President Trump said Wednesday that he would grade his administration's performance during the first 100 days as an "A," citing legislative and executive accomplishments and his nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
"I'd give us an A," Trump said during an interview with the Washington Examiner at the White House, when asked to rate his first 100 days.
"That's a standard that's really an artificial standard, the whole 100 day thing," Trump said. "Because I think what I've done best is set foundations for the future, including with foreign countries, including with China and Japan and many, many countries that we have great relationships with. I think we have some incredible foundations that have been built over the last — Germany — a lot of great foundations — the U.K. But we've passed 28 legislative bills and that'll be 32 by the time Saturday night rolls along."
Trump has indeed signed 28 bills since taking office, many of them related to the Congressional Review Act. Republicans have made historic use of the CRA to roll back Obama-era rules, as the law allows Congress to undo regulations legislatively within a 60-day window.
But the president acknowledged that his White House could stand to improve its messaging strategy and argued some of his accomplishments in the first 100 days have been underplayed.
"I would say communication would be a little bit less than an A, because I don't think we've gotten the word out what we've done, because I think we're so busy getting it done that we're not talking about it," Trump said. "But I would give the administration, on the big picture, an A. I would say we haven't communicated the word out, so I'd give us a little bit less than that, but one of the reasons we haven't done that is, we're too busy working."
However, Trump had high praise for his press secretary, Sean Spicer, who has turned the White House daily briefings into highly-rated television events.
"Sean's doing great. Look, Sean is being attacked viciously by people ... if Sean were a liberal Democrat, they'd be saying he's the greatest person ever to live," Trump said.
"I think a lot of the media doesn't want us to get the word out," he added. "So I've seen Sean say things that were so perfectly stated, and then the next day I'll read about it or I'll see it on television, and I'll say, 'that's not the same man that said — are they watching —' I actually would tell people: 'Are you watching the same conference or the same Sean that I watched?' Because I've seen it perfectly stated, you cannot do it any better, and when it's written or on television, it's totally different."
The White House has ramped up efforts this week to highlight Trump's accomplishments as his 100th day in office draws near. Cabinet members and West Wing aides have conducted a series of background briefings and press conferences in an attempt to draw attention to the president's most substantive executive actions and legislative successes.
The introduction of a tax reform blueprint on Wednesday addressed a policy milestone that the administration had so far failed to hit. Republicans' inability to pass a healthcare reform plan for which Trump had personally advocated stands as a loose end at the end of his first 100 days.
"I think we're very close to getting healthcare," Trump said. "I don't know that we'll do it over the next two days, but I think we're close."