Trump: ‘I didn’t come along and divide this country’

President Trump ended his marathon press conference Thursday by responding to the mounting political tensions in the country – and saying he didn’t start the fire.

“I didn’t come along and divide this country,” Trump said. “This country was seriously divided before I got here.”

Political tensions flared throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, and a string of political protests – some violent, some civil – have been held since his inauguration. While Trump maintained he inherited a “mess,” he also claimed Thursday he’ll clean it up.

The president cited inner cities, education and crime as areas he will focus on, praising the country’s law enforcement officials.

“It’s very important to me” to unite the country, Trump said. “But this isn’t Donald Trump that divided a nation. We went eight years with President Obama, and we went many years before President Obama. We lived in a divided nation. And I’m gonna try, I will do everything within my power to fix that.”

Earlier in the press conference, Trump cited the Islamic State’s rise and other issues in claiming he “inherited a mess at home and abroad.”