President Donald Trump said he has a “very good” relationship with Dr. Anthony Fauci, but wondered why the nation’s top infectious diseases expert’s ratings remained higher than his own.

“I get along with him very well and I agree with a lot of what he’s said,” Trump said Tuesday, before going on to talk about the discrepancies in approval ratings.

“It’s interesting: he’s got a very good approval rating. And I like that, it’s good,” Trump said. “Because remember: he’s working for this administration. He’s working with us. We could have gotten other people. We could have gotten somebody else. It didn’t have to be Dr. Fauci. He’s working with our administration. And for the most part we’ve done what he and others – and Dr. Birx and others –  have recommended.”

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Trump then questioned why Fauci’s rating has not been reflective of the administration overall, since he is working with them.

“And he’s got this high approval rating. So why don’t I have a high approval rating with respect – and the administration – with respect to the virus? We should have it very high,” he said.

Morning Consult/Politco poll conducted July 10-12 found that 62% of voters believed Fauci’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic was either “good” or “excellent,” while only 36% said the same for Trump.

The president then concluded it came down to their personalities.

“So it sort of is curious, a man works for us, with us, very closely, Dr. Fauci and Dr. [Deborah] Birx also, very highly thought of – and yet, they’re highly thought of, but nobody likes me?” Trump asked. “It can only be my personality, that’s all.”

Trump’s comments come the day after he had retweeted false claims, including one that called Fauci a “fraud.”

The president has previously called Fauci “a little bit of an alarmist,” and said in a July 9 interview with Fox News that he is a “nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes.”

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