Trump says he’s lost all his friends because they have ‘respect for the office of the presidency’

World leaders, including President Donald Trump, far left, on the first day of the G20 leaders summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017.

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World leaders, including President Donald Trump, far left, on the first day of the G20 leaders summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017.
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REUTERS/Ludovic Marin/Pool

  • President Donald Trump at a campaign rally on Wednesday jokingly bemoaned his lack of friends after becoming the commander-in-chief, saying “they’ve choked.”
  • Trump claimed people in his orbit acted differently because they “have such respect for the office of the presidency.”
  • “I lost all my friends! They’ve tightened up,” Trump said. “They’ve choked. You know what that is? They’ve choked. They can’t breathe.”
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President Donald Trump at a campaign rally on Wednesday jokingly bemoaned his lack of friends after becoming the commander-in-chief, saying “they’ve choked.”

“I have guys, I have wonderful friends,” Trump said at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina. “I have poor guys, middle of the road, and rich guys, it doesn’t matter.”

Trump offered an anecdote of an exchange he had with “Richard,” who Trump said changed his demeanor after he became president.

“Rich guys call up, ‘Uh, Mr. President? How are you, sir? Uh, it’s Richard,” Trump recalled of a conversation.

Trump said he replied, “Oh good, Rich. Hey, Richard, loosen up.”

“I said, ‘Richard call me Donald like you always did,'” Trump said, adding that “two minutes later, ‘Mr. President it’s been so great …'”

Trump claimed people in his orbit acted differently because they “have such respect for the office of the presidency.”

Read more: Inside the once-close relationship between Trump and his ‘pit bull’ lawyer Michael Cohen, who paid Stormy Daniels, said he’d ‘take a bullet’ for Trump, is testifying before Congress today

“I lost all my friends! They’ve tightened up,” Trump said while making a choking gesture. “They’ve choked. You know what that is? They’ve choked. They can’t breathe.”

“They have respect for our country again,” Trump added. “Our country is respected again.”

His former personal attorney and “fixer,” Michael Cohen – who once said he’d ‘take a bullet’ for Trump – became one of his most outspoken critics and was sentenced to (and is serving) three years in prison for campaign finance violations related to Trump’s 2016 campaign, and tax fraud.

On the topic of friendship, one business associate in 1987 claimed that friendship was “not part of [Trump’s] agenda,” according to Newsweek.

“I hate to have to rely on friends,” Trump said in Newsweek at the time. “I’m not a trusting guy. I want to rely on myself.”

“He’d love to be president, but only if he were appointed,” another friend reportedly said.