“Fake news” has dictated his behavior during his time in the White House, President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday.
A reporter asked Trump to respond to billionaire investor Leon Cooperman’s comment that Trump should either change his behavior or leave office at the end of his first term. “Now, you really shaped my behavior,” Trump told the reporter, citing the way the media has attacked him using “fake news” and “false investigations”:
Reporter: “Leon Cooperman said this week that, if you can't change your behavior, you probably shouldn't run again in 2020. What do you say to that?”
Pres. Trump: “Now, you really shaped my behavior because, from the day I came in here, I've had problems with phony stuff - like a phony dossier that turned out to be false, like false investigations that I've beaten. So, a lot of my behavior was shaped by the fake news and by the other side. That was a lot of my behavior.”
Trump, then, listed the ways he’s succeeded in boosting the U.S. economy – despite being under constant assault by “the fake news” and ”the Comey’s of the world” – and said that Cooperman should be grateful because “he did very well with Trump”:
“The fact is that we created the greatest economy in the history of our country. With all of that stuff going on behind me; nobody else could have done it. Rush Limbaugh said he doesn't know a man in the world that could have done what Trump did. I don't know Leon Cooperman, but whoever Leon Cooperman is - I know of him - he can have his own view. But, in the meantime, I'm making him rich and I’m making a lot of other people rich, including the working man and woman. They have never done so well as they've done right now. Our jobs are the best they've ever been. Everything about our economy is just about the best it's ever been. Including unemployment.
“So, I think in light of all of the things going on, and you know what I mean by that: the fake news, the Comeys of the world. All of the bad things that went on. It's called the swamp. And, you know what happened and you know what I did? A big favor. I caught the swamp. I caught them all. Let's see what happens. Nobody else could have done that but me. I caught all of this corruption that was going on and nobody else could have done it.
“On top of that, we have the best economy, greatest economy we've ever had. The best job numbers we've ever had. African-American, Asian-Americans, Hispanics - the best ever. So, I think we've done a great job. So, tell Leon - who I've seen, but I don't know - tell him ‘Congratulations,’ because he did very well with Trump.”