There’s learning on the job, and then there’s learning on the job. For Donald Trump, whose first formal foray into political life attained him the highest elected office in the world, adjusting to the presidency required him to ditch some of his oldest convictions, he told reporters Tuesday.
Responding to a question about what he’d learned in his first year in office, President Trump said, “I’ve really learned a lot.” Specifically, he explained, the biggest difference between his previous life as a real estate mogul and his new job as America’s preeminent elected official is that now, he has to care about people. “When you’re a businessperson, you don’t have to worry about your heart,” Trump told the gathered news anchors, per CNN’s Jake Tapper. “You really do what’s best for you — you know, for almost purely monetary reasons.”
After reminding the reporters that he built “a great company,” Trump reflected on the fact that building a great country is fundamentally different. “What I’m doing now, a lot of it is heart, a lot of it is compassion, a lot of it is far beyond money,” he said, citing immigration reform specifically. “If I was doing this purely from an economic standpoint … [it would be] so simple. But I’m not.”
Trump eclipsed the one-year mark 10 days ago — coincidentally, on the day the government shut down over Trump’s decision last year to end protections for young undocumented immigrants, which spurred Democrats to hold federal funding hostage. Read Trump’s full answer on what he’s learned here.