Trump tells AP: 100 day benchmark 'not very meaningful'

Trump tells AP: 100 day benchmark 'not very meaningful'
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President Trump dismissed the coming 100-day mark of his presidency as a “not very meaningful” benchmark in an interview with the Associated Press published Sunday.

"It's an artificial barrier. It's not very meaningful," he said."I think I've established amazing relationships that will be used the four or eight years, whatever period of time I'm here. I think for that I would be getting very high marks because I've established great relationships with countries" like China, Egypt and others. 

"I've developed great relationships with all of these leaders. Nobody's written that," he continued. "

Trump seemed to seek distance from his "Contract with the American Voter" proposed toward the end of his campaign, saying a 100-day plan wasn't necessarily his idea. 


"Somebody, yeah, somebody put out the concept of a hundred-day plan," he told the AP.  "... Well, I'm mostly there on most items," he said adding, "But things change. There has to be flexibility."

Asked if he felt voters should hold him accountable to that plan to judge his early performance, Trump said, "No, because much of the foundation's been laid. Things came up."

As an example, he said he didn't have a Supreme Court nominee on his list -- though the AP reporter pointed out that "begin the process of selecting" a nominee was part of that plan.  

"That's the biggest thing I've done," Trump responded, before tweaking his answer. 

"... I would say that defense is the biggest thing. You know, to be honest, there are a number of things. But I've always heard that the highest calling is the nomination of a Supreme Court justice. I've done one in my first 70 days."

Trump started his presidency with low political capital and a lack of public goodwill. Since his inauguration, his approval ratings have for the most part remained consistent at around 40 percent in polls. 

The FBI's investigation into Russian connections to his campaign, delays in instating administration staff and the legislative pushes for repealing and replacing ObamaCare, building a border wall and overhauling the tax system have dogged the start of the Trump administration. 

But "it's a different kind of a presidency," Trump told the AP.

He cited "tremendous success" from his strategy for defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as one accomplishment and cost savings on the price of upcoming F-35 fighter jets as another of his successes. 

"A little before I took office there was a terrible article about the F-35 fighter jet," he said. 

"So I called in Lockheed and I said, 'I'm sorry, we're going to have to bid this out to another company, namely Boeing,' or whoever else. But Boeing. And I called in Boeing and I started getting competing offers back and forth."

"I saved $725 million on the 90 planes. Just 90. Now there are 3,000 planes that are going to be ordered."

Trump is making the media rounds this week and is scheduled to sit down with CBS’s John Dickerson next weekend to talk about his first 100 days in office.

Updated 4:51 p.m.