Trump's 100 days in office: 8 things he said in interviews about life as US president

President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania, and their son Barron walk to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on March 17, 2017.
President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania, and their son Barron walk to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on March 17, 2017.PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST BY JABIN BOTSFORD

A wealthy businessman from New York, Mr Donald Trump assumed public office for the first time when he entered the White House on Jan 20 after he defeated former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an upset.

On Saturday (April 29), he completes 100 days as US president.

During interviews with the press on the milestone, he touched on his new job, whether he thought the 100-day mark was important, and more.

Here's a look at some of his quotes from these interviews:

1. He is surprised at how hard his new job is


US President Donald Trump looks out a window of the Oval Office following an interview with Reuters at the White House in Washington, US, on April 27, 2017.  PHOTO: REUTERS

During a wide-ranging interview with Reuters on Thursday (April 27), Mr Trump spoke about missing his old life, and missing being behind the wheel himself.

"I loved my previous life. I had so many things going," he said. "This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier."

He also expressed surprise at how little privacy he had and made clear that he was still getting used to having 24-hour Secret Service protection and its accompanying constraints. When the president leaves the White House, it is usually in a limousine or an SUV.

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

Read more here.

2. He would ask Xi Jinping first before calling Taiwan president


US President Donald Trump waves as he and China's President Xi Jinping walk along the front patio of the Mar-a-Lago estate after a bilateral meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, US, on April 7, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

Mr Trump spurned the Taiwanese president's suggestion that the two leaders hold another phone call, saying he did not want to create problems for Chinese President Xi Jinping when Beijing appears to be helping efforts to rein in North Korea.

In the White House interview with Reuters, Mr Trump brushed aside the idea after Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen said she would not rule out talking directly again to him, an act certain to incense China.

"Look, my problem is I have established a very good personal relationship with President Xi. I really feel that he is doing everything in his power to help us with a big situation," he told Reuters, referring to signs that China may be working to head off any new missile or nuclear test by Pyongyang, Beijing's neighbour and ally.

"So I wouldn't want to be causing difficulty right now for him," he added. "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."

Read more here.

3. He has not labelled China a currency manipulator, as promised, because it hasn't manipulated its currency since he took office


An advertisement poster promoting China's renminbi (RMB) or yuan , US dollar and Euro exchange services at a foreign exchange store in Hong Kong, China on Aug 13, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

In an interview with Associated Press on April 20, Mr Trump claimed China stopped devaluing its currency since he took office.

"President Xi, from the time I took office, they have not been currency manipulators," he said.

But in fact, China had not devalued its currency for about two years prior to his election. Yet throughout the campaign, Mr Trump repeatedly blamed China for being a "world champion" of devaluing the yuan.

4. The election is still on his mind


US President Donald Trump's copy of the 2016 electoral map, with red indicating the areas he won. PHOTO: REUTERS

Midway through a discussion about Chinese President Xi, Mr Trump paused to hand out copies of what he said were the latest figures from the 2016 electoral map. The areas he won were marked in red. He had copies for each of the three Reuters reporters in the room.

"It's pretty good, right? The red is obviously us."

5. He unveiled a detailed 100-day plan during the campaign, but now says somebody else did it

 

In a 45-minute speech during the election campaign, Mr Trump had unveiled detailed plans for the first 100 days of his presidency if he wins. Most news outlets have been using that plan to see if Mr Trump has been sticking to his campaign promises.

But during an interview with Associated Press on April 20, when Mr Trump was asked if he should be held accountable for the pledges he had made , the US president did not think so.

 

"Somebody, yeah, somebody put out the concept of a 100-day plan," he said.

During the same interview with Associated Press, he also said that he thought the hundred days is just an artificial barrier.

"Because the hundred days is just an artificial barrier. The press keeps talking about the hundred days."

He also suggested that the first 30 days of his presidency did not count.

"I've been here 92 days but I've only been working on the health care, you know I had to get like a little bit of grounding right? Health care started after 30 day(s), so I've been working on health care for 60 days," he said.

Read more here.

6. He explained that he didn't know what he was talking about when he called Nato obsolete


Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (left) and US President Donald Trump hold a joint press conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 12, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

As a candidate, Mr Trump rattled US allies with his insistence that the Nato military alliance was "obsolete". During the campaign, he said at a CNN town hall: "I understand this stuff. I mean, I really do understand this stuff. Nato is obsolete."

On April 20, he explained to Associated Press that he only said so because he was "not knowing much about Nato".

He also said that he thought Nato was obsolete because it did not focus on terrorism.

However, Nato was founded in 1949, and terrorism had long existed in Europe, often by separatist groups, such as Irish Republicans, or anarchists. A bombing in 1867 in London by the Irish Republican Brotherhood killed 12 people and injured 120.

"They had a quote from me that Nato's obsolete. But they didn't say why it was obsolete. I was on Wolf Blitzer, very fair interview, the first time I was ever asked about Nato, because I wasn't in government. People don't go around asking about Nato if I'm building a building in Manhattan, right?

"So they asked me, Wolf … asked me about Nato, and I said two things. Nato's obsolete - not knowing much about Nato, now I know a lot about Nato- Nato is obsolete, and 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."

7. His maiden speech to Congress


US President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the US Congress in the House chamber of the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Feb 28, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

 

Mr Trump said his first address to Congress earlier this year was one of the best speeches in the history of the House of Representatives.

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

Read more here.

8. He had never heard of WikiLeaks

As early as 2010, Mr Trump had denounced WikiLeaks, but in the interview with the Associated Press, he said he had not heard of WikiLeaks prior to the 2016 campaign.

"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'."

SOURCES: REUTERS, WASHINGTON POST, THE GUARDIAN