Trump: ‘In terms of messaging, I would give myself a C or a C-plus’

·Reporter

During a “Fox & Friends” interview that aired Tuesday, President Trump defended his performance in office but acknowledged some snags in how his policies are promoted.

Asked how he would grade his presidency so far, Trump volunteered two separate answers, giving himself an “A” in effort and achievement but a “C or a C-plus” in messaging.

“I think in terms of effort, which means something but I give myself an A-plus, okay, effort,” Trump said, according to a transcript. “But that’s, you know, results are more important. In terms of messaging, I would give myself a C or a C-plus.

The Fox hosts asked Trump, not known for modesty, how he reached that conclusion. He pointed to news stories about the many key posts he has yet to fill in his administration.

“So my messaging isn’t good. When I see a story about Donald Trump didn’t fill hundreds and hundreds of jobs, it’s because in many cases, we don’t want to fill those jobs,” he said.

He later added: “In terms of achievement, I think I’d give myself an A. … I don’t think we’ve explained it well enough to the American public.”

Trump cited Tuesday’s night’s address to a joint session of Congress as an opportunity to rectify that disparity, saying, “Well, maybe I change it during the speech.”

The president has been dogged by record-low approval ratings for a newly inaugurated president. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll gave him just a 44-point approval rating.

Earlier in the interview, Trump defended his immigration policies, including a recent wave of raids and deportations, saying his initiatives would be more popular if they were better understood by the American people.

Reiterating a common refrain, that supposedly only “the bad ones” would be subject to deportation, Trump was asked whether he believed that point had been communicated effectively.

“I don’t think so,” he replied. “No, I don’t think it’s been — maybe it’s my fault.” He added that “a lot of people understand it.”