be­tween now and the next round of bud­get talks in Septem­ber.

That is­sue, be­cause it was a prom­ise re­peated through­out his cam­paign, could do Trump se­ri­ous dam­age if he doesn’t de­liver, said Ari Fleis­cher, a press sec­re­tary to for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush.

“I think Trump must demon­strate this year, not nec­es­sar­ily now, progress to­ward build­ing the wall or his base will be dis­ap­pointed,” Fleis­cher said. “He went too far in say­ing Mex­ico will pay for it, but I be­lieve his base cares far more about it be­ing built and a lot less about who pays.”

Trump’s ef­forts to rene­go­ti­ate the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment may yet bear fruit. His threat to pull the U.S. out of the agree­ment brought Canada and Mex­ico to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble this week.

But it’s less clear what kind of con­ces­sions he’ll be able to wring out of them. Even Trump ad­mit­ted that with­draw­ing from the trade pact would amount to a “shock to the sys­tem.”

“If I’m un­able to make a fair deal for the United States, mean­ing a fair deal for our work­ers and our com­pa­nies, I will ter­mi­nate NAFTA. But we’re go­ing to give rene­go­ti­a­tion a good, strong shot,” he said at the White House on Thurs­day.

— Huff­in­g­ton­post

Don­alD trump has promised to build a wall be­tween the US and Mex­ico.

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