President Donald Trump insists that he is building meaningful, personal relationships with key world leaders that have already paid dividends for the United States.
Speaking with the Washington Examiner in an exclusive interview to mark his first 100 days in office, Trump said that one of the reasons is that his Mar-a-Lago resort is a "deal-maker's paradise."
Trump has been criticized by many for taking trips to his personal resort so often and also using it for the official business of the presidency.
The full interview is also airing on a special edition of "Main Street Meets the Beltway" on Monday on SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. channel 124.
To illustrate his point, Trump said that although he has harshly criticized Beijing for currency manipulation, he now, after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, has nothing but praise for him. This is especially true given what Trump sees as Xi's efforts to prevent conflict involving its ally, North Korea.
Trump said he pressed Xi to use his influence to halt any further North Korean tests of nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles when the two had extensive meeting at Mar-a-Lago
"President Xi of China, who I think is a very good person, wants the best for his people," Trump said. "I think he is a fantastic person. Now, maybe he won't do anything for the United States or maybe he will.
"When I met him at Mar-a-Lago, which is a deal-makers paradise, and we sat in that living room, in these big beautiful chairs, and we sat there, it was supposed to be a 10-minute one-on-one, then we go into a breakout room where we have 40 people… and that was going to be the whole day. But the 10 minutes turned out to be three hours."
Trump said that after the same thing happened the next day, "now we have a real relationship... He is a great guy… I think he is going to try to help us with North Korea. Because he does not want to see us wanting to attack North Korea. And I think he would love to see if he could work something out."
Trump also credited his relationship with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi for obtaining the release of aid worker Aya Hijazi from a three-year captivity in Egypt.
"President Obama tried to have Aya released for 3-and-a-half years," Trump said. "They were unsuccessful. I was with President el-Sissi for 10 minutes [in the Oval Office].
Trump added that Sissi "didn't like President Obama, and I know President Obama did not like him. But I do like him. And I thought it was a great and brilliant gesture."
While his interview is full of his usual bravado, the presidency does appear to have humbled Trump somewhat.
"You can make a mistake in deals, and you work it out," Trump said. "You make a mistake here, there is nothing to work out. You know it's trouble. It could be big trouble. And it is life-threatening trouble for lots of people, potentially."
The president added that "when I was doing many real estate deals at one time, I always thought that was going to be more comprehensive and lengthier than a day like this. It's not."
Trump, however, spoke in superlatives about his achievements in the first 100 days, saying no president "has ever done what I have done."
When asked to list his accomplishments, Trump said, "I think that the Supreme Court [appointment of Neil Gorsuch] is very important, because every 5-to-4 decision is because of me. And that could go on for 40 years."
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.