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Trump gives himself 'C' for communication

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US President notes immigration fiasco 'maybe my fault'

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump acknowledged his immigration goals may not have been communicated effectively, saying "maybe it's my fault".

He may use his speech to Congress today (Singapore time) to address the poor messaging in his month-old administration.

The Republican, a blustery newcomer to politics before winning last year's presidential election, gave himself a "C or a C+" for communication in an interview with Fox & Friends television programme.

"In terms of achievement, I think I'd give myself an A.

"Because I think I've done great things. But I don't think I have - I and my people - I don't think we've explained it well enough to the American public," he said in the interview, taped on Monday and broadcast on Tuesday (local time).

Mr Trump will lay out plans for the next year in a speech to Congress after a rocky start to his presidency, marked by the firing of his national security adviser and the troubled roll-out of his executive order temporarily banning people from seven Muslim-majority nations.

He recently broadened the categories of people who could be targeted for immigration enforcement to anyone who had been charged with a crime, removing an Obama-era exception for people convicted of traffic misdemeanours.


California lawmakers on Monday demanded information from the administration on arrests and raids in the US state, citing reports that immigration agents had gone to churches, schools and courthouses to find illegal immigrants.

Mr Trump insists agents are targeting dangerous criminals, not ordinary people.

Asked if that has been communicated effectively, Mr Trump said: "I don't think so. No, I don't think it's been - maybe it's my fault."

Invited to say how he would change the messaging, he said: "Maybe I change it during the speech."

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the theme of the speech to Congress, which is controlled by Mr Trump's fellow Republicans, would be "the renewal of the American spirit", and it would be grounded in how to solve the problems of everyday Americans.

Said Mr Spicer: "He will invite Americans of all backgrounds to come together in the service of a stronger and brighter future for our nation."

Mr Tim Albrecht, a Republican strategist in Iowa, said the speech was Mr Trump's best opportunity to date to explain where he wants to take the country. He doubted there would be much in the way of conciliatory language.

Democratic lawmakers plan to attend the speech and give their reactions to reporters afterwards, as is the custom during similar events, said congressional aides. - REUTERS

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