President Donald Trump recalled his arrival in Washington, DC, 19 months ago as a political neophyte, noting his inexperience, his lack of connections, and most of all the striking realization he was the leader of the free world in his Tuesday night rally in Tampa, Florida.
“I’m riding down [Pennsylvania Avenue] in this beautiful car, picked up at the airport by secret service, holding the hand of our great first lady. And I look at her, and I say, ‘Honey, guess what? I’m President of the United States!'” the president told the crowd at the rally held in support of incumbent Florida Gov. Rick Scott, now running to unseat Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), one of the Republicans running to take Scott’s spot in the governor’s mansion.
Trump recounted how he ran as an outsider against the Washington, DC, “swamp.” He claimed to have never remembered spending a night in Washington before his election.
“I’ve had a great career. I’ve had a lot of fun. I’ve done great, I’ve done really well — beyond anything I could have ever expected,” Trump said. “And then I ran for president with no experience and I won.”
Trump hinted that that inexperience in Washington politics may have led to some poor decisions, particularly in his selection of administration personnel – something for which he has frequently come under fire from his core voter base.
“We have a great Cabinet now. A couple of little changes, but we have a great cabinet,” Trump told the rally, giving a shoutout to his latest Cabinet move, replacing former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson back in March. “We have Mike Pompeo as secretary of state — so many great people.”
“But I made some choices that I wouldn’t have made,” he added without elaboration.
“I didn’t know anybody in Washington, but now I know everybody in Washington,” Trump explained. “I know the good ones, I know the bad ones. I know the wonderful people and I know the scum. And America now is winning again, like they haven’t won before.”
Trump, earlier on Tuesday, put a damper on rumors of further personnel changes with his “offer” to retired Gen. John Kelly to remain as White House chief of staff until 2020.