In an interview that covered everything from national security to the midterm elections, President Trump told Fox News host Chris Wallace that he was extremely pleased with his first two years in the White House.
“I think I’m doing a great job,” Trump said with his characteristic humility. “We have the best economy we’ve ever had. We’re doing really well. We would have been at war with North Korea is, let’s say, that administration continued forward. I would give myself – look, I hate to do it, but I will do it – I would give myself an A+. Is that enough? Can I go higher than that?”
Trump said reports of his foul mood since the midterms were just “disgusting fake news,” but that he was mulling over further changes to his administration. After having already asked for and received the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Trump acknowledged that he was not altogether happy with Kirstjen Nielsen’s performance over at Homeland Security.
“Well, I like her a lot. I respect her a lot,” Trump said. “She’s very smart. I want her to get much tougher and we’ll see what happens there. But I want to be extremely tough. I like her very much, I respect her very much, I’d like her to be much tougher on the border — much tougher, period.”
Trump said there was a “chance” that Nielsen might continue to serve as DHS secretary, but it didn’t sound like it was a very significant chance.
There is at least one individual in Trump’s orbit fighting for Nielsen to stay, and it’s former DHS Secretary – and current White House Chief of Staff – John Kelly. But when asked about Kelly’s future in the administration, Trump was circumspect.
“There are certain things I love what he does,” the president said. “And there are certain things that I don’t like that he does — that aren’t his strength. It’s not that he doesn’t do — you know he works so hard. He’s doing an excellent job in many ways. There are a couple of things where it’s just not his strength. It’s not his fault, it’s not his strength. But John, at some point, is going to want to move on. John will move on.”
Trump has proven to be a president unafraid to make personnel changes on a dime, so chances are slim that his Cabinet will look the same in 2020 that it does today. Perhaps Nielsen and Kelly will be the first to go, but we’d place a sizable bet on there being plenty of other changes before Trump gets back out on the campaign trail.