Trump: I thought it would be easier
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.”
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.
DonalD trump has promised to build a wall between the US and Mexico.