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Trump: I Have Done in a Month in Office More than What My Ancestors Have Done in 100 Days | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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President Trump smiles while speaking to a meeting of the National Governors Association, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, at the White House in Washington. AP PHOTO / EVAN VUCCI

Washington – US President Donald Trump said that during his first month at the White House, he managed to achieve more than what the previous presidents had done in 100 days.

Trump spoke during an interview with Fox News Channel, during which he blamed former President Barack Obama for the protests against him and the leaks. The president had the interview hours before heading to his first speech at the Capitol Hill.

Trump expressed his belief that President Obama was behind the protests because his people were certainly behind it.

“Some of the leaks possibly come from that group, which are really serious because they are very bad in terms of national security. But I also understand that is politics. In terms of him being behind things, that’s politics. And it will probably continue,” he added.

Earlier, transcripts of Trump’s phone calls with both presidents of Mexico and Australia were leaked. Trump blamed “Obama people” for the embarrassing leaks of private phone calls.

“It’s a disgrace that they leaked because it’s very much against our country,” Trump told Fox News.

In response, he vowed to replace the White House and National Security Council staff holdovers from the Obama administration with his own people.

“A lot of those jobs, I don’t want to appoint, because they’re unnecessary to have,” Trump said, adding that: “Many of those jobs I don’t want to fill. I say, isn’t that a good thing? That’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing. We’re running a very good, efficient government.”

When asked if he’d decrease his tweets, Trump said that Twitter allows him to go around dishonest media.

“Most of the people that want me to stop it are the enemies, I’ll be honest with you. If I felt the media were honest, all of it, or most of it, I wouldn’t do it. But it is a modern day form of communication,” he insisted.

Trump concluded the interview by saying that despite ending his first month in office with the lowest approval rating of any president in the US history, a recent poll showed “the level of enthusiasm for me is as strong as they’ve ever seen,” adding that he had managed to achieve in the first 4 weeks more than any previous president had done in 100 days.

Later, Trump gave his first speech before the Congress where he was expected to draw the highlights of the political and legislative guidelines.

Analysts believe that Trump’s announcement of a $54 billion increase in defense spending won’t be welcomed by Democrats or even Republicans.

They believe that this will also create huge clashes on fundamental policy ideas with House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Ryan has made a career out of pressing difficult truths on federal spending. For years, he has maintained that to tame the budget deficit without tax increases and prevent draconian cuts to federal programs, Congress must be willing to change, and cut the programs that spend the most money — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Social Security, health care and net interest now comprise nearly 60 percent of all federal spending, and that figure is expected to soar to 82 percent over the next 10 years.

Analysts believe that this is not simply a fight for an ideological core but rather a question of what can pass Congress.

According to the analysts, a budget with no entitlement cuts and one that does not balance most likely has no chance of passing the House, and could be rejected by Senate Republicans, as well.

If Congress fails to pass a budget blueprint for the fiscal year that begins in October, Trump’s promise to drastically rewrite the tax code could also die because the president was counting on that budget resolution to include special parliamentary language that would shield his tax cuts from a Democratic filibuster.

Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and federal budget expert believes that President Trump has talked about deeper domestic spending cuts than even House and Senate Republicans have talked about.

“I think to a certain degree congressional Republicans understand they are going to have to drive the train on balancing the budget,” Riedl said.

Yet, Riedl thinks that the question is how far Republicans can go with Trump in the White House because they don’t expect him to barnstorm the country talking about how to rein in federal spending.