12/05/2017 04:06 BST

Donald Trump Says He's Shocked By All The 'Meanness Out There'

But in a rare moment of self-awareness he admitted that the contentious nature of the White House could be his fault.

DOMINICK REUTER via Getty Images
President Donald Trump says you have to be "combative" to survive.

President Donald Trump says he’s surprised by the “meanness” that surrounds him. 

But in a rare moment of self-awareness, the man who has attacked and belittled rivals ― often bestowing insulting nicknames such as “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz and “Cryin’ Chuck” Schumer ― admits the contentious nature of his White House could be his fault.

In an interview with Time magazine, Trump was asked if his White House is too combative. He said: 

“I think it is. It could be my fault. I don’t want to necessarily blame but there’s a great meanness out there that I’m surprised at. I mean I’m surprised.”

Trump also justified his tactics. 

“(T)he only way you survive is to be combative,” he said. “I’ll read stories in the New York Times that are so one sided. Hey, I know when I’m successful. I know victory, okay.”

Read the full interview at Time, and for more on the meanness out there, see The New York Times’ growing list of people, places and things Trump has insulted since announcing his candidacy.