Donald Trump Says 'America First' Slogan is 'Very Threatening,' Turning on His Own Inauguration Address

President Donald Trump said Friday that the "America First" mantra he repeated during his inaugural address more than 18 months ago was actually "very threatening to others," and instead praised his "Make America Great Again" slogan as far better.

Trump made his remarks during an event in the White House's East Room to commemorate the passage of his tax reform bill six months ago. The event included business people who praised Trump for the corporate tax cuts that allowed their enterprises to flourish in the past half year. And Trump reciprocated.

"You made this possible. You are all truly making American great again," Trump said. "A slogan that I'm very proud of. That was a slogan that seemed to have worked, I tell you what. It was very special, and it's so accurate. Even more so than 'America First,' you know. 'America First' is very threatening to others. We don't want to be threatening.

"But 'Make America Great Again,' that's what's happening."

NEW: Pres. Trump calls "Make America Great Again" a better slogan than "America First." "'America First' is very threatening to others. We don't want to be threatening."

— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) June 29, 2018

Trump's comment stood in stark contrast to the proclamation he made during his inauguration, one that echoed his stances during the 2016 campaign.

"From this moment on, it's going to be America First," the freshly sworn-in president said. "Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families."

Later in his comments, Trump said: "America will start winning again, winning like never before."

He also said: "We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American. We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world—but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first."

The slogan "Make America Great Again," often abbreviated as MAGA, became a successful staple of Trump's campaign and quickly adorned T-shirts, caps and campaign materials while often serving as a closing line in many of his speeches.

But the slogan was largely a derivative of President Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign mantra, which was "Let's Make America Great Again."

Critics questioned what Trump had meant with the word "again." For some, it has been interpreted as a call to return to a time when civil rights for minorities and women had yet to be won; others saw it as perhaps a battlecry to disengaged white voters.

While the economy has hummed along and unemployment has reached a record low since Trump assumed office, economists have fretted over the possibility of a recession, brought on by a trade war with longtime European partners and China.