Interview comments bewilder observers

Secret Service agents surrounding Mr Donald Trump at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland this month.
Secret Service agents surrounding Mr Donald Trump at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland this month.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WASHINGTON • Observers have been left scratching their heads at some of the things United States President Donald Trump has said in a number of media interviews.

ON 24-HOUR PROTECTION BY THE SECRET SERVICE

"You're really into your own little cocoon, because you have such massive protection that you really can't go anywhere. I like to drive. I can't drive any more."

ON HIS CAMPAIGN PROMISE THAT HE WOULD LABEL CHINA A CURRENCY MANIPULATOR

"President Xi (Jinping of China), from the time I took office, they have not been currency manipulators."

ON TAIWANESE PRESIDENT TSAI ING-WEN'S SUGGESTION THAT SHE WOULD SPEAK TO HIM IN A PHONE CALL

"Look, my problem is, I have established a very good personal relationship with (Chinese) President Xi (Jinping). I really feel that he is doing everything in his power to help us with a big situation (in North Korea). So I wouldn't want to be causing difficulty right now for him. I think he's doing an amazing job as a leader and I wouldn't want to do anything that comes in the way of that. So I would certainly want to speak to him first."

ON A 100-DAY PLAN ISSUED DURING THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN

"Somebody, yeah, somebody put out the concept of a 100-day plan... Because the hundred days is just an artificial barrier. The press keeps talking about the hundred days."

ON HIS RATIONALE FOR SAYING THAT NATO IS 'OBSOLETE'

"They had a quote from me that Nato's obsolete. But they didn't say why it was obsolete... I said, 'And the reason it's obsolete is because of the fact they don't focus on terrorism.' You know, back when they did Nato, there was no such thing as terrorism."

ON WIKILEAKS AND CLAIMING HE HAD NEVER HEARD ABOUT IT

"When WikiLeaks came out... never heard of WikiLeaks, never heard of it. When WikiLeaks came out, all I was just saying is, 'Well, look at all this information here. This is pretty good stuff.'"

ON HIS MAIDEN SPEECH TO CONGRESS

"A lot of the people have said that, some people said it was the single best speech ever made in that chamber."

REUTERS, WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2017, with the headline 'Interview comments bewilder observers'. Print Edition | Subscribe