Landing a job at the White House can be lonely, according to US President Donald Trump, who lamented during a campaign stump speech that old friends have become overly formal and uptight with him since he took office.
Trump told a rally in Wisconsin on Thursday that he knows “a lot of very successful people,” but that they treat him differently now that he’s president.
“Now they call me up: ‘Mr. President, sir, would you like to get together sometime?’ I say: ‘Loosen up. Call me Donald, you’ve known me for thirty years.’”
He bemoaned how “respect for the office” has made personal relationships far more difficult. “I lost all my friends,” Trump told the crowd. “They used to be loose. They used to be great. I’m not a drinker but you can sit back and have a drink, whatever you’re drinking. Now you can’t do that anymore.”
Perhaps most distressing, Trump claimed that now he “has to rely on people in Congress” to be his friends – humorous given the legislative branch’s notorious unpopularity, not to mention the president’s seemingly endless squabbles with lawmakers. The joke garnered laughter from the audience.
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Trump narrowly won Wisconsin in 2016, but is currently trailing behind Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the state, according to the latest polls. A recent survey by Morning Consult gave Biden a nine-point lead over the incumbent.
Trump has broadcast his social life problems before. Last year, he told a rally in North Carolina that his friends have “choked” since he became president, and said they needed to “loosen up.”
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