https://www.wnd.com/2021/01/trump-declassifies-russia-investigation-documents/

https://archive.org/details/WNCN_20160306_153000_Face_the_Nation https://www.opaltranscriptionservices.com/debate-transcripts/ https://debates.org/voter-education/debate-transcripts/ https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/09/30/presidential-debate-read-full-transcript-first-debate/3587462001/

Here are Trumps transcripts, or as many as I could find and put together, and their sources. If you want to know what someone said, go straight to the horuses mouth!

Donald Trump Interview Transcripts

Jul 20, 2015

Donald Trump Says “I Like People Who Weren’t Captured”, Calls John McCain “Loser” – Transcript

Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump Says “I Like People Who Weren’t Captured”, Calls John McCain “Loser” – Transcript

Donald Trump spoke about John McCain at a campaign event on July 20, 2015 in his 2016 Presidential run. He said “I don’t like losers” in regards to the 2008 election, said McCain was “not a war hero,” then said “he’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.” Read the transcript here.

Frank: (00:00)
Referring to-

Donald Trump: (00:01)
Excuse me.

Frank: (00:01)
John McCain, a war hero, five and a half years as a POW, and you call him a dummy. Is that appropriate in running for president?

Donald Trump: (00:11)
Okay. Let’s. You got to let me speak though Frank because you interrupt all the time, okay? No, I know him too well, that’s the problem. Let’s take John McCain. I’m in Phoenix. We have a meeting that is going to have 500 people at the Biltmore Hotel. We get a call from the hotel, it’s turmoil. Thousands and thousands of people showing up three, four days before, they’re pitching tents on the hotel grass. The hotel says, “We can’t handle this. It’s going to destroy the hotel.” We move it to the convention center. We have 15,000 people, John, the biggest one ever bigger than Bernie Sanders, bigger than… 15,000 people showed up to hear me speak, bigger than anybody, and everybody knows it.

Donald Trump: (00:53)
A beautiful day with incredible people that were wonderful great Americans, I will tell you. John McCain goes up, “Oh boy, Trump makes my life difficult. He had 15,000 crazies show up.” Crazies, he called them all crazy. I said, “They weren’t crazy. They were great Americans.” These people, if you would have seen these people… I know what a crazy is. I know all about crazies, these weren’t crazies. So he insulted me and he insulted everybody in that room. And I said, “Somebody should run against John McCain who has been, in my opinion, not so hot.” And I supported him, I supported him for president. I raised a million dollars for him. It’s a lot of money. I supported him. He lost, he let us down. He lost. So I’d never liked him as much after that because I don’t like losers. But Frank, Frank, let me get to it. He hit me.

Frank: (01:43)
He’s a war hero.

Donald Trump: (01:44)
He’s not a war hero.

Frank: (01:46)
He’s a war hero.

Donald Trump: (01:46)
He’s a war hero-

Frank: (01:46)
Five and a half years in a prison camp.

Donald Trump: (01:46)
He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, okay? I hate to tell you.

Frank: (01:52)
Do you agree with that?

Donald Trump: (01:52)
He’s a war hero because he was captured, okay? And I believe perhaps he’s a war hero, but right now he said some very bad things about a lot of people. So what I said is John McCain, I disagree with him that these people aren’t crazy. And very importantly, and I speak the truth, he graduated last in his class at Annapolis. So I said, nobody knows that. I said he graduated last or second to last. He graduated last in his class at Annapolis and he was upset. I said, “Why? For telling the truth?” See, you’re not supposed to say that somebody graduated last or second to last in their class. Because you’re supposed to be like, Frank says, very nice. Folks, I want to make America great again. We want to get down to brass tacks. We don’t want to listen to his stuff with being politically correct and everything else. We have a lot of work to do.

Donald Trump: (02:44)
Frank, the other day, Hillary Clinton got up and she said, “I didn’t like Mr. Trump’s tone.” We have people, Christians, having their heads cut off in the Middle East. We have people dying all over the border, where I was right, a hundred percent right. We have all of this like medieval times and she said, “I didn’t like his tone.” And you know who else said that? Jeb Bush. “I didn’t like his tone.” What does it have to do with tone? We want results. This group wants results. We don’t want tone.

Frank: (03:23)
So we’ve got people lined up for questions. I just got one more. Because you used the word Christian. Have you ever asked God for forgiveness?

Donald Trump: (03:32)
That’s a tough question. I don’t think in terms of.. I have. I’m a religious person, shockingly, because people are so shocked when they find this out. I’m Protestant, I’m Presbyterian, and I go to church and I love God, and I love my church. And Norman Vincent Peale, the great Norman Vincent Peale was my pastor, The Power of Positive Thinking. Everybody’s heard of Norman and I love my church. And Norman Vincent Peale, the great Norman Vincent Peale was my pastor. The Power of Positive Thinking. Everybody’s heard of Norman Vincent Peale, he was so great. He would give a sermon, you never wanted to leave. Sometimes we have sermons and every once in a while we think about leaving a little early, right? Even though we’re Christian. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Frank, would give a sermon. I’m telling you, I still remember his sermons. It was unbelievable. And what he would do is he’d bring real life situations, modern day situations into the sermon. And you could listen to him all day long.

Donald Trump: (04:30)
When you left the church, you were disappointed that it was over. He was the greatest guy and then he passed away, but he was a great… He wrote The Power of Positive Thinking, which is a great book.

Frank: (04:40)
But have you ever asked God for forgiveness?

Donald Trump: (04:48)
I’m not sure I have. I just go and try and do a better job from there. I don’t think so. I think if I do something wrong, I think I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t. When we go in church and when I drink my little wine, which is about the only wine I drink, and have my little cracker, I guess that’s a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed. Okay? To me, that’s important. I do that. But in terms of officially, I could say absolutely, and everybody… I don’t think in terms of that. I think in terms of, let’s go on and let’s make it right.

Frank: (05:29)
So let’s. Microphone one please.

Speaker 3: (05:35)
Mr. Trump.

Donald Trump: (05:36)
Yes, sir.

Speaker 3: (05:37)
Respectfully we remember the 1992 election, Ross Perot costs us that election.

Donald Trump: (05:42)
Right.

Speaker 3: (05:42)
Would you go on record today as saying that if you can’t get the Republican nomination, you will not run as a third party candidate?

Donald Trump: (05:50)
No, no, no. I won’t go on record as saying that. Look-

Speaker 3: (05:55)
Why not?

Donald Trump: (05:56)
I want this country. This country has great potential, but soon it’s not going to have that potential because we’re being drained by incompetent leaders, by horrible people. As an example, with the Iran deal, which is a total disaster, we didn’t get our four hostages back. That’s just one aspect of it. And just this morning and yesterday, Kerry, Secretary Kerry, who’s the worst, worst negotiator. I mean, he didn’t read The Art of the Deal folks. So Secretary Kerry said very strongly, I just told, he said very strongly, “We didn’t want to bring up the hostages. We didn’t want to complicate our deal.” That was the reason. We didn’t want to [inaudible 00:06:29].

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Jun 26, 2019

Transcript of Donald Trump Interview with Meet The Press

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Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Political Transcripts › Transcript of Donald Trump Interview with Meet The Press

President Donald Trump recently sat down with Chuck Todd on June 21, 2019 to talk about Joe Biden, Iran, and more. Rev is the industry leader in transcription services – try Rev’s video transcription services that we used to transcribe this interview.

Search the transcript here…

Chuck Todd:

Mr. President welcome back to Meet the Press.

Donald Trump:

Thank you.

Chuck Todd:

Let me start right in. What happened last night?

Donald Trump:

Well, you had a situation that was very bad, because the night before they shot down an unmanned drone and the unmanned is a very big factor. The fact that there was not a person on it, a US person on it or anybody. And that had an impact on me. I said, “Well, we got a little problem.” And I think they did it on purpose because they understand that they will be hit very hard if that were a plane with a person in it. And I think they knew that there was nobody there.

Donald Trump:

So, we had a very modest, but pretty heavy attack schedule.

Chuck Todd:

And this is a preplan that you had, something that if they did something you had something- these are sort of ready made plans to use if necessary.

Donald Trump:

Sure. We have many of them. Oh, I have so many targets you wouldn’t believe.

Chuck Todd:

Right.

Donald Trump:

We have targets all over.

Chuck Todd:

So did you green light something? Or had you said, “If we do it, I’ll do this?” What was the order?

Donald Trump:

Nothing is green lighted until the very end because things change, right?

Chuck Todd:

So you never gave a final order.

Donald Trump:

No, no. But we had something ready to go, subject to my approval. They came in and they came in about a half an hour before. They say, “So we’re about ready to go.” I said, “I want a better definition.”

Chuck Todd:

Like in the air? Were planes in the air?

Donald Trump:

No, no, we’re about ready to go. No, but they would’ve been pretty soon. And things would’ve happened to a point where you wouldn’t turn back or couldn’t turn back. So they came and they said, “Sir, we’re ready to go. We’d like a decision.” I said, “I want to know something before you go. How many people will be killed?” In this case, Iranians. I said, “How many people are going to be killed?”

Donald Trump:

“Sir, I’d like to get back to you on that.” Great people, these generals. They came back, said, “Sire, approximately 150.” And I thought about it for a second and I said, “You know what, they shot down an unmanned drone, plane, whatever you want to call it, and here we are sitting with 150 dead people that would’ve taken place probably within a half an hour after I said go ahead.” And I didn’t like it, I didn’t think it was proportionate.

Donald Trump:

Now, that doesn’t mean…

Chuck Todd:

So what should the response be right now?

Donald Trump:

I think the response should be, well first of all, as you know, we’ve done very massive sanctions. We’re increasing the sanctions now. But the response is always going to be very strong. I built up a lot of capital, I’ve had a lot of people that aren’t Trump fans saying, “I can’t believe.” You know, a lot of them said we’re going to be in World War III the first week, didn’t work out that way. We’re doing great in North Korea, we’re doing great in a lot of different places. We knocked out the caliphate in Syria, we knocked out 100%. Remember I was going to lead it-

Chuck Todd:

Not 100%. [crosstalk 00:02:44] at 100%.

Donald Trump:

No, no, no. The caliphate.

Chuck Todd:

Okay. .

Donald Trump:

No, the caliphate, which is the land, the area.

Chuck Todd:

The land, fair enough.

Donald Trump:

Is 100%. You never knock these people out. These people are stone cold crazy. And they walk into a store and they’ll be wired up for bombs and they’ll blow, it’s a horrible thing. So I never say that. I don’t want to do what other presidents have done or other people have done saying we won, because you don’t win so conclusively. I would love to have the day where we can win.

Donald Trump:

You know, I remember when I was young, I’d go on an airplane. I’d walk up, I’d buy a ticket, I’d go on a plane. Nobody thought about bombs and nobody thought about security, you’d walk in, you’d give the ticket to the person at the gate, and you’d walk into a plane. Today it’s like, a big deal.

Donald Trump:

So what happened is I said I’m not going to do it. I’ll save it. If they do something else it’ll be double.

Chuck Todd:

I think they were trying to provoke you.

Donald Trump:

No, I don’t think so. And I think it was very important that they… to them, don’t forget, their economy-

Chuck Todd:

You don’t think they intended to get you to respond militarily?

Donald Trump:

Their economy is shattered, shattered.

Chuck Todd:

So what’s the message do you think they’re sending?

Donald Trump:

Their inflation is through the roof. They’ve never had, the highest in the world right now. Worse than any place. They’re living not well.

Chuck Todd:

So put yourself in their shoes, what do you think message they’re trying to send you with this?

Donald Trump:

I think they want to negotiate and I think they want to make a deal, and my deal is nuclear. Look, they’re not going to have a nuclear weapon. This isn’t about the Straits. Do you know that China gets 91% of its oil from the Straits? We don’t even need the Straits. We are now, since I came in, we’re the number one energy producer in the world, okay? Actually by far. And if I get the pipelines approved through the environmental process, which I will in Texas, we’ll go up by another 25%. But we’re way ahead of Russia, we’re way ahead of Saudi Arabia.

Donald Trump:

I think that they want to negotiate, I don’t think they like the position they’re in. Their economy is absolutely broken.

Chuck Todd:

So you sent a letter to the Ayatollah via Prime Minister Abe. And the Ayatollah seemed to say, “I’m not talking to you.”

Donald Trump:

I didn’t send a letter, no.

Chuck Todd:

Was it a verbal message? What did Prime Minister Abe carry on your behalf?

Donald Trump:

Prime Minister Abe’s a great guy. He’s a friend of mine and he obviously is close to them. I think he was their largest buyer of oil from before.

Chuck Todd:

Did he deliver a message from you to them?

Donald Trump:

No. He wanted to do something.

Chuck Todd:

Okay.

Donald Trump:

According to Prime Minister Abe, they went to him, this is according to the Prime Minister, and they said, “What do we do with Trump? Can we make a deal? Is there something that can be done?” That’s what Prime Minister Abe told me.

Donald Trump:

I said, “Do you mind if I say that if I have to?” And he said, “Not particularly.” So they came to Prime Minister Abe. He then called me, I said, “Send the following message: you can’t have nuclear weapons and other than that we can sit down and make a deal. But you cannot have nuclear weapons.”

Chuck Todd:

No other conditions other than that?

Donald Trump:

You cannot have nuclear weapons. And they would’ve had them with President Obama. He gave them 150 billion dollars [crosstalk 00:05:33] Remember this-

Chuck Todd:

What is your deal? I understand, but what is your deal going to look like with them?

Donald Trump:

Let me explain something. Number one, you have to look at the sites. Some of the most important sites we weren’t even allowed to look at or inspect, okay? Number two, the term was not long enough. There’s like, a short number of years left. After a very small number of years, you’re talking about a country, after a very small number of years, they have a free pass to nuclear weapons. You can’t do that. So I want to be able to inspect all sites, they cannot have ballistic missiles, which under the agreement isn’t even covered. And as you know, that agreement wasn’t even approved by Congress, a lot of people don’t know that. That was an agreement that he couldn’t get through Congress. He was not authorized really to do that deal.

Chuck Todd:

Congress did give him some authorization [crosstalk 00:06:16]

Donald Trump:

It wasn’t ratified by Congress.

Chuck Todd:

It wasn’t a treaty.

Donald Trump:

It was very, very short of what it should have been. You know that.

Chuck Todd:

Don’t you think though… what does it tell you that the Iranians haven’t violated the agreement yet? That they are trying hard not to violate the agreement?

Donald Trump:

Well you see, I think they have violated the agreement, because I think in the areas that we’re not allowed to inspect they’re doing things, and I think they have been for years.

Chuck Todd:

Europeans don’t think they’re violating the agreement.

Donald Trump:

Well I don’t care about the Europeans. The Europeans are going out and making a lot of money. The Europeans are fine, but they’re going out and making a lot of money. In France they’re selling cars to Iran. They’re doing other things. And let me tell you, we’re very good to Europe. We take care of them. NATO, we spend a tremendous about of disproportionate amount. On trade, the European Union’s taken, they have really taken advantage of us for a long time.

Donald Trump:

Just to finish, we have great relationships with Europe. I don’t mind Europe getting in the middle, Europe wants to make a deal too, Europe would love to see a deal being made.

Chuck Todd:

Are these going to be separate deals? Do you want to do a separate deal with Iran or do you want to get everybody involved in the same deal? Get the Russians, get the Chinese.

Donald Trump:

I don’t care what kind of a deal, it can be separate or it can be total.

Chuck Todd:

But it’s one on one talks, you and the Ayatollah?

Donald Trump:

All it is-

Chuck Todd:

Is it one on one talks, you and the Ayatollah? Or you and the President?

Donald Trump:

It doesn’t matter to me. Here’s what I want, anything that gets you to the result they cannot have a nuclear weapon. It’s not about the Straits, you know, a lot of people covered it incorrectly. They never mention they cannot have a nuclear weapon, they’d use it, and they’re not going to have a nuclear weapon. And it’s not about the oil-

Chuck Todd:

Did you send the message last night? Reuters is reporting that you sent a message to the Iranians saying, “I don’t want war, I want to talk.”

Donald Trump:

I did not send that message. I did not send that message. I don’t know who would’ve said that.

Chuck Todd:

Okay. Send a message right now to the Ayatollah.

Donald Trump:

I mean, it’s fake news.

Chuck Todd:

Then send a message right now to the Ayatollah.

Donald Trump:

It wouldn’t be much different than that message.

Chuck Todd:

Which is?

Donald Trump:

I’m not looking for war. And if there is, it’ll be obliteration like you’ve never seen before. But I’m not looking to do that, but you can’t have a nuclear weapon. You want to talk, good. Otherwise you can have a bad economy for the next three years.

Chuck Todd:

No preconditions?

Donald Trump:

Not as far as I’m concerned, no preconditions.

Chuck Todd:

And you’ll talk anyway?

Donald Trump:

Here it is, look, you can’t have nuclear weapons. And if you want to talk about it, good. Otherwise you can live in a shattered economy for a long time to come.

Chuck Todd:

Do you feel like you were being pushed into military action against Iran by any of your advisors?

Donald Trump:

I have two groups of people, I have doves and I have hawks.

Chuck Todd:

Yeah, you have some serious hawks.

Donald Trump:

I have some hawks, yeah, John Bolton is absolutely a hawk. If it was up to him he’d take on the whole world at one time, okay? But that doesn’t matter because I want both sides. You know, some people said, “Why did you put.” You know, I was against going into Iraq, for years and years. And before it ever happened, I was against going into Iraq. And some people said, “Oh, I don’t know.” I was totally against and I was a private citizen, it never made sense to me.

Donald Trump:

I was against going into the Middle East. Chuck, we’ve spent seven trillion dollars in the Middle East right now.

Chuck Todd:

Why is this our problem? This is a proxy war. Iran and Saudi Arabia are in a fight to the death out there.

Donald Trump:

Yeah, you’re right. Your right. And that’s another thing I’ve done.

Chuck Todd:

Canada, Trump, for years would have said, “Not our fight.” Why get involved?

Donald Trump:

Because of nuclear weapons, it has nothing to do with oil.

Chuck Todd:

So the minute you get them to do nuclear weapons you want out of the Middle East?

Donald Trump:

That’s all I care about… well, we’re going to protect Israel, but I have nothing to do, absolutely nothing- and we’re going to protect Saudi Arabia, look, Saudi Arabia’s buying 400 billion dollars worth of things for us, that’s a very good thing.

Chuck Todd:

You used to say we don’t get anything in return for protecting Saudi Arabia.

Donald Trump:

We are now.

Chuck Todd:

Do you feel like they’re now paying for the American protection?

Donald Trump:

I spoke to the Crown Prince this morning. We had a great conversation. I said, “This is a very expensive operation, you and the other nations that we’re protecting have to pay.” And he said, “Yes.”

Chuck Todd:

Did you talk to him about the UN report about Jamal Khashoggi?

Donald Trump:

I did not because it really didn’t come up in that discussion. I called about one reason.

Chuck Todd:

I understand.

Donald Trump:

I didn’t call about that. I called about one reason. There’s a very expensive operation. Unlike President Obama, and unlike everybody else, I’ll say others too, not just President Obama. You’ve got to pay for it. We just don’t want to go and protect the Middle East and protect Saudi Arabia and everyone else and not get reimbursed.

Chuck Todd:

So this is why you’re overruling Congress and letting all these weapon sales happen in Saudi Arabia.

Donald Trump:

Economic development. And that, but economic development.

Chuck Todd:

Nevermind the humanitarian disaster that’s taken place in Yemen?

Donald Trump:

A million jobs. No, it’s going to end, it’s going to end. By the way, who’s causing it though? If you look at it, Iran goes into Yemen, they start firing rockets at Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia has to protect themselves, Chuck. But it’s a million jobs and probable more. They buy massive amounts, 150 billion dollars worth of military equipment, that by the way, we use. We use their military equipment. Unlike other countries that don’t have money, and we have to subsidize everything, so Saudi Arabia’s a big buyer of American product. That means something to me. It’s a big producer of jobs.

Chuck Todd:

It makes you overlook some of their bad behavior?

Donald Trump:

No. I don’t like anybody’s bad behavior.

Chuck Todd:

The United Nations said they’d like the United States to order the FBI to investigate Jamal Khashoggi’s death. And possibly MBS’s involvement in it. Will you allow the FBI to do that?

Donald Trump:

I think it’s been heavily investigated.

Chuck Todd:

By who?

Donald Trump:

By everybody.

Chuck Todd:

By the FBI?

Donald Trump:

I’ve seen so many different reports.

Chuck Todd:

What about the FBI?

Donald Trump:

Here’s where I am. You ready?

Chuck Todd:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Donald Trump:

Iran’s killed many, many people a day. Other countries in the Middle East, this is a hostile place. This is a vicious, hostile place. If you’re going to look at Saudi Arabia, look at Iran, look at other countries, I won’t mention names, and take a look at what’s happening. Then you go outside of the Middle East and you take a look at what’s happening with countries, okay? I only say they spend 400 to 450 billion over a period of time. All money, all jobs, buying equipment.

Chuck Todd:

So that’s the price, as long as they keep buying you’ll overlook some of this behavior.

Donald Trump:

No. But I’m not like, a fool that says we don’t want to do business with them. By the way, if they don’t do business with us, you know what they do? They’ll do business with the Russians and with the Chinese. We make the best equipment in the world, but they will buy great equipment from Russia and from China. Chuck, take their money. Take their money, Chuck.

Chuck Todd:

What would candidate Trump have said about a president who on his watch had Iran shooting down a drone, a Venezuelan dictator thumbing his nose at you, Obamacare’s still on the books, and no results yet on the border. The border getting tough.

Donald Trump:

Well let’s take a look.

Chuck Todd:

What would candidate Trump have said about that?

Donald Trump:

Let’s take a look. The border’s doing great, Mexico’s been fantastic. They’ve been trying to get a deal with Mexico for 45 years, right? So for 45 years they couldn’t get a deal, I got one in one day. I said, “We’re going to put tariffs on and you can have a deal or not.” We agreed in one day, Mexico just moved 6000 people to their southern border, 6000 troops to their southern border. The border’s working out well and the wall is being built. I mean, a lot of people don’t like to talk about it, we’re building the wall. We will have 400 miles of wall built by the end of next year. And that’s hard because the Democrats don’t want to approve it, we just beat them in a big lawsuit as you know, in Washington, in DC, we just beat them at a very big lawsuit where they tried to-

Chuck Todd:

But doesn’t it frustrate you that your border numbers are worse than Obama’s?

Donald Trump:

No, because the people are coming up because our economy is so good. They’re pouring up because the economy is so good. Obama had a lousy economy, it was a dead economy.

Chuck Todd:

Can I ask you about that? Let me show you this chart. Do you see that chart?

Donald Trump:

No.

Chuck Todd:

It’s the unemployment rate from the peak of the Recession.

Donald Trump:

Right.

Chuck Todd:

Your economy’s great, I’m not saying it’s not great. But this recovery started, and in the 28 months that you’ve been president, and the last 28 months of Obama’s presidency, he averaged more new jobs than your first 28 months.

Donald Trump:

That’s because he started off with such a bad base.

Chuck Todd:

Okay. But is it not a continuous-

Donald Trump:

Chuck, you have to understand, nobody was working. The whole place was a disaster, and I’d never take that away. But it’s very easy, because when that turned around, they pumped a tremendous amount of money into the economy. He also had a Federal Reserve person who kept the interest rates low, I don’t. I don’t have that privilege.

Chuck Todd:

Sounds like you do now.

Donald Trump:

Oh, no, no. You raised him far too fast. You raised him far too fast.

Chuck Todd:

Your threat to demote him, do you think that’s had an impact?

Donald Trump:

I didn’t ever threaten to demote him.

Chuck Todd:

There’s been some talk that you might demote him to the number two slot.

Donald Trump:

I’d be able to do that if I wanted, but I haven’t suggested that.

Chuck Todd:

That’s not a threat, that’s just a reminder that you can?

Donald Trump:

No, no. I have the right to do that, but I haven’t said that. What he’s done is 50 billion a month in quantitative tightening, that’s ridiculous. What he’s done is he raised interest rates too fast, I can prove it all.

Chuck Todd:

Do you worry he’s going to hurt your reelection?

Donald Trump:

I think the economy’s so strong we’re going to bull through it. But I’m not happy with his actions, no. I don’t think he’s done a good job. I think this, if he didn’t raise rates… Obama had very low rates, so Obama was playing with funny money, I wasn’t. I’m playing with the real stuff.

Chuck Todd:

Let me ask you this.

Donald Trump:

Wait, wait. Obama had somebody that kept the rates very low, I had somebody that raised the rates very rapidly, too much. He made a mistake, that’s been proven. And yet, my economy is phenomenal. We have now the best economy maybe in the history of our country. Just to finish off, when I took over, this country, the economy was ready to collapse. You take a look at the numbers, it was ready to collapse. And if I didn’t win-

Chuck Todd:

I just showed you the numbers. It was not ready to collapse.

Donald Trump:

You showed me unemployment numbers.

Chuck Todd:

Yeah, but unemployment, it was not ready to collapse.

Donald Trump:

Excuse me, excuse me. Take a look at your GDP, take a look at your jobs, take a look at your optimism, take a look at all of the charts. When I took over, from election day on, I mean you show me one chart.

Chuck Todd:

Let’s see your unemployment rate.

Donald Trump:

I did well in that too, but I’m not talking about that. Take a look at some of the optimism charts and everything else. It went from 57 to 92? Nobody’s ever seen anything that-

Chuck Todd:

Your right. The optimism, you’re right.

Donald Trump:

Right after I won. Well optimism is a big part of success in business, okay.

Chuck Todd:

You were always hard on Obama, you thought he wasn’t enough of a cheerleader.

Donald Trump:

He was not a cheerleader.

Chuck Todd:

If you could have one do over as president, what would it be?

Donald Trump:

Well it would be personnel. I would say if I had one do over, it would be I would not have appointed Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General, that would be my one.

Chuck Todd:

In your mind that [crosstalk 00:16:16]

Donald Trump:

Yeah. That was the biggest.

Chuck Todd:

Is Bill Barr your Roy Cohn?

Donald Trump:

He should’ve never… I think he’s a very talented, very-

Chuck Todd:

You know what I mean by that, you’ve always said, “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” Is he your Roy Cohn?

Donald Trump:

No, no, no. Look, you have to see him, Roy Cohn, but I had many, many lawyers, a lot of lawyers. Roy was one of them, he was a tough guy. Bill Barr is a… First of all, Bill Barr-

Chuck Todd:

Is he cut from the same cloth you think?

Donald Trump:

Bill Barr is equally tough. He’s a fine man. He’s a fine man. The job he’s done is incredible. He’s brought sanity back. I think he’s real, I don’t think, I know, he’s respected. You know, he loves the Department of Justice. He saw what was happening. He has done a spectacular job. Now he’s in the process of doing something and I stay away from it, I stay away from it. But I think he feels that what’s happened in this country was a very bad thing and very bad for our country.

Chuck Todd:

I want to ask what’s going down with the children in these migrant camps. The stories are horrible, Mr. President. You have children without their parents, you have kids taking care of kids.

Donald Trump:

Yeah.

Chuck Todd:

You’ve read these reports, I know people are coming to you. I know you think this is the Democrats problem. Forget it, why aren’t you doing something about it?

Donald Trump:

Are you ready?

Chuck Todd:

They are in terrible shape down there, Mr. President. Down in Homestead, Florida, that’s where I grew up.

Donald Trump:

Okay.

Chuck Todd:

The conditions are terrible.

Donald Trump:

I agree. And it’s been that way for a long time.

Chuck Todd:

Do something.

Donald Trump:

President Obama built the cages. Remember when they said that I built them? And then it was 1914.

Chuck Todd:

Do two wrongs make a right?

Donald Trump:

It was 2014. Chuck, just listen for one second, separation. President Obama, I took over separation. I’m the one that put it together. What’s happened though, are the cartels and all of these bad people, they’re using the kids. It’s almost like slavery.

Chuck Todd:

Well let’s not punish the kids more.

Donald Trump:

This has been happening-

Chuck Todd:

The kids are getting punished more.

Donald Trump:

You’re right, and this has been happening long before I got there. What we’ve done is we’ve created- we’ve ended separation. You know, under President Obama you had separation. I was the one that ended it. Now I said one thing. When I ended it, I said, “Here’s what’s going to happen, more families are going to come up.” And that’s what’s happened. But they’re really coming up for the economics, but once you ended the separation. But I ended separation. I inherited separation from President Obama.

Donald Trump:

President Obama built, they call them jail cells. They were built by the Obama-

Chuck Todd:

Let’s talk about what’s happening now.

Donald Trump:

I’m just telling you.

Chuck Todd:

Your administration, you’re not doing the recreation, you’re not even schooling these kids anymore, you’ve gotten rid of all that stuff.

Donald Trump:

We’re doing a fantastic job under the circumstances. The Democrats aren’t even approving giving us money. Where is the money? You know what? The Democrats are holding up the humanitarian aide.

Chuck Todd:

It looks like these kids are being used as some sort of… is it hostage? They’re being held hostage.

Donald Trump:

Well they are being used. They are being used by very bad people on the other side, where they actually get paid. Money is being made using them because our laws are so bad. Because if you have a child, you have an advantage, you know that better than anybody. And what should happen, Chuck?

Chuck Todd:

But why let the political debate hurt these children? They could be impacted for years.

Donald Trump:

If the Democrats would change the asylum laws and the loopholes, which they refuse to do because they think it’s good politics, everything would be solved immediately. But they refuse to do it. They refuse to do it. Do you know what? If they change those, I say, I used to say 45 minutes, it’s 15 minutes. If they changed asylum and if they changed loopholes, everything on the border would be perfect.

Chuck Todd:

Let me ask you this, why do you think Nancy Pelosi has held off her impeachment caucus?

Donald Trump:

Because I think she feels that I will win much easier. I mean, I’ve been told that by many people.

Chuck Todd:

Do you think impeachment’s good politics for you?

Donald Trump:

I think I win the election easier, but you know, I’m not sure that I like having it. Look, I did nothing wrong, I was spied on. What they did to me was illegal. It was illegal on the other side, I did nothing wrong. So impeachment’s a very unfair thing, because nothing that I did was wrong. And if you look at the Mueller Report, there was no collusion. This was all about collusion.

Chuck Todd:

Nowhere in the Mueller Report, by the way, Mr. President, you say no collusion, I’ve read this Mueller Report, both parts of it-

Donald Trump:

Use the word collusion, or use-

Chuck Todd:

There’s not one place that says nothing happened.

Donald Trump:

Use the word collusion, use the word conspiracy.

Chuck Todd:

It never says no collusion.

Donald Trump:

I’ll be honest with you, nobody even mentions Russia anymore. Since the Mueller Report, they don’t mention it, in all fairness. Nobody mentions Russia anymore, and it was about Russia. It was a hoax.

Chuck Todd:

Let me ask you this, during the campaign-

Donald Trump:

Wait a minute. Wait, wait, we’ll give you the time that you need.

Chuck Todd:

What hoax it was?

Donald Trump:

It was a hoax, the Russian hoax, with me.

Chuck Todd:

You don’t believe it happened?

Donald Trump:

I had nothing to do-

Chuck Todd:

You don’t believe the Russians interfered in our election?

Donald Trump:

What they did with respect to the election is different, we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about my campaign working is a hoax.

Chuck Todd:

The idea that you were conspiring. Fair enough.

Donald Trump:

Okay, good.

Chuck Todd:

But going back, on Wikileaks, knowing now that that was stolen foreign material, do you regret using it?

Donald Trump:

Well I wouldn’t have, but this was well known. I think it was in papers, and again now, I’m going back a long ways, but [crosstalk 00:21:00]

Chuck Todd:

It was all rumored to be Russian stolen property so why’d you use it?

Donald Trump:

How would I even know that? I made a speech. It was in there about Wikileaks, I’m not a Wikileaks person.

Chuck Todd:

Knowing now, knowing that they’re a Russian Intelligence asset, do you regret it?

Donald Trump:

Let me tell you, Wikileaks, et cetera, that’s not my deal in life. In other words, I don’t know about Wikileaks, it was a strange name. But there were stories about, something Wikileaks, that they had information. And I say it in a joking manner at a speech. Joking, everybody laughing, everybody having a good… and they made it like it was serious. No, I don’t want anything bad to happen to our country. Anything bad happens to this country, I will end it and I’ll end it fast, I don’t want any of that to happen.

Chuck Todd:

There’s one part in the Mueller Report, your son, Donald Trump Junior did cooperate and appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee. In the Mueller Report it says that he did not voluntarily sit for an interview with Mueller’s team, and then there’s a redaction, a Grand Jury redaction. Did he involuntarily sit?

Donald Trump:

I don’t know. I can only tell you this. My son-

Chuck Todd:

Is it possible he was subpoenaed?

Donald Trump:

I really don’t know.

Chuck Todd:

You don’t know if he was subpoenaed?

Donald Trump:

But let me tell you what I do know.

Chuck Todd:

So did you not read the Mueller Report?

Donald Trump:

Let me tell you, I read much of it.

Chuck Todd:

The unredacted version? Or no.

Donald Trump:

No I didn’t, I didn’t. But let me just tell you-

Chuck Todd:

So if he was subpoenaed you wouldn’t know?

Donald Trump:

I read the conclusion. Well he was subpoenaed, ultimately he was subpoenaed to sit before the Senate intel. And he did that.

Chuck Todd:

But was he subpoenaed by Mr. Mueller?

Donald Trump:

I don’t know, but I don’t think so.

Chuck Todd:

If he was subpoenaed, was he going to appear before the Grand Jury or was he just going to plead the fifth?

Donald Trump:

I don’t know, I really don’t know, but you can certainly ask him. I just don’t know.

Chuck Todd:

But you don’t know.

Donald Trump:

My son, he has been treated so unfairly. He sat for many, many hours before these committees. I think, my impression is that Mueller took all of the information from the committees, and he used that information. How much can you talk about something? Remember the phone calls? The three phone calls?

Donald Trump:

It was such a big deal. Three phone calls that were made to a special type number. Okay? And everybody said, “Oh, he called his father.” That went on for a year. In other words, before this so called meeting, and after the meeting, “He called his father!” The biggest story, headlines all over the place. And then it turned out… and I give Mueller credit because Mueller was the one that found out, through I guess the phone companies or whatever, somebody found out, maybe through the FBI… Big investigation on who the calls were made, if they were made to me it would have sounded like you.

Donald Trump:

Wait a minute, they turned out that it wasn’t to me. It was to a real estate person and a NASCAR person. Two great people. Have nothing to do with Russia, have nothing to do. And you know what? People hardly even put the story in. My son was treated unfairly. My son, he spent 20 some odd hours, and then he went back again. He is a very innocent young man, and he was treated very badly.

Chuck Todd:

You’re going to see Vladimir Putin in a week.

Donald Trump:

Yes. I’m going to see him [crosstalk 00:23:57]

Chuck Todd:

Are you going to address him directly about interference in 2020?

Donald Trump:

I may. I may.

Chuck Todd:

Are you going to tell him not to do it?

Donald Trump:

I may, if you’d like me to do it, I’ll do that. You know what? Here’s what you do.

Chuck Todd:

Well some people think that your answer last week invited him to do it again.

Donald Trump:

Oh, that’s not true. That’s not true.

Chuck Todd:

Are you going to tell him not to, and what are the consequences?

Donald Trump:

My answer last week was both. I said both, I’d do both. Except they didn’t put it on, and when they did put it on, people understood. But they didn’t put it on because they put a different segment on. So they asked me a question, but when I said, “Yeah, I’d do both.” People saw that in the last version of it, because the thing played like all weekend and on Friday. So it’s just more fake news.

Donald Trump:

Chuck, there’s so much fake news. It would be so good if-

Chuck Todd:

That’s why I’m interviewing you one on one.

Donald Trump:

That’s fine, that’s what I like doing.

Chuck Todd:

Let me ask you this.

Donald Trump:

But I like live interviews better, you know why? Because you can’t cut the answers.

Chuck Todd:

Guess what, you’re going to enjoy the fact that I’m not going to over edit this interview, that I promise you.

Chuck Todd:

Do you think you’ve been more successful in business or the presidency?

Donald Trump:

Well, I can’t be more successful in politics. I mean, I ran once and I’m President, right? So you have to say that’s about… it’s never happened before, right? So I’m one for one and I hope to be two for two. But my business has been a tremendous success. I actually said to the lawyers, I’d like to show my financial statement. My financial statement is great. I built a [crosstalk 00:25:15]

Chuck Todd:

You could release your tax returns any day if you want.

Donald Trump:

You don’t learn from tax returns, and I’m under audit, Chuck. I’ve been saying I, I’m under audit. But you don’t learn from tax returns.

Chuck Todd:

I was under audit, I had my tax returns.

Donald Trump:

But you would learn from a financial statement. I would like to release it. I’ve built a great company. They like to… for instance, banks. I could’ve borrowed from banks but I didn’t need to, because I had money. I did things.. in fact a lot of people over the last couple of years were really surprised. “He paid all cash, he didn’t use banks.”

Donald Trump:

I think I’ve been tremendously successful in business. I think I’ve been tremendously successful in show business, with The Apprentice. I mean, I did one show and it was a great hit, as you know from NBC. And I guess you’d have to say I’ve been really successful in politics.

Chuck Todd:

The Republican Party has changed in your image. Do you think you caused that change? Or do you think the party was changing and you were the leader they selected?

Donald Trump:

I think common sense caused it. You know, I’m about common sense. People say, “Are you conservative?” I guess I’m conservative, but I’m about common sense. I’m about we need borders, we’re going to have borders and we have strong borders. By the way, Mexico has done a great job, it’s slowed down so much. But we have an amazing economy and people want to come up, but it’s slowed down so much.

Donald Trump:

But I’m about borders. I’m about great healthcare. Obamacare is a disaster. I got rid of the individual mandate.

Chuck Todd:

By the way, why is the economy doing so well if Obamacare is still law of the land? You had said in 2011-

Donald Trump:

We are managing.

Chuck Todd:

“Obamacare is going to destroy the economy.” Obamacare is still here, and the economy’s great.

Donald Trump:

Because I’ve managed it great. I had a choice. I could’ve let it implode and killed it, or I could’ve managed it.

Chuck Todd:

You’re still trying to kill it.

Donald Trump:

No, no.

Chuck Todd:

Why are you still trying to kill it… This lawsuit that the Department of Justice joined, it could get rid of coverage in preexisting conditions.

Donald Trump:

I am in favor of preexisting conditions, I am fighting.

Chuck Todd:

So get rid of… so drop the lawsuit. Drop your aspect of the lawsuit.

Donald Trump:

It has nothing to do with it. The lawsuit is one thing. We are going to put it in a bill, total preexisting conditions. And the Republicans are in favor of preexisting conditions.

Chuck Todd:

Sir, you have full Republican control and they couldn’t pass anything.

Donald Trump:

Chuck-

Chuck Todd:

What makes you think you’re going to get it done this time?

Donald Trump:

Are you ready? We had a negative vote from John McCain, it was a surprising vote, but I got rid of the worst part of Obamacare which was the individual mandate. We will always protect preexisting conditions, and the reason Obamacare continues is my decision.

Chuck Todd:

And maybe- right.

Donald Trump:

Wait. I made a big decision.

Chuck Todd:

Okay.

Donald Trump:

We have a man named Azar, our Secretary. He’s a fantastic man. Alex. A total pro. I could’ve managed Obamacare so it would’ve failed, or I could’ve managed it the way we did so it’s as good as it can be. Not great, but it’s as good… it’s too expensive, the premiums are too high. I had a decision to make. I could’ve politically killed Obamacare. I decided not to do it. But still, it’s not good. We’re going to come up with great healthcare if we win the House, the Senate and the Presidency.

Chuck Todd:

Are you prepared to lose?

Donald Trump:

No. Probably not.

Chuck Todd:

Fair enough.

Donald Trump:

Probably not. I mean, it would be much better if I said, “Yeah.” It would be much easier for me to say, “Well yes.” No, I’m probably not too prepared to lose. I don’t like to lose and I haven’t lost very much in my life.

Chuck Todd:

You didn’t like the fact that you lost the popular vote. That bothered you didn’t it.

Donald Trump:

Well I think it was a… I mean I’ll say something that again, is controversial. There were a lot of votes cast that I don’t believe. I look at California.

Chuck Todd:

Mr. President.

Donald Trump:

Excuse me. Take a look at Judicial Watch, take a look at their settlement. California admitted to a million votes, they admitted to a million votes.

Chuck Todd:

A million votes of what?

Donald Trump:

Take a look at Judicial-

Chuck Todd:

What are you talking about?

Donald Trump:

Judicial Watch made a settlement. There was much-

Chuck Todd:

About what?

Donald Trump:

There was much illegal voting. But let me tell you about popular vote, do you have a second?

Chuck Todd:

Yes, because you were a big fan of it. Until you weren’t.

Donald Trump:

There are two… well I like popular vote.

Chuck Todd:

Yeah.

Donald Trump:

I think I’d do better with a popular vote. But I didn’t campaign for the popular vote.

Chuck Todd:

You’re right.

Donald Trump:

You didn’t see me campaigning in California or New York. If it was up to the popular vote, I would’ve done I think even better. I won 306 to 223, which was a lot in the Electoral College. But it’s like, you’re training for the 100 yard dash versus the mile.

Chuck Todd:

You’re totally right. If it’s a popular vote, you campaign differently.

Donald Trump:

I went to Wisconsin.

Chuck Todd:

I don’t disagree.

Donald Trump:

She forgot. I went to Michigan, she didn’t go to Michigan enough. I won Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania. I won places that she didn’t do a good job, what can I tell you.

Donald Trump:

No, maybe I did a great job. You know, I never get credit for that. They always say she was a lousy candidate. I actually think that Hillary Clinton was a great candidate. She was very smart, she was very tough. She was ruthless and vicious.

Chuck Todd:

You’d rather run against her again, wouldn’t you? You only talked about her in your announcement speech.

Donald Trump:

No, no.

Chuck Todd:

You spent a lot of time talking about her.

Donald Trump:

No, I would actually rather run against Biden. I think that would be my preference.

Chuck Todd:

Why?

Donald Trump:

Sleepy Joe. He’s sleepy. She was not sleepy. Let me just tell you something, the Electoral College is tougher for a Republican to win than the popular vote in my… at least me. I feel I’d go to three places. I went to 19 or 21 states. I went to Maine four times because I wanted to get one, and I did get it. And that’s the beauty of the Electoral College. You know, I’d been a proponent of the other sometimes, and I change. But I will tell you, the Electoral College brings you to many of the states in this country.

Chuck Todd:

You have joked about a third term, you’ve joked about these things.

Donald Trump:

I only joke. I joke and I say, “Watch, I will Chuck Todd crazy.”

Chuck Todd:

Okay.

Donald Trump:

Yes, [crosstalk 00:30:32]

Chuck Todd:

You will accept the result.

Donald Trump:

Sure.

Chuck Todd:

Whatever happens in 2020.

Donald Trump:

Sure.

Chuck Todd:

You’ll be like, you’re not going to like it, but you walk out.

Donald Trump:

In fact I said at a speech recently, I said, “Watch. We’ll drive the media crazy. Let’s go for a third term and then a fourth.” And some of the media said, “He is going to do it.”

Chuck Todd:

Speaking of driving people crazy, when you were asked about Mike Pence and 2024, and you paused a minute about endorsing him as your successor, that got a lot of people going. Is Mike Pence 100% on your ticket in 2020?

Donald Trump:

Well look, 100%, yes.

Chuck Todd:

100%. There is no wiggle room?

Donald Trump:

Yes, he’s been a terrific Vice President. He’s my friend and a lot of things. No. Zero, zero.

Chuck Todd:

So why’d you hesitate in endorsing him in being-

Donald Trump:

Because it was a surprise question. I mean, I’m not even thinking of it, it’s so far out.

Chuck Todd:

Okay.

