Story highlights

Trump gave an extensive interview to TIME magazine

The interview published Thursday

Washington CNN  — 

President Donald Trump is living every child’s dream: More ice cream.

According to an extensive interview with TIME Magazine, Trump’s White House staff has settled into Trump’s routine and know his desires, sometimes before he does,

For example: Trump takes two scoops of ice cream with his chocolate cream pie, TIME reported, while everyone else around the table gets just one.

In the interview published Thursday, Trump also expanded on his view of Russian hacking during the 2016 election, refuted reports that he is unhappy with his current national security adviser and took a level of blame for his combative administration.

But, more than anything, Trump gave TIME a window into some of the oddities that make his White House unlike any in modern history, including the traits that make Trump tick.

Here are some illuminating takeaways from the interview:

Business at any cost

Trump casts himself throughout the interview as America’s businessman, someone who is bringing his private-sector savvy to the White House to spur growth and create jobs. That focus extends to faulty digital launching systems on aircraft carriers – “Time and material means you’re going to get your ass kicked” – to arms deals with unlikely African leaders.

TIME reported that Trump brought up how he is trying to mint an arms deal with an African leader who has decades-old human rights concerns, all in the name of spurring American business. Trump declined to name the country.

President Trump and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, held a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House, on Friday, March 17, 2017.
Report: Trump blames self for combative WH
01:12 - Source: CNN

‘It could be my fault’

Trump rarely takes blame, and throughout the 2016 campaign he said he rarely, if ever, apologizes.

But during his interview with TIME, Trump took responsibility – sort of – for the combative tone of his administration.

“It could be my fault,” he said. “I don’t want to necessarily blame, but there’s a great meanness out there that I’m surprised at.”

It’s not an admission, but it’s a close as Trump usually gets.

“I fully think apologizing is a great thing, but you have to be wrong,” Trump told Jimmy Fallon in September 2015. “I will absolutely apologize sometime in the distant future if I’m ever wrong.”

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a speech during the evening session on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Trump accuses Gold Star family of attacking him
02:45 - Source: CNN

A level of introspection

Trump, carrying on the tenor of his vicious 2016 campaign, has made Washington a more acrimonious place. Democrats, appalled by his victory, have grown more fearful, more vocal and more disgusted. Trump has kept his foot on the gas, too, with near constant combative tweets.

But doing the TIME interview, as their dinner was wrapping up, Trump appeared to have a moment of introspection.

“It never made sense to me, the level of animosity,” Trump said. “All you want to do is, like, let’s have a great military. Let’s have low taxes. Let’s have good health care. Let’s have good education.”

Trump, notably, at times during the 2016 campaign demeaned his primary and general election opponents’ spouses and attacked a Gold Star family. More recently, he cast the entire media as the “enemy of the state.”

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Gen. Clapper: Unclassified is not leaking
01:06 - Source: CNN

‘Choke like dogs’

Can Trump lament acrimony in Washington? Yes. But he also can elevate with seven-word sentence.

Watching clips of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ recent Senate testimony, Trump compared to the longtime government officials to dogs.

“Watch them start to choke like dogs,” Trump said after Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, asked whether official asked for names of Trump or his associates be revealed in an intelligence report. “Watch what happens. They are desperate for breath.”

“Ah, he’s choking. Ah, look,” Trump said after Clapper declined to provide names.

“So they surveilled me,” he added. “You guys don’t write that – wiretapped in quotes. They surveilled me.”

CNN’s Allie Malloy contributed to this report.