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‘I thought it would be easier’: Trump assesses his first 100 days

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On the cusp of his 100th day in office, President Trump went on a media blitz this week, granting interviews to a number of outlets reflecting on his first months in the nation’s highest office.

In addition to an interview with the Associated Press that attracted attention for all the “unintelligible” lines in the transcript, Trump spoke to the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and Reuters about everything from his flip-flop on withdrawing from NAFTA to his surprise about the difficulties of his job. Below are some of the most illuminating tidbits from the commander in chief.

He is nostalgic for pre-presidency life:

“I loved my previous life,” Trump told Reuters. “I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”

As Trump threatened to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement, members of his cabinet scrambled:

The Post reported that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue were instrumental in persuading Trump not to abandon NAFTA.

“Perdue even brought along a prop to the Oval Office: A map of the United States that illustrated the areas that would be hardest hit, particularly from agriculture and manufacturing losses, and highlighting that many of those states and counties were ‘Trump country’ communities that had voted for the president in November.

‘It shows that I do have a very big farmer base, which is good,’ Trump recalled. ‘They like Trump, but I like them, and I’m going to help them.’”

He’s not ruling out military action in dealing with North Korea:

Trump told Reuters, “There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.”

“We’d love to solve things diplomatically, but it’s very difficult,” he added.

Trump rejects the narrative of a power struggle between nationalists and globalists in his White House:

“Hey, I’m a nationalist and a globalist,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “I’m both. And I’m the only one who makes the decision, believe me.”

The decision to stay in NAFTA was influenced partially by Trump’s affection for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto:

Trump told the Post, “In one way, I like the termination. In the other way, I like them — a lot, both of them. We have a very good relationship. And it’s very hard when you have a relationship, it’s very much something that would not be a nice act. It would not be exactly a friendly act.”

Trump is not particularly bothered by the possibility of a government shutdown:

“We’ll see what happens. If there’s a shutdown, there’s a shutdown,” he told Reuters.

He’s still boasting about his election victory:

Trump brought copies of the electoral map to his interview with Reuters’ reporters.

“More than five months after his victory and two days shy of the 100-day mark of his presidency, the election is still on Trump’s mind. Midway through a discussion about Chinese President Xi Jinping, the president paused to hand out copies of what he said were the latest figures from the 2016 electoral map.

‘Here, you can take that, that’s the final map of the numbers,’ the Republican president said from his desk in the Oval Office, handing out maps of the United States with areas he won marked in red. ‘It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us.’

He had copies for each of the three Reuters reporters in the room.”


Read more from Yahoo News’ coverage of Trump’s first 100 days:

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