Donald Trump:

I mean, it’s so far out. That would be the only reason. Now what happens in 2024, I don’t know that Mike is going to run. I don’t know who’s running or anything else. I will say this, I think it’s a tremendous embarrassment to Joe Biden that Obama has not… the President Obama, I like to say that because it’s respect for the office. And respect for him.

Chuck Todd:

Do you speak to any of the former presidents?

Donald Trump:

Yes.

Chuck Todd:

Who’s the last one you did?

Donald Trump:

Well I speak to Bush. I speak to Jimmy Carter.

Chuck Todd:

You do? What about President Obama?

Donald Trump:

I have not spoken to him pretty much from the beginning.

Chuck Todd:

But George W. Bush you do? And Jimmy Carter?

Donald Trump:

I have spoken to Bush, I have spoken to Jimmy Carter, yes.

Chuck Todd:

Yeah? Do you get… why?

Donald Trump:

I like Jimmy Carter. You know, Jimmy Carter has oftentimes come to my defense. I don’t necessarily agree with the way he ran things and that’s okay, and he understands that and so do I. But he came to my defense on numerous occasions, and he thinks that I was treated the worst of anybody he’s ever seen by the press.

Chuck Todd:

During every new season-

Donald Trump:

I don’t think he’s including you.

Chuck Todd:

Every new season of The Apprentice, you had something new to roll out. What’s your big new idea for your reelection?

Donald Trump:

I think that the economy has tremendous upward potential despite the fact that we’re doing really well. I think when we really unleash some of the things that we’re going to do-

Chuck Todd:

Well what’s your new idea? What is the new big idea?

Donald Trump:

I also think that healthcare is going to be very important for me. I will tell you, if we win the House, the Senate and the Presidency, I will get tremendous healthcare, because Obamacare is a disaster.

Chuck Todd:

You think Democrats won the house because of healthcare?

Donald Trump:

I think they won because of preexisting condition, nothing to do with me. Because if you know, almost every race that I campaigned for somebody, they won. But I couldn’t devote too much time to the House, there’s too many people. But if you look at some of the congressmen that I did go for and went for, they won. Like in Kentucky, et cetera, et cetera.

Chuck Todd:

So you’re one new idea is going to be healthcare?

Donald Trump:

Ohio governor, he was behind, great guy.

Chuck Todd:

He was?

Donald Trump:

Mike won. Georgia, President Obama was there, Oprah was there, Michelle Obama was there it was going to be a big celebration, she was the star of the party. I went there for Brian. Brian Kemp. Brian Kemp won. Florida, Ron DeSantis. He was going to lose, he was low in the polls. I endorsed him, he went up 60 points after I endorsed him. Ron won, and he’s been a great Governor of Florida.

Donald Trump:

You know, I’ve always heard that an endorsement is nice to have but it doesn’t mean anything. I’m driving people up 30, 40, 50, 60 percent.

Chuck Todd:

Well when you show up, you bring a lot of people.

Donald Trump:

We bring something very good.

Chuck Todd:

I am curious, did you see Jon Stewart’s pretty passionate plea on behalf of 9/11 responders?

Donald Trump:

I was very impressed, yes.

Chuck Todd:

He’s frustrated with Mitch McConnell, he feels like Mitch McConnell’s the guy standing in the way of this bill. You’re a New Yorker first, I know that in you. I’ve got to think Jon Stewart got to you.

Donald Trump:

Yeah, well-

Chuck Todd:

Are you going to tell Mitch McConnell to-

Donald Trump:

I liked what Jon Stewart did, I actually did. And I actually have a meeting on that subject next week. So we’ll see what happens. You know it’s a very complicated subject for a lot of reasons, okay?

Chuck Todd:

I understand that it is. But do you think that Jon Stewart had a point that Congress hadn’t done enough?

Donald Trump:

I have a meeting on that subject with… Well when you say Congress, billions of dollars has been paid.

Chuck Todd:

I understand that.

Donald Trump:

Okay, billions.

Chuck Todd:

Right. But the fund was about to run out.

Donald Trump:

Memorials have been built. Tremendous amounts of money. But there are still people that are sick. I have a meeting on it next week.

Chuck Todd:

All right, Mr. President.

Donald Trump:

Thank you.

Chuck Todd:

I appreciate the time.

Donald Trump:

Thank you very much.

Chuck Todd:

Thank you sir.

Speaker 3:

Hey NBC News fans, thanks for checking out our YouTube channel. Subscribe by clicking on that button down here. Then click on any of the videos over here to watch the latest interviews, show highlights, and digital exclusives. Thanks for watching.

Jul 26, 2019

Donald Trump Hannity Interview Transcript: Trump Calls Russia Investigation “Treason”

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Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Political Transcripts › Donald Trump Hannity Interview Transcript: Trump Calls Russia Investigation “Treason”

Donald Trump went on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program on July 25, 2019 to talk about the Robert Mueller Congressional Testimony. Read the full transcript of the interview below and click the links to view video of the interview.

Search the transcript here…

Sean Hannity: (00:00)

Mr. President, I’m just going to open it up to you to go wherever you want with this. This has been something you’ve had to deal with your entire presidency almost. You were loud in saying it was not true, it was a witch hunt, and we had four separate investigations backing up your claim and culminating in what you saw yesterday, sir, your reaction to all that.

Donald Trump: (00:24)

Well, I think people learned a lot yesterday watching a very poor performance and watching things that they couldn’t believe when they saw what was going on. And hopefully we’re going to be able to find out how a thing like this started. It was a disgrace to our country. It was a disgrace from every standpoint, and I would say that most people have never seen anything like it. Then, on top of it, you watched that performance, it was shocking and very sad.

Sean Hannity: (00:52)

How much of that did you watch, sir?

Donald Trump: (00:56)

Say it, Sean?

Sean Hannity: (00:57)

How much of the Mueller testimony did you actually watch?

Donald Trump: (01:02)

So, I wasn’t going to watch at all, and then I started thinking about it, and then I watched a little bit at the very beginning and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I ended up watching more than I wanted to. Then I watched the afternoon, because it was such a big crater at the beginning and I said, “Now I have to watch Shifty Schiff,” because he just went through three hours and now he has to go through Schiff and I said, “This is going to be very interesting.” I’ve never seen anything like it, actually. It was sort of good television. I couldn’t watch it all. I had meetings, I had economic development meetings that I was saying “Fellas, maybe we could move it to another time,” but I didn’t want to do that.

Donald Trump: (01:43)

I got to watch enough and it was shocking. I thought the Republicans represented themselves brilliantly, actually. John Ratcliffe and Jim Jordan and all of them, Louie Gohmert. I could mention 15 names or however many they have that spoke. It got fairly close to that number. I guess maybe it was a little bit less than that, but I will tell you that everybody representing the Republicans I thought was really good and I thought the other side was typically biased, but they were stuck with a situation that they couldn’t believe.

Sean Hannity: (02:18)

Mr President, I just mentioned the New York Times not long ago actually said that they believed that the dossier which, I was stunned Muller didn’t know about Fusion GPS. The things he didn’t know, shocked me, didn’t know Jeannie Rhee Clinton’s attorney worked for them. But we’ll put that aside. But they suggested at the New York Times that the dirty dossier that Hillary paid for that was used to spy on your campaign, your transition and even your presidency, sir, was likely Russian disinformation from the beginning.

Sean Hannity: (02:52)

Now, if that’s the case, that would mean that the Russians knew that Hillary was paying for those lies, which would mean that the narrative that the American people have been fed by the media and the Democrats that well, they were trying to help you, the Russians. That would mean if the New York Times is right for once, and I suspect they may very well be, that they were trying to hurt you more than Hillary.

Donald Trump: (03:17)

Well, based on the fact that we’ve just become fairly recently, a little while ago, the number one oil and gas producer and energy producer in the world by far, Russia, Saudi Arabia, now second and third. Based on the fact that we will soon have the most modern military we have ever had with the best equipment, the best newest planes, and all of the things that we’ve done and so many other things. Sean. Based on all of that, the last person they should want is me.

Donald Trump: (03:51)

But I have heard the same thing about the fake dossier. I’ve heard it came out of Russia. I think a lot of it also was made up. It was just made up out of like you’d write a novel, but it was a fake, and it was paid for by the Democrats and paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC. And it’s incredible. These are incredible stories. Nobody would write a novel like this cause people wouldn’t believe it. It wouldn’t be believable.

Sean Hannity: (04:18)

You know Mr President, I’ve famously have asked Lindsay Graham… when Attorney General Barr was before his committee, he went through a list of things. Do you feel that Mueller did a good job? Did he have the resources? Do you believe that his team had every opportunity? You turned over one and a half million documents? I can’t believe you encouraged everybody to testify before Congress, before the special council. I was shocked McGahn did. But we’ll put that aside here.

Sean Hannity: (04:44)

And you keep saying that you think we can’t let this happen again. We’ve learned from the Attorney General that he’s going to look into whether the investigation into Hillary’s server was rigged. He’s going to look into potential FISA abuse. He’s going to look into the origins of this probe. We know that dorm has now interviewed Steele for nearly 16 hours. We know the IG is very close to a FISA report. Why is it important to get to the bottom of this from your perspective?

Donald Trump: (05:16)

Because this should never happen to another president of the United States again. This is a absolute catastrophe for our county. This was a fake witch hunt and it should never be allowed to happen to another president again. This was treason. This was high crimes. This was everything as bad a definition as you want to come up with, this should never be allowed to happen to our country again.

Sean Hannity: (05:45)

You often said fake news. I called them out often on this program. Turns out there’s been, I give a list starting with Richard Jewell and Ferguson, Missouri and Cambridge Police and and Baltimore, Maryland and UVA and Duke Lacrosse and Nicholas Sandmann, but they went with every single lie, every conspiracy theory. I don’t see the media very often talking about the things you have accomplished. I mentioned the employment situation is the best since 1969. What do you say to the press in this country? The press that is supposed to be fair, balanced, objective down the middle. I’m a talk show host, I’m like the whole newspaper. We do everything.

Donald Trump: (06:27)

Well, I think the press has lost all credibility, much of it, but it’s lost a big part of it, though. I mean, a very substantial part of it, lost all credibility. I watch it as people scream at these poor Democrats, the Congressmen scream like I’ve never seen. “You must do this. You must do that.” These are supposed to be journalists, show hosts, all sorts of people. I cannot believe it.

Donald Trump: (06:57)

And they’re actually trying to force them to do what they want to be done. I’ve never seen anything like it. They use the word unhinged. They are unhinged. The media has become totally unhinged. They’re very dishonest. And when I say enemy of the people, when people give purposely false stories and when they try and get politicians to do things that are wrong and they know they’re wrong, that really is the enemy of the people. It’s fake news, but it’s the enemy of the people, more importantly.

Sean Hannity: (07:27)

In other words that if you’re claiming to be fair, balanced, objective and down the middle and you purposely lie and you don’t have any interest in the truth, you make a distinction between the two, and I’ve heard you say that many times. I’m interested in this question because you were very critical of Mueller. The whole issue of whether or not you had told your counsel to fire him. You had the authority, according to Alan Dershowitz, many constitutional attorneys I’ve interviewed Under Article II for conflicts of interest. You could have fired Mueller yourself. But my question is now that you saw how little he actually knew, do you have a different opinion of him? Did you at any point almost feel sorry for him during this?

Donald Trump: (08:08)

So I had the absolute right to fire him, but I didn’t. And I never suggested to do it, but I had the absolute right to fire him under Article II and perhaps for other reasons, but I didn’t do it. I didn’t do any of the… When they say he said he was going to do this or said he was going to do, I didn’t do any of it. It’s really incredible when I hear this and the whole concept of obstruction. First of all, they create a phony crime, which was just a terrible thing to say about somebody, especially somebody that loves the country as much as I do. So they create this phony crime and then they say he obstructed. They said there was no collusion but he obstructed. There has never been anything like this ever before in our country.

Donald Trump: (08:57)

The crime was committed on the other side, and we’ll find out about that. We have a great attorney general who’s looking at it. I’m not involved in that. He’s looking at it.I’ve been hearing a lot of the media actually is talking about investigate the investigators and a lot more than that.

Donald Trump: (09:18)

And I think that things are… I just see it. I feel it. I think a lot of good is going to come out of it. We went through hell. A lot of people went through hell. They came down to Washington wanting to do a phenomenal job for the people and they get served with papers to come and testify and go before grand jurors. And by the way, nothing affected the… Because all of these things like the Russian bloggers, they had nothing to do with us and everybody knew it. In fact, there is a little sentence in there saying that it had nothing to do with the Trump Administration.

Donald Trump: (09:53)

But it was a lot of people, 24 people or something. A lot of bloggers, bloggers in Russia, they’ll never see these people. They know that. They sent out papers to these people. They’ll never ever see them. The people probably never even got the papers. But all of these people, none of them had… They went through people with old tax cases, old cases, cases that were not even going forward, just went after them viciously and violently.

Donald Trump: (10:23)

General Flynn, who’s a good man, what they did to General Flynn and so many others. Hope Hicks, this wonderful young woman. And she spent much of her time in Washington fighting off horrible stories and things. She’s just a high quality person. So many, I could name almost everybody, what they went through, and still to this day, I mean I heard people saying that… I heard some of the media saying that they thought Mueller performed okay. In other words, they let a day go by and then they’ll try and spin it. These are very dishonest people. These are very bad people.

Sean Hannity: (11:05)

Mr President, the power of the pardon, I actually think the best pardon you gave is to Alice Marie Johnson. I think you commuted her sentence to be more accurate, is absolute. Have you at any point ever considered in the back of your mind a pardon for any of the people you mentioned or you would wait? I think you had said at one point you wouldn’t consider it until after it all worked through.

Donald Trump: (11:31)

Well, I don’t want to comment on that as far as the pardons are concerned. Yes, it is absolute and it’s a beautiful thing. I’ve had people, Jack Johnson, the heavyweight champion of the world in the early 1900s and he went to jail for no reason, and so many other things. And Alice Johnson’s another good example, and I really feel good about giving it where people have been treated unfairly and abused actually.

Donald Trump: (12:03)

But I haven’t talked about it with respect to what’s going on now. I mean it’s in a way I think there’s a whole new day starting. I used to use and I still use drain the swamp. We have some very, very bad people in government that would be willing to do very bad things and for bad reasons. So I don’t mention pardon, but I don’t say what’s going to happen in the future. I just don’t comment on it.

Sean Hannity: (12:34)

Mr. President, on last question on this and I want to switch to 2020 if I may. Comey, McCabe.Comey signed the first FISA warrant which opened the door apparently according to Nunes and the Grassley-Graham memo, the bulk of information was Hillary’s bout and paid for dirty Russian dossier, and we found out from John Solomon last week that they had a spreadsheet. Even the FBI in early 2017 said 90 some odd percent of this thing was false, garbage, not true.

Sean Hannity: (13:02)

Comey though signed it. That allowed a backdoor through Carter Page to spy on your campaign, later transition and then presidency. But McCabe, Strozk, Page, Brennan, Clapper may be sourcing out what would be illegal intelligence gathering. We know the attorney general is there. Is there any of these names… What do you think of these people? Because James Comey signed the first FISA application in October, 2016, went to Trump Tower in January of 2017 and told you it’s unverified. Months earlier he swore on that application, the FISA application that it’s verified. So he lied. What are your thoughts about these people today?

Donald Trump: (13:45)

Well, Comey is a liar and a leaker, and that’s obvious and all you have to do is just follow him along and see what he said to Congress. Clapper and Brennan and all of these people, McCabe, these are bad people. My opinion, they are very bad people. They’ve been very bad for the country. They were, I used to think incompetent, but they’re really I guess competent at other things and maybe bad things. But you we’ll see what happens. I mean I guess a lot of things are coming out and it’s going to be very interesting and it will be great to clean up a real big mess, because again, it can never happen. This can never be allowed to happen again, Sean.

Sean Hannity: (14:29)

Mr President, you have the power to literally release the FISA applications and the 302s and the Gang of Eight information, and you made a decision to hand it over to the Attorney General and let him decide. And I’m curious as to why.

Donald Trump: (14:47)

Well, we have a very respected gentleman, a very high quality person named William Barr. I can tell you, he’s working so hard. Rather than just doing a total release, I gave him a total release. In other words, he’s got everything. Anything he needs, he’s got. He’s the Attorney General of the United States. He’s got a lot of very good people under him that I guess are involved and I gave them a total release.

Donald Trump: (15:18)

So all of it’s been released and he has all of it. I’ve also given him authorization to release it to whoever he wants, whether it’s his people or frankly perhaps people like Devin Nunes who is a star, what he’s done and the amount of suffering he’s gone through. You know what they did with him, where they tried to drive him right out of politics and probably worse than that. He’s done an incredible job.

Donald Trump: (15:45)

And so many others. They’re warriors. I’ll tell you the good side of all of this is the level of intelligence and strength and goodness that we’ve had on the Republican Party. A lot of them, not everybody of course, but we’ve had tremendous, and when I say we, I’m talking about the country. The country’s had tremendous support from Meadows and Jordan and Devin Nunes. And so many of the names that you saw yesterday performed so well. I mean, they performed so well and they worked so hard because they saw this was a scam. This was an illegal takeover, as you’d say in the business world. I mean, this was a coup attempt in my opinion.

Donald Trump: (16:37)

This is the United States and we wouldn’t stand for it and I wouldn’t stand for it. We have some very great people, but we also have some very bad people. And I think we caught then.

Sean Hannity: (16:50)

I believe sir, we of the premier law enforcement agency in the world, our FBI. We have the premier intelligence people in the world, but that’s 99%. but the 1% of the top of the ones we’re talking about abusing power.

Sean Hannity: (17:02)

All right, so how closely are you paying attention to the 2020 Democrats that by the way, seen most influenced by the squad and all of them having even adopted some version of the insane new green deal that would get rid of the lifeblood of our economy, oil, gas, and planes and cows and the combustion engine.

Donald Trump: (17:20)

Well, it’s very interesting because I haven’t seen it at all for the last four or five days. They’re not talking about the Democrats. They’re talking about Mueller and how bad he performed, how badly he performed. And they’re talking about everything that happened over the last few days, but in particular yesterday. You’re not seeing much about the Democrats. But look, you’ve got a few of them that are doing a little bit better than others. It’ll be interesting. Whoever it is, I’m okay with it.

Donald Trump: (17:46)

We have the best economy we’ve ever had. As you know, we have the best stock market numbers we’ve ever had in the history of our country. If you look at 401Ks, if you look at the kind of money that people are making. I’m not talking about rich people or just rich people. I’m talking about everybody. Blue collar workers went up proportionately more than anybody. You saw that poll that just came out. Things are doing great. The best unemployment numbers, the best employment numbers. I’ll tell you what, more people working in the United States today than at any time in the history of our country.

Donald Trump: (18:22)

And then we have the lowest unemployment numbers, especially for African-Americans, for Hispanics, for Asians. Women are almost 70 years the best numbers, and soon to be historic meaning forever., meaning from the beginning. I think we’ll be in great shape. Then you have the AOC. I call it AOC plus three. The three hangers.

Donald Trump: (18:51)

I really believe they’re going to hurt the Democrats. But who knows? I mean, we’ll see. But I think we’re going to do very well, Sean. I think we’re going to do very well. We have tremendous spirit. You’ve never seen an empty seat. We go into these massive arenas and they’re packed and there’s thousands of people outside. You’ve never seen an empty seat. So I think we’re going to do very well.

Sean Hannity: (19:10)

All right, three quick questions and I’m going to let you go because you’ve been very generous with your time. Who do you think wins, and will you tell us, and is there one of the group of Democratic hopefuls that you hope wins because you know you can beat them easily?

Donald Trump: (19:28)

Well, I could say that obviously the top three or four look like they had doing better than the rest. So Sleepy Joe is okay, but he’s fading. I think he’s fading fast. The only good thing about Mueller is it made Joe Biden look like a dynamo. When you watched Mueller’s performance yesterday. I think probably Biden is the one that asked him to go on.

Donald Trump: (19:48)

You have him and he’s sort of a little bit leading and then you have a whole group. You Have Elizabeth Warren formerly known as Pocahontas, and I’m sure that’ll come out because that’s a tough thing for her to withstand, I believe, because her whole life was a fake. She used that very, very adeptly and it was not good. And you have Harris and Bernie looks like he’s fading to me. Bernie looks like he missed his time. I think what Hillary did a few years ago was pretty tough frankly for Bernie. But that was his time. I don’t think it’s Bernie’s time. I see him flailing. He’s flailing all over the place. He’s going crazy. I call him Crazy Bernie. But the fact is that I think those would be probably the three or four. Maybe there’s another one or two. I don’t necessarily see anybody else gaining traction.

Sean Hannity: (20:45)

Mr. President, last two questions. First one is on both Iran and North Korea have recently fired test missiles. Here’s my question for you. I’ve known you for nearly 25 years. I know your mindset on this very well. I said it on the air in a message to the mullahs that they better be careful. You will not put boots on the ground. You probably are going to show some level of patience, but at the end of the day, if they force you, I believe, knowing you, my belief is you will devastate them.

Sean Hannity: (21:20)

And North Korea, you’ve given them nothing. People criticize. I said certain things I believe about Donald Trump. One, you will put no boots on the ground. You will never try and bribe a dictator like Clinton did with North Korea and like Biden, Obama did with the mullahs. And I do believe that if pushed the military might you would unleash will be mighty and it won’t require boots on the ground. Am I right?

Donald Trump: (21:45)

Well, I think that in the case of Iran, they know that better than even you do and probably even stronger than you said it. I think they understand that very well. And in the case of North Korea, I’m actually getting along very well with him, but we’ll see what happens. I mean, the sanctions are on, the hostages are back. We’re getting the remains back. They haven’t done nuclear testing. They really haven’t tested missiles other than smaller ones, which is something that lots tests. But I think with North Korea we’ve been doing very well, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to continue. We have a relationship. President Obama had no relationship. You would have been at war. Had Hillary Clinton won this election, you’d be at war right now with North Korea. I have no doubt about that. That’s where it was heading. It was heading there very rapidly.

Donald Trump: (22:35)

We’ll see what happens. But I think what you said might be somewhat of an understatement.

Sean Hannity: (22:41)

Last question, Mr. President and I have said many times on this program, all you’ve given Kim Jong-un is your time, and got remains back, we got hostages back and missiles stopped up until fairly recently, and you just gave time. Let me ask, maybe it’s because it’s New York and I know a city that you obviously love a lot and you’ve seen in, and you’ve watched with us these police officers being pounded with water and not reacting, and to me, if this continues, that is a disastrous situation for the people in New York City.

Donald Trump: (23:18)

Well, it’s a bad mayor. Probably the worst mayor in the history of New York City. He’s done a bad job and now he’s running for president, and people can’t even believe it. He’s a horrible mayor. The policemen and women cannot stand him. They don’t respect him. They don’t like him. Remember they turned their back on him a couple of years ago when he got up to speak. Everybody turned their back and they kept it that way and still they want to do it, but they still have respect for the office if not him.

Donald Trump: (23:48)

But I feel like that was tragic watching that scene a couple of days ago when I first saw it, I couldn’t believe it. I said, “Let me see that again. I don’t believe what I’m seeing,” I know New York’s finest and New York’s finest, in fact, we were in touch with them today. They are devastated that frankly, that that could happen, and also that those two offices would allow that to happen. That was a terrible thing.

Sean Hannity: (24:15)

Well, every single one that we have on video, I’d like to see arrested. Mr. President, I won’t take any more of your time. Thank you so much for being with us as always. We really appreciate it, sir.

Donald Trump: (24:26)

Thank you, Sean. Thank you very much. Thank you.

Nov 22, 2019

Donald Trump Fox and Friends Interview Transcript – Trump Interviewed After Impeachment Hearings

Donald Trump Fox and Friends Interview Transcript

Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Political Transcripts › Donald Trump Fox and Friends Interview Transcript – Trump Interviewed After Impeachment Hearings

Donald Trump joined Fox and Friends this morning for an interview following the Impeachment Hearings that took place over the past couple of weeks. Read the full transcript of Trump’s interview right here on Rev.com.

Search the transcript here…

Brian Kilmeade: (00:00)

… Trickle it out in friendly outlets.

Steve Doocy: (00:02)

Well, apparently a draft report has been circulating to people who were involved, and some of the information has now made it out there. We are joined right now, it is our great pleasure to welcome the President of the United States, Donald Trump, calling in. Mr. Trump? Good morning to you.

Ainsley E.: (00:19)

Good morning.

Donald Trump: (00:19)

Good morning.

Steve Doocy: (00:20)

Good to have you on Fox & Friends today. As you said in your tweet, another slow news week. Let’s start with the fact that … the story that Griff just brought us, and it sounds like a former FBI lawyer, it sounds like, was doing something with the FISA application. That person got removed. And this goes to your argument that somebody at the FBI was out to get you, right?

Donald Trump: (00:45)

Well, it certainly does. And they were spying on my campaign and it went right up to the top, and everybody knows it, and now we’re going to find out. You have Bull Durham, who is supposed to be the toughest. I’ve never met him, never spoke to him, but he’s supposed to be the smartest and the best, and he works for Bill Barr, who is a great Attorney General. We would maybe have ended this thing a lot sooner had he been there originally, but you have some people that are great people now, patriotic people, they love our country. And this was spying on my campaign, something that has never been done in the history of our country. This was an overthrow attempt at the presidency. They tried to overthrow the presidency. This is a disgrace, but I’m not surprised to see it. It’s just starting to come out, but I think this is nothing compared to what you’ll see over the next couple of weeks.

Ainsley E.: (01:35)

These media outlets are-

Donald Trump: (01:36)

Because people are sick.

Ainsley E.: (01:37)

These media outlets are saying that the FBI lawyer manipulated and altered key documents related to that warrant application so that they could get permission to surveil Carter Page. He was on with Maria, Mornings With Maria, a few minutes ago, and he says it’s a cover up. Listen.

Carter Page: (01:53)

They have just been putting false information out there to the media. The Democrats and their allies in Washington and in the media. Constantly pushing lies after lies, and then finally, this gets picked up by a court, it gets picked up by the Comey/McCabe FBI, and they got a warrant, a fraudulent warrant I believe, to spy on myself as a way of getting into the Trump campaign.

Carter Page: (02:22)

There has been a continued cover up to this very day. We still don’t have the truth, but hopefully we’ll get that soon.

Ainsley E.: (02:29)

How does this compare with what happened with that Ukraine conversation? Democrats want to impeach you because of that conversation, but this looks pretty bad.

Donald Trump: (02:37)

So my conversation was a perfect conversation. The Ukrainian president said, “What are they talking about? They must think we’re nuts in this country.” Because this conversation was flawless, it was appropriate, it was perfect, it was nice, it was everything. And they even said that. They came out and said it. Now, compare that and they try to impeach. And by the way, they’ve looked like fools over the last five days. These interviews have been … And these were their witnesses, this was the best they’ve got. Adam Schiff is a sick puppy. It’s been incredible.

Donald Trump: (03:11)

What you’re going to see, I predict, will be perhaps the biggest scandal in the history of our country. Political scandal. But I guess that’s the biggest because what’s more important than political when it comes to that?

Brian Kilmeade: (03:22)

What do you mean by that?

Donald Trump: (03:24)

I think you’re going to see things that are going to be incredible if it’s done right. And I purposely stay out. I tell Bill Barr to handle everything. I wouldn’t have to, I could get very much involved, but I purposely don’t, and I haven’t, and you know what? It’s better that way, I guess. I don’t have any obligation legally to do that, but I’ve let them handle it. So you have a FISA report coming out, which the word is, it’s historic. That’s what the word is. That’s what I hear. And if it’s historic, you’re going to see something. And perhaps even more importantly, you have Durham coming out shortly thereafter. He’s the US Attorney, and he’s already announced it’s criminal. And we’ll see what happens, but-

Steve Doocy: (04:08)

Mr. President-

Donald Trump: (04:08)

I’ll tell you what, you have a lot of very, very bad people. And a lot of people say Deep State. I don’t like to use the word Deep State, I just say they’re really bad, sick people.

Steve Doocy: (04:18)

Mr. President, you say it could be historic. You have suggested in the past that this might go much higher than the Department of Justice or the FBI during the Obama administration. Are you suggesting it could actually go up into the West Wing of the Obama years?

Donald Trump: (04:34)

When you’re dealing with the highest levels of government, they were spying on my campaign, this is my opinion. I said it a long time ago. Remember when I put out a tweet and I talked about the wire tapping in quotes, meaning modern day version of whatever wire tapping may be, and all hell broke loose-

Steve Doocy: (04:52)

Well, how high did it go, Mr. President?

Donald Trump: (04:54)

Who would have thought-

Steve Doocy: (04:55)

How high did it go? Your opinion.

Donald Trump: (04:56)

Personally, I think it goes all the way, okay? Because I think it’s impossible-

Steve Doocy: (05:00)

To Barack Obama.

Donald Trump: (05:01)

Brennan, and for Clapper, and for all of these losers that you had over there, I think it’s impossible for them to being doing things. Let’s see what it all says, but it’s impossible. Susan Rice, the person that worked at the United Nations, who went after FISA reports and went after reports like she ate them for lunch. When you look at the previous administration, they went after a few, and she was getting them at levels that nobody’s even imagined before. It had nothing to do with her. No, I think this goes to the highest level. I hate to say it, I think it’s a disgrace. They thought I was going to win and they said, “How can we stop him?” They wrote up the phony, fake dossier, the disgusting fake dossier, and they tried to have it put out prior to the election, and just to show you how incompetent they were, they spent millions and millions of dollars. Hillary Clinton paid for it and the Democrats. A lot of it had to do, they say, with Ukraine.

Brian Kilmeade: (06:00)

But Mr. President-

Donald Trump: (06:02)

It’s very interesting. They have the server, right, from the DNC, Democratic National Committee-

Brian Kilmeade: (06:07)

Who has the server?

Donald Trump: (06:09)

The FBI went in and they told them, “Get out of here. We’re not giving it to you.” They gave the server to CrowdStrike or whatever it’s called, which is a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian. And I still want to see that server. The FBI has never gotten that server. That’s a big part of this whole thing. Why did they give it to a Ukrainian company? Why-

Steve Doocy: (06:31)

Are you sure they did that? Are you sure they gave it to Ukraine?

Donald Trump: (06:35)

Well, that’s what the word is. That’s what I asked, actually, in my phone call if you know. I mean, I asked it very point blank because we’re looking for corruption. There’s tremendous corruption we’re looking for. Why should we be giving hundreds of millions of dollars to countries when there’s this kind of corruption? When you look at my call, I said corruption … I think he said it to me. He’s looking. He got elected on the basis of corruption. And I also, by the way, going back to that, why isn’t Germany putting up money? Why isn’t France putting up money? All the European nations, why aren’t they putting up? You have the European Union, and they’re benefited a lot more by the Ukraine than we are.

Brian Kilmeade: (07:16)

But Mr. President, can I ask you-

Donald Trump: (07:18)

[crosstalk 00:07:18] massive wall … Yes-

Brian Kilmeade: (07:19)

Who is-

Donald Trump: (07:20)

Why aren’t they putting up money? How come it’s always the United States that puts up money? The suckers, why is it always the United States? And these are the questions I ask and continue to ask them.

Brian Kilmeade: (07:30)

True. Mr. President, the best you can. I know you’ve said that from day one about wire tapping and you’ve felt as though the previous administration basically seems to have set you up to really struggle for the first three years. What are your sources that are telling you that the Obama administration was out to really hurt your administration?

Donald Trump: (07:54)

Well, first of all, Brian, I haven’t struggled because I’ve done more in the first two and a half years than any president in the history of our country, and almost everybody admits it. Between rebuilding our military, the biggest tax cut in history-

Brian Kilmeade: (08:05)

Okay.

Donald Trump: (08:06)

Regulations-

Brian Kilmeade: (08:07)

Would you say they’ve been in your way?

Donald Trump: (08:08)

Two Supreme Court … Wait a second. Two Supreme Court justices. Within a few weeks, we’ll have 182 federal judges, it’s a record. So I’ve done more than anybody that’s ever had the position for this short time.

Brian Kilmeade: (08:20)

Understood.

Donald Trump: (08:20)

But they haven’t made it pleasant. They’re bad people, they hurt a lot of innocent people. People came down here, they got served subpoenas by Mueller and the crew, and they went through two and a half years, they found nothing. So when you say that, I think we’ve had the most productive presidency ever for the first two and a half years, but it doesn’t mean that it was pleasant.

Brian Kilmeade: (08:43)

No, I know. Maybe I should have been clearer. My point is this. I know you’ve had that point of view and some things are coming in that direction to prove it. Who is your source that’s telling you this?

Donald Trump: (08:55)

I can’t tell you that. I can only say that we have a lot of information that a lot of bad things happened. And when you look at Strzok and Page with the insurance policy where … the two lovers, the two great lovers from the FBI where he’s saying, “Oh, she’s going to win a hundred million to nothing. But just in case she loses, we have an insurance policy.” Well, that means we’re going to take him down. We’re going to take down the president. You wouldn’t even believe this is possible, but the insurance policy, that was a very big find. Finding that text. And the only reason we found it was they didn’t want to use their private servers for a very bad reason, okay? So they used the public server. They used the FBI server. So here’s the thing. Regardless of what’s coming out, the information that we have now is beyond belief already. But what they have coming out, I hear is historic. That’s the way it was explained.

Ainsley E.: (09:55)

All right. Coming out in December.

Donald Trump: (09:56)

I heard the story.

Ainsley E.: (09:57)

All right, Mr. President-

Donald Trump: (09:58)

Now, of course the fake news will try and downplay it, but I don’t think you can downplay this.

Brian Kilmeade: (10:02)

Not now.

Donald Trump: (10:02)

The fake news is part of it. It’s the Democrats and the fake news, they’re one in the same. They will downplay it because, like I see in these hearings, we have a great day, then you pick up the phony New York Times, which is a total phony paper. I don’t read it anymore, you can’t read it. It’s not even … it has no relationship to the truth. And you read a story that took place and they don’t tell you what happened. They only put in the bad, they don’t put in the good. Same thing with The Washington Post. It’s a phony paper. We no longer have it in the White House [crosstalk 00:10:35]-

Ainsley E.: (10:34)

Mr. President, so-

Donald Trump: (10:36)

And we’ve saved a lot of money.

Ainsley E.: (10:37)

When we’re watching those closing arguments yesterday, Adam Schiff, Democrats love it. I’m sure he’s getting patted on the back every time he walks down the halls in Washington because people are saying, “Keep pushing. Keep pushing. We want impeachment.” But if you ask Republicans, and we’re going to play a sound bite of his closing arguments, they say, “This is all theatrics.” Watch this and we’re going to get your reaction.

Donald Trump: (10:56)

Okay.

Adam Schiff: (10:58)

It came down to the fact that the day after Bob Mueller testified, the day after Bob Mueller testified that Donald Trump invited Russian interference. “Hey Russia, if you’re listening, come get Hillary’s emails.” And later that day, they tried to hack her server. The day after that, Donald Trump is back on the phone asking another nation to involve itself in another US election. That says to me this president believes he is above the law, beyond accountability.

Ainsley E.: (11:37)

Mr. President, was there quid pro quo extortion, bribery?

Donald Trump: (11:41)

No, none at all. And let me tell you, he’s a sick puppy. He’s so sick. This guy … I’ve been going through it for two and a half years about Russia. I’ve been tougher on Russia than any president in history, but for two and a half years I’ve had to listen. This was their talking point. Trump and Russia. And if you take a look at it, just look at the facts. Even look at what I’ve done for Ukraine by giving them tank busters, by giving them stuff, and Obama would send pillows and sheets, he wouldn’t send anything else. Now Schiff, remember this. He makes it all up. He’s sick. There’s something wrong with him. So he made up my phone call. He made it up. He made up a phone call, and then when I released it, everybody was embarrassed. And crazy Nancy Pelosi, who, by the way, is going to go down as the worst Speaker in the history of the House of Representatives, she hasn’t done anything. She’s like paralyzed. She cannot do anything. She-

Steve Doocy: (12:39)

Well, Mr. President-

Donald Trump: (12:39)

I predict she worked on USMCA because Richard Trumka, who’s a good guy but a big union guy, only cares about a union. Richard Trumka has her mortified. She won’t do USMCA and everybody in the country wants it. The farmers, the manufacturers. But Richard Trumka has her, he plays her like a fiddle, and I predict she won’t even do it. And by the way, she’s got such pressure on her to do it. All she has to do is put it to a vote. She’s holding it for six months, it’s growing dust on it, and Mexico and Canada are calling saying, “What’s going on? Where’s our agreement?” They signed it. They’re all set-

Steve Doocy: (13:15)

Mr. President-

Donald Trump: (13:16)

That’s the big thing. Yeah, go ahead.

Steve Doocy: (13:17)

A couple of days ago, your ambassador to the EU, Mr. Sondland, in his opening statement said that there was quid pro quo. There was quid pro quo he said because you wanted investigation into corruption in exchange for a visit to the White House or something like that.

Donald Trump: (13:36)

No. Well, that’s total nonsense. I do want always corruption, I say that to anybody. Why should we give money to a country that’s known corrupt? It’s a very corrupt country. I mean, I love the people in the Ukraine, I know Ukrainian people, they’re great people, but it’s known as being the third most corrupt country in the world. Now, with this guy who, by the way, I hardly know him, okay?

Brian Kilmeade: (14:01)

Sondland?

Donald Trump: (14:03)

I’ve spoken to him a few times. How about the guy with the telephone? How about that one? I guarantee you that never took place. He said he’s sitting there listening to me. I spoke so few times to him, but the guy yesterday on the telephone, David Holmes, yes, I heard the conversation. Well, I have really good hearing and I’ve been watching guys for 40 years make phone calls, and I can’t hear … you could be two feet away. I can’t hear people making calls, I can’t hear the other side, the phone is up at the ear, unless you have it on a speakerphone, you can’t do it. That was a total phony deal. Again, call it Deep State-

Steve Doocy: (14:42)

Right, but Mr. President, Mr. President-

Donald Trump: (14:44)

Call it bad people. Call it anti-Trumpism.

Steve Doocy: (14:45)

Your ambassador said that there was quid pro quo because you wanted an investigation into corruption, but it involved Joe Biden and Hunter Biden. And then it becomes like a, “Look! He’s going after dirt on the Bidens because Joe Biden could be his opponent in 2020.”

Donald Trump: (15:04)

Yeah. Well first of all, that’s not true. Number one. It’s absolutely not true. Now, then you have to say-

Steve Doocy: (15:12)

Which part?

Donald Trump: (15:12)

If you saw Joe Biden, Joe Biden is corrupt.

Steve Doocy: (15:15)

Okay.

Donald Trump: (15:17)

It’s not true what he said. Now what he said also is there was no quid pro quo. I want nothing. Remember, it was trending number one. I want nothing. He said that.

Steve Doocy: (15:28)

He did.

Donald Trump: (15:28)

When he was questioned. And by the way, check out his lawyers. They’re Hillary Clinton lawyers. This guy has Hillary Clinton lawyers. They’re Democrats.

Steve Doocy: (15:35)

Sonderland.

Donald Trump: (15:35)

But he’s sitting there … Sonderland, yeah. He’s sitting there with Clinton lawyers, they’re passing him notes all the time, and he didn’t put the most important phrase in his 22 page statement that he read. The most important phrase was, “I want nothing.” Twice I said it. I want nothing, I want nothing, I want no quid pro quo. Have President Zelensky do whatever is right. Something …

Donald Trump: (16:03)

Have President Zelensky do whatever is right, something to that effect. And they didn’t put that in. That was the end of him. [crosstalk 00:16:08] I turned off the television. That’s what he said. Now, with all of that, of course you have to look at corruption. Are we going to be sending massive amounts of money to a country and they’re corrupt and they steal the money and that goes into everybody’s bank account? So you have to look at that. And I will tell you this about Joe Biden. I never said it specifically on him, but I watched Joe Biden with the prosecutor, who a lot of people said was a great prosecutor and they took him off, and he was prosecuting that company. And the kid who never made 25 cents in his life, and all of a sudden is making millions of dollars-

Brian Kilmeade: (16:48)

Hunter Biden.

Donald Trump: (16:48)

The day he … I mean, you tell me. This is a guy who got thrown out of the Navy dishonorably. He gets thrown out of the Navy, shortly thereafter … made no money, went through, made no money.

Brian Kilmeade: (16:59)

But, Mr. President [crosstalk 00:17:00]-

Donald Trump: (17:00)

Then all of a sudden his father becomes VP and he’s making millions and millions of dollars, not only from there, but from China.

Brian Kilmeade: (17:07)

So Mr. President [crosstalk 00:17:08] … the accusation is this, that you’re using aid, taxpayer dollars, to attack a political opponent in Joe Biden. And you do say, I wanted to hold up that aid because of corruption, but you also in that phone call-

Donald Trump: (17:25)

[crosstalk 00:17:25] No, no. Two reasons. For corruption, because it’s known. I want to make sure the money is going to be spent properly, but there’s another reason that is maybe to me the most important.

Brian Kilmeade: (17:35)

Which is?

Donald Trump: (17:36)

Why isn’t Germany, France, the European union, why aren’t all those countries in Europe, why aren’t they paying? Why is it always the United States the sucker? I got elected on that.

Brian Kilmeade: (17:47)

But [crosstalk 00:17:48] they do give aid. They do give aid. We give more. We always have. But Mr. President, you decide to say Rudy Giuliani, a longtime friend, mayor and prosecutor, you send him into the Ukraine. I want you to hear what Ambassador Sondland said and it’s been pretty consistent among state department workers. It seems like Rudy Giuliani was getting under a lot of people’s skin. I want you to listen to what he said.

Donald Trump: (18:10)

Well, that’s Rudy.

Brian Kilmeade: (18:11)

[crosstalk 00:18:11] I want you to hear … listen, I’ve known him for a long time too. Let’s listen.

Sondland: (18:16)

Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker, and I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the President of the United States. We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. We all understood that if we refuse to work with Mr. Giuliani, we would lose a very important opportunity to cement relations between the United States and Ukraine.

Brian Kilmeade: (18:45)

So why was it necessary to put Rudy in the middle of the Ukraine, a country he knew little about, as opposed to let the people do their jobs there and just give them the same mission?

Donald Trump: (18:55)

Okay. First of all, Volker, I don’t know him. Don’t know him. [crosstalk 00:18:59] This guy Sondland, hardly know him. I’ve had a couple of conversations with him. I see him hanging around when I go to Europe, but he was really the European union ambassador and all of a sudden he’s working on this. Ask about that. Rick Perry, I know him very well. Frankly, I’d like Rick to make a statement and Rick would make a statement. He’s a great guy. I think he already made a statement. Great guy. Rudy is a great crime fighter. Rudy is the best mayor in the history of New York City. Rudy Giuliani is a very legendary figure in our country. Rudy was the US Attorney. He also worked at the Justice Department.

Donald Trump: (19:38)

Believe me, this kind of crap wouldn’t have happened in the Justice Department if Rudy Giuliani was the attorney general, just like I believe Bill Barr will straighten it out and straighten it out for good. But Rudy Giuliani was one of the great crime fighters of all time. He’s also a friend of mine. He’s a great person. He’s like a iconic figure in this country for two reasons. He was the greatest mayor in the history of New York, and he was the greatest crime fighter probably in the last 50 years. When you’re dealing with a corrupt country. If Rudy Guiliani’s … he’s got credentials because of his reputation. When Rudy Giuliani goes there and you hear it’s a corrupt country, I mean, it means a lot. It means a lot.

Brian Kilmeade: (20:16)

But two of his sources are indicted on … are right now in jail. Those are two of his sources and one of his other sources is looked at as a corrupt figure. So in the end, it seems like you had state department and Rudy Giuliani working against each other and then the accusation comes in that your ambassador is being tarnished by Rudy Giuliani.

