This Thanksgiving, Donald Trump gives thanks for himself
As Americans around the world gathered together for Thanksgiving on Thursday, US President Donald Trump told reporters what he is most thankful for this year: himself.
Speaking from his holiday resort at Mar-a-Lago in Florida on Thursday, the president gave thanks for the “tremendous difference” he said he has made in the country since his election in 2016.
“What are you most thankful for Mr President?” calls a reporter at the end of an hour-long press conference.
Mr Trump’s “great family” received the first mention but only amounted to 6% of his full answer, the core of which was devoted to the impact “people can’t even believe” he has made to America.
He said: “For having a great family and for having made a tremendous difference in this country. I’ve made a tremendous difference in the country.
“This country is so much stronger now than it was when I took office that you wouldn’t believe it. I mean, you see it, but so much stronger that people can’t even believe it.
“When I see foreign leaders they say ‘we cannot believe the difference in strength between the United States now and the United States two years ago’. [We] made a lot of progress.”
Adam Hug, director of the Foreign Policy Centre in London, said the biggest difference Mr Trump and his administration have made is on the political culture of the United States rather than any significant impact on the economy or laws.
He said: “The primary feature of the Trump presidency has been the way in which his administration – and him personally – have sought to challenge the operation of America’s institutions and challenge some long-standing norms around how the presidency should operate.
“That has obviously created some significant tensions and a more volatile political environment in the United States than we’ve seen in recent years.”
The Trump administration has “continued to ride” the economic expansion which began under Obama, he added, and Mr Trump’s tax and regulatory changes “do not seem to have negatively affected economic growth”.
“How Trump deals with any slowdown in the economy will be a significant test for the second half of his presidency,” he said.