President Donald Trump turned the idea of Thanksgiving on its head Thursday when he told the media he is grateful for his own “tremendous” work changing America.
When asked what he is “most thankful for” by a reporter at his Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Florida, Trump responded: “For having a great family and for having made a tremendous difference in this country.”
He then doubled down on patting himself on the back, saying, “I 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.”
He insisted that “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.”
He did not cite any specific leader who has made such claims. Nor did he mention the strains that have emerged between the U.S. and NATO under his administration or the laughter that greeted self-aggrandizing comments he made in a United Nations speech in September.
Trump’s comments Thursday in Florida followed a controversial conference phone call he had with members of the military, ostensibly to commemorate Thanksgiving. He eschewed the traditional presidential message that aims to be inspirational and boost morale among troops away from their families. Instead, he nakedly politicized the call and went off on tangents about the federal judiciary, the migrant caravan heading for the U.S. southern border and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Twitter had some choice comments about Trump’s self-referential twist on Thanksgiving — and the difference he has made.