Donald Trump: (20:38)

Look, the ambassador, the woman, she wouldn’t even put up she’s an Obama person. I said, “Why are you being so kind?” “Well, sir, she’s a woman. We have to be nice.” She’s very tough. I heard bad things. And by the way, when I was talking to presidents Zelensky, it’s right on the phone. You could read it. He didn’t like her. He brought up her name and he didn’t like her at all. How do you have an ambassador with the president, the new president doesn’t like her. Because she was so wedded in. And don’t forget, Ukraine hated me. They were after me in the election. They wanted Hillary Clinton to win and when I won, all of a sudden they became so nice, they had to make up. There were many articles where they had to get to be friendly, cause we’re like a gravy train for them. Okay?

Donald Trump: (21:24)

We’re like their gravy train. So they were totally in favor of Hillary Clinton. But this ambassador that everybody says is so wonderful, she wouldn’t hang my picture in the embassy. Okay? She’s in charge of the embassy. She wouldn’t hang it. It took like a year and a half or two years for her to get the picture up. She said bad things about me. She wouldn’t defend me and I have the right to change an ambassador and Rudy didn’t say good things, but he wasn’t crazy about it. It wasn’t like a major topic, but I have the right to change. This was an Obama person that didn’t want to hang my picture in the embassy. It’s a standard, is you put the President of the United States pictured in an embassy. This was not an angel, this woman. Okay? And there were a lot of things that she did that I didn’t like and we will talk about that at some time, but I just want to let you know this was not a baby that we’re dealing with.

Ainsley E.: (22:17)

There was one woman who was in all of these testimonies this week who was sticking up for you, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. She was asking questions, doing her job. She said her constituents want to get to the bottom of what happened with the Bidens and that investigation. She questioned Tim Morrison and Kurt Volker on Capitol Hill. Listen to this.

Donald Trump: (22:36)

Okay.

Elise Stefanik: (22:37)

But the truth is the facts are indeed not complicated. And I’m going to close out with two questions for the both of you. Did Ukraine open investigation into the Biden’s, Mr. Morrison?

Tim Morrison: (22:48)

Not to my knowledge, ma’am.

Elise Stefanik: (22:49)

Ambassador Volker.

Kurt Volker: (22:51)

Not to my knowledge either.

Elise Stefanik: (22:52)

Did either of you ever have any evidence of quid pro quo, Mr. Morrison?

Tim Morrison: (22:57)

No, ma’am.

Elise Stefanik: (22:57)

Ambassador Volker?

Kurt Volker: (22:58)

I did not.

Elise Stefanik: (22:59)

Any evidence of bribery?

Tim Morrison: (23:02)

No, ma’am.

Kurt Volker: (23:02)

No ma’am.

Ainsley E.: (23:03)

She’s been raked over the coals for that. Kellyanne Conway’s husband was one of the ones that called her trash.

Donald Trump: (23:09)

So I’ll tell you, first of all, she’s become a star. Every time you do something, you have guys like Jim Jordan and Meadows and all these guys that they’ve been around and they’re stars, but they’ve been stars. Every once in a while you meet a new star. I know a lot about stardom, I know a lot about it. I’ve made plenty of them. But I’ll tell you what, this young woman from upstate New York, she has to become a star her way. You can never define exactly what it is. You understand that. You’re a star. Okay? Why? Who the hell knows? But you’re a star. There aren’t many of them, but what happens is she has become a star. Her mannerism, her way of talking her [crosstalk 00:23:53]-

Brian Kilmeade: (23:53)

She’s direct. Right to the point.

Donald Trump: (23:55)

No, it’s just the whole thing. It just works. She’s a tremendous person. She was fantastic during the hearings. Turner, every … so many people, they were so great. But you know what? The bottom line is, all of those witnesses, they’re all shifty-shifts. Don’t forget there was no due process. You can’t have lawyers. We couldn’t have any witnesses. We want to call the whistleblower, but you know who I want as the first witness. Cause frankly, I want a trial. I think I could have it [crosstalk 00:24:23]-

Brian Kilmeade: (24:23)

You want a trial?

Donald Trump: (24:24)

… whatever I want. Oh, I would … look, number one, they should never, ever impeach. This is not … I watched five people in your network yesterday say there’s nothing here. Andy McCarthy. How about Ken, the special prosecutor?

Brian Kilmeade: (24:43)

Ken Starr.

Donald Trump: (24:44)

[crosstalk 00:24:44] special counsel. Ken Starr. He was fantastic. He said there’s nothing here. So, ready? Number one, there should never be an impeachment. This is not an impeachment. That phone call was totally appropriate. Okay? Totally. But, assuming these people are as sleazy as they are, and Nancy Pelosi is totally incompetent. She’s lost, absolutely lost … she doesn’t know what she’s doing. She hasn’t done anything. She can’t get anything approved.

Donald Trump: (25:12)

Everybody’s working on this and they just got blown away because they put their witnesses up and [crosstalk 00:25:18] we’re not going to get US MCA [crosstalk 00:25:19] because [inaudible 00:25:20] and everyone are going to vote against Democrats like you’ve never seen before. But if they do put it up, because they’re crazy. I mean, Adam Schiff is a nut job. Listen to this. Adam Schiff gets up before Congress and he made up my statement [crosstalk 00:25:35] and I said, “Who made that statement?” He made it up-

Steve Doocy: (25:38)

Mr. President?

Donald Trump: (25:38)

And then after he got caught, three days later, we started saying parody.

Steve Doocy: (25:43)

Mr. President?

Donald Trump: (25:43)

The thing I did that was right, Brian. The thing I did that was right, was I released the transcript of the call immediately. [crosstalk 00:25:52] Had I not done that, I would have had a big problem, a big problem, because they all lied about my call. My call was perfect. If you heard Adam Schiff’s made up version of my call, I mean, it was the worst thing I’ve ever heard. I said, “How could that be possible?” And you know the sad part? Because he made it in the halls of Congress, he has immunity. I can’t sue him, the Republican party can’t sue him, [crosstalk 00:26:13]. And one other thing before we get off. The Republican party-

Brian Kilmeade: (26:16)

We’re not getting off.

Donald Trump: (26:18)

Yeah, I know. We can keep this going all day. Right? That’s easy. But look, the Republican party has never been more unified, both the Senate and the House. Mitch, Lindsey, I could name 20 names up there. I could name … they have never had … look, we won 196 to nothing. That never happens. I always say, the Democrats are lousy politicians, they have lousy policy, but they stick together and they’re vicious. [crosstalk 00:26:46] They’re more vicious, frankly. But the Republicans, they have a tendency, they break up. They don’t … the Republicans, I have never seen anything like it, they’re sticking together.

Steve Doocy: (26:55)

Mr. President, [crosstalk 00:26:56] we understand that there were six Republican senators, this is a perfect transition into this question, who talked to you yesterday along with the White House lawyer, I know Jared Kushner was there. You’re trying to figure out some sort of strategy going forward, because it does look as if Nancy Pelosi, her back is up against the wall. She’s going to have to go ahead and proceed with the impeachment vote. It’s going to wind up in the Senate and you say that you, to your earlier point, you want a full trial because then you will wind up with, according to the story, due process which you feel you did not get with Adam Schiff. Which means you can call your own witnesses and you would love to see Hunter Biden in the chair to answer all those questions about Ukraine.

Donald Trump: (27:38)

Well, there’s only one person I want more than, where’s Hunter? And that is Adam Schiff. I want to put that guy with his way.

Steve Doocy: (27:48)

[crosstalk 00:27:48] What’s your first question for Adam Schiff?

Donald Trump: (27:49)

I almost said something that might’ve been slightly controversial, but I didn’t. See, I’m learning. See that Steve, I’m learning. But after all these years, I finally learned. But look, I want to see Adam Schiff testify about the whistleblower, who’s a fake whistleblower because the whistleblower report was about my conversation with the President of Ukraine. It bore no relationship. It said there were eight, seven or eight quid pro quos. There were none. It bore no relationship to my call. Nobody brings that out. The whistleblower is, in my opinion, a political operative just like his lawyer who’s one of the worst people in Washington.

Brian Kilmeade: (28:25)

Do you think you know who it is?

Donald Trump: (28:27)

I know exactly who it is. Everybody does [crosstalk 00:28:29]-

Brian Kilmeade: (28:30)

Is he still there? Is he still there? [crosstalk 00:28:32] Does he go to meetings? Does he go to meetings?

Donald Trump: (28:34)

And by the way, you know who the whistleblowers is too, otherwise you’re not doing your job. You know who the … everybody knows it. If the whistleblower were on the other side, they would have revealed the whistleblower two months ago.

Ainsley E.: (28:46)

Mr. President?

Donald Trump: (28:46)

But the Democrats and their machine, the media machine, the fake corrupt media, they protect. But you know who the whistleblower is, so do I. I know it. But, I want the whistleblower who put in a false report to testify. I want to know why did the IG put in the report … you have an IG, right? Why did the IG, instead of saying, “Let me take the report. Let me now go to the White House, ask the President to declassify his conversation so that it has to match up?” He didn’t do that. So what you do is you have a whistleblower with a fake story, just like … it’s just as fake as Schiff’s story. That’s why … a lot of people think that Schiff basically is essentially the whistleblower, or he told the whistleblower what to do.

Donald Trump: (29:29)

I mean, his whole story that he doesn’t know the whistleblower. If he doesn’t, then he’s the only person in Washington that doesn’t, and it’s already been acknowledged that his staff met with the whistleblower. Okay? And it’s probably more than [crosstalk 00:13:40]-

Brian Kilmeade: (29:42)

All right, so [crosstalk 00:29:43] … go ahead.

Ainsley E.: (29:42)

Mr. President?

Donald Trump: (29:44)

Who I want to testify most is shifty-Schiff and I want to find out why did he make up my statement? He made up my statement and I want to find that out. Why did shifty-Schiff, who’s a crooked politician. He’s a corrupt politician. Why did he make up my statement? He made up the statement and I’m [crosstalk 00:14:00]-

Ainsley E.: (30:00)

Because he didn’t think you were going to release the transcript.

Donald Trump: (30:03)

No, no, that’s right. Exactly, [crosstalk 00:14:04]. Where this whole thing fell apart and where frankly, the Republicans became so incredibly unified, is after they read my statement. Every one of them said, [crosstalk 00:14:17]. The only ones that are a little off on my statement are the people that haven’t quite read it yet that say, “Well, this isn’t impeachable.” But they didn’t read it. I said [crosstalk 00:30:23]-

Ainsley E.: (30:24)

Well, if we read it, Democrats are going to say it was quid pro quo. If you’re a conservative, you’re going to [crosstalk 00:30:30] say no, it wasn’t.

Donald Trump: (30:30)

You can’t.

Ainsley E.: (30:31)

Well, they’re saying that it was. [crosstalk 00:30:34] They believe in a roundabout way it was.

Donald Trump: (30:35)

Well, Adam Schiff says what I said too, and it was totally different.

Brian Kilmeade: (30:38)

[crosstalk 00:30:38] But the bottom line is, is this an impeachable offense? Did you do anything that they can impeach you for?

Donald Trump: (30:45)

There’s nothing there. In fact, they asked these terrible witnesses yesterday. Again, I don’t even know these people. I come to Washington. So you’ve had Bush, and you have never-Trumpers. So you have Bush, you have Clinton, you have Obama, so you have 24 years of people in positions, right? Then I come in with no experience, which is a good thing. But I know life. And I come in and I end up with thousands of people that are never-Trumpers, Clinton people, and sometimes the never-Trumpers are worst than Clinton and Obama people, believe me. I mean, it’s an amazing phenomena. Don’t forget [crosstalk 00:31:24]-

Speaker 1: (31:24)

President Obama released every … yes.

Donald Trump: (31:27)

Listen to this for a second. And with no experience at doing this, but I’ve had a lot of experience in life and we’re doing great as a country and we’re respected again as a country. And we were not respected. With no experience, I come to Washington. I’ve defeated the Clinton dynasty. I’ve defeated the Bush dynasty, and I’ve defeated the Obama, whatever you want to call it, right? The three biggest. I defeated them all at one time with no experience. The hatred is incredible, but I have to deal with crazy Nancy. I mean, she’s crazy as a bedbug. She is nuts.

Donald Trump: (32:03)

She’s crazy as a bedbug. She is nuts. And what she’s doing … and she’s not talented. She’s highly overrated. All she’s doing is sitting. She’s not doing any work for the people. And now it turns out that the whole impeachment thing is a scam.

Brian Kilmeade: (32:17)

Okay, got you. So, Mr.-

Donald Trump: (32:18)

And now on top of it, now you’re starting to get some feedback that the IG report is coming out and I think that will be-

Brian Kilmeade: (32:25)

Explosive.

Donald Trump: (32:25)

… the greatest political scandal in the history of our country.

Brian Kilmeade: (32:30)

And if we could just now let’s switch and let’s talk a little bit about 2020.

Steve Doocy: (32:33)

Let me just interrupt for a second. Mr. President, you said we know the name of the whistleblower. We’ve seen names on the internet. We have no idea who the whistleblower is.

Brian Kilmeade: (32:41)

Right.

Donald Trump: (32:42)

No, I don’t believe. Steve, can I tell you? I know you [inaudible].

Steve Doocy: (32:46)

I’ve seen names, but I don’t know who it is.

Brian Kilmeade: (32:46)

But it’s … All right.

Donald Trump: (32:50)

I don’t think Steve has ever told a lie, Ainsley and Brian and his life, but that one, I’m sort of thinking, oh come on.

Brian Kilmeade: (32:59)

So, you expect to-

Donald Trump: (32:59)

You’re a great person. I’m always telling people I watch your show in the morning. I don’t watch the garbage, the other garbage that would love to have me on, that would do anything to have me on.

Steve Doocy: (33:06)

No, we’ve seen names online, but Mr. President, we don’t have any verification.

Brian Kilmeade: (33:09)

And it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter anyway. We’re not going to use it. We’re not going to use it.

Donald Trump: (33:13)

You don’t need verification. You know exactly who it is, Steve. Okay. But I like that you say that.

Brian Kilmeade: (33:16)

Right. So, Mr. President, you expect an impeachment vote. You expect to get impeached. And would you say, you said you embraced the idea-

Donald Trump: (33:24)

No, I don’t expect it.

Brian Kilmeade: (33:25)

You don’t expect it?

Donald Trump: (33:25)

Actually, I don’t.

Brian Kilmeade: (33:25)

You don’t expect Democrats going to vote for this?

Donald Trump: (33:27)

I think it’s very hard for them to impeach you when they have absolutely nothing. No, I would expect that … Okay, ready? You’ve seen the polls over the last week. I’m going through the roof. In Wisconsin, I’m way up over every Democrat.

Brian Kilmeade: (33:40)

You are.

Donald Trump: (33:41)

The swing states, which is the important one. You know, you have two elections, you have electoral college, you have popularity. I like to go for the electoral college. By the way, for me to win the popular vote would be much easier. The electoral college is much harder to win, much harder. You have to go to many more places, etc., etc. But if you look at those swing states, I’m way up in every one of them because of the impeachment thing. And it’s crazy what’s going on because the people get it. It’s a hoax. This is a continuation of the witch hunt, which has gone on from before I got elected.

Donald Trump: (34:15)

If you look at the, you know, we talked about the insurance policy, right? You know, we’ve got an insurance policy just in case you lose this, right? This was a text between the two great lovers. If you look at that, that was long before the election took place. So this was taking root with Comey, who’s a totally disgusting human being. Which by the way, and if I didn’t fire Comey, I would’ve been in some trouble right now.

Brian Kilmeade: (34:46)

And maybe you should have done it right away. But Mr. President-

Donald Trump: (34:46)

Because they were coming after me and I wouldn’t have known that he was a phony and that Strzok and Page and all of these people, McCabe, the whole gang of them, we wouldn’t have been able to find it out. Turned out to be the best move I’ve ever made, firing Comey, because they were looking to take down the president of the United States.

Brian Kilmeade: (35:00)

Yeah, he doesn’t agree. John Bolton has just gone back on Twitter. His account was frozen for two months. Did you guys freeze his account?

Donald Trump: (35:08)

No, of course not. Of course not. No, I actually had a good relationship with John. We disagreed on some things and some methods, but I actually had a good relationship. No, I didn’t do that. I didn’t even know that.

Ainsley E.: (35:18)

Mr. President, let’s talk about 2020 because we saw the last Democratic debate and the ratings were really low. I don’t know if that’s an indication that it’s too early or if people are not interested in these candidates, and maybe that’s why some of these other guys are talking about jumping into the race. Elizabeth Warren says she’s going to use tax dollars to take down your border wall. Listen to this.

Moderator: (35:40)

Would you ask taxpayers to pay to take down any part of the wall on the nation’s southern border?

ElizabethWarren: (35:45)

If there are parts of the wall that are not useful in our defense, of course we should do it. The real point here is that we need to stop this manmade crisis at the border. Trump is the one who has created this crisis.

Ainsley E.: (36:00)

Tom Homan said the reason that the numbers are down is because of the wall. What do you say?

Donald Trump: (36:05)

Absolutely. We’ve built almost a hundred miles of wall. It’s going up fast. Army Corps of Engineers is doing it. We have the funding. I took it out of the military. You know, I’ve rebuilt the military. That’s another thing we’ve done, which was when I took it over. And we defeated ISIS, we took the caliphate. We just took out al-Baghdadi. I got, you know, I don’t want it. I don’t want it frankly. But if Obama did al-Baghdadi, the biggest terrorist in the last hundred years, if Obama did it, it would be a two year story. With me, I got a day. Not that it matters, but it was a tremendous thing. We defeated him. But let me just tell you about the wall. Without the wall, and Tom Homan’s a great guy. Without the wall, it would be a disaster.

Brian Kilmeade: (36:48)

Absolutely.

Donald Trump: (36:49)

And if she took down the wall … You need the wall. You know, they want to have drones. They want to have drones flying around, up and down and this and that. It’s all just a waste of money. Other than we have drones flying to see if anybody’s trying to break through the wall, because if you have a bulldozer or if you have heavy blow torches and things, you can break through. We have, the wall is electrified so that if anyone touches it, we know exactly what’s happening and we can get there within minutes. Now we built that-

Brian Kilmeade: (37:15)

You electrified the wall?

Donald Trump: (37:16)

We’re building a fantastic wall and without the wall … Now it just means she’s going to lose, because one of the issues that I won on last time was border security. And you see where the numbers are. Now until I got the wall built, I got Mexico because we’re not allowed, very simply, we have loopholes and they’re called loopholes for a reason, because they’re loopholes. I could end those loopholes in 15 minutes with crazy Nancy Pelosi and Schumer. I could end them in 15 minutes, but they don’t want to meet about them because they like trouble, because the more trouble we have, they don’t care about the country. The more trouble they have, the better it is for them. They think the worse it is for me. So I got the wall built despite them fighting me. I got so much money for them for the military. The one thing they wouldn’t give you money for is the wall because they thought that was a very good thing politically. If you don’t have a wall, we don’t have a country. If we don’t have a border, we don’t have a country.

Donald Trump: (38:12)

And you see what’s going on in-

Brian Kilmeade: (38:13)

Right. Mr. President right now, Elizabeth Warren wants to take it down. Who do you think right now is likely to be your opponent? Mayor Pete is evidently moving up in the early states.

Ainsley E.: (38:23)

Biden’s still at the top.

Brian Kilmeade: (38:23)

Joe Biden wins most national polls. Elizabeth Warren is still among the leaders. Who do you think it’s going to be?

Donald Trump: (38:31)

Well, I don’t know if Joe can make it mentally. He’s off. There’s no question about it. So I don’t know if he’s going to make it mentally. If he can get through it, without cracking up, which is a real question, maybe him. You know, don’t forget, people have seen his name for a long time. But Pete is, you know, I call him Alfred E. Neuman. To me, he reminds me of Mad magazine, Alfred E. Neuman. I don’t see him. I don’t see him dealing with president Xi. I don’t see him dealing with Kim Jong Un. I just don’t see it. But maybe he is.

Donald Trump: (39:01)

I mean, look, I wouldn’t mind running against any of them. So I would say maybe Biden has the advantage. I think Pocahontas has come up from the embers. I thought, I mean I hit her too early. I came up with this name that seems to have stuck very nicely-

Brian Kilmeade: (39:16)

Bloomberg?

Donald Trump: (39:17)

… but they don’t use it. I don’t see him. I know him pretty well. He finished very weak in New York. He starts with the telling you what you can drink, what you could do, what … No, I don’t see it. He’s desperately … I’m sure he’s going to run. He is going to spend … He’s got the money to put on a great campaign. I don’t see it. I think his time has come and gone.

Brian Kilmeade: (39:41)

Got you.

Steve Doocy: (39:42)

It would be hard to believe a New York real estate developer or a billionaire could ever be president. Mr. President … Just kidding. You know, the stock market hit another record this past week. Clearly that is your strong suit going into 2020 because you look at the polls, people feel better about their money situation right now. Going forward toward November of next year, how are you going to make sure everybody understands what you have been able to do over the last then four years?

Donald Trump: (40:16)

By talking to you. That’s all I have to do. Everyone’s listening right now. Nobody’s listening to any other show. But look, strong suit. My strong suit is I rebuilt the military, the vet. For years, you would turn on your television every night you’d see a story about the vets and how badly they’re being treated and it’s a horror show. You don’t hear that anymore. I got veteran’s choice. That means they can go see a doctor. If they have to wait on line, they go see a doctor, we pay the bill. It’s unbelievable what happened. I have veterans accountability. You couldn’t fire. For 50 years, they’ve been trying to get it. You couldn’t fire because there were union and civil service. So if you had somebody beating up vets, stealing from the VA, you couldn’t fire them for any reason. You couldn’t fire them for-

Brian Kilmeade: (40:58)

That’s certainly something to run on, and they are appreciative. On the economy, President Xi-

Donald Trump: (41:02)

I’ve got that, but listen, rebuilding the military, all of the things I’ve done, plus we’ve had peace. You know we’re pulling way down in Afghanistan. We’re working on an agreement now with the Taliban. Let’s see what happens. The last time I was supposed to have an agreement, then they thought when they came over, they thought it would be good to kill people so they could negotiate from a position of strength. They killed 12 people in order to show their tough guys, and I canceled the meeting. I said, “That’s not what we’re dealing with.” Anyway, I’m pulling back. I just pulled out of Syria, except I kept the oil. If it was okay with you-

Brian Kilmeade: (41:36)

You have 600 guys there, right?

Donald Trump: (41:37)

I don’t want to keep the oil.

Brian Kilmeade: (41:38)

Real quick, President Xi has just said this. “We want to work for a phase one agreement on the basis of mutual respect and equality with the United States.” Where are you at? You were kind of down on a deal and the market kind of dipped on this. Where do you stand right now with the trade deal with China?

Donald Trump: (41:57)

Very good. We have a deal potentially very close. He wants to make it much more than I want to make it. I’m not anxious to make it. We’re taking in hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs. We never took in 25 cents. We are not paying, like you know, they fed the line. You know, the media fed the line about us paying. Now normally you would pay for tariffs, but China is paying, not us.

Brian Kilmeade: (42:21)

But you just heard what he just said, Mr. President? He wants to do a deal. I very rarely see that. We want to work at a phase one agreement.

Donald Trump: (42:26)

The problem is I didn’t like his word equality because we started off so low. We’ve lost $500 billion a year for many, many years. We’ve rebuilt China, and I give him a lot of credit. The ones I don’t give credit are our past presidents, and especially the last one with his crummy vice president. China took us to the cleaners. He didn’t even know that. Biden in the first debate said, “Oh, these are the wonderful people.” Sure, they’re wonderful people. We’re giving them 500 billion a year, 500 billion. That’s not including theft of intellectual property, etc. So I told President Xi, this can’t be an even deal, because we’re starting off from the floor and you’re already at the ceiling, so we have to have a much better deal. The bottom line is we have a very good chance to make a deal.

Brian Kilmeade: (43:10)

You do.

Ainsley E.: (43:10)

And not to mention what’s happening in Hong Kong with the pro democracy protestors.

Donald Trump: (43:14)

Well, that’s a complicating factor. There’s no question about it. And if it weren’t for me, Hong Kong would have been obliterated in 14 minutes. He’s got a million soldiers standing outside of Hong Kong that aren’t going in only because I asked him, please don’t do that. You’ll be making a big mistake. It’s going to have a tremendous negative impact on the trade deal. And he wants to make a trade deal.

Brian Kilmeade: (43:36)

And if I could just-

Donald Trump: (43:36)

Brian, one thing before I get off. I just want to say one thing. We have the strongest economy in the history of our country. We have the best unemployment numbers we’ve ever had. African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, the best in history. We have the best unemployment and employment numbers. More people working today than ever before. But listen to this, we have now the greatest economy that we’ve ever had. We’ve increased by $20 trillion. China’s gone down probably by $30 or $35 trillion. If crooked Hillary had won, China would now be the largest economy in the world. They were going to surpass us, expected to in the second year of the presidency. Right now, they are so far behind us, they’ll never catch up.

Brian Kilmeade: (44:17)

But the farmers do need relief. But the farmers were hoping for that huge purchase and it looks like they want to do a deal, but they-

Donald Trump: (44:22)

Brian, they have it. Wait, wait, wait. Just one thing. So they have it because I said, “How much have the farmers lost because of China targeting them? Sir, $16 billion and 12 billion the previous year.” I gave them $12 billion out of the tariffs, had tens of billions leftover, and I gave them 16 billion out of the tariffs and had tens of billions leftover. It goes into the treasury. Brian, our farmers are doing great. And now we just signed a deal with Japan, $40 billion they’re buying from the farmers. We just signed a deal with South Korea a tremendous deal. We’re making tremendous deals, but you have to understand, these deals with China, they’ve been taking advantage of us for 25 years. It’s hard for them to understand it’s not going to happen anymore, and now they understand.

Brian Kilmeade: (45:07)

They are calling on you to veto legislation.

Donald Trump: (45:10)

They had the worst year in 57 years.

Brian Kilmeade: (00:00)

They are calling on you to veto legislation coming out of the Senate that supports the Hong Kong students. What are you going to do?

Donald Trump: (00:09)

Well, I’ll tell you, look, we have to stand with Hong Kong, but I’m also standing with President Xi. He’s a friend of mine. He’s an incredible guy and we have to stand. But I’d like to see them work it out. Okay? We have to see him work it out. But I stand with Hong Kong. I stand with freedom. I stand with all of the things that we want to do. But we also are in the process of making the largest trade deal in history.

Donald Trump: (00:31)

If we could do that, that’d be great. China wants it. We want it. And I will say this, if it weren’t for me, thousands of people would have been killed in Hong Kong right now. And you wouldn’t have any riots. You’d have a police state, but thousands of people. The only reason he’s not going in is because I’m saying it’s going to affect our trade deal, you don’t want to do that.

Ainsley E.: (00:51)

Mr. President?

Donald Trump: (00:52)

I speak to him.

Ainsley E.: (00:53)

So you’re running in 2020 and many people are … we all just assumed your vice presidential nominee would be Mike Pence. But then we’re reading headlines about Kellyanne Conway’s husband saying that Nikki Haley is fighting for that position. I’m a South Carolinian, originally from South Carolina. Nikki Haley was our Governor and I know she really did a good job as the ambassador. So, who’s going to be your running mate in 2020?

Donald Trump: (01:15)

No, she’s great. Well look, first of all, Kellyanne is great, but she’s married to a total whack job. She must have done some number on him, Ainsley. I don’t know what Kellyanne did to that guy, because I don’t even know him. I mean, I met him for a [crosstalk 00:01:28] second. He’s got to be some kind of a nut job. She must’ve done some bad things to him because that guy is crazy. But you know what? Mike Pence is a great Vice President. He’s our man, 100%, and Nikki will absolutely be involved.

Donald Trump: (01:44)

She’s a friend of mine. She endorsed me with the most beautiful endorsement you’ve ever heard. She did a great job at the UN. She’s now in the private sector. I assume she’s doing very well, but Nikki will be back in some form because she’s great and she’s my friend. But no, Mike Pence, I know I’ve seen this rumor. It keeps popping up and Nikki would be great. But Mike Pence has done a phenomenal job as Vice President. He’s our guy. He’s my friend. And look, we have a great team. It’s [crosstalk 00:02:17] been a very strong team.

Brian Kilmeade: (02:18)

[crosstalk 00:02:18] Mike Pompeo going to the Senate. Are you going to push him to do that?

Donald Trump: (02:22)

So Mike is done an incredible job. I have an incredible cabinet. We don’t get enough credit. We have an incredible … Mike graduated number one at Harvard Law, number one at West Point. He’s an incredible guy doing a great job in a very complicated world, doing a great job as Secretary of State. Remember, they all said, Brian, I’d be in World War III my first day and now they’re saying, “Wow, he’s much more moderate.” Well, actually, I rebuilt the military to a level that nobody’s going to play games with us.

Donald Trump: (02:51)

But if we don’t have to use it, that’s a good thing. Not a bad thing. So Mike would win easily in Kansas, great state, and it’s a Trump state. He’d win easily. And if I thought they had somebody out there that couldn’t win and Mike would really … he loves what he’s doing, but if I thought they had somebody out there that … and he came to me and said, “Look, I’d rather stay where I am.” But he loves Kansas. He loves the people of Kansas. If he thought there was a chance of losing that seat, I think he would do that. And he would win in a landslide because they love him in Kansas.

Speaker 4: (03:25)

Well, I am from Kansas and you’re right, it is a great state. Mr. President, a moment ago you were talking about rumors. I’m sure you saw there was a rumor that you went to the hospital last week. It wasn’t on the schedule and obviously something is really the matter with you. So can you tell us what’s the matter with you?

Donald Trump: (03:45)

Okay. Yeah. A lot of things are a matter with me. I mean, number one, what did I do this for? But I love it, it’s one of those things. So I had some free time, my doctor calls, he said, “Would you like to do something ’cause I’m going to be slightly busy in 2020 in January and February?” Especially if crazy Nancy does something that nobody ever would even think of doing. So I’ll be busy interviewing Biden, watching the interviews of a shifty-Schiff and why he made up all of this stuff and why he made up my statements. So the doctor goes, “Sir, would you like to go out?” ‘Cause I had three hours. “Would you like to go out to Walter Reed and do your first part of the physical?” I said, “Yeah, go ahead, let’s go.” So we go out. I go there, I meet with parents, one in particular.

Donald Trump: (04:33)

I meet with the wife and family of a young soldier who was being operated on and lost his arm and lost a leg. Horrible thing. And I spent time with them. Anyway, I do a very routine part of the physical, get in the car, come back. On the way back, I’m hearing that I’m in the hospital. And by the way, just so you know, literally many, many, many cars go. It’s not like … and they have a press van following when I go. I’d love to be able to go, like the old days, where I get in the car, close the doors, lock them up and drive. Right? That doesn’t happen anymore. It’s a little different life. But we have a press man. You know how that works? And so, we drive out to Walter Reed, greatest doctors, greatest everything, greatest place you’ve ever seen what they can do.

Donald Trump: (05:14)

So I start my physical, go see the soldier, go see the families, did a little tour of the building, then get back in. On the way back, I’m hearing rumors that I’m in the hospital. Then I’m hearing rumors that I had chest pains. Then I’m hearing rumors that I had a massive heart attack. Then I’m hearing rumors that I’m not coming back, I’m staying at Walter Reed overnight and maybe for a long time. And I say … I come home and my wife says, “Darling, darling, are you okay?” I said, “Okay from what?” They have it down, CNN, mostly CNN, but that stupid MSNBC, which is just as bad. Can you imagine? I made them so much money on The Apprentice and that’s the way. But anyway, those two. And so, they started a false narrative and it was this. So the doctor gets on and he said, “No, no, it was just … ” It didn’t matter. No matter what we told them, they were going with it [crosstalk 00:06:09]-

Speaker 4: (06:07)

So Mr. President, your health is fine?

Donald Trump: (06:12)

Well, let me tell you this, I just got back from Austin, Texas, where I was with Tim Cook. He’s going to be building a $1 billion facility to make whatever he makes. That’s Apple. And he’s going to build this incredible facility. We toured another facility where they make the Mac Pro, which is phenomenal, which was opening. The reason we … it opened that day. They’re making all of the Mac Pros all over the world and making them right in Austin, Texas. I left early, I got home very late, and I did many things in between, and I was sort of joking to some of the people. I said, “Hey, that’s not bad considering these people had me all washed up and finished in a hospital and I just get back from a 14 hour day.” No, it’s a disgrace. Let me just say what it really is. It’s fake, disgusting news. I’ll let you know. You know what? Nothing wrong. If you’re not feeling well, I have [crosstalk 00:07:05]-

Speaker 4: (07:05)

Right. But it wasn’t on your schedule, and so people thought, “Oh, there must be something.”

Donald Trump: (07:08)

No, because the doctor said, “Sir … ” I’m not blaming [crosstalk 00:07:11], but [inaudible 00:00:07:13], would you like to go in and knock off half of your physical. I said, “You know what? That’s not a bad idea,” cause I had three hours [crosstalk 00:07:19] between that and watching a football game that I didn’t want to watch or doing … I had three free hours and he said, “Would you like to do it?” So here’s the thing, it’s so disgusting what they do because they knew it wasn’t true. They went with it. After we certified with medical people, we had three medical people call them up and say it’s not true. They went with it anyway. You couldn’t kill the story because they’re bad people. It’s fake, corrupted news.

Brian Kilmeade: (07:43)

[crosstalk 00:07:43] Mr. President. [crosstalk 00:07:45] I think it does good for your health. I’m not a doctor, but if I was writing a prescription calling in every week to update the country about what’s happening might be good for your health. That’s something to consider. You have the phone number.

Donald Trump: (07:56)

I don’t mind [crosstalk 00:07:57] … Well, you know that I’ve been doing it for years [crosstalk 00:07:58]-

Brian Kilmeade: (07:57)

You have been.

Donald Trump: (08:00)

With your group, I’ve been doing it for years [crosstalk 00:08:02]-

Brian Kilmeade: (08:01)

It’s a stress release.

Donald Trump: (08:02)

If it was up to me, and it is up to me, and we’ll do it more often, but I have a lot of fun doing it and you know what? The nice part, we get the true word out and here’s the true word. Our country is doing great. We’re respected again. Our military is strong. We have the number one economy in the world by far, and China’s never going to catch us. As long as we have a smart person where I am, they’ll never catch us. They’ve had the worst year they’ve had in 57 years, and we’ve had the best year we’ve ever had by far. So it’s good. I get the word out on your show. I love your show and you people are great.

Ainsley E.: (08:32)

Thank you so much Mr. President for being with us.

Brian Kilmeade: (08:34)

Yep. President Trump, [crosstalk 00:08:34] thanks so much.

Donald Trump: (08:34)

Thanks.

Ainsley E.: (08:34)

Thank you.

Speaker 4: (08:34)

All right.

Brian Kilmeade: (08:34)

All right.

Donald Trump: (08:34)

Bye-bye.

Feb 14, 2020

Geraldo Rivera Donald Trump Podcast Transcript: Donald Trump Talks Ukraine, Roger Stone, and More

Geraldo Rivera Donald Trump Podcast Transcript

Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Geraldo Rivera Donald Trump Podcast Transcript: Donald Trump Talks Ukraine, Roger Stone, and More

Donald Trump joined Geraldo Rivera on his podcast “Roadkill With Geraldo” where he talked about a variety of topics including the Ukraine call, the Roger Stone case, and that he would vote for a gay president. Read the full transcript

Search the transcript here…

Geraldo Rivera: (00:00)

Hi, everybody. It’s Geraldo Rivera reporting. This is Roadkill, my podcast, my weekly podcast, where we encapsulate some of the great events of the day and tell you how I feel about them from my position in the middle of the road. I had an old boss who said the only thing in the middle of the road is roadkill. Hence, the title. Today, a very special edition of Roadkill: an exclusive interview with Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States, a friend of mine, and he was very gracious with his time in a wide-ranging interview. So fasten your seatbelts. Here is the President of the United States in our exclusive interview.

Speaker 1: (00:43)

Roadkill, which Geraldo Rivera.

Donald Trump: (00:49)

The state of our union is stronger than ever before.

Speaker 1: (00:56)

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to introduce a person I am proud to call a friend. He is the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. Mr President, thank you so much. We are honored that you’re calling.

Donald Trump: (01:09)

Well, I’ve known you for a long time, Geraldo, and it’s been A lot of good times.

Geraldo Rivera: (01:15)

Lot of good times, and I appreciate that you honor the friendship. It really … It’s terrific. I know, because I know you, what a gut punch impeachment was for you, but I’m not sure that … Heart to heart. You’ve expressed that feeling of assault, of insult. Why don’t you share that with us? What was that like for you?

Donald Trump: (01:39)

Well, it’s a terrible thing, and I think of Nixon more than anybody else and what that dark period was in our country and the whole thing with the tapes and the horror show. It was dark, and it went on for a long time, and I watched it. I watched Ronald Reagan where they were very close with Iran-Contra, and that was very dark. He went through that for years and never really got over the spell. It was dark, but not … Nothing like Nixon. I would always think … Every time in the White House I pass this beautiful portrait of various presidents. Right? But the portrait of of Richard Nixon, I sort of … I don’t know, it’s a little bit of a different feeling that I get from looking at the other portraits of presidents. And I got impeached for no reason whatsoever. Partisan, totally partisan; based on a perfect phone call, a totally appropriate phone call that was even said by the other party to be perfect. The President of Ukraine. And it was a disgraceful act by Nancy Pelosi and these horrible people, and I had to fight it off, and-

Geraldo Rivera: (02:41)

Let me ask you about Nancy Pelosi. She says that, no matter that you are acquitted, you are impeached for life. And she says it in a way that is almost gleeful, almost sadistic, in a way, that you’re impeached for life. Do you feel, Mr. President, that you are impeached for life?

Donald Trump: (02:56)

No. She’s a person that started an impeachment and lost, so she goes down as a loser, which she is. Nancy Pelosi was a … It was said, statistically, if you watch the way she said that, with the hatred and the venom coming out of her ears … You just take a look at that. The hatred that was pouring from her when she said that. My wife was sitting there and watched it, and she said, “Oh my, that was horrible. The way she said it was so bad.” It’s interesting that you picked it up. Some people did, some people didn’t. It wasn’t just the words. It was the, the craziness. And then to have her sitting behind me at the State of the Union mumbling all night long, mumbling. Talking to me but under her breath, not actually [crosstalk 00:03:43]-

Geraldo Rivera: (03:44)

And then tearing up the copy of the state of the union-

Donald Trump: (03:45)

And then tearing it up, and I think they lost very big. Our poll numbers are through the roof and everything else. But I will say that, for my family, it was a very tough thing. Me, I’m so busy that I literally … It just made my job so much busier, and yet we’ve accomplished more than any president in his first year, three years that we’ve ever had, Geraldo. I mean, you can go to anybody. And nobody’s done what I’ve done in three years, and I had this whole cloud of bad people making up things. I mean, it was terrible. And to see-

Geraldo Rivera: (04:17)

Let me get to the bad people in a second. But what about the first lady of the United States? How difficult was this for her, this whole saga that you’ve been through?

Donald Trump: (04:26)

Well, it was hard, especially since they knew I did nothing wrong. I did absolutely nothing wrong. Everybody knew it. Romney knew it, too, by the way. You know that was a disgrace. And he knew it. He was going to vote with us. Everywhere was saying “No, he’s good, he’s good.” Then he went into a cage, and he … He went into a cage with … I guess they held it. He did an interview with your friend Chris Wallace, and nobody knew what the interview was about, but it was previous to the vote, and he’s always got … He did a handle. He did a Twitter handle with a phony name on it so he could criticize people without using his name, so he could say things great about himself. He had tweets about how great he is.

Geraldo Rivera: (05:12)

You’re talking about Mitt Romney?

Donald Trump: (05:14)

And they- I’m talking about Mitt Romney, how crazy .that was. And he got caught. But no, that was a disgraceful [crosstalk 00:00:05:19]-

Geraldo Rivera: (05:21)

You don’t think it was his religion? You don’t think that was a sincere-

Donald Trump: (05:23)

No. No. I don’t think that at all. They did reports that he didn’t … He brought up his religion very seldom. And all of a sudden he brought up his religion. When did you hear him bring up his religion? They did a report in one of the main papers that he very rarely brought up his religion. No, I don’t think so at all. Look, I got 52 and a half votes out of 53. I got 52 and a half. And I guess if it was the religion, he should have voted for the other half. You know, he voted on one positively and the other negatively. He should’ve probably, if it was his religion … Should have voted on both, if you think about it. But no, I don’t. He’s just a bad guy. He’s a jealous, angry person who’s a stone cold [crosstalk 00:06:01]-

Geraldo Rivera: (06:03)

You think that was a reaction to your not giving him the Secretary of State job?

Donald Trump: (06:08)

No, I think we just had our difficulties. I thought he should have won against President Obama in his second term. I thought that should have been easy. I don’t … I’m not a McCain fan. Never was, but I didn’t think he could have possibly won that one because he was handed over sort of a rough time in terms of many different things. And first African-American. I thought that the whole thing was really stacked against McCain. And, again, I’m not a fan, but I never said he should’ve won. But the second, the Obama-

Geraldo Rivera: (06:37)

You just put up a president …

Donald Trump: (06:37)

The Obama first term-

Geraldo Rivera: (06:39)

What about Obama and the people that say that the economy booming today is because of Obama?

Donald Trump: (06:44)

Well, let me get this first. The Obama first term was a disaster. The Obama second term was okay. Mitt Romney should’ve beaten Obama, and he should have beaten them easily, and I would have beaten him more easily than I beat Hillary Clinton. As far as the Obama doing … He took over something that was a mess but rather easily fixed, so you can get some pretty good numbers. It’s the slowest recovery we’ve had since the Great Depression under Obama, and now the recovery is a monster. And I will tell you a big part of our recovery, bigger even than the tax cuts, were the regulation cuts, which they would never have done. They were going to put more regulations on. If Hillary Clinton had got elected, instead of 30,000 … We’re almost up to 30,000, which is going to be a record. We’re 20-

Geraldo Rivera: (07:35)

On the Dow, yep.

Donald Trump: (07:35)

20 on the Dow. 29,342 as of this moment. So we’re just [inaudible 00:07:40] … Nobody thought that would even be possible. And don’t forget, they’re trying to take credit for that big spread. If you look at the spread, when I won, the market went through the roof. Had I lost, the market would’ve gone down tremendously. But when I won, the market immediately … You remember that big day right after the victory? Well, you can’t really give credit to them for that. That has to go to me. I say I should get credit from election day, but President Obama-

Geraldo Rivera: (08:05)

Are you worried that the boom … Mr. President, are you worried that the stock market and the big economic boom are imperiled because of this corona virus spreading epidemic, and … You know, China’s closing for business. They’re not buying cars from Europe right now. Everything is … Everybody’s in a panic. You’ve got those four people stranded on that cruise ship in Japan. Are you worried about this virus affecting … I mean, obviously, you’re worried about the virus and people getting sick, but what about the economy as another victim of the [inaudible 00:08:38].

Donald Trump: (08:37)

Well, we’re working on it very closely. I spoke to President Xi two days ago. They’re working on it very professionally. It’s a problem. We think and we hope, based on all signs, that the problem goes away in April because … which is not too far down the road … because heat kills this virus. We think. Now we’re going to find out, Geraldo, but we think. And they are having difficulty in China, but they’re working very, very hard. We’re working with them. We’re sending a lot of people, and CDC has been great, but it’s a problem in China. Has not been spreading very much and, in our country, we only have basically 12 cases, and most of those people are recovering and, some cases, fully recovered. So it’s actually less. But-

Geraldo Rivera: (09:25)

Did the Chinese tell the truth about this?

Donald Trump: (09:27)

Well, you never know. I think they want to put the best face on it. So I mean, if somebody … If you were running it, you’d probably … You wouldn’t want to run out to the world and go crazy and start saying whatever it is because you don’t want to create a panic. But, no, I think they’ve handled it professionally, and I think they’re extremely capable. And I think President Xi is extremely capable, and I hope that it’s going to be resolved. Again, the April date is very important, but this is a big thing. The April date is very, very important because, if that’s the case, if heat does in fact kill … That’s when it starts getting hot, and this virus reacts very poorly to heat and dies. So we’ll see what happens.

