In a weird, often incoherent interaction with the Associated Press ahead of his completion of 100 days in office, US President Donald Trump baffled, amused and alarmed many with the things he said. Here are some gems:
1) “I think the 100 days is, you know, it’s an artificial barrier. It’s not very meaningful.”
— on how he’s fared in the first 100 days in office. During his election campaign, Trump himself released a 100-day action plan, calling it a “contract between myself and the American voter”.
2) “I don’t talk to them about it.... I mention it, but it’s very personal when I talk to them, you know, it’s confidential. No, they have their own opinions. “
— on whether he talks to European leaders such as Angela Merkel about the Iran nuclear deal. Besides the US, other countries that had helped work out the 2015 agreement were France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China.
3) “Well the one thing I would say — and I say this to people — I never realised how big it was... So you know, I really just see the bigness of it all.”
— saying he’s realised the United States is “thousands of times bigger than the biggest company in the world”.
4) “When it came time to, as an example, send out the 59 missiles, the Tomahawks in Syria. I’m saying to myself, ‘You know, this is more than just like 79 (sic) missiles.”
— on how being commander in chief brings with it a “human responsibility” that he didn’t much bother with in business, requiring him to think through the consequences his decisions have on people.
5) “This is a very tough environment. Not caused necessarily by me.”
— on how his political team in the White House doesn’t get the credit it deserves for their work in a high-pressure setting.
6) “With the Italian prime minister yesterday, you saw, we were joking, ‘Come on, you have to pay up, you have to pay up.’ He’ll pay.”
— on the bonhomie between him and different world leaders, and how he’ll make them pay for Nato.
7) “I said, you know, when I won, I said, ‘Well the one thing good is now I’ll get good press.’ And it got worse... So that was one thing that a little bit of a surprise to me.”
— on how he has been treated by the American media, expressing his astonishment that journalists did not simply stop criticising him after he won the presidential election.
8) “I don’t watch CNN anymore. I don’t watch MSNBC anymore. I don’t watch [negative] things, and I never thought I had that ability.”
— on how he has begun to avoid watching negative coverage of himself on TV over the last year. Not only has Trump criticised negative coverage of himself by media outlets over the past year, he told the interviewer that he watch CNN a mere 2 minutes before saying that he doesn’t
9) “By the way, I’m 10-0 for that. I’ve called every one of them. Every time they said I called it way too early and then it turns out I’m ... Whatever. Whatever. In the meantime, I’m here and they’re not.”
— on how he has been proved right to declare tragedies terror attacks before the police had released details or confirmation from investigative authorities
10) “I have always heard that the selection and the affirmation of a Supreme Court judge is the biggest thing a president can do... I’ve always heard that that’s the biggest thing. Now, I would say that defence is the biggest thing. You know, to be honest, there are a number of things. “
— on his selection of Neil Gorsuch as Supreme Court justice