The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Trump gives himself a ‘C or C+’ grade for communicating with the public: Needs improvement

President Trump speaks to a meeting of the National Governors Association at the White House on Feb. 27, 2017.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Hours before delivering his first joint address to both houses of Congress, President Trump offered a candid assessment of the job his administration has done in explaining his policies to the American people.

Asked in an interview aired Tuesday to grade his job performance thus far in his presidency, Trump offered high marks for his accomplishments, but he gave himself a “C” for messaging, conceding that he has not been able to properly explain what he's done.

" In terms of messaging, I would give myself a C or a C plus,” Trump said in an interview with “Fox and Friends.” “In terms of achievement, I think I'd give myself an A.  Because I think I've done great things, but I don't think I have — I and my people, I don't think we've explained it well enough to the American public.”

Trump's address on Tuesday night is an effort to change that, he said.

Trump touts spending plan, but promise to leave entitlements alone puts GOP in a quandary

He promise to talk about his administration's efforts, pitching them to a skeptical American public. Trump goes into the speech with historically low approval ratings. According to Gallup, 42 percent of Americans approve of Trump, while 54 percent disapprove.

The president specifically cited his immigration enforcement actions, which have accelerated deportations across the country, as a policy issue that has not been properly explained.

No, I don't think it's been — maybe it's my fault,” Trump said. “But, you know, when they show people being taken out, these are people that are — we're looking at the bad ones.”

‘I can’t take that place.’ An Arizona family struggles with a mother’s deportation.

He added that he would “speak from the heart” about his plans for the country.

“We're coming out with a health care plan that I think will be terrific,” Trump said. “It will be very inclusive and I think it's going to do, really, what people are wanting it to do.

“But I'll be talking about that. I'll be talking about the military. I'll be talking about the border,” Trump added.