Geraldo Rivera: (10:08)

What about a … Closer to home, you’re talking about behaving professionally. You threw out Colonel Vindman and his in his brother. I’ve been in the West Wing, and my feeling, just the vibe that I got and from what I hear is, the whole place is … It’s a nest of vipers and snitches and backstabbers and rats. Why do you tolerate … How many people [crosstalk 00:10:37]-

Donald Trump: (10:35)

Well, I inherited-

Geraldo Rivera: (10:37)

Go ahead.

Donald Trump: (10:37)

I inherited a place with, you know, many different administrations, and they worked there for years and were civil service and with unions and all of it. You can’t do what you’d like to do. In addition, you want to give people chances. The fact that they come from Obama or they’re Never Trumpers from Bush, or whoever it may be, and then you go back, and you have people. You have Clinton, and you want to give people time. No, but Vindman … If you look at what his person said about him … Morrison, who I think is a very good man, he said terrible things about Vindman. No, I didn’t want him in. I watched his testimony. Don’t forget, he was the one that thought my call was bad. And he ran in and started saying, oh, terrible things about the call. And then when I released the transcript, that call was perfect. And I say it again. It was perfect. It was totally appropriate. And it wasn’t one call, it was two calls. They were both perfect, appropriate calls. And nothing earth-shaking there. So ridiculous.

Geraldo Rivera: (11:35)

Why are so many people allowed to listen to your phone calls, anyway?

Donald Trump: (11:38)

Well, that’s what they’ve done over the years. When you call a foreign leader, people listen. I may end the practice entirely. I may have. I may end it entirely. Sometimes you have 25 people. Now you have [inaudible 00:11:48]. You have Secretary of States. For instance, Mike Pompeo was on the call. He found the call to be perfect. He found the call to be absolutely fine. With many people on the call … The only one. This guy ran and said he didn’t like to call. First of all, that’s very insubordinate. Why wouldn’t he go to his immediate … He went to Congress or he went to Schiff or he went to somebody, but Vindman was the guy that, when we took him out of the building, the building applauded. I don’t know if you heard that.

Geraldo Rivera: (12:16)

I did not. That’s interesting.

Donald Trump: (12:17)

The whole building’s … There are a lot … Many of the people in the building started applauding. No, I’m not a fan of Vindman. I’m not a fan of what … I’ve never … I don’t think I’ve ever met him, by the way. Just so you understand, many of these people I’ve never met, but I’m not a fan of Vindman. No question about it.

Geraldo Rivera: (12:31)

You know, one person may-

Donald Trump: (12:32)

And even if it just based it on what Tim Morrison said, I would not be a fan.

Geraldo Rivera: (12:36)

We both have known Roger Stone for decades. To me …I mean, I’ve always thought he was kind of a pain in the ass, to tell you the truth, but I was very disappointed at his conviction, and I was horrified at the proposed a seven to nine year sentence. I just heard from a guy who heads the PBA here in Cleveland. He just had a guy shoot someone in the head. They got seven years. Roger Stone didn’t hurt anybody, didn’t steal a dime. He’s looking at seven to nine year sentence. It was terrible. It was really an overreach. But was it appropriate for you to get involved, and you worried that the independence of the Justice Department is threatened?

Donald Trump: (13:16)

These were Mueller people. The whole Mueller investigation was a shakedown and a disgrace. It probably should be expunged because, to be honest with you, the dossier now, everybody knows it was fake. Everything was based on the dossier. The dossier now is totally fake. They used the dossier, knowing it was fake, to get FISA warrants. That means they got FISA warrants illegally. That was where they did the whole situation with the Mueller Report. Much of the Mueller Report … And even these attorneys, I know at least a couple of them were Mueller people. What they did to Roger Stone was a disgrace in terms of everything. Right from the beginning, 29 FBI agents loaded up with the most powerful rifles and machine guns. They attack him early in the morning. His wife, who has a tremendous hearing problem, virtually no hearing. They barged into their bedroom. This is early in the morning, CNN following them, so they were obviously alerted. Nobody’s been able to figure that one out, and they should be able to figure it out.

Donald Trump: (14:22)

It’s real easy to figure it out if they wanted to. CNN was following them. CNN taped it all. And how would you like to be Roger Stone? And yet, if you look at Podesta’s brother … Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, look at the brother. Was it Tony Podesta?

Geraldo Rivera: (14:40)

Right.

Donald Trump: (14:40)

But look at the brother. He was Paul Manafort on steroids. He was the biggest one or one of the biggest in Washington. They found him doing many bad things. He was forced to leave his firm. He was going to be … I don’t know … It was going to be a very serious day the following day after he left his firm. You understand what I mean by that? Very bad day for him. Nothing ever happened to him. Nothing ever happened, and then you see that they put a guy like a Paul Manafort in solitary confinement.

Geraldo Rivera: (15:09)

Oh, it’s awful.

Donald Trump: (15:10)

Al Capone. Listen to this, Geraldo. Al Capone, you say he was about as tough as they come, right?

Geraldo Rivera: (15:16)

Right.

Donald Trump: (15:17)

Al Capone was never placed in solitary confinement. El Chapo, I don’t think was placed in solitary confinement, but Paul Manafort was put in solitary confinement by the judge that’s actually-

Geraldo Rivera: (15:29)

Why don’t you pardon him and Roger Snow?

Donald Trump: (15:32)

Well, I don’t want to talk about pardons right now, but I think it’s very unfair what happened to a lot of people. A lot of people. In the meantime, James Comey is walking around making book deals. And, if you read that report, 78 pages of scathing, scathing, horrible words about him, done by a man who’s, in all fairness, a Democrat named Horowitz. A scathing report-

Geraldo Rivera: (15:57)

The Inspector General of the Justice Department.

Donald Trump: (15:59)

And a very bad recommendation for Comey, and I don’t know what’s happen-

Donald Trump: (16:03)

… recommendation for Comey, and I don’t know what’s happening. Maybe they’re using that report for something cause I’ve stayed away. I have no obligation. In fact, I could totally be involved in this investigation, and some people have told me I should, but we’ll see what happens. But Comey is walking around. You look at McCabe, who is a bad, bad guy. He’s walking around making-

Geraldo Rivera: (16:22)

John Brennan, the former head of the CIA, they’re old pundits.

Donald Trump: (16:24)

John Brennan’s walking around. And, frankly, Obama knew everything. Okay? Obama knew everything. I mean, does anybody have any doubt about that? Obama knew everything. But how about [crosstalk 00:16:35] How about Struk? And how about the lover?Struk and Paige, two lovers, and they’re walking around.

Geraldo Rivera: (16:43)

That was probably the most ill-fated affair in the history of the world.

Donald Trump: (16:48)

That was the worst coverup.

Geraldo Rivera: (16:48)

Let me ask you about Robert Mueller though. A lot of people thought that he was past his prime, to be kind, and some other things about him. But I never heard anyone call him a liar until you did a couple of days ago. What did he lie about?

Donald Trump: (17:00)

Well, he said in Congress that he never applied for the job of the FBI director. And now it’s been proven that he did. He came into my office along with numerous other people, including Chris Reay. They all came into my office over a two day period. I think there were five people, maybe more, but around that number. And Robert Mueller wanted to go back to the FBI. He came in as director, he wanted to be the director again. And I told him, basically, “you’ve had enough time.” And then within a very short period of time, he was appointed special prosecutor. I don’t call him special counsel because special counsel is not, it’s not an accurate term, it’s a special prosecutor. Because what he and his 13 angry Democrats, all horrible, just horrible people, what they did to destroy the lives of people that you know, but to destroy the lives of many Geraldo, should never be forgiven, should never be forgotten, and something has to be done about it. So he went in with his 13 angry Democrats, and they went in for bear. They went in to destroy people. And that’s what they did, they destroyed a lot of people.

Geraldo Rivera: (18:02)

They absolutely, I agree, they had destruction in mind. My guest, exclusively, the president of the United States, my friend Donald J. Trump. Let me ask, you brought up Democrats. Bernie Sanders looks like he’s going to be very hard to stop. First of all, what do you think about the prospect of running against Senator Sanders?

Donald Trump: (18:24)

Well, I like it. I’d like him. I’d like any of them. I mean, I think we’d be good with anybody. I think, frankly, my first choice would be Mini Mike. I think it’d be easy because-

Geraldo Rivera: (18:33)

With all the money he has, easy?

Donald Trump: (18:35)

Yeah, he’s got money, but you know, they spend $2 billion on me, Hillary Clinton, and mostly negative ads and I won. And I won really easily, if you look at it from … the electoral college, I won some States that were, I won by massive numbers. She spent $2 billion. I mean, they had a $2 billion campaign. He won’t have that much. And, frankly, he’s so deficient in so many ways that I think he’d be easier than Bernie.

Donald Trump: (19:02)

Bernie has a group … And I also think this, if a guy came in and bought the election, if they bought the democratic nomination, I really think that you’d have a revolution within the Democrat party. You had it, you had a mini revolution last time, but you would have a real … because they took it away from him last time, or at least it was perceived. She actually, she got more votes than him and everything else, so I view that a little bit differently. But a lot of people perceive that they took it away from him, but this time they would be taking it away. If a guy came in to buy it and took it away from Bernie I think you’d have a revolution within that party.

Geraldo Rivera: (19:36)

You know, you’ve got a situation with the former vice president, Joe Biden, fading terribly in the process in Iowa and in New Hampshire. He’s desperately going to South Carolina right now. Do you think that, ironically, the Democrats moving to impeach you in effect impeached Joe Biden with all the “Hunter Biden, Hunter Biden,” day after day? Did that destroy the former vice president’s reputation and his status and standing?

Donald Trump: (20:06)

Well, there’s a quote that was put in the wall street journal that she aimed at Trump and took down Biden, and that’s having to do with Nancy Pelosi. She aimed at me, there’s no question about it. And she always wanted to impeach. There’s this theory that, “Oh, she didn’t want it. She’s this great political pundit. She’s just great political mind.” She’s not. She lost the house once before. I think she’s got a good chance of losing it again. And the party’s not run by her, it’s run by the left.

Donald Trump: (20:34)

And you see that even in the presidential. You see it with Bernie. Bernie’s beyond socialist in my opinion, but we’ll have to talk about that at the right time. But no, I really think that, and I, and just to finish out on this subject, I have to say, I really believe that we are going to have a very interesting election. I think Biden is shot, he was shot from the beginning. I used to call him 1% Joe, remember 1%, because two times, but really it was three, but two times when he really gave it his best he was at less than 1%

Geraldo Rivera: (21:06)

Running for office, right?

Donald Trump: (21:09)

Yeah. And if you look, running for high office, running for president.

Geraldo Rivera: (21:12)

President, right.

Donald Trump: (21:12)

He was at [inaudible 00:21:13] so I’d call him 1% Joe, and he’s going to be back at 1% Joe. It’s amazing that it faded fast, but you know, you had the whole thing of the vice presidency for eight years, and I thought in a certain way he was a good vice-president because Obama got along with him. I think one of the biggest things that happened, one of the big telltale signs of trouble, was when Obama wouldn’t endorse him early on. And that was a strange. To me it was strange. I understand sometimes they don’t, but to me it was strange.

Geraldo Rivera: (21:44)

Was it strange to send Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine, your personal lawyer? You sorry you did that?

Donald Trump: (21:50)

Not at all. Rudy was a great crime fighter, you know that maybe better than-

Geraldo Rivera: (21:53)

Of course. Yeah. I interviewed him, I was the first one to interview him.

Donald Trump: (21:55)

And Rudy’s totally on his game. Rudy’s on his game. Rudy was a great crime fighter. You covered him for many years. And he was the greatest mayor in the history of the city of New York, far better than Bloomberg. Bloomberg took over what Rudy gave him. Rudy was a far better mayor than Bloomberg, tough and good. What Bloomberg did with stop and frisk, Rudy used it and he used it sparingly and really brilliantly. And Bloomberg came in and he multiplied it times 10. If you were a black person walking down the street you were going to be stopped and frisked under Bloomberg. And that’s why they had a revolution in New York, because of what he did. Rudy did it very sparingly. It was very, very, very sparingly and very smartly, and it had an incredible impact on guns and shootings in New York. Incredible.

Donald Trump: (22:49)

Rudy was a great mayor. Crime went way, way down. Then Bloomberg came in and he said, “Well, you know what? This thing is so good, I’m going to stop every black person.” And if you were a black person in New York, you were stopped two times a day, three times a day. You couldn’t go to your house, they were stopping you every day. What Bloomberg did to the black community was a disgrace. And then he gets up and he cries in a church, and he discards everything that he stood for. And if he gets elected I would be surprised. And I would be very surprised that when the word gets out to the black community, where I’m doing extremely well by the way, beyond what any Republican has done I guess it’s looking like, but I would be very surprised if the black community can support him.

Donald Trump: (23:35)

But what he did is he took Rudy Geraldo, he took … Rudy’s stop and frisk was done very gingerly, very smartly, really a very smart job. And he made it so vicious and so violent. And they would stop, and honestly if you were a black person you’d be stopped two, three times a day. It was terrible.

Geraldo Rivera: (23:55)

I hear that, and I wonder, it sounds like … You made a big point at the state of the union, and I’ve watched you and Dr. Darrell Scott, Pastor Scott.

Donald Trump: (24:05)

Great guy. Great guy. [crosstalk 00:24:05].

Geraldo Rivera: (24:06)

Great guy, big supporter of yours. It sounds really as if you are reaching out to the African American community. I joked on Hannity’s show that you’re almost campaigning like a Democrat in terms of the minority community. You really, do you see an opening there? Do you foresee a real change in the racial dynamic of American politics?

Donald Trump: (24:30)

Well, I think I do. And I think, you know, I have polls that show 32%, 34%. Romney got 4%, and I have polls that are showing numbers that are unheard of. And why? Lowest unemployment in the history of our country for black Americans, for African Americans, lowest in history by far. Not even close by the way. I took care of … What they have is they have black colleges and universities, right? And they’re always coming up looking for money, always. Every year for three years I said, “Why do they always come? It’s very demeaning to them?” And I got to know a lot of the principals of these schools they’re great people, the deans and the heads of the schools. I’d say, “Why do you always come up?” He said, they told me “We have to because we have no bill. We have to come up.” And then one man said, “I feel like a beggar.” And for years they come up. And I worked it out so they have, now, longterm financing. Nobody else would have done that.

Donald Trump: (25:30)

And then opportunity zones. I worked with Tim Scott of South Carolina, who’s fantastic by the way, and we did opportunity zones. And then we did criminal justice reform. They couldn’t get it. Van Jones came to my office asking me for help. He had no chance of getting it. He came in asking … well he didn’t give you the credit that he should’ve, but that’s okay, I never get credit. But what happened, he came in, he needed five senators. They happened to be Republican. He needed some senators to low key it a little bit because they were very much against it. I was able to work it out. I got senators, and I got some guys that were not in favor to let it happen. Their great guys and I very much appreciate what they did.

Donald Trump: (26:12)

We have great support in the Republican party, it’s doing great and has really tremendous unity. Other than Romney, there’s tremendous unity. And so you look, and you see, and it’s really amazing. And I got criminal justice reform. So for, and not only for African Americans, for Hispanics, for so many people that were so badly, like Alice Johnson. Geraldo, she was in jail for 22 years. She had another 20 years left for something that today, I mean, would have been, it would have in many cases, they wouldn’t have even prosecuted her. I’m not saying that’s right either.

Geraldo Rivera: (26:46)

Right. Could have been a misdemeanor, right?

Donald Trump: (26:47)

No, she was in jail. For 50 years she was going to be in jail, and I let her out. And she’s an incredible woman. And I said to her the other day, I said, “How many people are like you in jail that you know, where you were? Cause she was there for a long time. She said “Many.” I said, “Are they all like that?” She said, “No, you have some very bad people too. But you have many people that are really great people that should be let out.” I said, “Give me a list. Give me a list.” So it’s one of those things.

Geraldo Rivera: (27:14)

Well I think that what you did there is very honorable and necessary, and I totally applaud it. I’ve got a million questions here, just going to … I have to circle back to Rudy Giuliani. Why didn’t you give him a title? Why didn’t you make him like your presidential Envoy to eliminate the ambiguity?

Donald Trump: (27:28)

Well, two things about Rudy. You have to understand where I’m coming from. I was illegally spied on by Comey and Brennan, and all these, the sleaze of the world. And when people talk about Clapper, when people talk about the intelligence agency as well, I was not given a very good first glance at it. I had Comey, I had Clapper. Then we saw Lisa Paige, and we saw Struk, and we saw all of these people. By the way, how about the people that fixed the documents? How about the person that forged and changed the documents before putting them into the Pfizer [crosstalk 00:28:09] the FBI guy?

Geraldo Rivera: (28:09)

Should be in jail. Should be in jail.

Donald Trump: (28:11)

Where is he? He’s not in jail. Why isn’t he in jail?

Geraldo Rivera: (28:14)

It’s a lot worse than what Roger Stone did.

Donald Trump: (28:16)

It’s like a one-sided thing. No, no. Oh to me that’s 10 times worse than what Roger Stone did.

Geraldo Rivera: (28:20)

10 times worse. Absolutely.

Donald Trump: (28:20)

And, by the way, Randy the host, he’s a radio guy and he’s good too. He was the one that they said Roger Stone intimidated. When he heard that Roger was going to prison he said, “What are you talking about? I didn’t know you’re sending them to prison.” He didn’t know what the hell they were doing. And he said, “I don’t want him to go to prison.” And supposedly they told him, “We don’t care. We’re doing it anyway.” This is the kind of treatment that was given.

Geraldo Rivera: (28:47)

I really … you have four high level prosecutors quitting the case. Why did they even have four high level prosecutors on that stupid case? [crosstalk 00:28:54]

Donald Trump: (28:53)

I don’t think they quit the case. I think what they do is they felt they got caught, if you want to know the truth. I don’t think they quit for moral reasons. I think they got caught in the act by me. Now what am I going to do? Sit back and let a man go to jail maybe for nine years when murderers aren’t going to jail? Look, you have some of the most serious, horrible rapists and everything else, they don’t go to jail for nine years. You look at schedules, you take a look. Some of them go to jail for nothing, for no time. And then this guy is going to go to jail for nine years?

Geraldo Rivera: (29:26)

Well, you know they’re doing that to get to you, to hurt you.

Donald Trump: (29:31)

They’re doing it because they’re bad people. They’re doing it. So when you tell me about Rudy? So here’s my choice. I deal with the Comeys of the world or I deal with it. In other words, I was given a very bad taste of our intelligent departments, because I see it. They spied on my campaign illegally. Hopefully they’re not going to get away with it. We’re going to find out. Hopefully they’re not going to get away. It should never happen to another president. But they spied on my campaign. Everybody knew it, including President Obama. They spied on the opposite party’s campaign, the party that wasn’t in power. And they used everything they could, their intelligence agencies and beyond.

Donald Trump: (30:12)

So when you tell me why did I use Rudy? And one other thing about Rudy, number one, he was the best prosecutor, one of the very best prosecutors, and the best mayor. But, also, other presidents had them. You know, FDR had a lawyer who was practically, was totally involved with government. Eisenhower had a lawyer. They all had lawyers. Bill Clinton had a lawyer, he had a very good lawyer, you know who that was. They all had lawyers, and they’d do things for them. and it’s really circumventing, but very legally, and maybe getting things done faster. But Rudy is a high quality guy who, by the way, has a treasure trove of information. And he’s working with the justice department from what I understand.

Geraldo Rivera: (30:59)

All right. Let me leave the Rudy situation, it’ll be resolved. Just quickly on Attorney General Barr. Do you ever wonder what your life would’ve been like if you had picked William Barr instead of Jeff Sessions when you took office?

Donald Trump: (31:14)

Yeah. My life would have been a lot easier.

Geraldo Rivera: (31:16)

A lot of the country’s life.

Donald Trump: (31:18)

Yep. My life would have been a lot easier, but I might’ve been less popular. You know, it’s a funny thing. Somebody told me the other day,

Geraldo Rivera: (31:24)

Why would you be less popular?

Donald Trump: (31:26)

Because they say they like that I fought it. They like that I won. They like that my base is much more energized. Let’s assume none of this stuff happened, that we had a nice boring presidency right? I don’t think I’d have nearly the energy of the Republican party that we have right now.

Geraldo Rivera: (31:42)

Well that may be so, but what a ride. What a crazy ride you were on.

Donald Trump: (31:47)

Nah, nah. My life would’ve been a lot easier. Bill Barr’s a very good man doing a very good job. But my life would have been much easier, there’s no question about it.

Geraldo Rivera: (31:54)

Much easier. Is there a tentative peace plan with the Taliban, as the New York times is reporting?

Donald Trump: (31:59)

We are working on one, and we’ll see if we can get one. We’d like to bring our troops back-

Donald Trump: (32:03)

Working on one and we’ll see if we can get one, would like to bring our troops back home. They’re really, they’re law enforcement as opposed to soldiers to a large extent and we shouldn’t be there. It’s time to come home. We’re having a very good dialogue. We’ll see and we’ll know over the next week or two.

Geraldo Rivera: (32:18)

They just think they can outwait you. The longest war in history, the Taliban, they think that they give us a week of relative calm and then we’ll start withdrawing [crosstalk 00:00:29].

Donald Trump: (32:29)

Yeah, but they’d like to make a deal, too. You know what? They’d like to make a deal, too. Look, no matter how, and they’re good fighters and we’re the greatest fighters in the world. We could win that war if I wanted to kill millions of people. I could win that war quickly if I wanted to kill millions of people. I don’t choose to do that. I’m not going to kill millions of innocent people to say, “Hey, we won in Afghanistan.” It’s 19 years they’ve been in there, but we can’t use our real weapons, our power. We have tremendously powerful weapons and I’m not even talking about nuclear. I’m talking about, we have [crosstalk 00:33:02].

Geraldo Rivera: (33:02)

Is they’re a tentative deal? Oh, I hear you. I hear you. I did a lot of assignments there. Is there a tentative deal? I just need a yes or no on that. Is there a tentative deal?

Donald Trump: (33:11)

But I don’t want to kill. I don’t want to start killing… Say it again.

Geraldo Rivera: (33:11)

Is there a tentative peace deal with the Taliban?

Donald Trump: (33:12)

Very close. I think we’re very close. I think there’s a good chance that we’ll have a deal and we’ll see. I mean, we’re going to know over the next two weeks. That doesn’t mean we have one, but we’ll know over the next two weeks. Let’s put it this way. Nobody else has been able to get one and this is, and there’s also a chance that we’ll get one between Israel and the Palestinians. The toughest deal of all time. Right? They always say that’s the toughest deal of all time.

Geraldo Rivera: (33:31)

I have to say you’ve been such a loyal friend to me. I appreciate you so much. I just want you to know that even when I disagree with you, I appreciate your sincerity and I think you’re doing a great job and the economy shows it. But two quick follow, last questions.

Donald Trump: (33:49)

Thank you very much.

Geraldo Rivera: (33:50)

With the Pensacola, Florida attack by the Saudi Air Force pilot revealed to be a terrorist attack. So you’ve got a Saudi involvement there. You got Khashoggi, the journalist that they carved up in their embassy. You got the 9/11 hijack. This Saudi, Saudi, Saudi. I know that you think Iran is the evil doer in the Mideast, but is it possible that we have the wrong bad guy, that it’s not Iran, that Saudi Arabia is really the one that’s sticking it to us?

Donald Trump: (34:23)

Well, no, there were Saudis were involved in the World Trade Center much more than anybody else. When president Bush attacked Iraq, there were no Iraqis involved. There were Saudis and they went to Afghanistan to be trained. Okay. So I know what we have and frankly this guy was caught and I’m not, I like the idea of opening up cell phones and finding out who, and some very good people in New York like that idea, too. I will tell you and some very good people like that idea. And I’m for it and I’m working on that encryption or whatever you would call it. But when you open up the phone, we should open and we probably will, open up his phone because we’ll find out how many other people involved, if anybody, how many other people were involved in that horrible attack.

Geraldo Rivera: (35:08)

But do you think you can trust Ben Solomon, the Crown Prince and are these people legit or do you think they’re playing us? Are they funding all these madrassas, these religious extremists and so forth.

Donald Trump: (35:19)

Yeah. I know exactly what you’re saying. I have a very good relationship with them. They buy billions and billions and billions of dollars of product from us. They buy tens of billions of dollars of military equipment, which we use, which we actually use. They are paying us now unlike past presidents have a different theory, but they have nothing but money, nothing but cash. And they pay us now for services and for protection and other things. For instance, when they were attacked by Iran, they needed help and we sent, but they’re paying. They’re paying billions of dollars for that help. Nobody ever, you never [crosstalk 00:35:59].

Geraldo Rivera: (35:59)

But are they bad people? Double dealers though.

Donald Trump: (36:01)

No, but you have an ideology and you have some bad ones. You have some bad ones all over. Don’t forget, in Iran, they kill many, many people. You know the protests, they kill people. They shoot people with snipers. They shoot them.

Geraldo Rivera: (36:14)

Why don’t you talk to them? Why don’t you talk to Iran?

Donald Trump: (36:17)

Because in my opinion, John Kerry has made it very tough because, and I think he’s totally violated the Logan Act. John Kerry’s made it very tough because he’s telling them or he has told them, I think now he knows that we’re looking at the Logan Act with respect to him. He’s told them, “Don’t make a deal. Don’t make a deal. Maybe Trump will lose and you’ll make a deal with a stiff. You’ll make a deal with a Biden or somebody because just don’t make a deal because just wait, wait,” because it makes him look bad if they make a deal. That’s most of it in my opinion. But he’s, in my opinion, he’s violated the Logan Act and violated it seriously. And we’ll see what happens on that.

Geraldo Rivera: (36:57)

So you don’t think that you could even the back channel to Iran?

Donald Trump: (37:01)

Oh, I have plenty of back channels. Look, they are desperate to make a deal. Their economy is crashed. They’re not funding terrorism like they were. When I took over, they were a terror. There were 18 sites of confliction. Now they just want to survive. Their economy went down 25% last year. Their GDP is down so much that nobody’s ever seen anything like it. They should talk. They don’t know how to go about it. We’re going to find out. But I think they want to try and wait it out until after the election hoping that some stiff gets elected and they can have their way and take over the world.

Geraldo Rivera: (37:39)

I don’t think that’s going to happen. I got my final question. You and I were together in Puerto Rico. After Hurricane Maria, you were criticized every newspaper front page how you were responsible for thousands of deaths in Puerto Rico and now you have a parade of a local officials either resigning or going to jail for corruption.

Donald Trump: (37:57)

I was right.

Geraldo Rivera: (37:57)

They discovered warehouses that were unused. I want to apologize on behalf of any extent that my folks helped to slander you. It wasn’t your fault, but the island still needs help. Can you take a second look, get over the-

Donald Trump: (38:14)

I am. I love the people of Puerto Rico, you know that. What they did to me over there when remember I was passing out towels.

Geraldo Rivera: (38:22)

It was terrible. I was with you. Absolutely.

Donald Trump: (38:24)

But no, no. And we were having fun, all of us. And they were all screaming in the back, throw us here, the crowd was tremendous, right? The room was packed. You were there, you were laughing. We were all laughing. So I was throwing them towels in the back, taking basketball shots, soft towels, big things of towels that were thrown about. And they said, “Oh, it was terrible the way he was.” The people were loving it. They’re having a good time. And frankly, they just got wiped out, their homes. Everybody’s laughing. We’re all having a good time. There was love in that room and when I got home I saw like I was demeaning them by throwing towels. They were all saying, “Over here, Mr. President. Over here, over here.” You were there. Everybody was having a good time and they needed a good time. Their houses were wiped out. They were been terrible turmoil and stress.

Donald Trump: (39:08)

So no, I love the people of Puerto Rico and we are working, but I also said the corruption at the top level. I told you that what we were there is enormous. I’ll tell you what, the best friend that Puerto Rico’s ever had, Geraldo, is me. They’ve gotten $93 billion over a fairly short period of time. There is not a state in the union that’s gotten that much money. Not even close.

Geraldo Rivera: (39:29)

Why don’t you make them a state? Why don’t you advocate for Puerto Rico becoming a state?

Donald Trump: (39:32)

Well, some people want that and I guess they’re talking about that. I want to get things fixed first. But Puerto Rico has been very, very poorly run by Democrats. Very, very poorly run. Very, very poorly run.

Geraldo Rivera: (39:44)

Two quick final questions. Would Americans vote for a gay man to be president?

Donald Trump: (39:51)

I think so. I think there would be some that wouldn’t. And I wouldn’t be among that group to be honest with you. But I think that yes, I think that it doesn’t seem to be hurting Pete Buttigieg, as you say, as you would call him. It doesn’t seem to be hurting him very much and, but there would certainly be a group, but you know this better than I do. There’d be a group that probably wouldn’t, but you and I would not be in that group.

Geraldo Rivera: (40:18)

We would not. And nor would the… I just want to circle back to where I started. The first lady of the United States. I know with conversations that we’ve had, how hurt you are that the American pop cultural establishment has not embraced her. She’s not on the cover of Vogue and Cosmopolitan as she should be, Bazaar, Town and Country. What do you think about the fact that they are boycotting the first lady of the United States, and one of the most beautiful ever, most stylish ever and yet she’s so almost disrespected by the fact that they ignore her.

Donald Trump: (40:54)

So when I met her, considered to be one of the most beautiful models in the world by everybody, one of the most beautiful, one of the most elegant. And the thing I liked about her, she’d always go home at night. Everyone else was out partying all night. And some people said, “Oh, that’s not nice.” I’d say, “No, I think that’s great.” She liked to go home at night. She was a very solid person and she was very successful and really, I mean really successful but very successful. And she’s got a great heart. And yeah, I see that. She was on covers before she became first lady and now it’s like one of those things, it doesn’t bother her. She’s very, very solid. She’s an amazingly, she’s very confident in herself. Somebody that wasn’t would say, “What’s going on here?” And I’ll tell you what, our people know it.

Donald Trump: (41:43)

I would go to a rally in Ohio. I go to a rally in Pennsylvania. I went to one the other, I went to two, I mean, the one in Iowa was unbelievable. The one in New Hampshire was unbelievable. You see what’s going on. Tens of thousands of people can’t get in. They have so many signs honoring our first lady, we love our first lady. We love our first lady. The people love Melania. They love her, absolutely love her. But the press is crooked, it’s very unfair. It’s fake. It’s fake news. And they’ve really gone down in the hearts and minds of people. But the people love our first lady and she works very hard.

Geraldo Rivera: (42:19)

Well, I send her my best wishes and to you and to the rest of the family. Oh, is Don, Jr. going to run for president? The 45th, 46th president?

Donald Trump: (42:29)

I don’t think so. I think he’s just really working hard now. He does like politics. I will say that.

Geraldo Rivera: (42:32)

He does. He and Kimberly, are rocking around the country.

Donald Trump: (42:37)

They do and Eric likes politics and Ivanka is so natural at it. I don’t even know if she likes it or not. She just, you know what she does. She’s gotten 15 million jobs, training, that’s what she does. She goes to the big companies, gets them to train people, Walmart, a million people, different companies, millions of people. But she just stopped. She had a goal of 500,000 jobs when she started at the beginning. And she beat that in about two months and now it’s 15 million jobs that she does a great job. She’s another one. She doesn’t get credit for what she does and she doesn’t want it. She just wants to make people happy.

Geraldo Rivera: (43:19)

She’s an elegant and highly competent person and I’m delighted to know her and Jerry. The peace plan, I don’t know how much time you have, but the peace plan, I admire the fact that you put something together, but I did a lot of time over there and I don’t think the Palestinians are ever going to go for a deal in which they have to surrender the Jordan Valley and so much of their territory.

Donald Trump: (43:45)

Well, most people agree that a deal won’t happen. Most people agree with you and when I’m doing this, I’m giving it a shot because I’m good at it. I do it well. I have very capable people. David Friedman is unbelievably one of the most successful lawyers in New York by far. And he’s the ambassador to Israel. And Jared, you know how smart Jared is and there’s a group of people that we’re giving it a good, strong shot. There are those that say it can’t happen. In other words, just it can’t happen historically. The mindset of them plus the Jewish people, it’s just never going to happen.

Donald Trump: (44:19)

It’s interesting. Whenever you have a deal, when I was in the private sector, I’d have a deal that was really a tough deal, you’d use an expression, this is tougher than Israel and the Palestinians getting together because that was known as the impossible deal. So I’m here. That’s what I’ve done really great over my life. I’ll give it a shot and see what happens. If you look, the other day they withdrew from the committee in the United Nations, the Palestinians withdrew something and said very good statements about me. Not necessarily the deal, but about me. That was a big, that was very telltale. And I think Israel, I know Israel would like to do a deal and I think the Palestinians are going to want to do a deal.

Geraldo Rivera: (45:00)

Well, I like the idea of an American embassy, a full blown embassy with an ambassador in the east Jerusalem or somewhere else in the Palestinian territories. I think that would be a good sign.

Donald Trump: (45:09)

Well, something’s going to happen. So I think we have a real shot at doing it. And I’m not going to guarantee this one. Some deals I can guarantee. This one I can’t, but we have a good shot at doing something. We’ll see, we’ll know in the not too distant future. We were delayed by the election, the never ending over there.

Geraldo Rivera: (45:24)

The never ending election in Israel. The third time’s the charm. Finally, if I don’t ask you about climate change, my kids will be really mad at me. Why don’t you have a czar appoint someone to check out the carbon emissions and see what’s true and what’s not true?

Donald Trump: (45:39)

Well we could, but we really have great people and I always say it, we want the cleanest air, the cleanest water. We have our cleanest numbers in many years, this year. Just got released. The cleanest numbers on carbon, on water cleanliness, on air purity, on air cleanness. I want the cleanest air. I want crystal clean water and we actually are very much into it. What I don’t want to do is give trillions of dollars away on Paris Accords that go to other countries that we don’t even know where it’s going. I don’t want to do that. And that hurt our businesses where we have to close up businesses because of it. But we’re going to have the cleanest air. We now have the best, we’re the best we have ever been right now at this moment, Geraldo. And the environment means a lot to me. We’re the best we’ve ever been right now.

Geraldo Rivera: (46:29)

And finally, we started here.

Donald Trump: (46:32)

You know how many times, [inaudible 00:46:34] this is you. I have to explain to your great audience, which I hear is very [inaudible 00:46:37]. And I’m doing this because you’ve been my friend a long time.

Geraldo Rivera: (46:39)

Are you okay? I love you for it. Are you okay? Are you okay after this thing? Are you going to…

Donald Trump: (46:43)

And you just said, and finally, and finally, and finally now.

Geraldo Rivera: (46:45)

Are you going to shake off this impeachment nonsense? Are you going to move on? Are you going to be…

Donald Trump: (46:49)

I think it’s a victory. I feel it’s a total victory.

Geraldo Rivera: (46:52)

All right.

Donald Trump: (46:52)

And I think you do, too. Geraldo, I think you do, too. It’s a total victory for us.

Geraldo Rivera: (46:56)

I absolutely believe that. And I appreciate your friendship. I really do.

Donald Trump: (47:00)

Well, I appreciate yours. You take care of yourself.

Geraldo Rivera: (47:02)

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

Donald Trump: (47:04)

Thank you. Bye.

Geraldo Rivera: (47:06)

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, for listening to this special edition of Roadkill. I’m Geraldo Rivera reporting.


Mar 6, 2020

Donald Trump Fox News Town Hall Transcript

Donald Trump Town Hall Fox News Transcript

Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump Fox News Town Hall Transcript

Fox News held a town hall on Thursday, March 6 with Donald Trump hosted by Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier. People in the audience had the opportunity to ask President Trump a variety of questions. Read the full transcript of the town hall.

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Part 1

Bret Baier: (00:00)

Good evening. I’m Bret Baier.

Martha MacCallum: (00:01)

And I’m Martha MacCallum. Great to be here tonight. Pennsylvania, of course, was critical in securing President Trump’s victory in 2016. And it is a state that he may need again this November.

Bret Baier: (00:11)

This comes as the Democratic field hoping to challenge him is narrowing. Only two major candidates remain, former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Martha MacCallum: (00:22)

President Trump has already held rallies across the country, touting record jobs, new trade deals, and an overall strong economy.

Bret Baier: (00:30)

So, will that message resonate here, as he looks to become the first Republican since Ronald Reagan to win Pennsylvania twice?

Martha MacCallum: (00:39)

Ladies and gentlemen, President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump: (00:41)

Thank you. Thank you. Hi, Bret.

Bret Baier: (00:41)

Mr. President, thanks for joining us.

President Donald Trump: (00:41)

Thank you very much.

Martha MacCallum: (00:54)

Good to see you. Thank you for being here. Great to have you.

President Donald Trump: (01:18)

Thank you. So great.

Martha MacCallum: (01:35)

You’ve got a great crowd here.

President Donald Trump: (01:36)

Nice audience.

Bret Baier: (01:37)

Nice crowd.

Martha MacCallum: (01:37)

Terrific crowd here tonight. Thank you so much, everybody.

Bret Baier: (01:41)

We’d love to get to a lot of questions tonight, and there are a lot of good questions from residents here in Scranton who want to talk about big issues.

Martha MacCallum: (01:48)

So we’re going to jump right in with the first questioner from our audience. Thank you again, Mr. President, for being here tonight.

President Donald Trump: (01:53)

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Martha MacCallum: (01:54)

Catherine Pugh is joining us. She is an undecided voter and she has a question for President Trump. Catherine?

Katherine Pugh: (02:02)

Mr. President, at the outset of the coronavirus, your administration’s response seemed to some as being confusing or minimizing. What plans are being considered on a federal level for the possibility of a long-term disruption from the novel coronavirus?

President Donald Trump: (02:17)

Well, actually, we were giving … I think really given tremendous marks. You look at Gallup Poll, you look at other polls for the way we’ve handled it. And one of the things I did is I closed down the borders to China and to other areas that are very badly affected and really having a lot of troubles. I mean, countries and areas of countries that have had a lot of problem. And I closed them down very early, against the advice of almost everybody, and we’ve been given rave reviews. And that’s why we have only, right now, it’s a lot of people, but it’s still 11 people versus tremendous numbers of thousands of people that have died all over the world.

President Donald Trump: (02:55)

We have 11. We have 149 cases, as of this moment. This morning, it was 129. And I just see right now it’s about 149 cases. There are 100,000 cases all over the world. So we were really given tremendous marks for having made the decision. That was a decision I made to close down the border so that people from China, where we take in thousands and thousands of people a day, they stopped coming in very early, weeks ahead of where they normally would have been stopped.

Bret Baier: (03:24)

Mr. President, you said you want to take politics out of dealing with this crisis. But in the White House yesterday, you said that about the testing kits and the delay, you blamed President Obama.

President Donald Trump: (03:37)

Well, I don’t blame anybody. I want to get everybody to understand they made some decisions which were not good decisions. We inherited decisions that they made, and that’s fine.

Bret Baier: (03:47)

As far as regulations?

President Donald Trump: (03:47)

Yes. We undid some of the regulations that were made that made it very difficult, but I’m not blaming anybody. It just seems that the Democrats, some of them, I must say and you know it better than anybody, Bret, it’s become much better. But some of the Democrats have said, no matter what, if we found a cure and everybody is better tomorrow morning at nine o’clock, they would say, “He’s done a terrible job.” It’s just automatic. “How is the President doing?” “Terrible, terrible.” They don’t mean it. And we’ve done a great job. Again, we’ve gotten the highest poll numbers of anybody for this kind of a thing. And the other thing, I’m working with phenomenal people, with CDC and all of the people involved. Mike Pence is doing a fantastic job. I mean, Mike Pence is working 20 hours a day or more on this and really doing a fantastic job.

Bret Baier: (04:32)

I guess the critics say that, why wait until the testing issue became a crisis before dealing with it? If you want to change the regulations, want to change them either when you took office or when you first learned of the virus in January. For example, South Korea really got their act together right away. That’s what they said.

President Donald Trump: (04:49)

Well, when you say “take office”, we just learned about this a very short while ago.

Bret Baier: (04:53)

Sure, or when you learned about the virus.

President Donald Trump: (04:56)

I know, but we’re not going to be … I’m thinking about a lot of other things too like trade and millions of other things. I mean, we are doing some job with the economy. So I’m not thinking about this. But as soon as I heard that China had a problem, I said, “What’s going on with China? How many people are coming in?” Nobody but me asked that question. And you know better than again, you know, you both know that I closed the borders very early.

Bret Baier: (05:16)

And you were getting applause for that.

President Donald Trump: (05:16)

We’ve been given A-pluses for that. Saved a lot of lives.

Bret Baier: (05:19)

But I’m just talking about testing the testing kits.

President Donald Trump: (05:20)

Well, the testing, we did it as soon as we found out that it was a problem, we did it. It’s not the kind of thing you say, “Gee, I just got elected. Let’s do some testing on this.” They had some bad decisions. Some bad decisions were made. We corrected those decisions.

Martha MacCallum: (05:34)

So, obviously, you care a lot about the economy, and we are seeing some impacts. It’s kind of surprising how many conferences are being shut down and meetings are being canceled and flights. A lot of flights have been canceled. Even the James Bond movie, they’re delaying because of coronavirus. I’m wondering what you think is the long-term? Over the course of the year, Wall Street says that they don’t expect U.S. companies to have any growth in 2020, which is pretty surprising. What’s the impact on the economy and also, potentially, on your reelection?

President Donald Trump: (06:03)

Well, I think people are viewing us as having done a very good job. What we have to do is do a very professional job. Nobody is blaming us for the virus. Nobody. I mean, I haven’t heard that, even from some of the so-called enemies or whatever you want to call them. They’re not blaming us. This started in China. How it started, there’s question but thousands and thousands of cases in China. And it infiltrated to almost 100 countries right now.

Martha MacCallum: (06:26)

But I’m not talking about the handling of it.

President Donald Trump: (06:27)

Nobody is blaming me.

Martha MacCallum: (06:28)

Excuse me. I don’t mean to interrupt, but I’m just asking about you know, in terms of things you can’t control, right? The impact on the economy and potentially that could … If people feel like the economy is turning around, that could be an election issue as you go into it.

President Donald Trump: (06:41)

Well, look, we were set to hit 30,000 on the Dow. This is a number that nobody ever even came close to, and already, we have the number. And even though it’s down 10 or 11%, it’s still the highest it’s ever been by far. It certainly might have an impact. At the same time, I have to say, people are now staying in the United States, spending their money in the U.S., and I like that. You know, I’ve been after that for a long time. You know that. I’ve been saying, “Let’s stay in the U.S. Spend your money here.” And they’re doing that. They’ve sort of been forced doing that. We met with the airline companies yesterday. They’re doing a fantastic job. And they’re just not flying to areas that have a big problem. So, it’s going to all work out. Everybody has to be calm. It’s all going to work out.

Bret Baier: (07:21)

But to Catherine’s original question, there is a long-term plan, if it lasts longer than you think.

President Donald Trump: (07:25)

Sure. We could have a very long-term plan. We hope that doesn’t happen, but we have plans for every single possibility, and I think that’s what we have to do. We hope it doesn’t last too long.

Bret Baier: (07:37)

We want to get to audience questions. Robert is a Trump supporter. He does have a question about rhetoric here in the campaign. Robert?

Robert Bresnahan: (07:44)

Mr. President, thank you so much for returning back to Northeastern Pennsylvania.

President Donald Trump: (07:48)

Thank you.

Robert Bresnahan: (07:49)

I’ve been a big supporter of you for the duration. And thank you for everything that you’ve done for this country and continue to do for this country.

President Donald Trump: (07:55)

Thank you very much.

Robert Bresnahan: (07:56)

Unfortunately, insult politics have become a staple of this political environment.

President Donald Trump: (08:01)

Yeah.

