As President Donald Trump begins his marathon trip to Asia, he is taking credit for record highs in the U.S. stock market and rejecting suggestions that China’s president is the one who is now coming from a position of strength.
“Highest stock market in history,” the president told reporters on Air Force One Saturday en route to Asia. "Lowest unemployment in 17 years, a military that’s rapidly rebuilding, ISIS is virtually defeated in the Middle East. We are coming off some of the strongest numbers we’ve ever had.”
On the stock market, he left no doubt who he believes deserves the credit.
“The reason our stock market is so successful is because of me,” the president said. “I’ve always been great with money, I’ve always been great with jobs, that’s what I do. And I’ve done it well, I’ve done it really well, much better than people understand and they understand I’ve done well.”
Chinese president Xi Jinping comes into his meetings Trump after consolidating his power as China’s most powerful president in at least two decades.
President Trump acknowledged Xi’s power but said the Chinese president fully understands Trump’s power too.
“I think he’s viewing us very, very strong, and also very friendly," he said. "But we have to do better with trade with China, because it’s a one-way street right now and it has been for many years."
He added, "We’re friends. Now, with that being said, he represents China, I represent the United States. But we’re going in with tremendous strength. We’re going in with a stock market that’s higher than ever before.”
Friends or not, President Trump vowed to take a tough line on trade in his meetings with President Xi.
“I think he’s viewing us very, very strong, and also very friendly,” the president said. “But we have to do better with trade with China, because it’s a one-way street right now and it has been for many years.”