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President Donald Trump on Sunday foreshadowed a Cabinet shakeup, while also giving himself high marks for his first two years as president.
Trump spoke to Chris Wallace of Fox News in an interview that aired on “Fox News Sunday.”
“I have three or four or five positions that I’m thinking about. Of that, maybe it’s going to end up being two. But I need flexibility,” Trump said, focusing on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
“Well, I like her a lot. I respect her a lot,” Trump said. “She’s very smart. I want her to get much tougher and we’ll see what happens there. But I want to be extremely tough. … I’d like her to be much tougher on the border — much tougher, period.”
Trump noted there was still a chance Nielsen might remain, and sounded a note of uncertainty about the long-term future of Chief of Staff John Kelly.
He insisted he and Kelly “get along well.”
“There are certain things I love what he does. And there are certain things that I don’t like that he does — that aren’t his strength,” Trump said. “You know, he works so hard. He’s doing an excellent job in many ways. There are a couple of things where it’s just not his strength.”
Although Trump at one point indicated Kelly might stay through the 2020 elections, he also said, “John, at some point, is going to want to move on. John will move on.”
Trump took a moment in the interview to grade his own performance.
“I think I’m doing a great job,” he said. “We have the best economy we’ve ever had. We’re doing really well. We would have been at war with North Korea if, let’s say, that administration continued forward. I would give myself — look, I hate to do it, but I will do it — I would give myself an A+, is that enough? Can I go higher than that?”
Trump said that despite media reports to the contrary, he believes he prevailed on Election Day over a number of rivals.
“I won against President Obama and Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama in a great state called Georgia for the governor,” Trump said. Winfrey and the Obamas supported Democratic governor candidate Stacey Abrams.
“And it was all stacked against (Republican) Brian (Kemp) and I was the one that went for Brian, and Brian won.”
The story was the same in Florida, Trump said.
“I went down to Florida. Rick Scott won, and he won by a lot,” Trump said, referring to Florida’s current governor who took on long-time incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
“I don’t know what happened to all those votes that disappeared at the very end,” he said. “If I didn’t put a spotlight on that election before it got down to the 12,500 votes, he would have lost that election, OK? In my opinion, he would have lost. They would have taken that election away from him. Rick Scott won Florida.”
Looking ahead, Trump said this past Thursday’s time spent at the Marine Barracks in Washington might not be his only contact with service members through the upcoming holidays — although the next troops he visits might be overseas.
“There are things that are being planned. We don’t want to talk about it because of … security reasons and everything else,” Trump said.