Exclusive: Trump says he thought being
president would be easier than his old life
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[April 28, 2017]
By Stephen J. Adler, Jeff Mason and Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - He misses driving,
feels as if he is in a cocoon, and is surprised how hard his new job is.
President Donald Trump on Thursday reflected on his first 100 days in
office with a wistful look at his life before the White House.
"I loved my previous life. I had so many things going," Trump told
Reuters in an interview. "This is more work than in my previous life. I
thought it would be easier."
A wealthy businessman from New York, Trump assumed public office for the
first time when he entered the White House on Jan. 20 after he defeated
former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an upset.
More than five months after his victory and two days shy of the 100-day
mark of his presidency, the election is still on Trump's mind. Midway
through a discussion about Chinese President Xi Jinping, the president
paused to hand out copies of what he said were the latest figures from
the 2016 electoral map.
"Here, you can take that, that's the final map of the numbers," the
Republican president said from his desk in the Oval Office, handing out
maps of the United States with areas he won marked in red. "Itís pretty
good, right? The red is obviously us."
He had copies for each of the three Reuters reporters in the room.
Trump, who said he was accustomed to not having privacy in his "old
life," expressed surprise at how little he had now. And he made clear he
was still getting used to having 24-hour Secret Service protection and
its accompanying constraints.
"You're really into your own little cocoon, because you have such
massive protection that you really can't go anywhere," he said.
When the president leaves the White House, it is usually in a limousine
or an SUV.
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President Donald Trump speaks during an interview with Reuters in
the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 27,
2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
He said he missed being behind the wheel himself.
"I like to drive," he said. "I can't drive any more."
Many things about Trump have not changed from the wheeler-dealer
executive and former celebrity reality show host who ran his empire
from the 26th floor of Trump Tower in New York and worked the phones
He frequently turns to outside friends and former business
colleagues for advice and positive reinforcement. Senior aides say
they are resigned to it.
The president has been at loggerheads with many news organizations
since his election campaign and decided not to attend the White
House Correspondents' Dinner in Washington on Saturday because he
felt he had been treated unfairly by the media.
"I would come next year, absolutely," Trump said when asked whether
he would attend in the future.
The dinner is organized by the White House Correspondents'
Association. Reuters correspondent Jeff Mason is its president.
(Writing by Jeff Mason; Editing by Kieran Murray and Howard Goller)
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