Donald Trump boasted that his “ratings” were higher than broadcasts of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in an interview about his first 100 days in the White House.
In an interview with the Associated Press, the President railed against the “fake media”, former rival Hillary Clinton and the election during which he lost the popular vote.
When asked if he thought he had changed how people vote, Mr Trump pointed to his “very high ratings”, claiming they increased by two or three times when he appeared on the Sunday morning shows.
He highlighted Chris Wallace’s Fox News show.
“It had 9.2 million people. It’s the highest they’ve ever had. On any, on air, [CBS’ John] Dickerson had 5.2 million people,” he said.
“It’s the highest for ‘Face the Nation’ or as I call it, ‘Deface the Nation’. It’s the highest for ‘Deface the Nation’ since the World Trade Center. Since the World Trade Center came down. It’s a tremendous advantage.”
Several hours after the attacks on 11 September 2001, during which almost 3,000 people died, Mr Trump was interviewed on radio and claimed that since the Towers came down, he now owned the tallest building in Manhattan. He was also condemned for claiming around $150,000 of government funds for small businesses to get back on their feet after the attacks.
The President also falsely claimed that he saw Muslims clapping and cheering as they watched the Towers fall, which could have contributed to an anti-Muslim rhetoric that led to a 65 per cent spike in hate crimes against Muslims in 2015, as found by the FBI.
In the AP interview, the President also claimed that Democratic representative Elijah Cummings told him he would be the “greatest President in history”. Mr Cummings has repeatedly called for an investigation into the President and his campaign team’s dealings with Russia, and has criticised Mr Trump’s health care proposals.
“There’s going to come a time when Trump isn’t going to be in office,” he said last week. “The question is what's going to be left after the storm.”
Mr Trump claimed that Fox News was the “most accurate” network, and he had stopped watching CNN and MSNBC to avoid 'negativity' before work.
He also insisted the press treated him “so badly” when he claimed last week there might have been a terrorist attack in France before the police had released details.
“I said it may be a terrorist attack and MSNBC, I heard, went crazy, “He called it a terrorist attack.” They thought it was a bank robbery,” he said.
“By the way, I'm 10-0 for that. I've called every one of them [attacks]. Every time they said I called it way too early and then it turns out I'm ... Whatever. Whatever. In the meantime, I'm here and they're not.”
The President has had a contentious relationship with the press since he announced his candidacy for President in June 2015, and has attacked most mainstream publications from The Washington Post to The New York Times for publishing "inaccurate" stories about him.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies