Ceaseless tumult has characterized US president Donald Trump’s governance so far, and his administration knows it. On the Fox News show “Fox and Friends” today, Trump himself—in an uncharacteristic display of humility—even acknowledged some of the stumbles.
“Maybe that’s my fault,” Trump said in response to criticism that the rollout of his immigration ban has not been “communicated effectively.” He then issued a much more characteristic declaration:
I think in terms of effort, which means something, but, I give myself an A+, okay? Effort. But. But that’s, you know, results are more important. In terms of messaging, I would give myself a [contemplative pause] C or a C+.
As a specific example of messaging attempts gone awry, the president pointed to media scrutiny over the fact that there are still thousands of vacancies in his administration. ”My messaging isn’t good,” Trump said, clarifying his somewhat garbled self-awarding of grades moments earlier. ”When I see a story about ‘Donald Trump didn’t fill hundreds and hundreds of jobs,’ it’s ’cause, in many cases, we don’t want to fill those jobs.”
Replied an astonished-sounding Fox News anchor, ”I had no idea that you didn’t want to fill ’em.” Nodding, Trump said, “It’s funny. That’s what I mean about messaging.”
A few seconds later, the president added, “In terms of achievement, I think I’d give myself an A. Because I think I’ve done great things. I and my people, I don’t think we’ve explained it well enough to the American public. I think I get an A in terms of what I’ve actually done.”
In short, for anyone feeling confused, here is Donald Trump’s self-assessment of his presidency:
- Communication: C or C+
- Effort: A+
- Achievement: A.