Some were stunned, others shocked, yet others found absolutely nothing surprising about Trump’s Saturday morning tweetstorm, in which the president defended his mental state, claiming “my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart… I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!”
The media certainly had follow-up questions, and a few hours later, at Camp David Trump was asked “why did he feel the need to tweet” about his mental state, to which the president had a lengthy response: “well, because I went to the best colleges, or college,” Trump spoke flanked by GOP congressional leaders.
“I had a situation where I was a very excellent student, came out, made billions and billions of dollars, became one of the top business people, went to television and for 10 years was a tremendous success, which you’ve probably heard.”
Trump reiterated that Michael Wolff, the author of the bombshell new book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” which has raised fresh questions about Trump’s competency, did not have access to the White House for his reporting.
“[Then I] ran for president one time and won, and then I hear this guy that does not know me, does not know me at all. By the way, did not interview me for three hours, it didn’t exist, OK? It’s in his imagination,” Trump said.
As we reported earlier, on Saturday morning Trump wrote that throughout his life, his “two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart… I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!” he added.
Trump has made similar comments about his mental ability before, in an interview with CNN in 2015.
“I had an uncle went to MIT who is a top professor. Dr. John Trump. A genius,” Trump said at the time. “It’s in my blood. I’m smart. Great marks. Like really smart.”
Trump, asked why he tweeted about his mental stability this AM, responds: “Only because I went to the best colleges… I had a siutation where I was a very excellent student… Ran for president one time and won. And then I hear this guy that does not know me…” (via CBS) pic.twitter.com/zmZwyNrNNV
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 6, 2018
Addressing the media, Trump also answered questions on topics ranging from the Russia investigation, North Korea and the party’s legislative agenda.
The president again insisted he was not under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and reiterated his belief his campaign did not collude with Russia’s election-meddling efforts in 2016.
“Everything I’ve done is 100 percent proper,” Trump said when asked about reports he urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the Russia probe. “That is what I do, is I do things proper.” Trump said a New York Times report that he asked White House counsel Don McGahn to talk Sessions out of recusal was “off,” but did not explain further.
The president also expressed hope that good can come out of upcoming talks between South Korea and North Korea, an apparent shift from his stated skepticism that diplomacy can solve the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula. Trump also said he is open to talking with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whom he taunted this week over the size of his “nuclear button.”
“Sure, I always believe in talking,” Trump said. But the president said he would not engage in talks without preconditions.
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According to The Hill, Trump also started to sketch out his legislative agenda for 2018. He suggested he might back off his push to get started quickly on welfare reform, unless Democrats get on board.
“We’ll try and do something in a bipartisan way, otherwise we’ll be holding it for a little bit later,” Trump said.
The president said he had “great meetings” with his counterparts in Congress that touched on the budget, security, infrastructure, military and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. But Trump said he would not agree to relief for young immigrants covered by the DACA program unless Democrats accept his demand for a border wall with Mexico.
“We want the wall,” he said. “The wall is going to happen, or we’re not going to have DACA.”
It wasn’t all business for the officials at Camp David. Trump and the lawmakers on Friday night watched the film “The Greatest Showman,” about the life of the famous showman and circus promoter, P.T. Barnum.
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