For nearly 100 days, President Donald Trump has rattled Washington and been chastened by its institutions.
He’s startled world leaders with his unpredictability and tough talk, but won their praise for a surprise strike on Syria.
He’s endured the steady drip of investigations and a seemingly endless churn of public personnel drama.
“It’s a different kind of a presidency,” Mr. Trump said in an Oval Office interview with The Associated Press, an hourlong conversation as he approached Saturday’s key presidential benchmark.
Trump, who campaigned on a promise of instant disruption, indirectly acknowledged that change doesn’t come quickly to Washington. He showed signs that he feels the weight of the office, discussing the “heart” required to do the job. Although he retained his signature bravado and a salesman’s confidence in his upward trajectory, he displayed an awareness that many of his own lofty expectations for his first 100 days in office have not been met.
“It’s an artificial barrier. It’s not very meaningful,” he said.
Trump waffled on whether he should be held accountable for the 100-day plan he outlined with great fanfare in his campaign’s closing days, suggesting his “Contract with the American Voter” wasn’t really his idea to begin with.
“Somebody put out the concept of a 100-day plan,” he said.
One hundred days are just a fraction of a president’s tenure, and no president has quite matched the achievements of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who set the standard by which all are now judged.
Still, modern presidents have tried to move swiftly to capitalize upon the potent, and often fleeting, mix of political capital and public goodwill that usually accompanies their arrival in Washington.
Trump acknowledged that being commander in chief brings with it a “human responsibility” that he didn’t much bother with in business, requiring him to think through the consequences his decisions have on people and not simply the financial implications for his company’s bottom line.
As for accomplishments, Trump cited “tremendous success” on an undefined strategy for defeating the Islamic State group. He talked at length about saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars on the price of F-35 fighter jets.
He promised a tax overhaul plan that would give Americans a tax cut bigger than “any tax cut ever.”