President Trump on Tuesday morning said his joint address to Congress this evening would focus on the central planks of his campaign – the military, the border, jobs and healthcare – and he took responsibility for any communications miscues that have blunted the effectiveness of his message in the early days of the administration.
Trump, in an exclusive interview with “Fox & Friends,” specifically cited his immigration policy, and said that perhaps the rollout of his plan to keep out and remove criminal illegals hadn’t been “communicated effectively.”
“And maybe that’s my fault,” Trump said.
He added: “We’re getting the bad ones out, the bad people, gang people, drug lords, in some cases, murderers,” echoing the campaign rhetoric that dominated his speeches from Day 1 of his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination.
Trump also ramped up his war with the press, questioning whether or not many journalists are simply making up the stories he’s infamously derided as “fake news.”
“I believe that sometimes they don’t have sources,” Trump said. “I believe that a lot of the sources are made up. I believe a lot of the sources are pure fiction. They just pull it out of thin air.”
The White House has been plagued by a deluge of leaks leading to a series of politically embarrassing stories, and it was reported that Press Secretary Sean Spicer, in an attempt to stem the flow, called a meeting with dozens of aides and searched their electronic devices. While Trump is eager to find the source – or sources – of the leaks, he disagreed with Spicer’s controversial methodology.
“Sean Spicer is a fine human being. He’s a fine person. I would have done it differently,” Trump said. “I would have done it one-on-one.”
He added: “Sean handles it his way and I’m okay with it.”
Trump said the administration had “sort of ideas” who had been leaking information.
“We have people from other campaigns, we have people from [previous] governments,” Trump said.