President Donald Trump joked on Thursday that he would advise his 25-year-old self not to run for president.
He made the remark during an interview with Charlie Kirk, the founder of Turning Points USA, a conservative campus organization financed in part by deep-pocketed Republican donors and personally supported by many members of the Trump family, including the President himself.
Kirk’s organization made headlines last year when a member of the Kent State University chapter wore a diaper to protest safe spaces, and again when a student activist at the same college quit and dubbed it a “shithole organization.”
“Your successful presidential run is something that all people, young people included, should look up to,” Kirk told Trump at an event called the “Generation Next” summit. “What advice would you give to the 25-year-old Donald Trump knowing what you know today?”
“Don’t run for president,” Trump replied, to laughter.
“But we’re glad you did,” Kirk said.
Trump said he got “the greatest publicity” until he ran for office, but that “people really do get it.”
“There is a lot of fake news out there,” he said. “Nobody had any idea. And I’m actually proud of the fact that I exposed it to a large extent, because we exposed it. It’s something. It’s an achievement.”
Trump said that while there was “some great news,” he had “shown something that a lot of people didn’t really understand. If you look at approval rating, [the media’s] approval rating is, sorry folks, it’s down the tubes. Because people have found out how dishonest it is.”
“Sometimes, they say, you add nine. Whatever Trump’s poll number is, add nine,” he added later, referring to polling during the 2016 campaign that underplayed the possibility he would be elected president.