Robert Bresnahan: (08:02)

Joe Biden has suggested to take you out back behind the gym and fight you. Maxine Waters has a has a low IQ. Could there be a way that we can deliver your message without the controversial rhetoric and efforts to reunite this country during these divisive times?

President Donald Trump: (08:22)

Well, I have to tell you, I think … I appreciate the question. I think the country is far more united than people think. And, ultimately, what’s uniting the country is success. And we’re having more success than we’ve ever had. We got hit with the virus, really, three weeks ago, if you think about it, I guess. That’s when we first started, really, to see some possible effects. But even despite that, the country we are having the greatest year. We had last year was the greatest year we’ve ever had, economically. And I think the way we unite is really through success. But when they hit us, we have to hit back. I feel that. I mean, there’s two ways of doing it, turning your cheek but I wouldn’t be sitting up here if I turned my cheek. If I said, “Okay, let them just keep hitting at me, and I won’t do it.”

President Donald Trump: (09:03)

They’re not interviewing me right now, they’re interviewing somebody else. Maybe they won’t even be doing that, because if they don’t get ratings, they don’t interview anybody. That I’ve learned from. But you know what? You can’t turn your cheek. I mean, we get hit. Thank you. We get hit so hard, and we have a media that is you know, I say, to a large extent, it’s a part of the Democrat Party. It really is. It’s terrible. It’s unfair. I call it fake news. I’ve used that, and people are using that, I guess, all over the world right now. And that’s the way it is. We have to fight back. If we don’t fight back, you won’t be a fan of mine very long. But I appreciate the question. Thank you.

Martha MacCallum: (09:50)

All right. Speaking of rhetoric, I want you to ask you to listen to this.

Chuck Schumer: (09:57)

I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. Now, I should not have used the words I used yesterday. They didn’t come out the way I intended to.

Martha MacCallum: (10:17)

So, going over some of that response to all of that, President Trump, some of your critics are saying, well, President Trump has also gone after liberal judges and that Chuck Schumer-

President Donald Trump: (10:26)

You mean they’re blaming me for Schumer?

Martha MacCallum: (10:27)

No. Well, they’re saying that he came out-

President Donald Trump: (10:29)

Why not?

Martha MacCallum: (10:37)

So, he made sort of an apology there. Do you think that you should make any apology for what you’ve said about liberal judges or not?

President Donald Trump: (10:40)

Well, look, I mean, we had a justice come out and criticize me badly. And I just responded to what she said. I had it twice. And when you look at I had a very harsh criticism, as you know. Justice Ginsburg just before a debate, during the election, as I was getting elected, she came out, she had to apologize. It was a terrible thing she said. She should have never been allowed to say it. But if they say something to me, I’m not allowed to say back. You had another justice say something that was somewhat derogatory, and all I did was respond. But I didn’t respond like Schumer.

President Donald Trump: (11:17)

Schumer that was a physical thing, in my opinion. You know, he tried to say, well, that has to do with the election. That had nothing to do with the election, the way he said we’re going to hit back like you’ve never seen before. That was a real intimidation. And the best you can say is they’re trying to intimidate so the justices vote their way. That’s no good either. But that was a physical/ That was really … If a Republican did what Schumer did, they’d be in jail right now. It’s true.

Bret Baier: (11:46)

Mr. President, just to follow up on that really quickly. Chief Justice Roberts obviously put out a statement and really rebuked Senator Schumer for those words. The last time he put out one of these rare statements, it was about you and the federal judge that you called an Obama judge. So to Martha’s question, is there something about apologies on both sides when dealing with justices or judges?

President Donald Trump: (12:09)

Well, look, I have to state the facts. I’m not threatening anybody physically. But if we have an Obama judge, we don’t do very well. Now, we’ve appointed 220 federal judges the most, I think, in history. It’s a record. It’s a record. Because, number one, Mitch McConnell did a great job and the Republicans did a great job. But the bottom line is, President Obama gave me 142 openings when I first got there. Normally, you would have … There’s never been anything like that. Normally, you’d have no opening. Now, do you say he’s a great President? The most important thing you have to do, I say, is the military, but a lot of people say it’s judges and justices of the Supreme Court. President Obama gave us 142. It’s unheard of.

President Donald Trump: (12:53)

If you have one, it’s like you got lucky. Had 142. We’re up to 220 federal judges and court of appeals judges, two Supreme Court justices. I mean, it’s incredible. But we were going … If you go to the Ninth Circuit, if you go certain places, it’s almost impossible to win. So I was surprised at Justice Roberts. And I have a lot of respect for him. I like him personally. I have a lot of respect. But I think that could have been left unsaid, because a lot of people, a lot of very top legal minds disagreed with him when he said it. Now, I’m just talking about the facts. I’m talking about, sort of, the facts of life. That’s the way it is.

Bret Baier: (13:28)

Well, let’s get back to our questions. Our next question is from David Hines. He’s a Democrat who decided to vote for you in 2016.

President Donald Trump: (13:35)

Good.

David Hines: (13:36)

Mr. President, welcome back to Scranton.

President Donald Trump: (13:38)

Thank you, David.

David Hines: (13:39)

Everyone supports protecting the environment, but the EPA seems too focused on complex regulations, fines, fees, and lawsuits. What can you do to lead the EPA to focus more on proactive compliance, instead of punitive enforcement to protect the environment?

President Donald Trump: (13:56)

David, I love the question, because our EPA is much different. We’re very tough, but we get things done and we’re taking regulations off like nobody has ever seen. And I say very simply, I want to have the cleanest air on the planet. I want to have the most crystal clear, beautiful water on the planet. And our conditions now are much better than they were three years ago. But you know very well, David, because you’re into the world of regulation, I think it was maybe one of the biggest things we’ve done. I’ve cut regulations more than any President, whether they have eight years, four years, or in one case, quite a bit more than eight years. I cut more than any other President in the history of our country, and I did it in less than three years. So it’s a great question.

President Donald Trump: (14:38)

The EPA was … This is why I was able to get the country going because so many jobs were stopped by not only EPA, so many other agencies, where you’d have to go get 11 different permits for essentially the same thing. I opened up LNG plants in Louisiana where they were for years for 10, 12, 14 years and longer trying to get permits. They couldn’t get permits. I got them built. A 10-billion-dollar plant in Louisiana, the Keystone XL pipeline. I gave it in my first week. I got approval. The Dakota Access Pipeline, I got the approval. 48,000 jobs. And, frankly, it’s more environmentally, it’s better than having a train going up and down tracks, and you don’t know what happens with the train.

President Donald Trump: (15:21)

Plenty of bad things happen with those trains. Here, you’re underground, environmentally better. So I think it’s a great question. One of the reasons the economy is so strong is because of what we did with regulations. If the other side, we’ll call it the other side, affectionately got in, they would have made regulations much, much tougher. Thank you. [crosstalk 00:15:42]

Martha MacCallum: (15:46)

I want to ask David, actually-

Bret Baier: (15:47)

They’re talking about the rain tax here in Pennsylvania.

Martha MacCallum: (15:48)

A follow-up question because you are really the typical voter. I think you were a life-long Democrat who crossed over and voted for President Trump in 2016 in areas like we are in right now, in Luzerne and Lackawanna County. So, obviously, now Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders, whoever it is, is going to try to get your vote back. So I’m curious, is there anything or any issue that they could answer for you that would change your mind, do you think?

David Hines: (16:16)

I’m focused on the economy and on regulation and deregulation. And I like what’s happened in the country in the last four years.

President Donald Trump: (16:24)

Thank you.

David Hines: (16:26)

Thankful for your efforts, sir. And I hope we can continue on that.

Bret Baier: (16:37)

So the answer is no.

Martha MacCallum: (16:37)

So the answer would be no? Nothing would change your mind? No, he’s shaking his head. No, nothing.

President Donald Trump: (16:38)

I think they thought you were going to give them a different answer, and that’s why they asked you that question.

Martha MacCallum: (16:40)

No, I wanted to hear, because I do think it’s very-

President Donald Trump: (16:40)

That sounded like a set-up question. But, David, you’re my man. David is my man. I like that.

Martha MacCallum: (16:48)

I said I’m very interested in this voter because we want to know how voters like you are going to vote next time around because we love to follow the story of the movement of the electoral. And I think it’s fascinating that you answered as you did.

President Donald Trump: (17:02)

Well, Martha, this area of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania itself has the best numbers it’s ever had. It’s got the best economy it’s ever had. It has the best unemployment numbers it’s ever had. And Scranton has the lowest and best unemployment numbers and employment numbers too that they’ve ever had by far. So we’re very happy about the job. The people in Pennsylvania, they’re very happy with the job. You know, it was 30 years since a Republican won Pennsylvania, and based on results, I think we’ll win it again very easily.

Martha MacCallum: (17:31)

Yeah. President Trump, I mentioned Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders because Elizabeth Warren dropped out today, and I want to know what your reaction to that was.

President Donald Trump: (17:43)

Well, look, if she’s a true progressive, which probably she is, she should have dropped out three days ago. It would have been a whole different race. Texas was close. She got votes. She didn’t do well, but she got a lot of votes, far more than the difference. Think about Maine. Maine was almost a tie. They had to wait a day and a half before they could even call it, it was so close. She, I guess, came in third, and it was very distant third, but she got a lot of votes. Maine would have gone to … I think he would have gotten everything, right? Bernie Sanders would have won five, six, seven states. Would’ve won Minnesota. Would’ve won, at least, another two or three states. So when you look at it, she did him no favors. That was not a good friendship. We started to see that during the debates, by the way. That one became unhinged.

Martha MacCallum: (18:34)

Yeah.

President Donald Trump: (18:36)

But if she would have gone out, she didn’t even have to endorse him. If she just dropped out of the race, without an endorsement, he would have won a tremendous number of states that he lost. You know, he lost states by not very much, and she got enough votes that it would have made a big difference. I think he would be leading by a lot right now had she not been in the race.

Bret Baier: (18:55)

Tonight, you’re in the boyhood home, obviously, of Joe Biden, who is sort of like a phoenix from the ashes in this Democratic race. And tonight, it looks likely that he could get the Democratic nomination. Now, Democrats insist that you were impeached because you were trying to damage Joe Biden. Were you?

President Donald Trump: (19:16)

So it was a fake impeachment. We had a hundred … Think of it. And the Republicans in the House, we had 196 votes in favor, zero from the Republicans. Zero against. We picked up three Democrat votes on top of that. And we had one Democrat was so angry by it, that he left the party and became a Republican which I think is a first time, because he left a majority and went into a minority. Van Drew. And it was a whole fake deal. And everybody knows that. I made a phone call. It was a perfect phone call. There was nothing wrong with it. And they said, “Let’s impeach.” Now, the real backstory is when the phony whistleblower, who’s a total phony, he heard the call, supposedly through somebody, through the informant.

President Donald Trump: (20:07)

Do you notice the way everybody disappeared? Thank goodness I had a transcriber. We had more than one. Thank goodness we had that call transcribed, because the transcripts of the call revealed that it was a perfect call. By that time, they were already talking about impeachment. And they were going by a phony whistleblower rendition of a call that didn’t exist. Just like Adam Schiff, he goes before Congress and he starts talking about eight quid pro quos and “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.” Well, that’s a mob expression. “Don’t call me …” And everybody saying, “That’s a terrible call.” He made it up. It was totally made up. And I said, “Good. We’ll sue him. We’ll take him down.” And then I find out he’s got immunity because he made it in Congress. It should almost be the opposite. You should almost have to be more honest if you’re in Congress.

Bret Baier: (20:52)

Do you think Biden is damaged? Do you think he’s damaged?

President Donald Trump: (20:57)

I think that Biden has been damaged, yeah. A lot of people. I saw a couple of statements very strong statements by very respected people in your world, saying they aimed at Trump but they took Biden down. And, really, that’s what happened, when you think. Because you look at the son, here’s a guy, didn’t have a job, who was unfortunately sadly, the military was a very sad experience for him. He goes out, he gets $3 million plus $183,000 a month to be a board member of a company that a lot of people said was corrupt.

President Donald Trump: (21:29)

Worse just as bad China, I just made a great China deal. China is paying us billions and billions of dollars because of what I did to them with tariffs. Billions of dollars. I mean, to a point where my farmers are in love with me because I took some of that money and gave it to them. But his son walks out of China with a billion and a half dollars for a fund. Now, a billion and a half dollars for fund meaning he’s going to make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and much more than that.

Bret Baier: (21:55)

So you want to face Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders? That’s my question.

President Donald Trump: (21:58)

I’ll tell you, I was all set for Bernie, because I thought it was going to happen. You know, we get ready for things, right? So, mentally, I’m all set for Bernie. Communist, I had everything down. He’s a communist. I was all set. And then we have this crazy thing that happened, right? On Tuesday, which he thought was Thursday. But he also said 150 million people were killed with guns and he was running for the United States Senate. “Support me, I’m running for the United States.” There’s something going on there. But I was all set. I was all set. And when I focus and we all focus, sometimes you do well and some people choke. I watched Mini Mike choke. When Mini Mike was hit by a very mean woman, he said, “Get me off this stage. Just get me off.” And that wasn’t a pretty sight to be … But I was all set to take on Bernie. I was ready.

President Donald Trump: (22:56)

And then all of a sudden, I say, “Guess what?” I went to the First Lady, who people love. I go in to the First Lady, and I said, “He just won Texas. He just won …” Et cetera, et cetera. By the way, so close. It was a whole different thing because of her. So now I’m ready for Bernie and now all of a sudden I have a whole different, you know, it’s a whole different deal. Two very different people. I think, in a certain way, Bernie would be tougher because he’s got a base. It’s a much smaller base than my base. I think a lot of my people are here because, and I did nothing to do that, but we have a lot of support in Pennsylvania and I think we have a lot of support everywhere. Look at the rallies. Look at the rallies. But I was all set for Bernie. I was ready to go. And then I say, “You know, I don’t think I’m running against Bernie.” I think it’s going to be very hard for him to come back.

Part 2

Martha MacCallum: (00:00)

Let’s go right to Audrey who has a question for President Trump. Audrey.

Audrey Strein: (00:04)

Right here.

Martha MacCallum: (00:05)

There we go. Hi Audrey.

Audrey Strein: (00:06)

Mr. President. Thank you. Pennsylvania thanks you. Bucks County thanks you for everything you’re doing for our country.

Donald Trump: (00:12)

Thank you very much.

Audrey Strein: (00:12)

We look at your energy and makes me get up and say if he can do it, I can definitely get up and do everything I got to do.

Donald Trump: (00:18)

Thank you very much.

Audrey Strein: (00:19)

I want to say Republicans have failed to come up with an alternative plan to Obamacare. How do you plan to rally the Republicans around a plan and what would be included in that?

Donald Trump: (00:29)

Thank you very much. It’s a great question and very important, healthcare and I think it’s probably the thing that I’m most disappointed that I haven’t been able to say what a good job we’ve done. I haven’t been able to sell what a great job we’ve done.

Donald Trump: (00:41)

First of all, I get rid of the individual mandate, which was the worst part of Obamacare. That’s where you paid a fortune not to pay for horrible healthcare and insurance, and it had a tremendous impact. Preexisting conditions, 100% we take care of. But we have many healthcare plans now where it’s 60%, even 65% less expensive than Obamacare. It’s better than Obamacare, and what we really have left is the carcass of Obamacare or you could call it new healthcare, because without preexisting… without the whole thing with the individual mandate, it’s a whole different ball game. It’s a much different plan.

Donald Trump: (01:19)

And what we’d like to do is totally kill it, but come up, before we do that, with something that’s great. What we’ve done is we’ve really managed Obamacare, the remaining portion, we get rid of the bad part, but the remaining portion really well. And before I got involved, you know what was happening with the rates on Obamacare. They were going up at levels that nobody’s ever seen before. We are managing it.

Donald Trump: (01:41)

And I had a decision to make. This was very important. I said to my people, and we have great people, [Sema 00:01:47], Azar, I mean great people that are so good at it. I said, “You know, I have a little problem. Do we manage it great until we get something much better? Or do we manage it poorly and say Obamacare’s horrible.” And I said, “We’ve got to do the right thing. We’ve got to manage it really, really good.” So it’s not great healthcare, but we’re managing it fantastically and you don’t see all those stories about the rates going through the roof anymore because we know what we’re doing.

Donald Trump: (02:13)

At the same time, we want to get you really fantastic healthcare. If we can win back the house, we’ll be able to do that. We have to win back the House, keep the Senate, keep the White House. [inaudible 00:02:24]. Thank you. Thank you for the question.

Martha MacCallum: (02:22)

Mr. President, I just want to follow up quickly on that because the issue of preexisting conditions, you say you’re going to protect them, but your administration is also fighting Obamacare and the courts. So how do you promise people that you’re going to protect them based on that?

Donald Trump: (02:40)

That’s what I said. Yeah, that’s what I said, we want to terminate Obamacare because it’s bad. Look, we’re running it really well, but we know it’s defective. It’s very defective. We got rid of the worst part and that was a very important thing. Getting rid of the individual mandate was a very important thing. But we want to get something… if we can get the House, you’ll have the best healthcare, health insurance anywhere on the planet, but we have to get the House back. Now that means we have to hold the Senate, we have to get the House, we have to obviously keep the White House. But what we’re doing is managing it really well.

Donald Trump: (03:13)

Now it’s a case, it’s called Texas versus… you understand, it’s Texas is suing. They want to terminate it, but everybody there is also saying… and everybody, we have our great Senator from Pennsylvania, thank you very much, Pat, for being here. And Pat Toomey, but very important… and by the way, our great Congressman, I have to say they were warriors, right? Real warriors in terms of the fake impeachment. I will tell you that.

Donald Trump: (03:41)

Texas is, and it’s Texas and many states, they’re tried to terminate, but they want to put something that’s much better. They’re terminating it to put much better. And they’ve all pledged that preexisting conditions 100% taken care of.

Bret Baier: (03:54)

Immigration. That next question is from Jennifer and she has a question about this issue. Hi.

Jennifer Nolan: (04:01)

Hi, thank you Mr. President. This is truly an honor and one of the best days of my life, just don’t tell my husband.

Donald Trump: (04:06)

Wow.

Jennifer Nolan: (04:08)

And I want to know how are you going to control the illegal immigration without support from the democratic party?

Donald Trump: (04:14)

Well, you know it’s been hard, but we’ve done it incredibly. It could have been… we have things called loopholes and the loopholes are terrible, like lottery where you give lotteries, they pick lotteries and they have people coming into our country. We have ended catch and release. We have right now 27,000 Mexican soldiers on our border saying that if they don’t do that, we’re going to have to be very tough on Mexico and they’re doing it, because our soldiers aren’t allowed to be there for a lot of reasons and we’re very politically correct as a nation. Mexico, perhaps a slightly less politically correct. And we have the best numbers that we’ve had in many, many months. We’ve had, I guess, it’s now 9 or 10 months where the numbers are way down and we’ve been keeping them down.

Donald Trump: (04:55)

But we need the wall. And most importantly, the wall is way under construction. We’re up to 129 miles already. Where we have a wall, by the way, nobody’s coming through. Practically nobody. We will have by early next year almost 500 miles of wall. And once we have that wall, it’s going to stop drugs, it’s going to stop big percentages of everything coming in. Okay.

Donald Trump: (05:21)

And we’re really, really doing the job and by the way, it’s very important, because I could’ve done a much less expensive version. I could have done a much easier version, but a version that people would get over very easily. You’ve seen the people that get caught on top. It’s very high and very powerful. We are building exactly what the Border Patrol wanted. They wanted a very specific wall. You had to be able to see through it to the other side. You want to see where the people… I thought before I got involved I said, “I can build just a nice concrete plank wall, throw it up.” That would be no good. It wouldn’t work. We built the wall that everybody has been dreaming about, in terms of law enforcement for many years. So we’re up to 129 miles. We’ll be at 500 miles in a very short distance. It’s really moving up quickly. Thank you.

Bret Baier: (06:06)

A lot of questions, by the way, about the wall. Also a lot of questions, Mr. President, about the national debt. Since being president, you’ve signed into law $4.7 trillion of debt, including 2.1 trillion of discretionary spending. Understand that you’re spending on the military as well. When you ran for president, at one point you said that you would pay off the debt within eight years. So now we’re about four years in and the debt is up $3.5 trillion. That’s about 18%. Republicans and Democrats obviously are not talking about the national debt a lot on Capitol Hill or on the campaign trail. So do you-

Donald Trump: (06:42)

But I talk about it.

Bret Baier: (06:43)

… do you care about the national debt?

Donald Trump: (06:43)

I do. I very much, and I’ll always talk about it, because to me it’s very important. Now, the good thing about the debt is we’re paying very little interest, almost nothing. This is a great interest climate. In fact, I want to refinance the debt, but I had to fix the military. The military was depleted. I had to fix the military. It’s one thing to say, “Gee, we did a good job on the debt, or gee, we did a good job on the budget.” And you have people from other countries running up the White House lawn. Maybe they took over our country, but I did one hell of a job on the budget right?

Donald Trump: (07:18)

Now I had to fix the military, $2.5 trillion dollars. We had to do other things. The country when I took it over was in very bad shape. Remember this, President Obama had… he more than doubled. He put more debt on than all of the other presidents of the United States combined. Combined all the debt of every other president. And I took it over. We had $20 trillion worth of debt on the country and actually more than that. And we had a lot of commitments for other things and on top of it, it’s one thing, you take over something and you have debt, you have a building, you have debt, but the building’s fixed up. The country was a mess. We were in all these wars all over the place-

Bret Baier: (07:57)

But this would be a focus of a second term?

Donald Trump: (07:58)

Oh absolutely. But when the trade deals kick in, now again, we were disturbed by what’s going on with the virus, but that’s going to be fine and everybody, it’s going to be fine. But that was a disturbance. But I will say this, when these trade deals kick in and when all… the economy is the best economy we’ve ever had. It’s nothing compared to what it’s going to be when the trade deals kick in.

Martha MacCallum: (08:23)

But if you don’t cut something in entitlements, you’ll never really deal with that.

Donald Trump: (08:28)

Well, we’ll be cutting, but we’re also going to have growth like you’ve never had before. We’ve never had growth like we’re experiencing. We will be experiencing when they kick in… China as an example, they didn’t do anything with us. They’re now spending $250 billion a year and that’s only for phase one. Phase two is going to be even more so. It’s $250 billion. I just made a deal with Japan with they’re paying 40 billion. They never gave us anything. All they do is sell us cars for no tax coming into the country. South Korea, I’ve made a deal, and then I made the USMCA deal with Canada and Mexico replacing the worst deal, which was made by, by the way, which was made by Joe. Okay. I didn’t want to say Sleepy Joe because I want to be respected. I want to respect him.

Bret Baier: (09:11)

But you got it in there anyway.

Donald Trump: (09:11)

He looks like he’s going to be a candidate and I just say, “How did that happen?” So, but no, Joe Biden, in all fairness, Joe Biden made a deal. NAFTA, he approved it. He was pushing it. It’s the worst trade deal ever made. We’re terminating NAFTA. We have the USMCA. If you look at what happened between China and Mexico and Canada, what they were doing to this country, how they were taking advantage of us, they were… Canada was judging us 300% tariffs. Now we haven’t really in good shape.

Martha MacCallum: (09:44)

All right.

Bret Baier: (09:44)

Mr. President, turning to foreign policy. John Sullivan has a question. John, there you are.

John Sullivan: (09:51)

Hi, Mr. President. Thanks for coming to Pennsylvania tonight. My question’s ever since you’ve taken office in January, 2017 North Korea has been in the news and it’s on the minds of many Americans and just like myself. So if you’re elected again this year, what’s your plan moving forward with what you’ve already done with North Korea?

Donald Trump: (10:12)

I don’t think it’s on the minds of too many Americans to be honest with you, but it certainly, it should be okay. And it’s good that it’s on your mind, because it’s big stuff and they do have a lot of power, a lot of nuclear power.

Donald Trump: (10:25)

I don’t get credit for this, and maybe I should, maybe I shouldn’t. But when I became president, I was told by President Obama sitting in the Oval Office in our, probably our only meeting, essentially. That was enough for me. But I was told-

Bret Baier: (10:37)

And you haven’t talked to him since.

Donald Trump: (10:40)

I was at the funeral of President Bush, sat next to him and I said, “Hello.” And then I said, “Goodbye.” That’s about it. No, I didn’t like the job he did. I didn’t like the job that he and Biden did. I didn’t like the position they put us in. I didn’t like what he did to our military, our military. We didn’t even have a military. Our military was so depleted. And I tell this story yet, I hate to tell it because it’s embarrassing, but right now we have more ammunition that we’ve ever had. It’s all over the place.

Donald Trump: (11:14)

We were having difficulty with a certain country. Remember Donald Trump is going to start a war right away. Well, here it is. We’re almost four years out. There’s been no war and we’re respected again. But I was told by a general, “Sir, please don’t do that.” Why? We have no ammunition. This is the condition we were left in. When you look at so many different problems that we will left, I mean and with countries… but he said, “The biggest problem we have is North Korea.” That’s what you’re alluding to and I have a good relationship with him. I said, “Did you ever call him?” The answer is yes, he did. But I will tell you, I don’t think they admit that maybe they do, but called many times and Kim Jong Un did not want to talk to him and me he wanted to talk to. And we met in Singapore, we met in Vietnam and I also went to the border, the first person ever to walk over from et cetera, et cetera. And we had very good relationship, understanding. Let’s see what happens.

Donald Trump: (12:08)

But the pundents say, “Isn’t it terrible what he’s done?” He’s given…” I gave nothing. I gave nothing. The sanctions are wrong. They want to see if they can do something. But I haven’t given anything. If the other side got in, you would right now be in a big war with North Korea. Maybe it would be over by now, but you would right… almost immediately you would have started. And if you remember the rhetoric at the beginning, that was very tough rhetoric, but that rhetoric got us to a place.

Donald Trump: (12:34)

And the Olympics became successful because of me in South Korea because all of a sudden they called. They said, “We’d like to be… participate.” They didn’t sell any tickets cause nobody wanted to go to the Olympics. All of a sudden, North Korea calls up and says, “We want to be a participant in the Olympics” everybody fell off their seat. That was because of me. And by the way, the president of South Korea gives total credit for that. So it became successful. The bottom line is I have a very good relationship with them. I cannot guarantee anything. But for three years we’ve spent nothing. We’re getting sanctions and we’re not in war with North Korea, which is not bad.

Bret Baier: (13:10)

All right, Mr. President.

Donald Trump: (13:11)

Thank you.

Bret Baier: (13:11)

Thank you.

Part 3

Bret Baier: (00:00)

You talked this week to the leader of the Taliban.

Donald Trump: (00:02)

I did.

Bret Baier: (00:02)

And you said it was a good conversation, in which you said you both didn’t want violence. However, on that same day, the Taliban launched some 50 attacks in Afghanistan, 40 of them in one province. There are many Americans really wondering… And the US struck back against the Taliban. There are many Americans wondering-

Donald Trump: (00:23)

Very powerful, yeah.

Bret Baier: (00:23)

Where the peace part of the Peace Plan is, and can you trust the Taliban?

Donald Trump: (00:28)

So these are warriors. We’ve been there for 20 years. We’re really serving more as a law enforcement group than a military group. We could win that war very easily but I don’t feel like killing millions of people in order to do it. We don’t want to do that, you don’t want to do that, nobody wants to do that. People are tired, even the biggest hawks are tired of being there. I had a very good conversation with him. There was a group that formed. And again, they have many tribes and they have many different… It’s hard for one… There’s not like perfectly one control. I spoke to a certain man who is the leader, but the leader has not… It’s not the easiest leadership position.

Bret Baier: (01:02)

Structure.

Donald Trump: (01:03)

And the structure is… Tribes all over the place. A tribe formed and a group formed that was going to attack certain soldiers, Afghan soldiers, and the military heard about it and the military went and they took them out. That was it. I believe they really want to make a deal. I think after 19, actually going very close to 20 years, they’re also tired of fighting, believe it or not, but they are warriors and they are fighters and that’s what they’ve done for a thousand years. Just ask the Soviet Union, which became Russia because of Afghanistan. It’s a tough place.

Martha MacCallum: (01:35)

So given that, you have said that you want to end this. It’s gone on for a long time, but what about the conditions on the ground, because General Mattis had a disagreement with you about pulling troops out of Syria and Afghanistan. If your generals tell you-

Donald Trump: (01:48)

Well, I was right. I was so right.

Martha MacCallum: (01:49)

If the generals say to you, “Mr. President, we need more people not fewer people right now.” What will you do?

Donald Trump: (01:55)

Well, Mattis said that, and I gave him more people for a short period of time and it didn’t work out, and what we were doing is policing-

Bret Baier: (01:59)

But now with Afghanistan…

Donald Trump: (02:01)

In Afghanistan. As far as Syria, I did pull them out. I pulled them out. We were securing the border between Turkey and Syria. I said why are we doing that? Turkey is big, Syria is fine, let them fight their own battles. What are we doing with our soldiers? Getting people killed. Now, the one thing when I came in ISIS was all over Syria, all over Iraq and we don’t want them coming to us, and it was a mess. You understand that very well. And I knocked out 100% of the territorial caliphate, 100%. We knocked the whole thing out [crosstalk 00:02:37].

Bret Baier: (02:37)

Within 14 months.

Martha MacCallum: (02:38)

But what about Afghanistan?

Donald Trump: (02:38)

No, but just so you understand. So we knocked out the ISIS caliphate in vast amounts of the Middle East, and I did that fairly quickly when I came. Again, President Obama, it was all over the place. When I say we’re not doing the borders, we did leave soldiers. We left soldiers because I kept the oil. And I was always against Iraq, going into Iraq. I think it was one of the worst, maybe the worst decision ever made, but I used to say, once they were in there, keep the oil. They never kept the oil. We have an oil area near Syria and in Syria, we kept it. So the only soldiers I have over there, they’re guarding the oil. We kept the oil. So we kept the treasure. That’s okay [crosstalk 00:03:15].

Martha MacCallum: (03:16)

But if it takes more troops to keep the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, is that something you would be willing to do or no?

Donald Trump: (03:21)

Well, there’s a big question about the government of Afghanistan. There’s a big question about that whole situation in Afghanistan. We’re getting along very well with everybody. We have to get our people back home. It’s not fair. We’re a police force over there. We’re maintaining things. Eventually we have to leave. We don’t want to stay there for another 20 years. We don’t want to stay there for 100 years. We want our people to come back home.

Bret Baier: (03:43)

All right, Lynette has our next question from the audience about division really in politics. Lynette.

Lynette: (03:51)

Oh, I’m sorry [crosstalk 00:03:52].

Bret Baier: (03:51)

Oh, there you go.

Donald Trump: (03:53)

Hi, Lynette.

Lynette: (03:53)

Hi, President Trump. I’m so happy to have you here.

Donald Trump: (03:56)

Thank you.

Lynette: (03:56)

From the day you came down the escalator in Trump Towers I was on the Trump train.

Donald Trump: (04:00)

Oh, I like that. I like you too. Thank you.

Lynette: (04:04)

And I proudly wear my Trump pin every day of my life.

Donald Trump: (04:07)

Thank you. Great honor.

Lynette: (04:08)

My question is, we are so divided as a country. I have family members who do not speak to me and recently was told, “If you support Trump you are no longer part of my life.” How are you going to bring us together?

Donald Trump: (04:21)

So I gave an answer before, success, but it’s really a little bit more than that, because we’ve had great success and there is a division, there’s no question about it. Politicians have to be able to be civil. If they’re not, you have to fight back. You have to. Otherwise we’re not going to be. There’s a movement on, and I call them the radical left Democrats, and it really is the radical left, because we have plenty of Democrats that are terrific and they want to see let’s get together, let’s get things done.

Donald Trump: (04:47)

There’s so many things we could do. We’ve done a lot. We’ve done more than any administration in three years in the history of our country for the first three years. And I say it all the time and the press doesn’t even dispute me and they would do that. But we could do even so much more. We talked about a great question on the border and the border question’s true, but we should get rid of the loopholes. You can’t do that without Democrat votes. I really believe we’re going to win this next election, and when we do, the other side’s going to say, “Okay, that’s it. Let’s get along. I really believe that. But we have to win the election. Good question.

Bret Baier: (05:22)

All right, Mr. President, we’re going to do a quick lightning round here. Short questions, short answers ideally. This one goes back to Coronavirus in the beginning. You are a self proclaimed germaphobe. In the campaign, before the campaign, you didn’t like to shake hands. You changed that. What do doctors-

Donald Trump: (05:42)

Well, I’m not thrilled.

Bret Baier: (05:43)

Yeah, yeah, you’re not thrilled. What do doctors tell you? Have you changed anything in the way that you operate?

Donald Trump: (05:49)

So yeah, it’s a great question because I’ve always felt, I don’t know from the time I was a young guy, I always felt the concept wasn’t good and then you’d read a lot of medical reports, it’s not good. Now especially they’re saying, by the way, if there was ever a time that you could convince people not to shake hands, this could be it, okay? This could be it.

Bret Baier: (06:05)

So do an elbow or fist bump?

Donald Trump: (06:06)

But you know what I did? I really love the people of this country. You can’t be a politician and not shake hands. People come in and when I leave I’ll be shaking hands with people. They want to shake your hand. They want to say hello. They want to hug you, they want to kiss you. I don’t care. It doesn’t mean… You have to do that. If I went around, no, I don’t shake hands, can you imagine? I’m going to speak with a group of people and they like Trump and they come up, “Sir, thank you very…” I don’t shake hands. It’s over. I don’t care how nicely you say it. The bottom line is I shake anybody’s hand now. I’m proud of it. They’re people that I love. They’re people that I want to take care of. Now, the concept of shaking hands since this, you’re hearing a lot of stuff about trying not to shake hands. It hasn’t stopped me at all but it is a little bit of a problem. But I got over it.

Bret Baier: (06:51)

You said you [inaudible 00:06:52] two weeks?

Donald Trump: (06:52)

Well, I was kidding. I heard the other day you’re not supposed to touch your face. So I went on camera and I said, “Listen, I haven’t touched my face in weeks.” Now, obviously I’m kidding. I said, “And I miss my face.” And one of the networks said, “He said he didn’t touch his face,” and they showed pictures of it there. So I don’t know. These people.

Martha MacCallum: (07:09)

You have said, about being president, I didn’t have to do this, you wanted to do it. What about your old life? Is there any little thing that you miss about your old life?

Donald Trump: (07:20)

I loved my old life. The day before I announced I was running for president, that was the best period ever of my life. My company was the strongest it ever was, especially being in development and do real estate all over the world. I built a great company, but it was the strongest, because you have times when the markets go bad and then you have to fight and then the markets are good and you’re doing great. It was the strongest period of my life. It was sort of the best period of my entire life. And then I announced I was going to run for president.

Donald Trump: (07:49)

And the greatest day of your life, they say, is the day before you announce you’re running for president. I don’t know if anybody’s ever heard that but they do say that about people. But in my case I won. I won. I saw as an example that they were using numbers and they were saying how much various people spent to become president. And Bloomberg spent like $550 million. It was in of all places, The New York Times, and this guy, Steyer, we call him impeachment Tom. How did that work out? Not too good. Tom Steyer spent $250 million. Another one I know, Steve Forbes, spent a lot. A lot of people spent a lot of money and I was in the middle.

Donald Trump: (08:23)

In fact, this is your own money. I spent $70 million. And they said lost, lost, lost, lost, lost. Donald Trump became president of the United States, lost, lost, and I said, “Isn’t that cool? Isn’t that cool?” So, I love it. You know why I love it? Because we are doing more than anybody can imagine. Even Right to Try. For years they wanted to have Right to Try where we can use our medicines if somebody is terminally ill. So many things we’re doing-

Martha MacCallum: (08:51)

But is there any little thing that you miss? I remember Michelle Obama said she missed going shopping or walking down the aisles. Is there anything that you can’t do now that you-

Donald Trump: (09:01)

Well, yeah, I can’t walk down the street now, before I could. I was well known and we had a very successful business and even my show turned out to be a success. I had many top best sellers of things-

Martha MacCallum: (09:11)

You were used to that, yeah.

Donald Trump: (09:12)

But I could walk down the street and I could actually walk into a store. And it was fine. It was not like nobody knew me, but now, today if I ever suggested that to Secret Service, “I think I’m going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue and let’s go shopping.” So it’s a lot different. So I do miss that. I miss that free life. This is not a free life. But I love what we’re doing because we’re accomplishing more than anybody’s ever. I’m viewing it as we’re saving this country. This country was going wrong.

Bret Baier: (09:47)

Mr. President, very last question. Who is your closest friend in Washington?

Donald Trump: (09:55)

Well, I don’t want to say because I have a lot of close friends, I really do.

Bret Baier: (09:58)

But of course [crosstalk 00:09:58].

Donald Trump: (09:58)

I’m putting everybody in this fight. I get along great with our vice president. I keep hearing I’m replacing him. He’s doing a phenomenal job. He’s a great guy and a loyal guy and he works so hard. Every day I read, he’s going to put this one, he’s going to put that one, he’s going to put… If I did that would be a great act of disloyalty because he’s been great. I speak to him a lot, but I speak to all of the senators a lot, I speak to all of the congressmen a lot. We have great people in Washington. And you have great Democrats too. I speak to Democrats also, believe it or not, but we have great, great people in Washington, very smart people in Washington and it’s going to come together. It’s going to come together, and it’s going to be sooner than you think.

Bret Baier: (10:35)

President Trump, we thank you very much.

Donald Trump: (10:37)

Thank you very much.

Bret Baier: (10:38)

And thank you to our audience.

Martha MacCallum: (10:39)

Yeah, thank you very much, President Trump.

Mar 24, 2020

Donald Trump Coronavirus Town Hall Transcript March 24: Trump Wants to Restart the Economy by Easter

Donald Trump Coronavirus Fox News Town Hall Transcript March 24

Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump Coronavirus Town Hall Transcript March 24: Trump Wants to Restart the Economy by Easter

Donald Trump and the Coronavirus Task Force held a virtual town hall on Fox News today. President Trump seemed eager to reopen the country and end restrictions on businesses and gatherings by Easter, only about two weeks away. “We have to get back to work,” Trump said. Read the transcript of the town hall right here.

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Search the transcript here…

Bill Hemmer: (00:02)

Welcome back to our Fox News virtual town hall with President Trump and members of his coronavirus task force. I’m Bill Hemmer at the Rose Garden here at the White House, Harris.

Harris Faulkner: (00:12)

And I’m Harris Faulkner in New York. The administration’s 15 day plan, you saw the Vice President holding that up several times. The plan is to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the United States and it’s set to expire in less than a week from today. Now President Trump and his task force are plotting the way forward for all the nation.

Bill Hemmer: (00:31)

In the next hour, joining us to talk about all that, President Trump and still with us, Vice President Mike Pence, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, and the Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams. And welcome and thank you all for being here.

Donald Trump: (00:47)

Thank you, Bill.

Bill Hemmer: (00:48)

Unusual circumstances where you’re trying to communicate with the American people, and we’re trying to maybe bring the American people a little closer to you and get some answers.

Donald Trump: (00:56)

Well that’s true.

Bill Hemmer: (00:56)

To you, Mr. President, when was the moment that you thought, “We got to move on this?”

Donald Trump: (01:03)

Well, I think when I started seeing and reading about China, and seeing what was going on in China, Wuhan specifically, it seemed to come mostly out of there, that area, the province. And when I saw that and I saw the death they were talking about on television, in the papers, and I started reading a lot about it. And really when I had to make a decision, do I stop people from China and specifically that area, but from China, to come into the country and everybody was against it, almost everybody I would say was just absolutely against it. We’ve never done it before. We never made a decision like that-

Bill Hemmer: (01:40)

Did somebody come to you with a bit of information, a piece of data? Was it a world leader? Was it a member of your own team?

Donald Trump: (01:47)

No, there was instinct to know. We had a large group of people right behind me in the Oval Office and I made… I consulted with Mike, but we made a decision, I made a decision to close off to China. That was weeks early and honestly, I took a lot of heat. Sleepy Joe Biden said, “It’s xenophobic.” I don’t know if he knows what that means, but that’s okay. He said, “It’s racist,” what I did. Thousands and thousands of more people, probably tens of thousands, would be dead right now if I didn’t make that decision, and I must say doctors, nobody wanted to make that decision at the time. It was very, very early. Call it luck or call talent, it doesn’t matter, we made a great decision. I took a lot of heat from China, they weren’t happy with it. Now they understand it. They’ve really… We’re doing just fine, but they were not happy with it. I took a lot of heat from a lot of people.

Bill Hemmer: (02:46)

Bring the conversation to present day, in the past day and a half you got a lot of tension for this, a tweet that I think went out late at night, you said, “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”

Donald Trump: (02:56)

I really didn’t get-

Bill Hemmer: (02:56)

So you start to look at this 15 day which will come to us day 15 is next Monday, today arguably day nine, what are you trying to gauge as to how you can open the country back up again?

Donald Trump: (03:10)

Yeah, when you say, I took a lot of heat for that, essentially. I really didn’t, I mean, a lot of people agree with me. Our country’s not supposed to be… It’s not built to shut down. Our people are full of vim and vigor and energy, they don’t want to be locked into a house or an apartment or some space, it’s not for our country, we’re not built that way. And I said, “I don’t want the cure to be worse than the problem itself,” the problem being obviously the problem. You can destroy a country this way by closing it down where it literally goes from being the most prosperous, I mean, we had the best economy in the history of our country three weeks ago and then all of a sudden was supposed to shut it down, and then we’re supposed to pay people not to go to work. We never had that. We used to pay people to go to work when we had a problem.

Bill Hemmer: (03:59)

But this is a government order to go ahead and stay home. It’s tricky though when you try and turn the faucet back on.

Donald Trump: (04:05)

Oh, it’s very tricky.

Bill Hemmer: (04:06)

New York could be different from-

Donald Trump: (04:08)

It is, it is.

Bill Hemmer: (04:09)

Utah. Louisiana could be different from Arizona. So how do you go about making that decision?

Donald Trump: (04:15)

Well, you have to make the decision. Look, we lose thousands, I brought some numbers here, we lose thousands and thousands of people a year to the flu. We don’t turn the country off, I mean every year. Now when I heard the number, we average 37,000 people a year. Can you believe that? And actually this year we’re having a bad flu season, but we lose thousands of people a year to the flu. We never turn the country off. We lose much more than that to automobile accidents. We didn’t call up the automobile companies, say, “Stop making cars. We don’t want any cars anymore.” We have to get back to work. Now, with all of that being said, it’s incredible what the American people have done and honestly the American people have learned, we’ve all learned together between the shaking of the hands of the washing of the hands. Well, I used to wash my hands and I always wash my hands a lot, I never was a big believer in shaking hands, once I become a politician, you shake hands and you get a little bit used to it. Immediately when I see you, I apologize that I’m not shaking your hand.

Bill Hemmer: (05:17)

Well, we exchange air elbows, which seems to be the thing [crosstalk 00:05:20].

Donald Trump: (05:20)

I never like to see that, actually.

Bill Hemmer: (05:22)

Right now on Capitol Hill, you’ve got members of the Senate debating a $2 trillion bill.

Donald Trump: (05:29)

Yeah, more than that.

Bill Hemmer: (05:30)

Did you think that… It blows away the ability for us to imagine that they could pass legislation in excess of $2 trillion. Now who knows what’s behind the curtain there? Who knows what is stacked into $2 trillion. How much concern do you have? [crosstalk 00:05:49] You could be facing criticism that President Obama faced in 2009 about sweetheart deals for certain companies-

Donald Trump: (05:58)

Sure.

Bill Hemmer: (05:58)

As Democrats would argue.

