The president was back to his old tricks on Thursday morning, calling into his favorite morning show instead of just tweeting their main stories. President Trump called Fox & Friends and spoke for nearly 30 minutes straight as the hosts tried to interrupt, ask a few questions, and keep the president on track. At the end of the interview, though, Trump paused to reflect on how things are going. Trump graded his presidency and — as you might expect — gave himself a perfect score.
This was an improvement from how he graded himself last year, when he was a bit mixed on his performance. A year ago it was a "C or a C+" on messaging, an A for achievement and an A+ for effort. But now, any issues are no longer his fault. Trump told Fox & Friends:
Look, I'm fighting a battle against a horrible group of deep-seated people — drain the swamp — that are coming up with all sorts of phony charges against me and they're not bringing up real charges against the other side. So we have a phony deal going on. And it's a cloud over my head, and I've been able to do, really escape that cloud because the message now is that everyone knows it's a fix, it's a witch hunt. And they know that and I've been able to message it. I would give myself an A+. Nobody has done what I've been able to do. And I did it despite the fact that I have a phony cloud over my head that doesn't exist.
This came at the very end of a 30 minute interview — one that the president seemed happy to continue until the Fox & Friends hosts told him he probably was busy with other duties.
Trump claimed that the metaphorical cloud of investigations over his head was a result of the Democrats' loss of the 2016 election, particularly the electoral college — something that Trump referred to earlier in the interview too.
"It was what the Democrats used to try and make an excuse for their loss of an election, for their loss of the electoral college that they should never lose," Trump said. "Because the electoral college is set up perfectly for the Democrats, and this was an absolute, total beating in the electoral college. They should never lose the electoral college and they did. And they got swamped."
Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade then asked the president why he didn't just sit down and speak with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is in charge of the Russia investigation. Kilmeade noted that Rudy Giuliani, who has joined the president's legal team, has suggested that might happen and has met with Mueller to negotiate the terms.
Trump didn't seem convince it would happen. "The problem is they're so conflicted," Trump told the hosts. "The people that are doing the investigation, you have 13 people that are Democrats, you have Hillary Clinton people," Trump said. "I don't even mean Democrats. I mean the real deal."
Trump went on to argue that this was a sign that the leadership at the FBI was the problem — even if the everyday officers weren't to blame. "I love the FBI and the FBI loves me," Trump qualified, going on to claim that the top brass at the Bureau under Comey were "crooked."
Trump ended the interview making a threat. "Our Justice Department, which I try and stay away from but at some point, I won't," Trump started. "Our Justice Department should be looking into that kind of stuff, not the nonsense of collusion with Russia. There is no collusion with me and Russia, and everyone knows it."
But despite all that, Trump still would give himself an A+.