Trump’s message Wednesday seemed clear: You guys won this round, but I’m still the president of the United States.
Does Trump truly want to be considered part of the nation’s “elite”? Of course not. Just like other politicians, Trump has turned the term into a punching bag for his populist politics. “Hillary Clinton’s America is a country where the elite get one standard of treatment and everybody else gets second-class treatment,” Trump said the day before the 2016 election in Virginia Beach “It is time to reject a failed political elite that has bled this country dry,” he said the same day in Scranton, Pa. “The political and media elite have no idea what it’s like to be living on a paycheck, paycheck-to-paycheck basis,” he said the day before in Sioux City, Iowa.
Trump has largely shelved this kind of “elite” rhetoric since then, but he did say something similar to what he said Wednesday back during an August speech in Phoenix. In that speech, he talked about how he went to “better schools” and lived in a “bigger, more beautiful apartment” than the elites.