Donald Trump: (05:59)

I canceled the deal last night. I said, “I’m not going to sign that deal,” because Nancy Pelosi came in and put a lot of things in the deal that had nothing to do with the workers, that had to do with an agenda that they’ve been trying to get passed for 10 years. And I came in, I told Mike, I told a lot of people, “There’s no way I’m signing that deal.” I was getting calls from John Kennedy, from Ben Sasse, from many, many people, Lindsay, I was getting calls from a lot of different people saying this deal, Tom Cotton, this deal is terrible what they’ve done. They took a deal, we almost had a deal the day before and it was between Schumer and Mitch and it was really a good solid deal. All of a sudden they start throwing all of the little Green New Deal stuff in, right?

Donald Trump: (06:45)

And the boardrooms, what they look like, and we want green energy, we want all this stuff, let’s stop drilling oil. They had things in there that were terrible, windmills all over the place and all sorts of credits for windmills. They kill the birds and ruin the real estate, right? A lot of problems. I mean a lot of problems. And I said, “I’m not signing this deal.”-

Bill Hemmer: (07:07)

But $2 trillion-

Donald Trump: (07:08)

Now they’ve renegotiated it-

Bill Hemmer: (07:09)

It’s hard to avoid some of those trap doors you could argue.

Donald Trump: (07:12)

But we have great things for not only companies, forget the companies, the companies are nothing other than they are an employer of thousands and thousands of people and they pay them very well, we want to protect our workers. I want to protect our workers, workers first, but you have to protect companies like Boeing. They had a real bad year, let’s face it with the problems, and they were in trouble before this and then all of a sudden this happened.

Donald Trump: (07:37)

We can’t lose a Boeing and we can’t lose some of these companies and companies, frankly Bill, that were solid as AAA companies because of what’s happened over the last couple of weeks, they go from AAA to being like they could use a hand.

Bill Hemmer: (07:51)

Tough time.

Donald Trump: (07:52)

We can’t, right, we can’t lose those companies. If we lose those companies, we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of jobs, millions of jobs. The faster we go back, the better it’s going to be. We have a pent up energy that’s going to be unbelievable. We’re going to bring it back fast, I really believe that.

Bill Hemmer: (08:07)

I’ve got a lot more questions-

Donald Trump: (08:08)

Sure.

Bill Hemmer: (08:09)

So does my colleague Harris Faulkner, I’ll allow her to rejoin the conversation now.

Donald Trump: (08:13)

She’s great.

Bill Hemmer: (08:13)

Harris.

Donald Trump: (08:13)

Do I have an earplug here?

Bill Hemmer: (08:16)

I’ll help you out.

Donald Trump: (08:16)

If I can do that.

Harris Faulkner: (08:17)

Hello, Mr. President.

Bill Hemmer: (08:18)

I’ll relay and translate.

Donald Trump: (08:19)

Okay.

Harris Faulkner: (08:21)

Hello, Mr. President, so good to see you today. This’ll be a little bit to relay. I understand you guys are going back and forth on the economy and employers, but more than 66% of people are employed by small businesses. The VP talked a little bit about this, we hear you dropping big companies names. The question here is how do you shore up both as you look forward?

Bill Hemmer: (08:46)

Yeah. The question’s a good one and it’s pointed, you’re talking about Boeing and yet you’ve got, what two thirds of American businesses are small businesses, and you think about what they’re trying to do in terms of adjusting to this new reality that’s been thrown on them. What will you do for small business?

Donald Trump: (09:03)

Okay, well first of all I have to say that Harris is one of my favorite people and I didn’t hear a word she said and I was hoping it wasn’t too devastating a question, but she is a fantastic person. I have to say that. Okay, now that I’ve said it because I can’t hear Harris, but no, the bill is very much focused on the small business person. It’s very much focused on small companies including restaurants and all sorts of small companies, and what people don’t realize, you’re talking about these massive, we have the greatest companies in the world.

Donald Trump: (09:33)

You add them all up and the small businesses are just about equal in size to these massive companies of which we have many, also. It’s the engine of our country, small business. This bill is absolutely aimed at the small business and the worker, and the workers of those small businesses and the owners, the owners are going to need help. They’re going to need some loans, they’re going to need things and we’re going to be able to take care of them because we don’t want those small businesses to go out of business, nor do we want the big businesses to go out of business.

Bill Hemmer: (10:04)

When they said, “Mr. President, we got to shut this down,” how hard did you push back?

Donald Trump: (10:09)

Well, I tell you, I never heard of such a thing. We’ve had flues where we lose 36,000, we’ve lost as many I guess as 78,000 people in one year.

Donald Trump: (10:18)

And they came in and they said, “To be sure, we’re going to have to close the country,” I said, “What are you talking about?” “Well we have a virus. It’s coming in.” And I knew that and I made the early decision with China. So I already closed it off to China and that was a long time before they came in. But they came in, experts, and they said, “We’re going to have to close the country.” I said, “We’ve never closed the country before. This has never happened before.” I said, “Are you serious about this? We are going to take this country that’s fully employed. Well we have 160 million people working and you’re telling me we have to close it and people are going to go out of business and they’re going to go bankrupt and they’re not going to have jobs. What are we talking about here?”

Donald Trump: (11:03)

This, don’t forget, this has never been done. We’ve had flues before, we’ve had viruses before. So this is something new and this is why I say we have to… I gave it two weeks and I guess by Monday or Tuesday is about two weeks, and we’ll assess at that time and we’ll give it some more time if we need a little more time, but we have to open this country up.

Bill Hemmer: (11:23)

When they came to you and have that conversation with you, how long did it take you to accept that new reality?

Donald Trump: (11:29)

Look, I accept things, I understand things very quickly. I mean, I understood exactly what they were saying, but we can socially distance ourselves and go to work and you’ll have to work a little bit harder. You can clean your hands five times more than you used to. You don’t have to shake hands anymore with people, that might be something good coming out of this. Although I must tell you as a politician, it’s a lot warmer when you walk into a crowd and you’re shaking a lot of people’s hands, you love those people.

Bill Hemmer: (11:55)

I’d agree with you on that.

Donald Trump: (11:55)

They loved me and I loved them, but it is a little bit colder. But you won’t be shaking hands for at least a while and things will happen. But we have to put the country to work. Look, you’re going to lose a number of people to the flu, but you’re going to lose more people by putting a country into a massive recession or depression, you’re going to lose people. You’re going to have suicides by the thousands, you’re going to have all sorts of things happen. You’re going to have instability. You can’t just come in and say, let’s close up the United States of America, the biggest, the most successful country in the world by far. When I came in, when I was elected, and you knew this number, China was going to overtake us in the year 2019, wasn’t even close. We went way up and they didn’t. We’ve done great. They pay us a fortune and tariffs and everything else, and yet we have a good relationship with them. We just signed a trade deal. But we’re the number one in the world by far. And now a few people walk into the Oval Office, say, “Sir, we have to close up the country.” I said, “What are you talking about?”

Bill Hemmer: (13:02)

And that, Mr. President-

Donald Trump: (13:02)

… I said, what are you talking about?

Bill Hemmer: (13:02)

And that Mr. President, must have been a very difficult thing to accept.

Donald Trump: (13:08)

One of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made because I knew that when you do it, as soon as you do it, you’re going to drop. I mean, they’re talking about 20 or 25 points of GDP. Nobody’s ever heard of 25 points. If we went down a point, that’s a big deal. Now all of a sudden you’re basically turning off the country. I said, this has never been done before. What are you talking about? But we understand it, you have hotspots, but we’ve had hotspots before, we’ve had horrible flus. I mean, think of it, we average 36,000 people death, death. I’m not talking about cases. I’m talking about death. 36,000 deaths a year. People die, 36, from the flu, but we’ve never closed down the country for the flu. So you say to yourself, what is this all about. Now, it’s never been done.

Bill Hemmer: (14:03)

How did you process that?

Donald Trump: (14:05)

Not good. I wasn’t happy about it and I also knew that I had to do it. Look, with Turkey, I give this as an example, and Syria, I said, sign a deal with the Kurds, make peace. Erdogan, he didn’t want to. He’s a man who loves Turkey and I have a very good relation. I said, sign a deal. He didn’t really want to, the Kurds didn’t really want to, and it went on, the so-called safe zone, recently, few months ago. I said, sign a deal, do me a favor, sign the deal, get it done. They didn’t really want to. All of a sudden they start fighting, fighting, fighting, fighting, and it was vicious and other countries got involved. Now I say, let’s sign a deal. They said, okay, we’ll sign a deal.

Donald Trump: (14:53)

We needed a period because I don’t think if I would have not done it, we would have been unbelievably criticized for not doing it, but it’s never been done before.

Bill Hemmer: (15:03)

One more-

Donald Trump: (15:04)

Bill, somehow the word got out that this is the thing we’re supposed to be doing. Now we’ve had some really bad epidemics and other things. I mean this pandemic, but we’ve had bad epidemics. I’m sure they could have been called pandemics. But we never did a thing like this before, but I had to do it. It’s been very painful for our country and very destabilizing for our country and we have to go back to work much sooner than people thought. And people can go back to work and they can also practice good judgment.

Bill Hemmer: (15:38)

One last question then we’ll get back to our viewers here too. A month ago, the CDC had our initial test that failed. At that moment, late February, you said, it’s perfect, and it wasn’t perfect. So what happened there in the early stages in late February?

Donald Trump: (15:53)

What I said is perfect, was my conversation with the head of the Ukraine. That’s what I really said is perfect. Okay, that was another whole scandal, nonsense, a total witch hunt. But this one is a much different thing. We had other administrations, not just the last one, they built up a platform. They built up a test, but the test was no good. It didn’t handle large numbers of people. It was okay for a very small group but not for a large group. So we had to break it down-

Bill Hemmer: (16:23)

Did the CDC screw up or did you screw up?

Donald Trump: (16:26)

No, we did not screw up.

Bill Hemmer: (16:27)

Where did this go wrong?

Donald Trump: (16:28)

I don’t think CDC screwed up either. They had a test that would have worked for a small group of people. In other words, for a normal problem. I don’t think anybody could have, in all fairness to CDC, and this is a big government agency and they’re very good people in there, but nobody ever expected a thing like this. Nobody would say that millions and millions of people would have been tested. So what we did is we broke that egg, we broke that system, and we’ve created a new system that now we’re doing unbelievably big numbers and it’s set for the future should we ever need it again. I hope we don’t need it again.

Bill Hemmer: (17:04)

Thank you for your time. We’re going to bring the others in as well in a moment. Thank you for being patient. We will get to you. We have so many questions, not only from our network but from millions of people all across the country. So your questions in a moment here as we continue live in the Rose Garden at the White House with the President and his task force in Washington.

Harris Faulkner: (17:28)

Welcome back to our Fox News virtual town hall with President Trump and his coronavirus task force. Excited to finally get to be able to talk one on one with him now, we’ve got our tech problems worked out. I want to first ask you, Mr. President about the idea of the political division that’s going on on Capitol Hill. You’re talking about these bills, this phase one, two and three of the stimulus bill, like they’re going to fix so much with the economy and people are literally fighting like cats. I mean, what can you do to bring them together?

Donald Trump: (17:58)

Well, I think they’re actually coming together. We had a bill that was done the other night and then all of a sudden somebody else injected herself in and all … we didn’t have anything that was even remotely signable. But now I hear just from a few minutes ago that they’re doing well and it’s for the workers, it’s for the people of the country and I hear they’re doing pretty well, so we’ll see how it comes out. I watched Governor Cuomo and he was very nice. We’re building him hospitals. We’re building him medical centers and he was complaining about … we’re doing probably more, definitely more than anybody else. And he was talking about the ventilators, but he should have ordered the ventilators and he had a choice, he had a chance because right here, I just got this out that he refused to order 15,000 ventilators. I’ll show this to Bill, but take a look at that, Bill. What does that say?

Bill Hemmer: (18:52)

Is this social distancing here?

Donald Trump: (18:54)

This says that New York Governor Cuomo rejected buying recommended 16,000 ventilators in 2015 for the pandemic, for a pandemic, established death panels and lotteries instead. So he had a chance to buy in 2015, 16,000 ventilators at a very low price and he turned it down. I’m not blaming him or anything else, but he shouldn’t be talking about us. He’s supposed to be buying his own ventilators. We’re going to help. But if you think about, Governor Cuomo, we’re building him four hospitals, we’re building him four medical centers, we’re working very, very hard for the people of New York. We’re working along with him and then I watch him on the show complaining. And he had 16,000 ventilators that he could have had at a great price that he didn’t buy them.

Harris Faulkner: (19:40)

Yeah, and I hear you going back and forth and, and Governor Cuomo has talked in recent days that you regularly talk and have a good relationship. And so we will follow the news as you’re bringing it to us there, right there in the Rose Garden. I want to get to a viewer because the people’s voice is so huge right now and always Mr. President. Joyce submitted a question from Facebook about the stimulus checks. Let’s watch, and I want to get your reaction.

Joyce: (20:04)

I am fortunate I can continue to work. I can telecommute. There are people who are losing jobs, they’re losing an entire income for a household and rather than receive a check, I would just like to pay it forward and have the government pass mine on to someone else.

Donald Trump: (20:24)

Wow, is that great? Well, you obviously come from West Virginia. I love that state and thank you very much, Joyce. I’ll tell you what, that’s great. I wish we had more people like Joyce, I’ll tell you. But it’s going to be a substantial amount of money, around $3,000 for a family of four. And assuming it all gets done, assuming we can get the Democrats to sign it, but it’ll be great. But Joyce, I think that’s such a nice gesture, really I appreciate it, thank you.

Harris Faulkner: (20:52)

Well, and you just said, right, when you and I began talking a few minutes ago that almost in breaking news fashion, it looks like the juggernaut might be moving on Capitol Hill to try to push toward that stimulus bill. So we’ll be watching for that. You know Mr. President, I’m watching the Dow as you have been talking and formerly the Vice President, it’s up by more than 1,500 points. What do you watch for each day? I mean, are you keeping your eye on that? Is it companies calling you, small and large? What is your barometer that, okay, things were in trouble or things are doing better?

Donald Trump: (21:29)

Well, I think the Dow was helped by the fact that there were theories that we’re going to stay out for four or five months and you can’t do that as a … you destroy our country if you did a thing like that. And we’re going to be opening relatively soon. Our time comes up, Monday or Tuesday are the allotted two weeks, but we’ll stay a little bit longer than that. But we want to get open very soon. I think that was a big reason it’s gone up. I also think that the fact that the Senate and the House, we seem to be getting along as much as you can get along. We seem to be getting along now on a bill. I think that may be had even less of an impact and the fact that we’re opening up this incredible country because we have to do that. I’d love to have it open by Easter, okay.

Harris Faulkner: (22:14)

Oh wow, okay.

Donald Trump: (22:15)

I would love to have it open by Easter. I will tell you that right now. I would love to have that. It’s such an important day for other reasons, but I’ll make it an important day for this too. I would love to have the country opened up and they’re just raring to go by Easter.

Harris Faulkner: (22:33)

That’s April 12th, so we will watch and see what happens. I’m going to toss it back to my cohort, Bill.

Bill Hemmer: (22:39)

Thank you Harris. That would be a great American resurrection. Two and a half plus weeks from now.

Donald Trump: (22:45)

That’s very good.

Bill Hemmer: (22:45)

So Dr. Birx, a series of questions on the medical front here. I want to go to Allison from Indiana appropriately so, Mr. Vice President, who has a question by way of Facebook about possible mutation, watch.

Allison: (22:59)

My question is this, if you were to get the coronavirus, can it mutate? And can you get it again?

Bill Hemmer: (23:08)

Dr. Birx?

Deborah Birx: (23:08)

So that’s a great question and a very smart question because it’s an RNA virus, it can mutate and it constantly mutates. But what has been pretty good about the coronaviruses in general is they keep their structural pieces very similar. What do I mean by that? There’s certain, the outer coat, the envelope and the inside part of the virus has stayed very constant. It’s even very similar to SARS, which we haven’t seen since 2003. And so what has been picked for sites, both for the vaccine and for monoclonal antibodies, are very much those constant sites. And we believe that anybody who becomes positive and makes effective antibody, because there are some people who can’t make as good of antibody as others, but if you make effective antibody, you shouldn’t get reinfected.

Bill Hemmer: (23:54)

The way it was described to me and correct the medical positioning of this question, but the virus is trying to figure out a way to survive and that’s where it moves around and it mutates. Now in Singapore, there was a headline earlier today suggesting a possible second wave in that island nation. How do you gauge that?

Deborah Birx: (24:15)

Well, remember in Singapore, they took the president’s guidelines and they executed them very early because they could see China next door. And so they saw those and they implemented those guidelines. So very few people became infected in Singapore. Because so few people have been infected, you don’t have what they call herd immunity. And so until we get through this current pandemic, if it has seasonality, which we hope and believe it could, if it gets through this current season, it will be in everybody’s best interest to do as the President has recommended, our work on vaccines, our work on additional therapeutics and really getting to both pre and post prophylaxis. So that the healthcare providers can get a shot potentially that will protect them, we would call it pre-exposure prophylaxis. All of those things are being worked on to prepare us for the next season. So we’re focused today on what we need today and to get through this current epidemic, and then we’re also getting prepared in case it comes back in the fall or in case it comes back in the fall of 2021 when we’d have a vaccine.

Bill Hemmer: (25:24)

I’m going to bring in the surgeon general in this and to both of you, I’ve been listening to you very carefully for weeks now and what you’ve said is, we want to be the model of South Korea. Well, South Korea has flattened the curve to borrow a phrase and their death rate is about one point two percent. This morning here in the U.S., our death rate was right around that same mark, one point three percent. To the surgeon general, what does that tell you or how much do you consider the death rate here at home when we try and make decisions for ourselves?

Jerome Adams: (25:54)

Well, thank you for that, Bill. I think there are a couple of important things for the American people to remember. The first one is that when you look at the data here in the United States, of all-

Jerome Adams: (26:03)

Is that when you look at the data here in the United States, of all the people who we’ve tested so far, only about 90% of those, well 90% of those folks do not have the coronavirus, they test negative. So most people, even when they have cold and flu symptoms, do not have coronavirus, number one. Number two, 98%, 99% of people are recovering. So people need to understand that yes, some people will get coronavirus in many communities across America, but that most of them will recover, that’s very important for people to understand.

Jerome Adams: (26:36)

And beyond that, we’re trying to help people understand the importance of stopping the spread. And the president, when he, nine days ago, listened to his health providers, his health consultants, he said, “What do we need to do right now?” And we said, “We need to lean into this next two weeks to stop the spread, and then we need to reassess.” And one thing I can tell you for certain is that I’ve been on the task force for three weeks and the president listens to Tony Falchi, he listens to Dr. Birx, he listens when I, or Dr. Carson, or Dr. Hahn, or Dr. Redfield, speak up, and he also listens to the governors. And so, we will assess at the end of the 14 days and we’ll figure out the most appropriate thing to do, and based on my experience in the task force so far, the president will make an appropriate decision based on all the data.

Bill Hemmer: (27:23)

Thank you for that answer. Is everything cool with you and Dr. Falchi?

Donald Trump: (27:26)

Oh, absolutely.

Bill Hemmer: (27:26)

He was no there. He wasn’t there last night for the briefing. He’s not here today.

Donald Trump: (27:30)

Because he has other things to do. We get along very well.

Bill Hemmer: (27:33)

Your relationship’s good?

Donald Trump: (27:34)

I think it’s been very good. You would have heard about it if it wasn’t. I mean, every time he’s not at a meeting, and sometimes other people too, they said, “Why isn’t a Dr. Birx at a meeting? Is there a problem?” And I said, “Debra, could you please come to the meeting? Do you mind?” Because I respect all of these people, these are great people and Debra is extraordinary and Tony’s extraordinary. I get along with all of them, but if there’s… they have other things to do. And yesterday we weren’t really talking about what he’s an expert on, we were talking about other things, a lot of other things. And I don’t think they should be at every news conference.

Bill Hemmer: (28:13)

So, you’re good? That’s the point.

Donald Trump: (28:15)

Yeah, we’re fine. We’re fine.

Bill Hemmer: (28:16)

Dr. Birx, early on you said the massive amount of testing in South Korea, 96% to the surgeon general, 96% came back negative, I think that’s an important point to convey again to the American people. Noah from Maryland has a question now, his question is about healthcare workers on the front lines of this pandemic.

Noah: (28:37)

Now my mother is a nurse, she works in the healthcare field. What do you and your team plan to do to help healthcare workers that are putting themselves at risk every single day as a result of the coronavirus?

Bill Hemmer: (28:52)

Excellent question. Dr. Birx, do you want to take that?

Deborah Birx: (28:54)

Yeah that’s, I love that question because my mother is a nurse. She’s 91 now, so she’s not practicing, but I think we have to remember in majority of hospitals and a majority of places, it is the nurse that are the front lines. They’re the ones working every moment with the patients to ensure that they do well. They’re the ones at the bedside, they’re the ones providing comfort, they’re the ones providing the medical interventions, and they are our first priority. It is why we’ve worked so hard to get the protective, personal protective equipment out there. But I think, what we didn’t often talk about is we’re really, with the changing guidelines for testing, that is going to free up all of that personal protective devices that were being utilized for testing back into the hospitals and the clinics for our nurses and doctors, and that’s going to make millions of more mask and PPE, as we call it, available to the hospital workers who need it the most, because now people can self test.

Jerome Adams: (29:52)

And Bill, can I jump in on that really quickly? I want people to know that, I’m a still practicing anesthesiologist at Walter Reed, the vice president and I, we first met during Ebola, and I went into the hospital, I put on PPE, I know how scary it is even when you have the proper equipment to deal with an infectious disease. And I’m getting texts, phone calls, messages from people all across the country, and I want healthcare workers of America to know, we are fighting for you each and every day to make sure you get what you need from the stockpile, to make sure you get what you need from manufacturers across America, to make sure you’re getting decreased demand, which is why we put out our new guidelines on elective surgeries.

Jerome Adams: (30:35)

And because it’s not just about increasing the supply, we aren’t going to supply our way out of this problem, as important as supply is, we need to also lower demand by decreasing unnecessary usage of PPE. And a game changer that just came out just this week, was the new FDA self swabs, and the vice president and the president have talked about that, that we’ll utilize less PPE. So we’re working on making sure supply gets where it needs to, and FEMA’s doing a great job of that, of lowering demand.

Bill Hemmer: (31:00)

How can someone watching this right now acquire a self test?

Jerome Adams: (31:04)

Well, right now the FDA is making that more available. We’ve seen testing increase, and real numbers, when you look at last week from Monday to Friday, the amount of testing increased 10 fold, so we’re seeing testing increase. The concern is that it’s actually using up more PPE, which is why we want to prioritize testing for the people who are most in need, the healthcare workers and the people who are vulnerable, and why we’re pushing. The FDA has lowered barriers like none other to make sure we can get these new testing modalities available that use less PPE and do more tests.

Bill Hemmer: (31:35)

Thank you for that. Back to Harris now with another question, Harris.

Harris Faulkner: (31:38)

All right. Actually, you know what? I want to stay on this a home testing kit topic for just a second with Dr. Birx. The home test, is there a place where people check a box and say I’m positive or not? How are you going to keep up with people who test themselves, and you need that information Dr. Birx, to know where the clusters are in the country, that’s part of why you would do it.

Deborah Birx: (32:01)

Great. So it’s not a home test, it’s a self test. So what do I mean by that? I mean the individual can drive up, receive the items, because again we still want to just test people with fever and symptoms that really need to be tested. They can self swab the front of their nose, put it in the container, then the person can collect it with gloves, gloves alone with the biohazard bag, and get it in. I just want to speak to the Americans for just a second though, we have to ensure that we still are testing, even though probably by today we will have done more tests than South Korea did an eight weeks, in the last eight days. In the last eight days we’ve done more testing than South Korea. But, we did that because we transformed the testing process as the president spoke to, but we don’t want people who are just worried to go get tested.

Deborah Birx: (32:51)

If you don’t have a persistent fever, if you don’t have a cough, if you’re not in the risk group, if you’re not a nurse or doctor, we really want the testing and the drive through testing and the testing that is provided in the cities, to be very much still focused on the people who need it. Because there’s only so much even those high throughput machines are doing, they’re doing about 50,000, 60,000, 70,000 tests a day now. They could get potentially to 150,000 a day, but we want to make sure we’re testing in the areas that really have the problems.

Mike Pence: (33:22)

Yeah, Bill, it’s one of the things-

Harris Faulkner: (33:24)

All right, and knowing a difference between the home and, go right ahead.

Mike Pence: (33:29)

Yeah, thanks Harris. The American people are asking all the time, the president and I hear it all the time and see it, it’s what can they do to make a difference? And an in addition to the 15 days to slow the spread, the American people can take Dr. Birx’s advice. It’s that old proverb, that it’s not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick, and one of the ways that you can help is by recognizing we want to focus testing on people that have symptoms. Although according to the tests now as the surgeon general said, 90% of the people that have been tested for the coronavirus don’t have it, okay? That number, we’ve tested more than 320,000 people, and that’s an encouraging number I would expect. But for any American out there that just may be concerned, but not be symptomatic, one of the ways you can make sure the testing is available for people that have symptoms, and just as importantly for our healthcare workers that we want to make sure have all the protective equipment that they need, you can recognize that if you don’t have symptoms, don’t do a test.

Donald Trump: (34:37)

Harris, one thing I might add-

Harris Faulkner: (34:38)

And thank you both for taking that bill.

Donald Trump: (34:39)

Harris, one thing I might add, that to me is so important, again, we took something that was broken and we made it the model. And I didn’t even know, I just heard the number for the first time from Deborah, that in a short period of time, we’ve more testing than South Korea. Now you’re not going to read that in the newspapers because they don’t like to write things like that, but I’d love you to say that one more time because that’s a big number. We’ve done more than South Korea in a short period of time. We’re doing more now than South Korea by a lot [crosstalk 00:35:10]. What was that number?

Deborah Birx: (35:12)

So, we’re believing that there are probably around 2,009, 2,900, 29,000-

Jerome Adams: (35:15)

290,000.

Deborah Birx: (35:15)

290,000.

Jerome Adams: (35:17)

290,000, almost 300,000.

Deborah Birx: (35:22)

And now we’re way over 300,000, but we re-achieved that over the last seven to eight days. We have to do more, we understand that-

Jerome Adams: (35:30)

We did that over eight weeks.

Deborah Birx: (35:31)

… over about eight weeks.

Donald Trump: (35:33)

We’re going up proportionately. We’re going up very, very rapidly. Every day we’re going up-

Bill Hemmer: (35:36)

What was our negative test rate at the moment? Is it 90%-

Deborah Birx: (35:39)

I’m glad you asked.

Bill Hemmer: (35:39)

… or is it higher?

Deborah Birx: (35:42)

So I really am glad you asked because this gets into, “Where is the virus now and where is it expanding?” And so, across the country our test rates are still way under 10%, except for one place, New York City, metro New York, New Jersey, close to New York city. Those rates are coming in, in the 28% range. Right now, New York, the case attack rate, what we’re talking about, the number of people who are getting infected, is four to five times any other place in the country.

Bill Hemmer: (36:13)

Why is that? Density of population?

Deborah Birx: (36:14)

I think part of it is density, part of is the spread that may have happened on metal surfaces like in the subway and people that were in the subway, part of it may be a large number of people came back after Christmas from Asia that didn’t get caught up in the closure.

Donald Trump: (36:30)

Do you blame the governor for that?

Deborah Birx: (36:32)

And part of it could be the Europeans who have come back subsequently. And there’s, I mean, obviously it’s a big area of world trade and global transit, so I think the virus probably was quietly expanding, because until it gets into an older population, you don’t really see it in the same way.

Bill Hemmer: (36:50)

Thank you for that, and we’ll get to all of you again in a moment here. Going to get a quick break here, more of your questions from across America here at the White House in the rose garden, after this. Welcome back to our Fox News, Virtual Town Hall with President Trump and members of his task force. We are in the rose garden here at the White House, and it’s a real honor to be sitting here with you all.

Donald Trump: (37:14)

Thank you.

Bill Hemmer: (37:15)

And I hope together we can kill the virus and give a lot of people hope about getting back to their regular lives.

Donald Trump: (37:21)

It’s true.

Bill Hemmer: (37:22)

You said something 20 minutes ago that I’m sure a lot of people were pretty keen on. You said that we would, I’m paraphrasing now, you would like to be back to normal by Easter Sunday?

Donald Trump: (37:34)

Yes.

Bill Hemmer: (37:34)

That’s 19 days from now.

Donald Trump: (37:36)

It’s okay.

Bill Hemmer: (37:36)

Is that true, is that possible, or is that false?

Donald Trump: (37:39)

I think it’s possible, why isn’t it? I mean, we’ve never closed the country before and we’ve had some pretty bad flus and we’ve had some pretty bad viruses, and I think it’s absolutely possible. Now, people are going to have to practice all of the social distancing, and don’t shake hands and wash your hands and all of the things that we’re doing now, but we have to get our country back to work. Our country wants to be back at work. That was not a controversial thing I said the other day, our country wants to go back to work. And again, the cure, it’s like this cure is worse than the problem. Again, people, many people in my opinion, more people are going to die if we allow this to continue. We have to go back to work. Our people want to go back to go back to work.

Bill Hemmer: (38:22)

But what you have said consistently, is the first order of business is the kill the virus. So, when you look at the data from around the world and across our country, how do you determine that 19 days from now it might be safe? Because there are millions of people watching this now-

Donald Trump: (38:38)

It may be.

Bill Hemmer: (38:38)

… who have their family fortune on the line.

Donald Trump: (38:41)

Well, they have their family fortune on the line the other way too. They’re going to lose their jobs, maybe never to get them back. They’re going to lose their businesses, never to get them back. We want to start up as soon as we can because we’re going to have a very quick comeback if we do that. If we delay this thing out, you’re going to lose more people than you’re losing with the situation as we know it. So, I think it’s very important for our-

Donald Trump: (39:03)

The situation is we know it. So I think it’s very important for our country to go back. And I’ve had many, many people … When you said it was a little bit controversial, not to most people. Most people think I’m right about it. Now, whether we’re locked in a room or whether we’re in our office and practicing all of the things that we’re supposed to be a practicing, staying away from each other, et cetera, not shaking hands, washing your hands all the time. But our country has to get back to work, otherwise it’s going to be very hard to start it up again. We can’t lose the advantage that we have.

Bill Hemmer: (39:36)

What we’re trying to figure out in this whole scenario here is how deadly the virus is, and so far it is highly contagious, but not very deadly. We can agree on that based on the data, correct?

Deborah Birx: (39:47)

Yes.

Bill Hemmer: (39:49)

So when you take the answer of Easter Sunday, do you see that as realistic? Do you see that as possible?

Deborah Birx: (39:55)

So my job, and I think what’s really important is a lot of what we’ve done is we’ve tackled this epidemic the way people said we should have tackled flu in 1918, and they compared St. Louis who took this kind of approach to Philadelphia. What we’re trying to do now is use 21st century solutions and trying to get data down to the most granular level so we understand what’s happening at the area of the spread. So even today, there are counties throughout the United States that don’t have their first case. So our job is to make sure they never have their first case and ensure that our efforts are focused on where the virus is expanding.

Deborah Birx: (40:35)

That can be done today because we have that level of granularity. So that’s what the president has asked us to put together, to use these two weeks to get all the data from around the country and all the data from around the globe and really understand what’s working, and it’s really important that the Americans know, I know the vice president covered this very clearly in the first hour, but every American needs to continue the president’s guidelines for these next six days or seven days. We have to have them following those guidelines. And that’s what [crosstalk 00:41:04]-

Bill Hemmer: (41:04)

I see the Surgeon General shaking his head in agreement too.

Donald Trump: (41:06)

Bill, excuse me, just one second. You can’t compare this to 1918 where close to a hundred million people died. That was a flu, which is a little different, but that was a flu where if you got it, you had a 50/50 chance or very close of dying. I think we’re substantially under 1% because the people that get better are not reporting. So we only know people that go to doctors and go to hospitals and we’re taking that and we’re still a little bit above 1%. When you add all of the people, the millions of people that have it that get better, we’re substantially less than 1%, and when they came to my office, don’t forget, they were saying 3%, 4%, 5%. There’s a very big difference. No, we have to put our country back to work.

Bill Hemmer: (41:50)

We have a few minutes left and I want to bring in our panel of experts too. Dr. Mehmet Oz is with us, Dr. Marc Siegel and Dr. Nicole Saphier . We want to give you guys a round of questions quickly here with Dr. Oz. Why don’t we start with Dr. Siegel this time around. Go ahead Marc.

Marc Siegel: (42:08)

Mr. President, with the deaths going over 600 today, I want to say that the fear that’s coming out of this disturbs me the most, and fear divides. You need unification and unified leadership to fight the fear. So I was really encouraged to see you’re reaching out to governors, Governor Cuomo, Governor Newsom, making liaisons that weren’t there before. Do you think that that kind of movement, where you’re the leader and other people work with you, will help us to isolate the virus in the epicenters where they are to separate out those epicenters, to test the people in those centers and to thereby squash the virus?

Donald Trump: (42:42)

I do. I think doctor, it’s a very good thing and Governor Newsom and I have been getting along really great with sending the ship, the great hospitals ship, as you know, and we are doing very well with, I think almost all of the governors. For the most part, it really has become something, we are dealing almost every day with speaking to each other, whether it’s conference calls. Usually we’ll have 50 governors of the call at the same time. No, I think we’re doing very well, but you know, it’s a two-way street. They have to treat us well also. They can’t say, “Oh gee, we should get this. We should get that.”

Donald Trump: (43:13)

We’re doing a great job like in New York where we’re building, as I said, four hospitals, four medical … We’re literally building hospitals and medical centers and then I hear that there’s a problem with ventilators. Well we sent them ventilators and they could have had 15 or 16000. All they had to do is order them two years ago, but they decided not to do it. They can’t blame us for that.

Bill Hemmer: (43:34)

Dr. Oz is up next. Go ahead, doctor.

Mehmet Oz: (43:39)

President Trump, a good surgeon knows after the surgery when his patient can be discharged and these 15 days are like a big operation on America, but a great surgeon knows when there’s a complication after discharge. So if we can meet the goal of fixing America and getting it back on his feet by Easter, I’d love to know exactly how you know that it’s safe from medical perspective. What’s going to indicate that we might have to pull back a tiny bit in case we have a relapse?

Donald Trump: (44:05)

Well I think doctor a thing like that could happen, but I really believe that we could do much of what we’re doing and we could do it from a work environment instead of an environment where everybody’s locked up and everybody is saying, “Oh, the business is gone, the business is gone,” and everybody’s suffering depression. You know better than anybody about depression. I’ve watched where you talk about depression and that causes death and it causes a lot of problems and these are people they want to save their business. They don’t want to be locked up in some room or some apartment or house, and in the meantime, their restaurants close, their businesses close. They want to be saving their business.

Donald Trump: (44:43)

And I believe very strongly you’re going to lose far more people by going that way than you are if we kept this thing going. I could keep them out. I’m sure that we have doctors that would say, “Let’s keep it closed for two years, okay? Let’s close it up for two years.” No. We got to get it open. Our people want it open and that’s the way this country was built.

Bill Hemmer: (45:04)

Dr. Nicole Saphier now. Doctor, go ahead with your question.

Nicole Saphier: (45:09)

Thank you. And president Trump, I do believe as a nation that we are beholden to you for your decisive swift action in the beginning with the travel ban. I do think that we would have been in a much different, worse situation had that not happened. However, we still did have a lag in the testing, which of course did not have anything to do with you, but my question is for Dr. Birx and the task force. As we still see across the nation that some people are not able to get tests. I have colleagues that still can’t test some of their patients. Is there a plan to fast track or even parallel track rapid [inaudible 00:45:38] serological testing to try and get this out there so that we can mobilize more PPE and more hospital beds by doing more testing and being able to isolate those people quickly?

Deborah Birx: (45:50)

Yeah, that’s a very good question. So right now, the tests that we have are all based on the RNA of the virus. And so we’re utilizing the platforms, and thank goodness we’re utilizing the platforms that were developed really to work and support HIV positive clients. So this is their machines that have been used to detect their viral load for the last more than a decade in the United States. Those machines right now are being utilized for this test in a high throughput way. We’ve asked developers to work on a point of care fingerprint test that could be used for antibody and antigen, but the antibody tests will only tell you if you have been infected. Even if we can get IGM, it will be part of the early and probably recovery phase. And then we’re working with companies to work on getting RNA tests at our point of care.

Deborah Birx: (46:39)

So these are really critical tests that people are working on right now. But in the meantime, we’re using what we have today to ensure that we can get more testing done. And I just want to say, I want to thank the American people and physicians who have let us prioritize. Remember, we didn’t have this platform until eight days ago. We’ve done all of these diagnoses for inpatients primarily so that they can get on the appropriate therapy and we prioritize our testing to hospital patients. We will, over the next few weeks, be able to make more tests available to the actual American public with symptoms and to doctor’s offices as you’ve requested.

Donald Trump: (47:16)

And Nicole, it’s important to remember we’ve done more tests in eight days than South Korea has done in eight weeks. And our tests are better, they’re highly sophisticated and frankly I took one. It’s not the most pleasant thing in the world, I will tell you that. We’re going to have a much simpler test very soon, but we have a really good test and we’ve done more in eight days. Nobody knows that. I just heard this number a few minutes ago. I learned it from being on your show actually. Pretty impressive.

Bill Hemmer: (47:42)

I think the way you described it was up the nasal passage and took a right?

Donald Trump: (47:46)

And you hangar right.

Bill Hemmer: (47:47)

Hangar right at the eye.

Donald Trump: (47:48)

Hangar right under the eye.

Bill Hemmer: (47:49)

To all of you, stand by. We’ve got a few more moments left here, but as our virtual town hall continues to the doctors, Nicole Saphier, Mehmet Oz and Marc Siegel , we very much rely on you in a day to day basis, so thank you for being a part of this today. Quick commercial break and back to the Rose Garden in a moment as our town hall continues.

Bill Hemmer: (48:11)

Back here in the Rose Garden at The White House, I’m Bill Hemmer along with my colleague Harris Faulkner. I have about 90 seconds left and just with the panel here, the president, the vice president, Dr. Birx and the surgeon general. Thank you again for your time.

Donald Trump: (48:21)

Thank you very much.

Bill Hemmer: (48:22)

I see this as a public service but also as a way to try and figure out what the facts are and that’s the reason we came here. But you were just saying again, Mr. Vice President, during the commercial, the way you can achieve your objective is how?

Mike Pence: (48:35)

Well, the president made it clear yesterday that we want to open up the country as soon as we can, but the key is that more Americans and tens of millions are Bill, but more Americans have put into practice the president’s coronavirus guidelines, 15 ways to slow the spread-

Bill Hemmer: (48:52)

Just read those off because it’s hard to see.

Mike Pence: (48:52)

The sooner we’ll be able to open up.

Bill Hemmer: (48:54)

What is it? Wash your hands, if you’re sick, stay home.

Mike Pence: (48:57)

It’s personal hygiene, it’s if you’re sick, stay home. If someone in your house has the virus stay home, but it’s also avoiding groups of more than 10, avoiding unnecessary travel, don’t eat in restaurants during this period of time. Use the drive-through. These are all the principles that every American can do. Now there are going to be Americans that have different guidance from their state and local officials that are more stringent. We defer to that, we respect that, but the more Americans that do this, the sooner that we’ll be able, as the president said, to get back to work.

Bill Hemmer: (49:29)

We have to be a patient nation if you’re going to ask them to do that as you well know. Mr. President, thank you for your time.

Donald Trump: (49:34)

Thank you very much. Thank you.

Bill Hemmer: (49:35)

And I’ll see you a bit later on Bill Hemmer Reports at 3:00 o’clock Eastern time, and to Mr. Vice President Mike Pence, thank you. Dr Birx, terrific work and the Surgeon General. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us today. That is it from here at The White House and Harris, I will see you back in New York very soon. I hope the last two hours held some value for a lot of our viewers across the country and around the world Harris.

May 3, 2020

Donald Trump Virtual Town Hall Transcript May 3

Donald Trump Town Hall Transcript May 3

Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump Virtual Town Hall Transcript May 3

Donald Trump held an “America Together Returning to Work” town hall on Fox News on May 3. He said he believes there will be a coronavirus vaccine “by the end of the year,” and that at one point Dr. Fauci told him COVID-19 was “not gonna be a big deal.” Read the transcript here.

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Part 1: Donald Trump Town Hall Transcript

Martha MacCallum: (00:03)

Welcome back to our Fox News virtual town hall, America Together: Returning to Work, here tonight live from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. We are joined now by President Donald Trump. Good to see you, sir.

Donald Trump: (00:17)

Thank you both, very much. We never had a more beautiful set than this, did we?

Bret Baier: (00:21)

That’s right.

Martha MacCallum: (00:22)

Amazing.

Bret Baier: (00:22)

Thanks for doing this. This is a little different than our last town hall in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Donald Trump: (00:26)

That’s true, that was a beauty.

Bret Baier: (00:28)

We’ll be taking questions from around the country.

Donald Trump: (00:30)

Good.

Bret Baier: (00:30)

A lot of great questions. I want to start with this though, Mr. President, there is a real split in the country. There are folks out there becoming increasingly angry about the closures. There are many Americans, also, who are angry about the re-openings. They’re fearful, as many of these States are on the rise in their numbers. There are 66,000 deaths, more than that now. As president, what do you say to the people who are scared to go back to work, on one side? And what do you say to the people who are really angry about these lingering closures?

Donald Trump: (01:04)

Well, I think you can satisfy both. If you’re scared, you’re going to stay back a little bit and you’re going to watch it. I think anyone over 60, because we have a pretty good roadmap right now. Anybody over 60, you could say 65 but let’s make it 60, we have to protect those people. And we have to watch it, and maybe they stay back longer?

Donald Trump: (01:23)

But no, I think you can really have it both ways. I think a lot of people want to go back. They just want to go back. You see it every day. You see demonstrations all over the country and those are meaningful demonstrations. It’s big stuff. But you also have some people that are very scared. Probably everybody’s scared when you get right down to it. It’s a terrible thing. A terrible thing that happened to our country.

Donald Trump: (01:43)

It came from China, it should have been stopped. It could have been stopped on the spot. They chose not to do it, or something happened. Either there was incompetence or they didn’t do it for some reason, and we’re going to have to find out what that reason was. But people are absolutely scared. But there are other people that are scared about being locked in a room, and losing their job, and not having any income for the first time. These are workers, these are people that want to get back in work and make a living and they’re afraid their job is not going to be there. And at a certain point, if you keep it going too long, that’s going to happen. So, I understand that very well.

Martha MacCallum: (02:15)

On that note, let’s hear from our first video questioner.“ This is Shayna Cruz from Coleman, Alabama.

Shayna Cruz: (02:23)

… Mr. President, my name is Shayna Cruz and I’m a single mother from Alabama. I lived paycheck to paycheck before the virus, but then I lost my job in March. I haven’t received a stimulus payment or anything from unemployment. I’m behind on every bill, about to be evicted from my home and I’ve had to rely on donations in order to feed my children. I feel frustrated and I feel scared not knowing where to turn or what to do. What advice do you have for me and others in my situation? Is there more help coming?

Donald Trump: (02:50)

Number one, there’s more help coming. We have really no choice because incredible people like this are… It’s not your fault. I mean just remember that, it’s not your fault and there is more help coming. There has to be. And we want to get it to a point when we open we’re not going to lose businesses. And therefore, more importantly frankly, we’re not going to lose the jobs that run the businesses. So, a case like that, it’s really, that’s the reason why we have to do more. And we’re going to do more, and everybody wants to do more.

Donald Trump: (03:18)

It’s actually, on that aspect of it, it’s very bipartisan. So the answer is, yes. We’re going to do more and you’re going to have your job. You’re going to get another job, but you’re going to get a better job. You’ll get a job where you make more money, frankly. And I think that’s going to happen.

