Even as President Trump effectively doubled-down on his controversial non-PC rhetoric on immigration in the final stretch before the election, the president said during an interview with Sinclair Broadcast Group that he "regrets" the tone he used during his first two years in office.
If he could redo one thing, Trump said, he would have liked to "soften" his tone. He added that there might be other things he would change, but "wouldn't want to reveal all of them."
Though Trump said he has doubts about this strategy. For example, the president worries that he might have been "swamped" by the other side if he had softened his tone.
"I would like to have a much softer tone. I feel to a certain extent I have no choice, but maybe I do," Trump said. He attributed his tone during his first two years in office to wanting to get things done on his agenda, adding that he could have been softer in his delivery.
While Trump hopes there will be more "harmony" between Republicans and Democrats after Tuesday's election, he still believes that "if you're criticized, you have to hit back."
"I would love to get along, and I think after the election a lot of things can happen. But right now they are in their mode, and we are in our mode. And you know if you're criticized you have to hit back, or you should," Trump said.
Less acrimony in Washington would definitely be "better for the country," he added.
"I hope so. It is certainly better for the country," Trump remarked. "I hope that happens and we are certainly willing to do that. And think before anything else we have to get tomorrow over with."
Of course, this isn't the first time Trump has said something to this effect. After the shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last month and the arrest of attempted mail bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc, Trump told a group of reporters that he wouldn't compromise on his tone, but instead would "tone it up". The media has tried to link Trump's heated attacks on the press to the bombing attempts, and to the Pittsburgh shooting, alleging that Trump's political successes have "mainstreamed" far-right ideologies like white supremacy and anti-semitism.