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Story highlights

"There's a great meanness out there that I'm surprised at," he said

The President regularly takes to social media to attack political opponents

(CNN) —  

President Donald Trump acknowledged in a new interview that the combative nature of his administration could be his fault – though he also cites “a great meanness” in society that’s to blame.

“It could be my fault,” Trump told Time magazine when asked directly if he feels his administration has been too combative. “I don’t want to necessarily blame, but there’s a great meanness out there that I’m surprised at.”

Trump did not further elaborate. His administration has notably had a tense and antagonistic relationship with the news media – going so far at one point to bar journalists from a White House briefing – and his tenure in office has often been the subject of massive protests across the nation.

The Trump administration has also been marked by internal squabbling.

Trump grew so frustrated last month with the clear tensions between his chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, that he insisted they work out their differences.

The interview, which was published on Thursday, was conducted the day before Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. In the wake of the resulting public outcry, the President took to Twitter to personally attack Democrats who blasted the decision.

The President regularly takes to social media to attack political opponents and even those within his political party when he disagrees with them.