Donald Trump: (03:30)

I think we’re going to have an incredible following year. We’re going to go into a transition in the third quarter, and we’re going to see things happening that look good. I really believe that. I have a good feel for this stuff, I’ve done it for a long time. We built the greatest economy in the world, the greatest economy, frankly. Bret, you can correct me if you’d like. But you can’t, because it’s fact. The greatest economy that the world has ever seen, and then one day they said, “Sir, we’re going to have to close it.” I said, “What are you talking about, closing it?” Nobody ever heard that, “We’re going to have to close it.”

Donald Trump: (04:00)

And we did the right thing. I think we saved millions of lives. But now we have to get it back open, and we have to get it back open safely, but as quickly as possible.

Martha MacCallum: (04:10)

Let me ask you about that. Because, you’ve talked about that moment quite a bit, with this roaring economy and advisers saying to you, “We’ve got to shut it down at this point.” So when you look back on that moment, and you see some other examples… Japan for example, did not do as broad a shutdown. They’ve only lost about 500 people out of 130 million-

Donald Trump: (04:32)

Excuse me, you’re right, but now they’re doing a massive shutdown because they’ve been hit very hard. And so you’re right about-

Martha MacCallum: (04:37)

Yeah. That’s my question. Did you ever look back at that moment in the oval office and say, “Maybe we went too far?”

Donald Trump: (04:43)

No, we did the right thing. I do look back on it because my attitude was, “We’re not going to shut it down.” And look, we’re going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100 thousand people. That’s a horrible thing, we shouldn’t lose one person over this. This should have been stopped in China. It should have been stopped. But if we didn’t do it, the minimum we would have lost is a million-two, a million-four, million-five that’s the minimum. We would have lost probably higher, it’s possible, higher than 2.2.

Donald Trump: (05:10)

You know the way you have to look at that? I’ve never seen death like this. I’ve never personally experienced anything like it. And they talk about the flu and all of that. Well, I’ve known people that had the flu all my life. I was lucky I never had the flu. Then I came here, they want to give a flu shot. And I say, “I don’t want a flu shot.” But they have to give it. But you know what? I’ve known people that had the flu all of my life, nobody ever died. I never had a friend, he had the flu and he died.

Donald Trump: (05:34)

I’ve lost three friends. One, a very good friend, a very successful man, New York guy, employed a lot of people that were all crying over his death. Stanley Chera. He went to the hospital, he calls me up. He goes, “I tested positive.” I said, “Well, what are you going to do?” He said, “I’m going to the hospital. I’ll call you tomorrow.” He didn’t call. I call the hospital, he’s in a coma. Now, I know a lot of people that had the flu, they were never in a coma.

Donald Trump: (05:59)

This is a very horrible thing we’re fighting. But with all of that said, we’ve learned a lot about it. It infects older people. If you have any problem, heart, diabetes, even a little weak heart, a little diabetes, this thing is vicious. It can take you out and it can take you out very strongly. But, children do very well. Young children do better than teens.

Bret Baier: (06:26)

So you think you’ve learned from this. How you’ve dealt with it now, if it comes up in the fall, you’ll do something different?

Donald Trump: (06:32)

Yeah. We’ll put out the embers, we’ll put out whatever it may be. We may have to put out a fire. I tell you one thing, we did the right thing and I really believe we could have saved a million and a half lives. And by the way, just to know what that means, we’ve seen death like Elmhurst Hospital in Queens. Right where I grew up, right near where I grew up. Know the building very well, know the hospital. They had body bags lined up in hallways. They had body bags sitting out on sidewalks. We’ve never seen that in this country. You saw the mass grave, it’s called Harts Island. They built a mass grave, I’ve never seen anything like that.

Donald Trump: (07:08)

And that’s with, let’s say it’s 100 thousand or 90, or 95. Now, multiply it out. Don’t go 2.2 or 2.5 million, say it’s half of that. So take the numbers that we looked at, that nobody in this country has ever witnessed, and now multiply it times 15 or 20. So, instead of having 10 or 12 body bags laying on a hallway, you’d have 15 times more than that?

Bret Baier: (07:33)

That’s the scary part for business owners who are getting ready to open up. Our next question comes from here in D.C., and it’s a topic we received a lot of questions about. And that is testing, and what people have to do. Take a listen.

Donald Trump: (07:48)

Okay.

Sara Polon: (07:48)

Hi. My name is Sara Polon. I’m the owner of Soupergirl based in Washington, D.C. I’d like to know what kind of federal protocols are going to be in place for [inaudible 00:07:58] testing to ensure that my potential customers and staff feels safe when people are leaving their homes. For example, if someone comes from another state that doesn’t have the same testing standards as another and they both come to my establishment, how are we all going to feel safe?

Donald Trump: (08:14)

Thank you, very much. Look, it depends on where you’re coming from. New York is a very much different place than Montana or many other states where it’s not really too bad. It’s always bad. They lose anybody, it’s bad. And every state has lost significant numbers of people. Whether you’re talking about 20 people or 25 people, that’s a significant number of people. But it depends on where you come from.

Donald Trump: (08:40)

Certain states are going to have to take a little more time in getting open and they’re doing that. Some states I think, frankly, aren’t going fast enough. I mean you have some states that… Virginia, they want to close down till the middle of June and a lot of things that they’re doing… I really believe you can go to parks, you can go to beaches. You keep the spread, you stay away a certain amount, and I really think the public has been incredible with what… That’s one of the reasons we’re successful, if you call losing 80 or 90 thousand people successful? But it’s one of the reasons that we’re not at that high end of the plane as opposed to the low end of the plane.

Bret Baier: (09:17)

That number has changed, Mr. President.

Donald Trump: (09:18)

It’s going up.

Bret Baier: (09:19)

You said 50 to 60, you said 60 to 70. Now you’re at 80 to 90?

Donald Trump: (09:21)

I used to say 65 thousand and now I’m saying 80 or 90. And it goes up and it goes up rapidly. But it’s still going to be, no matter how you look at it, at the very lower end of the plane if we did the shutdown.

Bret Baier: (09:33)

You said that the governors would be, kind of, responsible for the testing. And we just talked to Governor Hogan. He says there is federal assistance coming to get specific, large-

Donald Trump: (09:43)

Not only coming, we’ve given him a lot of assistance. Which is good.

Bret Baier: (09:48)

Your son-in-law, advisor, Jared Kushner declared that it’s a great success story, the federal response.

Donald Trump: (09:54)

It is.

Bret Baier: (09:54)

And that when you look at the other side, that you’re on the other side medically. Do you think that as deaths are going up and-

Bret Baier: (10:03)

… medically. Do you think that, as deaths are going up and cases are going up, that we really are on the other side medically and that this is a great success story from the federal government [crosstalk 00:00:11].

Donald Trump: (10:11)

Well, it’s too soon to say that really, I guess, because we’re still in the middle of something, but certainly we would have lost a lot more people, Bret, if we would’ve done, as an example, you call it herd. If we would have done herd, in other words, everything’s wonderful. Let’s just keep going along.

Bret Baier: (10:26)

Herd immunity, yeah.

Donald Trump: (10:27)

We would’ve lost two and a half million people, I think, or a million and a half or two million people. No, I think the American people have done a good job. This is a tragic situation. Everybody knows somebody that’s been affected. That’s a very rare thing. But everybody knows.

Donald Trump: (10:44)

Some states have done a better job than others. That’s the way it is. But in some states you can do a lot less than in other states. In New York, I think you’re going to have to go around with masks for a while. You’re going to have to do separation. You’re distancing. You’re going to have to do that for a while. But some states are doing so well and others are …

Donald Trump: (11:05)

I have to tell you, I got to know the governors and, with a few exceptions to be honest, because they’re just political machines and anything you say it’s always going to be like what’s good politically, because we shouldn’t be in that position, I will say that they really have done, a lot of them, a great job. And we’ve worked with them. There were no ventilators, I said, we’re the king of ventilators. You look at the testing. We tested now six and a half million people. The next highest is, I think it’s two and a half million people, either Germany or South Korea. And South Korea thinks we’ve done an incredible job. He’s a friend of mine, President Moon. He said, “The job you’ve done on testing,” and the job we’ve done on ventilators, it’s one of the greatest buildups we’ve ever had in this country since certainly the Second World War.

Speaker 1: (11:53)

Well, speaking of that, Gretchen Whitmer, the governor in Michigan, she’s saying this morning on TV, “We don’t have the reagents we need. We don’t have the swabs we need.” She’s still saying that she can’t get the testing that she wants.

Donald Trump: (12:04)

Look, look. We had a phone call five days ago with the governors. I was on the call with Vice President Mike Pence, who’s done a great job. He’s the head of the committee, the task force. Every governor there, we asked it, “What do you need?” Not one governor needed anything. Now all of a sudden you see her on the Sunday … I watched it. “Well, we should get this and we should get that.” She ought to get back to running her state properly, because she should have brought it up on the phone call.

Donald Trump: (12:33)

I was on that call for an hour and a half. I stayed right till the end. And at the end I said, “Does anybody need anything?” We had one governor, Inslee, who’s always wanting something. And frankly, he didn’t do a very good job on nursing homes, as far as I’m concerned, state of Washington. And he said, “We need swabs.” I said, “Why don’t you get them yourself? But if you can’t, we’ll get them.” And I could say the same thing about her.

Donald Trump: (13:01)

But here’s the thing, why didn’t they bring this up? I had a … Bret, you know about the call. Every week or two weeks we’ll have a call. All 50 governors, I believe, were on that call. The last statement, “Okay, who needs something?” None of them. Many of them spoke. Nobody needed, other than Washington wanted swabs, which are easy to get. Very easy to get.

Speaker 1: (13:24)

So let me ask you … The man who you’re about to hear from was told he had a 20% chance to live. He had COVID-19, he was in really bad shape, young. I think he’s about 39 years old, actually. 39 years old. But he did recover. And here’s Danny Lemos from Grand Island, Nebraska.

Donald Trump: (13:41)

Okay.

Danny Lemos: (13:43)

President Trump, this is Danny again here at Grand Island, Nebraska. With the FDA approving remdesivir as a drug of choice to help fight this, which is the drug I was on, what are we going to do and put in place to make sure that there’s enough of this drug available for everybody?

Donald Trump: (14:01)

So we’re doing that. It’s a great question because it’s a very hard drug to make and it takes a period of time and is made by Gilead. And I know that Danny gave that drug a lot of credit for saving his life. I think that’s correct, Danny. But Danny, I believe, gave a lot of credit to that drug for saving his life. We are pushing it really hard.

Donald Trump: (14:20)

We’re also pushing something else, the vaccines. We are very confident that we’re going to have a vaccine at the end of the year. By the end of the year, have a vaccine.

Bret Baier: (14:27)

By the end of this year?

Donald Trump: (14:29)

We think we’re going to have a vaccine by the end of this year and we’re pushing very hard. We’re building supply lines now, we don’t even have the final vaccine. Johnson & Johnson. If you look at Johnson & Johnson is doing it. Many companies are, I think, close. Because I meet with the heads of them and I find it a very interesting subject because it’s so important. But I think we’ll have a vaccine by the end of the year. We’re also pushing it …

Donald Trump: (14:55)

Look, we’re doing things at the FDA that’s never happened before. We’re getting approval so fast. Like as an example with Gilead on the new remdesivir, that’s a game changer because it’s a 31% step. It’s a step. It’s at 31% step and then they’ll be at 50%. Like AIDS, what’s happened with AIDS. We had AIDS, it was a scourge all over the world. You were dead, it was a death certificate. And then all of a sudden they came up with some … And now we will be AIDS free within 10 years. Should’ve started in the previous administration. They did nothing.

Bret Baier: (15:33)

So Mr. President, you-

Donald Trump: (15:33)

It started in my administration. 10 years [crosstalk 00:15:35].

Bret Baier: (15:33)

… think the FDA has approved this remdesivir and-

Donald Trump: (15:37)

Yes.

Bret Baier: (15:38)

… he’s asking how do you get it? Are you going to use the Defense Production Act to get it produced?

Donald Trump: (15:41)

Well, he got it. I’ll tell you, Danny got it, fortunately. And Danny gave it credit for saving his life. We are putting the full power and might behind this drug. With that being said, it’s a very hard drug. There are others that are much easier to make. It takes a little period of time to make it. The company is a great company, done incredible work over the years. They are pushing absolutely as fast … This isn’t something like, “Let’s build machines,” or, “Let’s …” This is a very delicate balance, but we’re pushing very, very hard on remdesivir.

Speaker 1: (16:16)

So our next question is from a teacher in Chesterfield, Virginia.

Kristen Murray: (16:22)

Hi, President Trump. My name is Kristen Murray. I’m an algebra teacher in Virginia. We appreciate you and support you in all you’re doing. I would like to see what your ideas are for getting us teachers back into our classrooms. We don’t want to be virtual teaching. We want to be in the classrooms with our students. So what’s your ideas for getting us back in our classrooms and getting the doors open?

Donald Trump: (16:44)

Well, I agree with you-

Bret Baier: (16:45)

Before you answer that, Mr. President, just one second. A lot of questions tonight, not only from teachers but also the other side, from students talking about COVID-19. Real quick, put them together here, Rebecca Johnson.

Rebecca Johnson: (16:57)

Hi, I’m Rebecca and I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I’m going to be a freshman in high school next year and I worry that coronavirus is going to come back. How will I feel safe going back to school if a second wave hits?

Donald Trump: (17:09)

So when you go back, and you have one problem that is a bigger problem and that’s teachers over 60 or 65 years old, the teachers. Because I think that Kristen or Rebecca are going to be in great shape. And they may wear masks for a while and they may be separated further than what they’re used to, and I think they’re going to be in great shape. But we have to get our schools back. This virtual teaching is wonderful and frankly it’s taken a very positive step. I’ve had now essentially board meetings and meetings with governors and other people using, they call it tele, right? Tele. And it’s not bad, but there’s nothing like having a meeting. I still think you’re never going to replace that. No, they’re going to go back. We have to have our students go back to school.

Donald Trump: (17:51)

My biggest thing, because I really feel the students are in great shape. They’re going to be … All of the things we have to do. All of the things. But I do worry about teachers at a certain age. Rebecca’s young and she’s going to be fine. The students are going to be fine. But I really think that, if you take a look, Kristen is going to be fine. But if you have a teacher that’s 65 or 70 years old and has diabetes, that one, I think they’re going to have to sit it out for a little while.

Speaker 1: (18:21)

But Mr. President, overall-

Donald Trump: (18:21)

Unless we come up with the vaccine sooner.

Speaker 1: (18:24)

… are you going to urge the nation’s universities and schools to go back in September?

Donald Trump: (18:30)

I am. I want them to go back. We have to get our country back. Yeah. I don’t want to do this forever. I watched a very good former governor of Indiana, he preceded Mike Pence, good governor, and he’s the head of Purdue. It’s a great school. And I saw him the other day. He wants to go back. He’s going back. Purdue, big school. Fantastic. They’re going back. We have to go back. We have to go back. Whatever it is.

Donald Trump: (18:58)

I would say with the exception of teachers at a certain age, maybe they should wait till this thing passes. It will pass. It’s going to pass. And a lot of people say, “We have to get the vaccine.” Well certainly we do and we have to get therapeutics. I’d rather have right now therapeutics that make people better. That’s where remdesivir is really good.

Bret Baier: (19:17)

You did talk a lot about hydroxychloroquine for a while.

Donald Trump: (19:18)

I do. And I still do.

Bret Baier: (19:19)

And there were some studies that came out that questioned the cardiac tie, but you stopped talking about it.

Donald Trump: (19:25)

One study, one study. But there were studies that came out that say it’s very good, too. And I’ll tell you what, I’ve had three calls in the last three days, four days of people that took it and they’re giving it credit for saving their lives. And other countries are using it. They’re bragging about it. You look at their numbers …

Donald Trump: (19:45)

Here’s what we’ve been reduced to in this country. The Democrats, the radical left, whatever you want to … would rather see people … I’m going to be very nice. I’m not going to say die. I’m going to say, would rather see people not get well, because they think I’m going to get-

Donald Trump: (20:03)

I’m going to get credit if Hydroxychloroquine works, and I don’t care about it. I have nothing to do with it, by the way. Everyone said I owned the company. I have nothing to do with Hydroxychloroquine other than, if it worked, it would be great. It would be so good for our nation because it would save people. But you know, we’ve had some very good… You look at… There were certain countries that swear by it. They have a much lower number. You know the countries I’m talking about.

Bret Baier: (20:28)

But you’re putting your real chips on the vaccine being fast?

Donald Trump: (20:32)

I think we’re going to have a vaccine by the end of the year. Now, the doctors would say, “Well, you shouldn’t say that.” I’ll say what I think. I’ve met with the heads of the big companies, these are great companies. Yeah, I think we’re going to have a vaccine much sooner rather than later. I think it will be… I think that will be done. I would rather have, frankly therapeutic, meaning, something to make people better, if not a cure, at least a therapeutic.

Donald Trump: (20:56)

And, but look, we started the other day with Gilead. I really think so, but we’re going to have other things. And it could be that Hydroxy is going to be… We don’t lose anything with Hydroxy. Bret, it’s been out there for so many years. Then the started doing the false reports, it’s making people… It’s been used for numerous things for many years. People aren’t dying from it. But they would rather-

Bret Baier: (21:19)

Obviously doctors are involved there and they-

Donald Trump: (21:20)

Yeah. They don’t want to see a good result, and that’s very sad.

Bret Baier: (21:23)

Let me ask. There are some questions that deal with looking back. Leslie is one of them. Leslie Coffield from New Jersey has our next question for the President.

Donald Trump: (21:30)

Okay.

Leslie Coffield: (21:32)

President Trump, it’s been widely reported that the threat of the Coronavirus was included in your daily intelligence briefings for weeks prior to the first confirmed case in the U.S. Can you please explain to us why you did not act sooner, to prepare this country for this pandemic?

Donald Trump: (21:47)

Okay. I love the question, actually. Because, what I did, way early, I closed our country to China. Nancy Pelosi was a month later saying, “It’s going to pass.” Everybody, even Tony Fauci was saying, “It’s going to pass, not gonna be a big deal.” Schumer was talking about all sorts of things. This was long after I closed the country. They called me a racist. They said xenophobic. Biden said he was xenophobic. Biden has now written a letter of apology, because I did the right thing.

Donald Trump: (22:18)

I saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Okay. She’s asking me the question about intelligence. I have the head of the intelligence agencies here today, and here’s the exact thing. We have it, it’s going to be released tomorrow, or the next day, but I released it today. On January 23, I was told that there could be a virus coming in, but it was of no real import. In other words, it wasn’t, “Oh, we got to do something. We got to do something.” It was a brief conversation, and it was only on January 23. Shortly thereafter, I closed down the country to China. We had 21 people in the room. I was the only one that wanted to close it down. Very good people in room, very well meaning, but take a look. I think it was on February 26, Nancy Pelosi is, “Let’s dance in the streets of Chinatown,” to show that it’s not going to hurt us. In other words, I’m not blaming her for it, but nobody thought this was going to happen.

Donald Trump: (23:12)

But on January… It’s such an important question to me because they think that months earlier we were told about this, that we should have done something about it. China didn’t even know for a period of time. It got it. China should have stopped it, but China… They didn’t know, and they wouldn’t let us in. We wanted to go into China, they didn’t want us to go in because they didn’t want to have us see it. Maybe they were worried about competence, maybe they were worried about something else, but the question is good.

Donald Trump: (23:40)

Here’s the final answer. The intelligence agencies told me on the 23rd. Shortly thereafter, I closed down the country, but I didn’t do it because of what they said, because they said it very matter of factly, “It was not a big deal,” and the intelligence agencies, which are now… Now, because before they weren’t, which are now very competently run, with some great people, and some great people coming. The intelligence agencies will tell you that tomorrow.

Martha MacCallum: (24:08)

So, when you did stop travel in from China-

Donald Trump: (24:11)

I did.

Martha MacCallum: (24:11)

… About 40,000 people came back to this country.

Donald Trump: (24:14)

Right.

Martha MacCallum: (24:14)

You said-

Donald Trump: (24:15)

They were American citizens, by the way.

Martha MacCallum: (24:16)

But you said they were tested. Who tested them, and where?

Donald Trump: (24:18)

They were tested… Well, the different states. They were tested. They were quarantined when they were sick, and they came back… I spoke with Ron DeSantis, two days ago he called me. He said, “You know, the 40,000 people that came back, the ones that went to Florida,” he said, “We put them through the grill. We had people quarantined, we had people tested.” You could ask the governor. There’s one example, but other governors did the same thing, if they were doing their job. But I had to let them come back. I actually said, “Maybe we can keep them there for a while.” These are American citizens. I had to let them come back, Martha.

Donald Trump: (24:52)

You had 40,000 people. Now, when the Democrats said it, you said, “He closed the border, but he let 40,000 in.” They don’t say they were American citizens. I did the right thing, but when they came back, they were tested. Some were tested, probably, and not as good as they could have been. I can tell you, Florida tested the people very, very well, and look how low the numbers are in Florida. They’ve done a great job.

Bret Baier: (25:13)

President, carved on the wall behind me is Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, and a quote, “With malice toward none, with charity for all, let us bind up the nation’s wounds,” words meant to heal a nation devastated by Civil War. We obviously live in a divided time as well, you know that well. You’re choice, even, of this hallowed place, for this virtual town hall is creating controversy, criticism. What do you say to people who say this is not the right venue for this?

Donald Trump: (25:46)

Do you know I didn’t know that it was creating criticism? And I did say this would be nice, but I thought it was your choice, not ours. I had not heard. What can you criticize? I don’t think its ever been done, what we’re doing tonight, here. I think it’s great for the American people to see. This is a great work of art, aside from the fact that, that was a great man, this is a great work of art. It’s one of the greatest sculptures, one of the greatest statutes, to me, anywhere in the world. You can go to Italy, you can go anywhere, that’s, to me, one of the greats. I didn’t know there was controversy. Why is there controversy?

Bret Baier: (26:20)

Someone from Capitol Hill sent a letter that it’s not the right place, not the right site. But as far as bringing America together, do you think you’re doing that?

Donald Trump: (26:30)

I think we’re winning, very big, and then we had a horrible thing happen. We’re winning bigger than we’ve ever won before. Right? I think that winning ultimately is going to bring this country together. I’m shocked that during a crisis, it would be so partisan. When you see all this committees, seven or eight committees we haven’t even started, and they have all these committees looking for trouble. Just looking for trouble. Every enemy I have is put on a Democrat committee, and I was surprised.

Donald Trump: (26:56)

They did the impeachment hoax, it was a total hoax, over a phone call that was a perfect call. We had tremendous… When you look at the House, I think it was 196 to nothing, the Republicans. There was great unity and dissent at the same thing. With all of that unity we have, in one sense, we have great unity. In another sense, I think they’re going to come along. I certainly hope so, but the main thing I have to do is bring our country back, and I want to get it back to where it was, or maybe beyond where it was.

Donald Trump: (27:24)

We have tremendous stimulus. All the money we’ve been talking about so far tonight, I think next year is going to be a phenomenal economic year. We can never forget all the people that have died. The souls that have been lost in this horrible thing that shouldn’t have happened. Just shouldn’t have happened. It was such a horrible thing. There’s a lot going on about finding out the answer to that, because this is something that should never have happened. It’s tragic.

Martha MacCallum: (27:49)

We want to talk to you a little bit more about China-

Donald Trump: (27:51)

Yeah.

Martha MacCallum: (27:51)

… In just a moment, but you mentioned winning, and there’s a race to win on the vaccine, between countries-

Donald Trump: (27:58)

Yeah.

Martha MacCallum: (27:58)

… In the world. So pushing this vaccine development, in order to get it to go faster, leads to human trials, people volunteering-

Donald Trump: (28:06)

Right.

Martha MacCallum: (28:06)

… To basically be injected with COVID-19.

Donald Trump: (28:08)

Right.

Martha MacCallum: (28:08)

Are you concerned about the ethics or the risk of that, in that push?

Donald Trump: (28:12)

No. It’ll be good. They’re volunteers. They know what they’re getting into. They’re, in many cases, very good people. They want to help the process. Look, a vaccine has never gone like its gone now. We’re so far ahead of any vaccine, ever, in history. These things would take two, four, five, six years, 10 years. I think we’re going to have a vaccine. I’m telling you, by the end of the year, we… I think we’re going to have a vaccine.

Martha MacCallum: (28:32)

You think another country could beat us?

Donald Trump: (28:35)

I’m going to really say something that’s not like me, and it’s not like the two of you. I know you, and it’s not like you. I don’t care. I just want to get a vaccine that works. I really don’t care. If it’s another country, I’ll take my hat off to them. We have to come up with a vaccine. We’re working with other countries. We’re working with Australia. We’re working with U.K. I spoke with, the other day, your Prime Minister of U.K., all right. Boris, he is a victim of what happened. He thought it was over. He thought it was over. It was vicious, and he made it. He’s a great guy, and he made it. But he had first-hand experience, the ultimate first-hand experience.

Bret Baier: (29:13)

Mr. President, our next questioner is Dena Rubio. She’s the co-manager of a restaurant down in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Donald Trump: (29:18)

Good.

Bret Baier: (29:18)

You know well. Here’s her question.

Dena: (29:22)

We’re facing a shortage of supplies due to the closure of chicken, pork, and beef plants. Prices are going up, in the restaurant industry, it’s finally even more obstacles to stay afloat. My question is, how can we manage to keep working with very slim profit margins to begin with, and absorb the shortage price increase at this point? And even when we do open our dining rooms, we will be having limited seating available.

Donald Trump: (29:49)

Right. The restaurant business is a tough business to start off with, not a easy business. We’re doing a number of things. Number one, the supply chain is going to be in great shape. I did the Defense Production Act, we did things. The problem with the supply chain is, you have people-

Donald Trump: (30:03)

Defense Production Act. We did things. The problem with the supply chain is you have people that have gotten sick with the COVID- 19. You’ve had the people and they’ve gotten sick, they’re getting better, and they’re all getting better and you can’t make them work. I don’t want them to work, frankly, if they’re not feeling great. But we did something the other day, which you read about, which was a great shock to the system in a positive way. We have tremendous supply. We have tremendous demand. We have to get it from supply to the people, to the restaurants, and we’re doing that really very well.

Donald Trump: (30:36)

Two days ago, I signed this. It’s coming along really good. Now the bigger problem is what’s going to happen with the restaurant, so we’re not going to have any chain problem. The bigger problem is what are you going to do with the restaurant, which was a nice little business, but all of a sudden they have half the number of seats. If they go, eventually we’re going to have all those seats back. You’re going to have all those seats. I want to sit next to people. I don’t want to have all this spread out. Even the way we’re doing this interview tonight, look how far away you are. Look how far away you are. Normally we would be sitting together and would have a nice interview. Of course, in this particular location, this isn’t so bad. But no, we have to get our, our life back, we have to get our country back. We have to get the world back.

Donald Trump: (31:17)

If we have a stadium in Alabama that holds 110,000 people against LSU, I went there. We want to have 110,000 we don’t want to have 25,000 people or 40,000 people, and that’ll happen. Maybe it’s going to be a vaccine or maybe it’s going to be that this virus will pass. It will go. Will it come back? It might. It could. Some people say yes, but it will pass.

Martha MacCallum: (31:41)

I want to go back to the meat processing plants because there’s some controversy surrounding that. Danny Lemos who you saw before who had the Remdesivir, said it helped him survive. His father worked in one of those in Nebraska, in the meat plants. And some people there say that they have plastic between them but they’re too close together. A lot of immigrants working there who are concerned, but they can’t turn down a paycheck to go back there. The Smithfield plant in Crete wanted to shut down for two weeks and then the executive order changed that. So there’s some pushback on that decision by you. What do you say to those people?

Donald Trump: (32:15)

The companies really wanted it and the employees have to want to work. Now, if they don’t want to work, that’s one thing, but they are all working and they need the money. And the companies are doing, the great companies, these are the biggest companies in the world in terms of delivery and in terms of all of the things they do to get it from literally the ranch or the farm, into the hands of the consuming public.

Donald Trump: (32:36)

But I think it’s all working out. The numbers are heading in the right direction. The biggest thing we can do to solve every problem is get rid of the plague. I call it the plague. If we get rid of the plague, all of these problems go away very quickly.

Martha MacCallum: (32:50)

Some of those meat processing areas are our hotspots right now.

Donald Trump: (32:53)

They are hotspots and they’re moving them and they did put up plastic, but now they’re going to move them in some cases further away. And certain plants don’t have any problem at all. You have plants with no problem at all. Then you have somewhere it was a hotspot. Those people are tending to get better very quickly, I think Danny is an example. I hope his father is going to be okay too, but it’s all working out. It’s all working out. It’s horrible that we have to go through it, but it’s all working.

Bret Baier: (33:20)

Our next question is from Carol McNeil, a retired teacher in Bluffton, South Carolina,

Carol McNeil: (33:26)

A family member who lives in a very exclusive and expensive assisted living center in the Boston area, was recently diagnosed with Coronavirus. What will be done both in the short term and in the longterm to protect the vulnerable and nursing homes, senior housing and assisted living centers.

Donald Trump: (33:50)

So the nursing home problem, that’s your ground zero, that really is ground zero. We first heard about it, I did, the state of Washington, where so many people died in a single nursing home, and you realized immediately there’s a vulnerability there.

Donald Trump: (34:08)

What we’re doing is legislation immediately as to how many people can be in. Some people made some terrible mistakes. They were putting other people into empty areas in nursing homes that were sick. And that affected the people in the nursing homes, because the one thing about this disease that everybody’s learned very easily and very quickly is the way it’s so contagious. It is the most contagious thing people have seen.

Donald Trump: (34:33)

So in 1917, we had a horrible, that case was the flu, you remember the Spanish flu? So much has been written about it, now of course it’s the hottest… Everybody that writes a book about the Spanish flu of 1917, it killed between I guess 50 to a hundred million people. It probably ended the first world war because the soldiers were all getting sick. It was the worst the world has ever seen that we know of.

Donald Trump: (34:59)

We have something that’s different. It’s not as powerful, but it’s far more contagious.

Martha MacCallum: (35:05)

With regard to the nursing homes. One of the questions that came to my mind when I watched the comfort leaving Manhattan, the Javits Center, why were these people next to each other like this in nursing homes when we had all this excess capacity and beds? Why weren’t they sent there?

Donald Trump: (35:19)

So on that one, you have to ask the governor and in the case the governors, because all I can do is provide the space. They’re running their state, as you understand, and that’s the way it should be. They run their state through mayors and through this and that, bring it down to local and bring it down to a point. But we provided 2,900 beds in the convention center. On top of that, we brought in The Comfort. They did a phenomenal job and The Comfort wasn’t meant for the COVID-19. The Comfort was meant for people that had car accidents, everything else. So we found out there were no accidents because nobody was driving, we had very few accidents. But it wasn’t meant for that. What we did is we converted it to that, but still they didn’t use it much. And I think the numbers now getting better, we just moved The Comfort, we’re going to move it someplace else, probably perhaps for some other kind of problem.

Donald Trump: (36:09)

We had The Comfort there and we built in the Javits Center we built over 2000 beds. And by the way, built in like five days by the army Corps of engineers. The army Corps of engineers have done one of the greatest jobs anyone’s ever seen, including the fact that we happen to be building a wall on the Southern border that’s now up to 172 miles.

Bret Baier: (36:30)

Quickly, how concerned are you about hospitals that are not dealing with COVID-19 or primarily not and they’re letting people go, closer.

Donald Trump: (36:39)

We have to get “elective surgery,” it’s called and we have to let them come back. It’s okay with us. Again, that’s up to the governors. You have some hospitals where they have almost no COVID and they have the hospital essentially you can’t go and do elective surgery, meaning a surgery… Well, in some cases it’s cancer where they’re waiting long, that’s not a good thing to be waiting long. They have to get back, they have to let these hospitals, because the hospitals are legitimately… You think they’re making a lot of money, they’re losing a fortune. They have to let those hospitals re-open and get back to elective surgery. And there are many hospitals right now that could be doing that. That’s up to the governors, that’s not up to me.

Part 2: Donald Trump Town Hall Transcript

Bret Baier: (00:00)

Our next question for the President comes from Clearwater, Florida. Here it is.

Mary Rose: (00:05)

Thank you for taking our question, Mr. President. I’m Mary Rose.

Mark: (00:09)

And I’m Mark and we own Rosemark Grips. We’re a small business in Florida that makes golf putter grips. We do not qualify for the Payroll Protection Program because we do all the work ourselves. We don’t have any payroll employees. We’re wondering if there’s something in the works that will help us out as we have numerous bills that still need to be paid and do not qualify for current programs that are out there?

Donald Trump: (00:36)

Well, first of all, I love your business and I can speak for Brett, we could both use a nice putter grip and it would be nice. But I don’t know about you, Brett. I haven’t played golf in a long time much.

Bret Baier: (00:44)

Haven’t played much.

Donald Trump: (00:45)

We haven’t played too much lately, but I will say this. What we have to do is get it open. I see New Jersey is opening up their golf courses. Florida is now opening up their golf courses. Parks are opening, beaches are opening. At some point, we have to open our country and people are going to be safe. We’ve learned a lot. We’ve learned about the tremendous contagion, but we have no choice. We have to. We can’t stay closed as a country. We’re not going to have a country left.

Bret Baier: (01:09)

But Mark and Mary Rose are saying they fell through the cracks. We got a lot of questions like this, that either the bank didn’t give it to them or they didn’t qualify. What do you tell them?

Donald Trump: (01:19)

I understand. And all we can do in that case is we have to bring back the business. Now all of that’s opening and their businesses is golf, which is a nice business. And we’re opening up that whole golf sector, the sports sector, where I wish I could help them. I’d even help them personally because you know what, it’s not a big business, but for them it’s a big thing and they probably do a fantastic job. I can see they have such great spirit. What we do is we loan the money to small businesses. It’s an unusual circumstance where they’re each their own employee. I think what I’m going to do is I’m going to take a look at that. Maybe there is something we can do.

Bret Baier: (01:55)

Because all the stimulus in the world really can’t solve the problem of demand in a country, right? How do you stimulate demand?

Donald Trump: (02:02)

The greatest thing we can do is get rid of the virus because then everything comes back together. You don’t need stimulus once that’s happening and what is happening we’re talking about three trillion, not just two trillion, three trillion. It could even go to six and we’re going to have a tremendous year next year because of what we’re doing and laying the seeds. We’re talking 30 million jobs that we’ve saved. 30 million jobs, that’s unheard of. In addition, we saved the airlines, we saved others.

Donald Trump: (02:29)

One thing happened on Friday that was very big. Boeing, a great company. Then they had the problem that people know, a different problem, and then they end up with this where their sales are cut so badly because of this, which is, by the way, also happening in Europe, as you know, with their competitor, no airplanes. They floated a bond issue, borrowed money very, very successfully at a good rate on Friday. That’s a big step.

Donald Trump: (02:56)

The markets are there, the markets are open. I believe it was $30 billion, so the markets are there. That’s a big step. We didn’t have to do anything with Boeing. They went out to the markets and they were able to borrow a lot of money and it’s going to be a great company again. But we’ve done that with the airlines. The airlines, Brett, were having the best year they’ve ever had ever in their history. We had to turn off the airlines, we had to turn off everything. And we did the right thing, but we never want to have to do it again.

Martha MacCallum: (03:24)

Let’s go to Carolyn Perkins. She’s a retired nurse and an elementary school guidance counselor, and here’s her comment question.

Carolyn Perkins: (03:34)

President Trump, my husband and I thank you, your family and your staff for your great dedication to our country. We pray for you every day. The question I have is about your manner of presentation. Why do you use descriptive words that could be classified as bullying, and why do you not directly answer the questions asked by the press, but instead speak of past successes and generally ramble? The U.S.A. needs you. Please let go of those behaviors that are turning people away from you. Please hold onto your wonderful attributes that make you our great leader and let go of other characteristics that do not serve you.

Donald Trump: (04:06)

Good. I think I like that question. I’m not sure, but I think I like that question. I appreciate it. I appreciate the prayers too very much. Look, I am greeted with a hostile press, the likes of which no President has ever seen. The closest would be that gentleman right up there. They always said, Lincoln, nobody had got treated worse than Lincoln. I believe I am treated worse.

Donald Trump: (04:29)

You’re there, you see those press conferences. They come at me with questions that are disgraceful, to be honest, disgraceful, their manner of presentation and their words. And I feel that if I was kind to them, I’d be walked off the stage. I mean, they come at you with the most horrible, horrendous biased questions and you see it. 94 or 95% of the press is hostile. And yet, if you look in Florida today, we had hundreds and hundreds of boats going up and down the Intracoastal, Trump, Trump. We have tremendous support, but the media, they might as well be in the Democrat party.

Donald Trump: (05:09)

And why? I don’t know. We fixed our military, we fixed the Vet. If you look at the VA, you take a look at what’s going on with our vets. They have choice now and we have accountability. We’re able to get rid of people that don’t treat our vets well. They’ve been trying to do that for 44 years, and because of civil service and the unions, you couldn’t do it. The biggest thing is choice. It’s choice, where if a vet can’t see a doctor quickly they go outside, they get a doctor, they get fixed up, we pay the bill instead of waiting for five weeks, seven weeks.

Donald Trump: (05:40)

Look at how well these things are running. We rebuilt our military. We had the greatest tax cut, biggest tax cut in history. All of the things we’ve done, and yet we have a very hostile press. And you understand. Maybe you’re not going to say it or admit it and maybe you shouldn’t, but nobody’s ever seen anything like this. I really appreciate the question and I very much appreciate the sentiment behind the question, but I’m standing up there and instead of asking me a normal question, the level of anger and hatred, I’ll look at them, I’ll say, “What’s your problem? What is your problem?”

Donald Trump: (06:14)

I believe we’ve done more than any President in the history of our country in the first three years, three and a half years. I really believe that when you look. Even if you look, space force, space force. Also, take a look at terrorism. al-Baghdadi, we killed him. Soleimani, we killed him. We killed the worst terrorists in the world. We got rid of ISIS. We took over 100% of the Caliphate. When I took it over the Califate was all over the place. Obama had [crosstalk 00:06:40] …

Bret Baier: (06:40)

Do you think the election will come down to a referendum on how you handled this crisis?

Donald Trump: (06:44)

No. But it’s going to be a factor.

Bret Baier: (06:44)

Do you think it’ll be bigger than that?

Donald Trump: (06:46)

No. I think the election is going to come down to, I hope it does because we’ve done a great job. We had no ventilators. We had no testing. We had nothing. I inherited empty, no ammunition, our military was bad. We’ve rebuilt our military, $1.5 trillion. We have the best military by far in the world. It’s rebuilt. It’s either all new or the equipment’s coming in, which is great. But you know what? Also medically, we had empty cupboards. The cupboards, I say, the cupboards were empty.

Donald Trump: (07:17)

We have an incredible testing. We have the best testing system right now in the world. We also make all the ventilators. I spent the weekend at Camp David speaking to, and a prior couple of days, speaking to heads of other countries that are desperate for ventilators. And we now have so many ventilators, a month ago that’s all they were talking about was ventilators. The team of people that did this job was incredible. It was probably the biggest mobilization since World War II.

Bret Baier: (07:46)

Mr. President, the governors credit you for the ventilators across the board, and you mentioned the Democrats and leaving the cupboards bare from the previous administration. Not surprised to hear that the former Vice President, Joe Biden, pushes back against that. He tweeted just the other day, ” We left a playbook. He ignored it. We created an office to prepare for pandemics. He gutted it. We had CDC officials in China to detect and contain the outbreaks. He pulled them out. Trump can try and shift blame all he wants, but the fact is his actions left us unprepared.”

Donald Trump: (08:16)

First of all, Joe Biden didn’t write that. That was written from a young man that got very good grades at a very good school. That was not written by him. I promise you that. Joe Biden, just so you know, when I closed our borders to China, I did the China ban, I didn’t want to do that. I did something that nobody wanted to do. Joe Biden said, “He’s xenophobic. He’s a racist.” They called me a racist and I saved hundreds of thousands of lives and he actually apologized with a letter on a Friday night saying he made the right move.

Donald Trump: (08:47)

It wasn’t well-played by the press, but he said, I made the right move. Now, if we would have listened to Joe Biden, look how badly they did on swine flu, the H1N1, which he calls the opposite, H1. It’s H1N1, swine flu. Look how badly they did on that. Look how badly they’ve done on so many other things. I mean, the place, our military was a mess. Just about everything was amess.

Donald Trump: (09:12)

Look at what they did in the Middle East, what’s gone on in the Middle East. And in all fairness in the Middle East, I look at the previous administration for getting us in because that was the single worst decision made in this country’s history, the single worst, getting into the Middle East. Just so you understand, we’ve spent $8 trillion in the Middle East. What do we have for it? What do we have for for it? And things are moving very nicely in the other direction.

Bret Baier: (09:36)

Our next question for the President comes from Rob in Ohio.

Rob: (09:41)

Hello, I’m Rob from Columbus, Ohio. The coronavirus is disproportionately affecting communities of color. I wanted to know what your administration will do to address this.

Donald Trump: (09:53)

So we are working on that very hard and you’re right, 100%, that if you look at African American, by the way Asian American also and Hispanic American, they’re very much more effected. People are not 100% sure. It could be because it’s a certain segment that does work together, restaurants and different jobs, which are affected a lot, but we’re coming out with a report in two weeks on it and I want to get to the bottom of it too because it’s a totally disproportional effect. It really is and it’s pretty amazing, actually.

Martha MacCallum: (10:26)

Next question’s from Trip [Greebee 00:10:28]. He is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin Madison. And here is his question for you.

Trip G.: (10:34)

Mr. President, if you’re elected to a second term, what’s your plan to be more fiscally responsible to either reduce or eliminate the deficit in response to increased federal spending for the coronavirus stimulus packages?

Donald Trump: (10:48)

So we have billions of dollars coming in right now from other countries. We have money coming in. People are paying now for military protection. People are paying for other things. As you know, I’m putting taxes on other countries where they’ve taken advantage of us, especially by the way, China. China …

Donald Trump: (11:03)

… taken advantage of us, especially by the way China. China never gave 25 cents to our country. They ripped off our country for many… And I’ve told this to President Xi directly in a nice manner and in a not so nice manner. I get along with him. Should have done something different on this, but we made an incredible trade deal. We have tens of billions of dollars pouring in. President Obama and Joe Biden didn’t do anything. China just had a field day with our country. And then you look at his son walking out with a billion and a half dollars. Give me a break on that. And I can go back to President Bush and I can go back before president Bush too. China ripped this country off for many, many decades and I stopped it.

Donald Trump: (11:42)

Then of course you had this horror show coming in. The plague. It came in. So now it’s a different story, but we’ve taken in billions and what have I done with it? I’ve given some of the monies, because they were targeted by China, to the farmers and to the ranchers. $12 billion two years ago, $ 16 billion last year, and we have a lot this year. And we, by the way, have many times those numbers leftover from all the money we’re making from China. That never happened before.

Bret Baier: (12:10)

We have 25 trillion in debt as of today, and there’s more on the burner that’s possibly coming down the pipe. What’s the number-

Donald Trump: (12:19)

But we’re going to cut… We’re going to cut back very substantially, plus we’re going to have great growth. This country is going to grow like crazy as soon as we get it going and we’re going to start making our products here. Hey Brett, you’ve known me for a long time. I’ve been talking about this for a long time. It’s one of the reasons… I would say border security, the military, and trade. These are the three primary reasons I got elected. This is a very big thing for me. I made a deal… Japan is now paying us $40 billion. They weren’t paying us, they weren’t doing anything. They were selling us cars. We wouldn’t do anything to tax them, but we couldn’t sell cars in Japan. Japan, we did a deal for 40 billion. $40 billion a year. Look at South Korea. We redid the deal in South Korea. Mexico, Canada, USMCA. The NAFTA deal was so horrible. It was so horrible.

