WASHINGTON President Donald Trump acknowledged his immigration goals may not have been communicated effectively, saying “maybe it’s my fault,” and may use his speech to Congress on Tuesday to address the poor messaging in his month-old administration.
The Republican Trump, a blustery newcomer to politics before winning the 2016 presidential election, gave himself a “C or a C+” on communication in an interview with “Fox & Friends” television program.
“In terms of achievement, I think I’d give myself an A. Because I think I’ve done great things. But I don’t think I have – I and my people – I don’t think we’ve explained it well enough to the American public,” he said in the interview, taped on Monday for broadcast Tuesday.
“I think I get an A in terms of what I’ve actually done, but in terms of messaging, I’d give myself a C or a C+.”
Trump will lay out plans for the next year on Tuesday night in a speech to Congress after a rocky start to his presidency, marked by the firing of his national security adviser and the troubled rollout of his executive order temporarily banning people from seven Muslim-majority nations.
He recently broadened the categories of people who could be targeted for immigration enforcement to anyone who had been charged with a crime, removing an Obama-era exception for people convicted of traffic misdemeanors.
California lawmakers on Monday demanded information from the Trump administration on arrests and raids in the most populous U.S. state, citing reports that immigration agents had gone to churches, schools and courthouses to find illegal immigrants.
Trump insists that agents are targeting dangerous criminals, not ordinary people. Asked if that has been communicated effectively, Trump said: “I don’t think so. No, I don’t think it’s been – maybe it’s my fault.”
Invited later to say how he would change the messaging, he said, “Maybe I change it during the speech.”
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)