Donald Trump: (13:06)

But I said a word just now. NATO. My biggest fan in the whole world is the Secretary General of NATO, Stoltenberg. Very great man. Great gentlemen. He said, “Nobody has ever done for NATO what I’ve done.” We got $150 billion. The money that they’re paying other countries, they weren’t paying. We were paying for a 100% of NATO and now other countries are putting up. I went to them, I said, “Listen, you can either pay or we’re not going to be…” Why would we be protecting all of these countries, 28 countries total, why would we be protecting? You’re not even paying your bills. You’re delinquent. Arthur, they’re putting up $150 billion a year and it’s going up to 400 billion and no other president has ever done anything like that.

Martha MacCallum: (13:53)

We have to take a break, but I just want to ask you quickly. There’s a lot of people who say why you talk about making it here in America. Why are all of the antibiotics made in China? Can you give me a date by which we will be self sufficient in antibiotics in this country, and what kind of incentive would you give manufacturers of pharmaceuticals to make sure that we are not dependent on China anymore for this?

Donald Trump: (14:16)

So the reason it took place is because other people that sat in this chair, maybe not right here, but this is a beautiful place, because they were foolish. You could even say because they were stupid. Because they allowed this to happen. And it’s not only China. You take a look at Ireland, they make our drugs, everybody makes our drugs except us. And we’ve already done it. We’re coming out with things… Numbers. You’re seeing numbers of innovations that we’ve made in the past and things are being announced already. But we’re bringing that whole supply chain back. Nobody has to tell me to do it. I’ve been talking about that for years.

Donald Trump: (14:50)

Now, the one that you see, you don’t see. You see it with cars. You see it with other things. People never looked at medicine. But it’s always been about medicine because we have at least 94, 95% of our medicines are made-

Bret Baier: (15:03)

[inaudible 00:04:04] it’s important to do the vaccine here?

Donald Trump: (15:04)

Well, it’s an incredible thing. There are American companies… Well, I’d like to be able to do it here. I don’t want to do it in China. That I can tell you. But I think we’re going to do it here and if we do it someplace else, look, we have to get a vaccine. Whoever gets it, I’m going to be the best fan in it. I want it. I need the vaccine. We need, this country needs the vaccine. And you’re going to have it by the end of the year. I firmly believe. I may be wrong

Martha MacCallum: (15:28)

When will we get that 94% of antibiotics made in this country? Do you have a target date for that?

Donald Trump: (15:33)

I think we will have it done within two years. It doesn’t go that quickly, and frankly you put me in a very bad negotiating position by asking me this question. We’re talking about this now I’m supposed to call up my guys. I mean you put me in a very bad negotiating position. And I’m not blaming you. That’s your job. But you’re taking my cards away, because I don’t want to be talking this way. I’ve done a lot, but it gets exposed when you answer… I assume the show is a big show. Right? It’s going to do very well tonight. But you do take away a lot of my cards when you’re asking me a question like that. You understand that?

Bret Baier: (16:08)

Yes.

Donald Trump: (16:08)

Here’s the bottom line. I met with the drug companies six months ago. I said, “You’re going to start making the drugs here. You’re going to start making them here.” And they do it for two reasons. A cost reason, but it’s no longer so much cost because we can do things here for the same price and in some cases less and then you don’t have the transportation problems. We’re taking care of our… Look, another reason I got elected, and some people don’t like the sound of it and other countries don’t like it. But I said, I’m sorry, it’s called America first and we’re all about America first. That’s what we’re about.

Bret Baier: (16:41)

Let’s get back to our questions. Gentlemen, thank you for being here. Mr. Secretary-

Secretary Mnuchin: (16:44)

You bet. Good to see you.

Martha MacCallum: (16:45)

What a beautiful shot, as night falls over the Lincoln Memorial here in Washington, D C. Welcome to all of you. Great to have you here. Let’s go to our next questioner, Kylie Patterson, from Baltimore. She is the Director of Economic Inclusion at Johns Hopkins University.

Kylie Patterson: (17:01)

President Trump, in the face of the COVID 19 pandemic, millions of Americans have lost their jobs. How will you respond to the joblessness while also ensuring that our infrastructure is better than ever? Have you considered investing in infrastructure, in our highways, our railways, our airports and bridges as a way to create jobs for America?

Bret Baier: (17:25)

Mr. President. That’s to you, but you can obviously phone a friend here if you’d like to.

Donald Trump: (17:29)

I’d love to have a both speak about it, but infrastructure is very important. It’s also important to the Democrats, by the way. That’s something we actually do get along. I want to see a payroll tax cut on both sides. A very strong one. Because that’s going to really put people to work. But infrastructure is so important. Our country, our roads are, excuse me, they’re going to hell. We can’t get infrastructure approved. Now, we have a time, we have a period of time when we can get infrastructure done by both parties and we’re looking at that.

Donald Trump: (17:57)

In addition, as you know, they want bailouts for the states, the Democrats. And really it’s a number of states that frankly have not been managed well by Democrats over a long period of time. So we have to be very careful about that. Very careful. But we will be doing infrastructure. And I told Steve just today, “We’re not doing anything unless we get a payroll tax cut.” That is so important to the success of our country and to the following year, because I think that the following year has a chance to be one of our best years. That’ll be tremendous.

Bret Baier: (18:26)

You all believe that that is how you stimulate demand, is that payroll tax cut? I mean, where do you look at that in the big picture?

Mike Pence: (18:32)

Well, the President’s been very clear on that and he’s spoken about a payroll tax cut over the years. But I would also say to viewer that the immediate way we deal with joblessness is by opening up America again. The guidelines that the President produced that now we see some 41 States produce plans for a phased, responsible reopening of our economy. It’s going to create jobs in the immediate. And I just think where we are today, despite the heartbreaking losses of more than 67,000 Americans, where we are today is still a tribute to our healthcare workers, to the sacrifices that American families and businesses have made over the last few months.

Mike Pence: (19:22)

And if we continue to practice that social distancing, those mitigation efforts as we go through a phased reopening, we’ll create jobs today. And with the President’s vision for infrastructure, a payroll tax cut, I have no doubt that the second half of this year we’re going to see an American comeback. And next year I agree with the President, I think we’re going to have one of the best years in the history of our economy.

Bret Baier: (19:46)

Mr Secretary, we had questions earlier about people feeling like they fell through the cracks, wondering how they are going to factor in if they didn’t get the PPP loan. What are you looking at for the next thing?

Secretary Mnuchin: (20:00)

Well, let me just first comment, before we say the next thing, let me just emphasize what we’ve done. And the President was very clear, keeping Americans at work, putting them back to work, protecting American business was our number one priority. In an unprecedented way, we now have $3 trillion that we’re putting into the economy. That’s just beginning. So for those Americans who haven’t received their money yet, they will over the next few weeks. Last week alone, we did 2.1 million of small business loans averaging $85,000 or less. We’ve already sent an enormous number, over 120 million direct deposits and checks. The President created enhanced unemployment. So the President has been very clear in an unprecedented way for us to support the economy. And in the next round we will go back and work with Congress just as we have before to make sure we protect American business, American workers, and to stimulate the economy going forward.

Martha MacCallum: (20:55)

So let’s go to our next question for you all. From Phil Tulkoff, he’s the president of Tulkoff Food Products, which is a family company. Been in the business for over 90 years. They have four locations, South Carolina, Georgia, Oregon, and Tennessee. And here is Phil’s question.

Phil Tulkoff: (21:10)

For my firm, the current tariffs add up to almost $60,000 in monthly additional costs for my operations. Lifting these tariffs would help us speed the recovery for many of us by allowing those funds to be used to hire workers, invest in equipment and recoup some of the cash we’ve spent to weather the current economic situation. Would you consider permanently or even temporarily reducing or eliminating those tariffs?

Donald Trump: (21:35)

So Phil, we’re looking at different things, but you have to remember, I’ve taken those tariffs and given a lot of them to the farmers and farmers that would have been really forced out of business by China when they were targeted. Because China never had to target us because China was ripping our country off. We were losing $500 billion a year to China for years, and 300 billion, 200 billion, 544 billion. 544 billion a few years ago. And what I’m doing…

Donald Trump: (22:03)

544 billion a few years ago and what I’m doing and what I’ve done is taken a lot of money out of China and I’ve given it back to Phil and other people because I’ve given it back to the… Not all of it because we had so much, so much money came in from China, but we gave, as I said, 12 billion two years ago, 16 billion and this year we have 19 billion that we’re distributing to the farmers. Nobody’s ever done that. No president’s ever done that.

Bret Baier: (22:26)

But Phil is obviously bringing in supplies from China that he’s paying tariffs on. Would you encourage him to try to find other countries to buy those things from?

Donald Trump: (22:34)

He is, but you know what? They’re getting big payments, the farmers are getting big payments. And by the way, they are the most incredible people. They don’t even want the payments. You know what they say to me? Something that almost no other group that I can say practically no other group, they want a level playing field. We had a meeting with them with Mike, and they came in and I said, “We’re going to give you this.” They said, “Sir, honestly, we don’t want anything. We just want a level playing field.” Because for 18 years, really it’s longer than that, they’ve been taken advantage of not only by China, by everybody, including Canada, including many, many countries that you wouldn’t even think. So the farmers now with the new USMCA and all of the other things, and as far as Phil, I understand it, but we’re giving billions and billions of that money to the farmers and have a lot of money that goes back into the treasury. Steve is the proud recipient from the standpoint of the treasure.

Bret Baier: (23:26)

But are you considering new tariffs on China as sort of a punishment for their handling of the virus?

Donald Trump: (23:31)

Well, it’s the ultimate punishment, I will tell you that. I don’t like to tell you what because we’re all playing a very complicated game of chess or poker, name whatever you want to name, but it’s not checkers, that I can tell you. We have a very complicated game going. Our country is being ripped off by every nation in the world and now we have made unbelievable strides. Unfortunately, then we get hit by this whole situation. But we have done so well. We have taken in so much money. Going before the virus, China had the worst year they had in 67 years. That’s the reason. And I’m not happy about that, but what it does is it says they were taking us for a ride.

Bret Baier: (24:16)

But to Phil’s point [Crosstalk 00:24:16].

Donald Trump: (24:17)

Like nobody in history has ever done at any time.

Bret Baier: (24:18)

He’s saying Americans feel it, experts said, just your mention of that helped drive the market’s down Thursday and Friday, but I’m just wondering if you were really seriously think about it.

Donald Trump: (24:28)

Look, tariffs at a minimum are the greatest negotiating tool that we have ever devised that were never used for negotiation. President Xi only made the deal with us, this is going to buy 250 billion, now we’re going to have to see what’s going on because of what happened. This was done months before the virus. But we’re getting you by $250 billion worth of our product. 250 billion. They didn’t want to buy from us. They took advantage of our country. Now they have to buy and if they don’t buy, we’ll terminate the deal, very simple. But by using the tariffs, that’s the only reason.

Donald Trump: (25:03)

The one thing that he said, we must get rid of tariffs. I said, “We’re not going to get rid of tariffs. You got to treat our country with respect. You’ve been ripping off our country for many years.” The world trade organization has ripped off this country. That’s when China became an economic power. And by the way, you have world trade and you have world health. The World Health Organization has been a disaster. Everything they said was wrong and they’re China centric. All they do is they agree with China, whatever China wants to do. So our country, perhaps foolishly in retrospect, has been paying $450 million a year to the World Health Organization and China has been paying $38 million a year, but they were more political than all of our leaders previous. So we’ll see what I do with that. I’m going to have to make a decision on that, but we’re not happy because what they did, what world health did, they missed every single call. I wouldn’t want to put up with that.

Bret Baier: (26:01)

There’s a question to that.

Martha MacCallum: (26:01)

Let’s go to Moise. Can we pull up Moise right now?

Bret Baier: (26:05)

He’s from Crawford, I think.

Moise: (26:09)

Mr. President, I have a question for you. Is there enough evidence that China misled global community by this Coronavirus? If it’s so, how should global community respond?

Donald Trump: (26:25)

Well, I don’t think there’s any question about it. We wanted to go in, they didn’t want us to go in early, very early. You’ll see that because things are coming out that are pretty compelling now. So I don’t think there’s any question. Don’t forget, China tried to blame it first on some of our soldiers that turned out to not go too far, and I really got very upset with that. That was not right. And then they tried to blame it on Europe, I said, “How did Europe get involved all of a sudden.” Italy suffered probably more than anybody per capita, but Italy, Spain, France now is on an additional lockdown. They’ve got tremendous problems. All of Europe, it’s been a disaster. And you know, when I put a ban on those people went for the most part, not here. And I’m not happy about this. It’s terrible because it’s life, whether it’s here or Europe. But we put a ban on very early on China coming in, they went to Europe. Most of those people went to Europe. That’s why Italy was so badly affected. You just see what they’re going through.

Donald Trump: (27:20)

China tried to blame Europe for this. It came from China –

Bret Baier: (27:23)

You told John Robert the other day that you saw evidence that gave you a high confidence that the virus came from the Wu Han lab. I thought it was created there perhaps, but that it came from there. Can you illuminate more about that?

Donald Trump: (27:35)

Yeah. We’re going to be given a very strong report as to exactly what we think happened and I think it’ll be very conclusive.

Martha MacCallum: (27:43)

Is there any suggestion that it was anything nefarious or that it was just a mistake?

Donald Trump: (27:48)

Personally, I think they made a horrible mistake and they didn’t want to admit it. We wanted to go in, they didn’t want us there. Even World Health wanted to go in, they admitted, but much later, not immediately. And my opinion is they made a mistake, they tried to cover it, they tried to put it out just like a fire, it’s really like trying to put out a fire. They couldn’t put out the fire. What they really treated the world badly on, they stopped people going into China, but they didn’t stop people going into the USA and all over the world. So you could fly out of Wu Han where the primary problem was, all of the problems essentially, also where the lab is, but you could fly out of Warhol and you could go to different parts of the world, but you couldn’t go to Beijing and you couldn’t go to any place in China. So what’s that all about? In other words, they knew they had a problem. I think they were embarrassed by the problem, very embarrassed. And the case could be made. They said, “Hey look, this is going to have a huge impact on China and we might as well let the rest of the world,” because the last people they want…

Donald Trump: (28:54)

We’ve had a great year against China prior to the virus coming. I told you 67 or so years, the worst economy they’ve had, worst almost on record that they’ve ever had because of my negotiations and because I tax them on the product that they brought in. And by the way, they paid for that tax. It wasn’t our people. They paid for that tax. They devalued their currency. But here’s the thing, they allow this to go into our country. They allowed it to go into other countries.

Martha MacCallum: (29:21)

Does it change how you feel about President Xi? Does it change your relationship with him?

Donald Trump: (29:25)

Look, I finished a trade deal that everybody said would be impossible to get and not only a trade deal, it was a great deal for this country, but that was done months before the virus came. I’m not going to say anything. I had a very good relationship. He’s a strong man. He’s a tough man, but I have very good relationship with him, but this should never have happened, this should never have happened. This virus should not have spread all over the world. They should have put it out. They should have let us and other people and other countries go in and put it out because people knew what was happening.

Bret Baier: (29:57)

We have another question about the situation, getting people back to work in the US, air travel, 95% down from a year ago according to the TSR. Next question coming from an aircraft technician in Texas.

Joe: (30:11)

Hi, I’m Joe from Arlington, Texas. I work for a major airline. How can we ensure the health safety of our passengers? And Mr. President, what advice would you give future presidents to prevent this from happening to our country again?

Donald Trump: (30:27)

I love that second question. I just love it. But your airline was probably saved us because Steve and all of the people we have, we chose the smartest people on wall street to help us. Who else is better than these people? That’s what they do. And by the way, they’re working for a very tiny fee because I said I don’t want to pay him a lot of money for doing this. We’re giving them money to save the airlines. I’m not looking to make them rich. They’re rich enough. So I said, “We’re going to get the best people, pay them some cost but paying very little.” I hope you kept doing that, Steve, right?

Steve Mnuchin: (30:57)

I did Mr. President.

Donald Trump: (30:58)

I hope. I’m going to check you. Anyway, but we have the smartest people. We saved the airlines. We saved the airlines with 50, 25 and $25 billion, so it’s $50 billion, which is a very small price to pay that we’re having the best year ever.

Donald Trump: (31:13)

As far as your question of the future, we have to bring our product back home, we have to make our product in this country. We can’t be hostage because that’s what we are. We can’t be hostage to other countries, China in particular, but also to other countries. We can’t ever let that happen again.

Bret Baier: (31:30)

Mr. Vice president, there is that balance. People are afraid to get on a plane, if they can eventually, and balancing that fear of getting people back to work, dealing with that fear.

Mike Pence: (31:40)

Well, the president brought the airlines in very early on and we want to commend all of our great airlines for continuing to operate where people needed to do essential travel. But to your point, Bret, a 95% reduction in the number of passengers and it’s one of the reasons why we’re providing financial assistance to those airlines.

Mike Pence: (32:03)

And I just say to that hard working American that we’re going to bring it back. The best thing we can do for airlines, the best thing we can do for all of American businesses is as the president often says, is put the Coronavirus in the past. And the good news is that we’re doing that. We were watching the trends literally every day, County by County, all across the country. In the hotspots, we are seeing stabilization and declines. Hospitalizations are going down. We’ve even seen over the last five days, the death rate has gone down. And again, one life lost is too many. I just had a friend who lost her mom in Kentucky and she grieved that she couldn’t be there to hold her hand when she went home to be with the Lord. But the fact that we are seeing declines, again, it’s a tribute to the American people. On the president’s behalf and our whole team’s behalf, I just want to urge the American people as we continue to take important steps toward real…

Mike Pence: (33:03)

… American people as we continue to take important steps toward reopening our economy, getting people able to travel and enjoy the great benefits of this country, and do business around America. We’re going to do it in the way the President described in that phased approach where we take careful measures to do it in a safe and responsible way. But I’m absolutely convinced that by early summer we could have this economy beginning to move again, and with all the tremendous advances we’re making in medicine and what we’ve learned in this healthcare, we’ll get this economy roaring and bring America all the way back.

Martha MacCallum: (33:38)

I want to get to the next a viewer, but I also want to ask you, Secretary, a quick question. Some of these States that have unfunded pension debt, we’re throwing trillions of dollars at this effort to renew the country, renew the economy, should they get money if they have not taken good care of their finances before this happened?

Steve Mnuchin: (33:59)

Well, we’re not looking to bail out States that were poorly managed. What we did do in the Cares Act, there was $150 billion that was allocated to the States for coronavirus expenses. One of the things the President just instructed me to do, and we sent out guidance on Friday, that States can use the money for policemen, firemen, first responders, without limits so we can make sure that none of those people who’ve been fighting the front lines in any way are impacted by the States having lower revenues. But the President’s very clear. We’re looking to help States, but we’re not bailing out State’s finances.

Bret Baier: (34:33)

Carlia Alderman from Merritt Island, Florida wants to know this. Take a listen.

Carlia Alderman: (34:39)

Hi, Mr. President. My husband and I both work at our local church and I think a lot of us church goers are just wondering when we might be able to get back to an in-person church service. Do you have any idea when this might be?

Donald Trump: (34:52)

I hope it’s going to be very soon because I’m seeing things that I don’t like seeing. I see some churches, they are literally staying in their car with the window closed. I guess it comes out through the radio, the service, and they were getting arrested. And they’re sitting in a car and the cars are even far away, and they say, “Close your windows.” So it has to come in electronically. And I’m saying, why can’t they do that? Or they’ll go in a field, some field, and they’ll have a good minister, pastor, could be a rabbi, could be a person of faith, and what happens is in some places, not in all places, I would say in most places they really sympathize, but I do, and I’ve been listening to services over the last four or five weeks, some very, very good people, and everybody knows who I’ve been listening to and we go different person.

Donald Trump: (35:47)

Last week it was a Cardinal Dolan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a place I’m very familiar with, but we’ve had pastors and ministers. I will say this, it’s wonderful to watch people over a laptop, but it’s not like being at a church, and we have to get our people back to churches and we’re going to start doing it soon.

Bret Baier: (36:06)

The Attorney General sent a memo directing US Attorneys to be on the lookout for health restrictions that could interfere with constitutional rights. There are a lot of people who cheered that because, you know, they do want to go back to church, and as you’re talking about, but there are others who fear he might be encouraging people to do things that might be unsafe at the time when some States are going up.

Donald Trump: (36:26)

Yeah, no, he’s not doing… Well, there’s not too many States that I know of that are going up. Almost everybody is headed in the right direction. I was with a man who got hit very, very hard in many ways over the last little while. Phil Murphy from New Jersey. People don’t realize that’s the single most dense State, and who would think that? But New Jersey is very dense. The Manhattan overflow, the New York overflow. And those numbers are now even coming, there’s a very, I mean, not his fault, he’s doing a really good job as governor, I’ll say it. He’s a Democrat and I’ll say it. And he’s been through a lot, even himself physically. You know, he just went through a very big problem as people know. I think he’s done a really good job. And even those numbers are coming down. New Jersey was really hit hard. No, I think most of the numbers are coming down. We’re on the right side of it, but we want to keep it that way.

Donald Trump: (37:14)

But we also want to get back to work. The people want to get back to work. You know, I’ve seen it more and more, people are saying that also causes death. It causes drug addiction, it causes suicides. It’s a lot of deaths caused by that. There’s no win here, just so we all understand. There is no win. This is not a situation with there’s a win. But the job that this country has done, the people of this country, it’s incredible, how they’ve endured, how they’ve suffered. That’s why we are, in terms of deaths, it’s a tremendous number. One is too many, right? I’ve say it all the time, but in terms of death, Brett, we’re at the lower level, the lowest level predicted, and we might not even hit that. It may be lower than that, and sadly that’s all we can do.

Martha MacCallum: (38:00)

And we’re going to do a lightning round of questions, some short answers and some short questions as well. But I want to start with you, President Trump. We’re six months away from the election today. A different world than when we were all together in Scranton.

Donald Trump: (38:14)

Very different.

Martha MacCallum: (38:16)

What kind of GDP, what kind of employment number do you think you’re going to need to get the support of the American people in November?

Donald Trump: (38:24)

Our country was sailing. I would tell people, I would say, “You know, can this continue?” The greatest ever, greatest economy in history of any country, blowing away everybody including China, and then we had to close it. And my ambition is very quickly to get us back to where we were, and I think we can do that very, very quickly. Not if a Democrat comes in and raises taxes. They want to raise everybody’s taxes. We’re doing the opposite. And the payroll tax cut is very important for getting people back to work. What I want to do is, number one, we’re getting rid of the virus. We have to do it. We’re working with the governors, we’re getting rid of the virus, but we got to put our country back to work. All those people out there that are protesting, they’re right. They want to go back to work.

Donald Trump: (39:10)

We want to go back to work quickly but safely. And that’s what’s happening. And then next year I think we’re going to have a great economic year. We’re going to get our jobs back, and I’ll go a step further. We have a transition third quarter. We’re going to have a very good fourth quarter. We’re going to have a great next year.

Bret Baier: (39:25)

So we’re six months to the day. When is the next Trump rally and will you wear a mask?

Donald Trump: (39:30)

I don’t know. I mean everybody wants the rallies. The rallies, we never had an empty seat. From the time I came down the escalator with a person that became our great first lady who people really love, and they love her at those rallies too, and she loves the people of this country. They’re longing for the rallies. I get it all the time.

Bret Baier: (39:49)

Mask or no mask?

Donald Trump: (39:50)

But you can’t have a rally. I don’t think we can have a rally with an empty stadium, with nobody in there. In other words, you may be able to pull it off a baseball or football or boxing or basketball. You can’t pull off a rally with a hundred [inaudible 00:07:03]. It wouldn’t work out too well. So hopefully we’ll be able to do rallies in the last couple of months. I mean, I would hope that within maybe the last couple of months we’ll be able to do rallies in various States.

Bret Baier: (40:13)

Mr. Vice President. You went to the Mayo Clinic, you didn’t wear a mask. Your critics jumped on you for that. Then you went to GM, you did wear a mask. Was that a concession to the critics, or you’re sending mixed signals there?

Mike Pence: (40:25)

Well, from early on, the CDC’s made it clear that you wear a mask to prevent you from conveying the coronavirus to other people. And since the President and I are in the unique positions we’re in, we’re tested often-

Bret Baier: (40:38)

We should point out that we’re tested as well. That’s why we’re here without a mask as well.

Mike Pence: (40:41)

I didn’t think it was necessary, but I should have worn the mask at the Mayo Clinic. And I wore it when I visited the ventilator plant in Indiana. And I think it really is a Statement about the American people, the way people have been willing to step forward, practice social distancing, wear masks in settings where they can’t do that. And I just have to tell you that I couldn’t be more grateful to see the way the American people respond. At first, the President called for 15 days to slow the spread, then 30 days to slow the spread. And this was a great hardship on families and on businesses large and small, but the American people did it. It’s made an immense difference. I believe it’s saved thousands of lives. And as we go forward, as we continue to practice those principles, all of us together, I know we’ll get through this.

Martha MacCallum: (41:35)

So you were asked to speak at the West Point graduation. There’s been some pushback on that. Tammy Duckworth, a veteran, said it would be reckless.

Donald Trump: (41:43)

A Democrat. A Democrat.

Martha MacCallum: (41:44)

So are you going to do it, and do you think that it’s worth the risk for those families and cadets?

Donald Trump: (41:49)

There’s no risk. Are you ready? They wanted me to speak. I didn’t want to speak. I love West Point. I grew up near, my school, where I went to high school was right near West Point. New York Military Academy. So it was many West Point, very many. But West Point’s this incredible thing. Incredible place. I love it. I know it well because you know, I spent a lot of time at West point. They wanted me to come and speak. Then they changed the date, I believe it’s June 13th. And it’s my honor to speak, but I didn’t want to necessarily do it. What they’re doing is they’re coming back a little bit early. They’re going to be fully tested. They’re going to be very, very spread apart. I said, “I want their families to be there.” You know, Mike made the commencement address. I did it last year at the Air Force Academy. Mike did it this year.

Donald Trump: (42:37)

There were no parents in a big stadium and they were very spread apart and it was fine, but they asked me to do it and I agreed. The Generals asked me, “Would I please do it?” You know, I’m the President of the United States, they wanted to have-

Bret Baier: (42:48)

They’d love to have you there.

Donald Trump: (42:48)

… they all wanted it.

Bret Baier: (42:49)

Mr. President, last thing. What do you tell your kids and grandkids about COVID-19, about this time? What do you tell them?

Donald Trump: (42:58)

I sat down with my son. I sat down with my grandchildren. I said, “A terrible thing has happened. It’s a thing that we’ve never experienced.” I said, “I guess you could go back over a hundred years and you could go to 1917 and we experienced it, but Europe experienced that much worse. It could have been a hundred million people died.” But I said, “Something’s happened, but we’re going to be strong and we’re going to get out of it, and our country is going to be bigger and better and stronger than ever before.”

Bret Baier: (43:25)

President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary Mnuchin, thank you very much for your time. It’s a real honor to be here tonight.

Martha MacCallum: (43:30)

Great to have you with us. It’s an honor to have all of you here tonight.

Steve Mnuchin: (43:33)

Good to be with you.

May 5, 2020

Donald Trump David Muir Interview Transcript on Coronavirus

Donald Trump Interview David Muir May 5

Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump David Muir Interview Transcript on Coronavirus

Donald Trump sat down with David Muir of ABC News on May 5 for an interview. He said “there’ll be more death” from coronavirus, but reopening is worth it. Full transcript here.

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David Muir: (00:00)

I want to start with reopening the country. I know this is your first trip back out into the country …

Donald Trump: (00:05)

Yes.

David Muir: (00:05)

… In Quite some time. And you’ve said that the decision to open the economy is the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make. How do you, and I suppose this is the central question, how do you save livelihoods without risking more lives?

Donald Trump: (00:19)

Well, I think actually the decision to close the country was the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make and I’ve said that very loud and clear. I mean we had the greatest economy in history, in the history of the world, not only our economy, it was our greatest economy, best employment numbers, best numbers in every single way. And they said, sir, we have to close the country. I said, what are you talking about close the country? Because nobody’s ever heard of such a thing. And we saved millions of lives by doing it. And by putting the ban on China very early was a big thing.

Donald Trump: (00:50)

But the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make is closing the country. And certainly this is now also a big decision, but the people want to go back to work.

David Muir: (00:58)

I want to ask you about what Dr. Fauci said last night about the reopening of the country. He said it’s the balance of something that’s a very difficult choice. How many deaths and how much suffering are you willing to accept to get back where you want to be? Do you see it that way? Do you believe that’s the reality we’re facing, that that lives will be lost to reopen the country?

Donald Trump: (01:19)

It’s possible there will be some because you won’t be locked into an apartment or a house or whatever it is. But at the same time, we’re going to practice social distancing. We’re going to be washing hands. We’re going to be doing a lot of the things that we’ve learned to do over the last period of time and we have to get our country back. People are dying the other way too. When you look at what’s happened with drugs, it goes up. When you look at suicides, I mean take a look at what’s going on. People are losing their jobs. We have to bring it back and that’s what we’re doing.

David Muir: (01:51)

Let me ask you about testing …

Donald Trump: (01:52)

Yeah.

David Muir: (01:53)

… Right now in America. Early on there were hurdles. Dr. Fauci at the time acknowledged it was a failing. But for Americans who do want to go back to work, should they be able to have access to a test now? Should they know whether they’ve been exposed to the virus? Should they know if somebody’s at the workplace asymptomatic and they simply don’t know, or do they have to go back to work having faith in their leaders and you, Mr. President, that the workplace will be safe?

Donald Trump: (02:17)

Yeah. No they don’t. They have to test if they want. Some people are strong believers in testing.

David Muir: (02:24)

So right now for any American worker who’s nervous about going back, if they want to get tested to see if they’ve been exposed to the virus, they can have access to both the antibody test …

Donald Trump: (02:33)

They should have not problem. They should have no problem. And as good as this is, we’re even getting better. We came up, don’t forget the cupboard was bare. The other administration, the last administration left us nothing. We didn’t have ventilators. We didn’t have medical equipment. We didn’t have testing. The tests were broken. You saw that. We had broken tests. They left us nothing and we’ve taken it and we have built an incredible stockpile, a stockpile like we’ve never had before.

David Muir: (02:58)

Many people heard you say that along the way, and have wondered though, you’re three years into your first term, you’re now applying for the job again. What did you do when you became president to restock those cupboards that you say were bare?

Donald Trump: (03:10)

Well, I’ll be honest, I have a lot of things going on. We had a lot of people that refuse to allow the country to be successful. They wasted a lot of time on Russia, Russia, Russia. That turned out to be a total hoax. Then they did Ukraine, Ukraine, and that was a total hoax. Then they impeached the president of the United States for absolutely no reason and we even had 197 to nothing vote by the Republicans.

David Muir: (03:36)

Let me ask you about something Governor Cuomo said today, and this is really the debate I think for a lot of Americans who really do want to go back to work …

Donald Trump: (03:44)

Sure.

David Muir: (03:45)

… But who are afraid for their own health. And Governor Cuomo said, the question comes down to how much a human life is worth? That you monitor the transmission rate, the hospitalization rate, the death rate. If it goes up, you stop, you turn off the valve, you slow things down. Do you agree with him that that is the way a lot of these governors who are reopening should proceed?

Donald Trump: (04:04)

No, I don’t know yet. I’d have to see this full statement. Look, we’ve gotten along very well. Don’t forget Governor Cuomo last week said, the president and the federal government have done a phenomenal job. He said that, a phenomenal job.

David Muir: (04:16)

Yeah. He’s saying now that you just have to be ready to turn the valve off for a time if you see a spike.

Donald Trump: (04:21)

David, I can only tell you what he said last week. Our country has to go back to being our country again. You have people that are not going to stand for this and I understand them very well and we are going to put out little embers and little fires and maybe some big fires, but we still have to go back to work.

David Muir: (04:40)

You talk about the embers and the possible big fires. There were two new studies out in the last 24 hours. I know that the White House has shot down a couple of them saying they weren’t vetted through your taskforce. One was from Johns Hopkins that said the death rate could double if we’re not careful with this reopening of America by June, the daily death rate. The University of Washington saying we could have 135,000 Americans dead by August. What do you make of those numbers, Mr. President?

Donald Trump: (05:10)

A couple of things. First of all, these models have been so wrong from day one, both on the low side and the upside. They’ve been so wrong. They’ve been so out of whack and they keep making new models, new models and they’re wrong. Those models that you’re mentioning are talking about without mitigation. Well, we’re mitigating and we’ve learned to mitigate, but we can be in place, work in place, and also mitigate. We’ve done it right, but now we have to get back to work. We have to do it.

David Muir: (05:36)

But let me ask you, because you’ve responded to those two new studies out with these forecasts, your own numbers have shifted over time.

Donald Trump: (05:43)

They have. They have.

David Muir: (05:43)

You said 60,000 Americans could die. That’s what you said last week. I watched her town hall over the weekend. You said 75, 80 to 100,000 people could die. Which models are you looking at and what should Americans be prepared for as reopen the country and head into the fall where we could see a potential second wave?

Donald Trump: (06:01)

Well, the upper number was, as you know, 2.2 million people. And then there were some models or charts that showed higher than that. But 2.2 million people, I always felt 60, 65, 70, as horrible as that is. I mean, you’re talking about filling up Yankee Stadium with death. So I thought it was horrible, but it’s probably going to be somewhat higher than that. There’ll be more death, but the virus will pass with or without a vaccine and I think we’re doing very well in vaccines. But with or without a vaccine, it’s going to pass and we’re going to be back to normal, but it’s been a rough process.

Donald Trump: (06:38)

There’s no question about it.

David Muir: (06:40)

Are you still convinced we’ll have a vaccine by year’s end and 300 million doses, which you had spoke of?

Donald Trump: (06:45)

Yeah. You can never be convinced. When you say, am I convinced, I can say this. We’re doing really great, Oxford, Johnson and Johnson, these companies and I get reports every single day. They’re doing really great. Am I convinced? I can’t be convinced of anything, but I think that we have a really good shot of having something very, very substantial.

David Muir: (07:06)

Let me ask you about the tremendous hurt in this country. There are 30 million Americans who are unemployed. You don’t need me to tell you that. We’re expecting the new unemployment rate this week. There have been forecasts 15, 16, 17%. One of your advisors projected at an unemployment rate of 19%. that’s nearly one in five Americans without a job. How bad is this going to get?

Donald Trump: (07:30)

Well, that is what it is and it’s very interesting. Even the Democrats aren’t blaming me for that. We had to closed it up and we saved millions of lives and we did the right thing. Now we’re getting back to work. The third quarter, I think, is going to be, I call it a transition quarter. A lot of people, you see it. I’ll tell you what. I got on the plane today. There was such spirit. People are starting to feel. We land in Arizona. I leave from DC. I get calls from everybody all over the country. I just spoke to the governor of Florida. Florida is really active.

David Muir: (08:03)

I think a lot of people share that hope, Mr. President, but the reality for so many of the families that we’ve reported on is they can’t afford to wait for the next quarter. They’re just trying to get through next week or the next dinner they put on the table.

Donald Trump: (08:16)

Well, we’ve done a lot for that. We’ve done our small business, as you know, or PPP paycheck, if you want to call it that, where small businesses are given billions of dollars so that they can take care of their employees. We’ve done a lot of other, look, we, we’ve done $2 trillion and it’s actually close to three if you really add it up, but $2 trillion has been approved and we’ll probably do more. It’s a stimulus. It’s to keep people employed, to keep small businesses open.

David Muir: (08:46)

Let me ask you, because people will look back and we have an election six months from now. They’re going to look back to the beginning of this and they’re going to wonder what you knew and when you knew it and I have no interest in going back over everything you said. But there was one thing you said that perhaps you could clarify. You said this, this was at the end of February. A full month had gone by. You’d stop travel from China and you said of the cases here in the US. When you have 15 people and when the 15 within a couple of days is going to go down to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.

David Muir: (09:19)

Help me understand that moment. Did you really think we were going to have 15 cases in the US?

Donald Trump: (09:23)

Let me, I said, even you would say, worse than that. I said one person one time and it’s true. There was a time when we had one person in this country. We knew about it, we worked on it, but we had one person. It mushroomed to 15 people, mushroom. Other people were coming in also from Europe. Don’t forget.

David Muir: (09:43)

But we’re at more than a million cases now.

Donald Trump: (09:44)

But don’t forget, in January. Okay, let’s talk about cases. You know why you’re at a million cases? Because we have more testing than anybody else. If we tested as much as these countries down here, okay, who don’t do very much testing at all. Look at Japan, very little testing there at the bottom of the rung. Look at South Korea gets so much publicity. The president of South Korea is a friend of mine, President Moon. He called up. He said, what you’re doing with testing is amazing. If I tested this number of people instead of this number of people, I’d have far fewer.

Donald Trump: (10:15)

See, this line goes all the way up over seven million tests. If I tested down here at one million tests, I would have a lot fewer cases too.

David Muir: (10:25)

I understand the argument you’re making …

Donald Trump: (10:28)

But look at your question.

David Muir: (10:28)

But you understand there’s a huge disparity between 15 and more than a million cases. Was it an intelligence failure? Where was the breakdown that we didn’t know the scope of this?

Donald Trump: (10:39)

Look, let me tell you this. I closed the border if you want to use that term. I banned people from coming into China. There were approximately 40,000 Americans. If you were in my position, you would let them come in. You could ask Ron DeSantis, great governor of Florida. Those people went through quarantine. They went through tests. They went through everything, but they were American citizens. I had to let them come back in. What I came in and what I did is I said against many people, including Anthony Fauci, who I like very much, including Deborah, who I liked very much, the doctors and many other people, they said, don’t ban China.

Donald Trump: (11:22)

It’s going to blow over, and they said this at the end of February. Now at the same time, I want to be optimistic. I don’t want to be Mr. Gloom and Doom. It’s a very bad subject. I’m not looking to tell the American people when nobody really knows what’s happening yet, this is going to be so tragic. I want to be aside from everything else and I’m going to use a term and some people love it and some people hate it, but I love it. I want to be a cheerleader for our country.

David Muir: (11:51)

When we come back, is president comfortable if the election six months from now becomes a referendum on his handling of the pandemic? What he told me and his message tonight when we asked what he would say to the families who’ve lost loved ones now more than 70,000 lives lost in our country.

Jun 3, 2020

Donald Trump Radio Interview Transcript: Admits Going to Bunker During Protests, But Was for an ‘Inspection’

Donald Trump Radio Interview on Protests

Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump Radio Interview Transcript: Admits Going to Bunker During Protests, But Was for an ‘Inspection’

Donald Trump did a radio interview on Brian Kilmeade’s Fox News radio show June 3, where he spoke about the protests and said he only went to his White House bunker for a “tiny” period of time to inspect it.

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Brian Kilmeade: (00:00)

Here’s the President of the United States. Mr. President, thanks so much for joining us from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

President Donald Trump: (00:06)

Well, thank you very much, and congratulations on 10 years on radio. Wow, that’s pretty good. I remember when you were one day on radio. It’s been a long time, but that’s great job. You’re doing a great job, Brian.

Brian Kilmeade: (00:18)

You were hosting… Thanks, so much, Mr. President. You were hosting The Apprentice back then. You were number one-

President Donald Trump: (00:23)

That’s right.

Brian Kilmeade: (00:23)

… in the ratings when we started-

President Donald Trump: (00:24)

That’s right.

Brian Kilmeade: (00:25)

… and I got the number one job in the country. I just was curious, the place you used to live where the mayor, Mayor de Blasio, the National Guard is not going to work here. They’re not trained to handle unrest. Do you agree with that?

President Donald Trump: (00:39)

No. Not at all. If you look at what happened in Minnesota, they were getting decimated, and after three days of watching it, I demanded that the National Guard be utilized, and in one day, it was over. In fact, they got there at a certain time in the late afternoon, and by the time they finished, it was, I always say a somewhat sarcastically, but the safest place on earth to… and Minnesota was really, really having a hard time, and we took care of it. The governor is a nice man, and he was not using enough, and he was… You saw the police were running in Minneapolis, and they were running away from their precinct, which is something I’ve never seen before.

President Donald Trump: (01:18)

You have a liberal mayor that, frankly, was having a lot of trouble, and you have a very liberal mayor in New York too. Do you notice that all of these places that have problems are not run by Republicans, they’re run by Liberal Democrats, so there is something into that philosophy, and yet they’re also the ones keeping everybody locked up in their apartments and their homes for too long a period of time, so it’s very interesting how that changes, but no, the National Guard, we could solve that problem in New York, and in fact, if they don’t get their act straightened out, I will solve it. I’ll solve it fast.

Brian Kilmeade: (01:52)

Last night was one of the best nights in day eight, especially in New York. We didn’t see the riots. We saw the protests. Even though it wasn’t perfect, do you think we’ve turned the corner according to the reports you get?

President Donald Trump: (02:05)

Well, you may, but you still had a lot of people, and they’re violent people in many cases. You have protesters, but you also have anarchists and looters. A lot of people that are bad people. A lot of bad people. We have a lot of proof and information and proof. You’ll be seeing it in time to come where they’re delivering rocks and stones to certain locations and dumping them, so they have… That’s their ammunition, and that hurts people very badly, including National Guard people or even military people.

President Donald Trump: (02:41)

But Washington is in great shape. We called out the National Guard after the first night, which was a little bit rougher, but then after that, we called up, and we have, I jokingly said, a little bit jokingly maybe, it’s one of the safest places on earth. We had no problem all last night. We had substantial dominant force, and we have to have a dominant force. Maybe it doesn’t sound good to say it, but you have to have a dominant force. We need law and order.

Brian Kilmeade: (03:11)

Sunday wasn’t the case. We had Leland Vittert reporting no problem. It got dark, a huge problem. He was attacked. Then the reports were, they were so worried, they brought you downstairs in the White House to a bunker. What could you tell me Sunday night was like for you and your family?

President Donald Trump: (03:27)

Well, it was a false report. I wasn’t down. I went down during the day, and I was there for a tiny little short period of time, and it was much more for an inspection. There was no problem during the day. The problem, I saw Leland got whacked pretty good, but that was during the night. This problem, these problems are during the night, not during the day. I go down, I’ve gone down two or three times all for inspection. You go there… Someday you may need it, but you go there, and I went down, I looked at it, it was during the day. It was not a problem. I read about it like a big thing.

President Donald Trump: (04:06)

There was never a problem. We never had a problem. Nobody ever came close to giving us a problem. The Secret Service does an unbelievable job of maintaining control in the White House, and beyond the Secret Service, we have a lot of other great people out there, including the DC Police, and then of course, on top of that, after I saw the one evening, which was a little rough, and it was certainly a rough on Leland I think more so than anybody else, we brought in the troops.

Brian Kilmeade: (04:38)

Mr. President, I remember 9/11 that President Bush wanted to land back at Washington. They wouldn’t let him. They said, “It’s too dangerous.” Finally got it back there. Sometimes the Secret Service even tells the president, “I can’t do this.” You telling me, Mr. President, they didn’t say to you, “You have to go downstairs. My responsibility’s your welfare.” They didn’t limit you at all in the House?

President Donald Trump: (04:59)

Nope. They didn’t tell me that at all, but they said, “It would be a good time to go down, take a look because maybe sometime you’re going to need it.” I’ve been down, let’s see, that would be number two, two and a half sort of because I’ve done different things, but two and a half, but I looked, I was down for a very, very short period of time, very, very short period of time. I can’t tell you who went with me, but a whole group of people went with me as a inspecting factor.

President Donald Trump: (05:28)

I was back up, and Brian, it was during the day. It wasn’t during the night. I think they reported during the night. During the night, maybe someday it makes sense. During the day, you have tremendous numbers of people. We didn’t even have protesters, or if they did, it was a small crowd. There’s so much fake news going around, Brian, you have no idea. Maybe you do actually have an idea.

Brian Kilmeade: (05:51)

Mr. President, you gave a speech in the Rose Garden, got a thumbs up for a lot of people, especially your supporters, and then you said, “I’m going to go to a very important place,” and they quickly cleared out Lafayette Park, and you walk through with many of your staff, from Kayleigh McEnany to the Secretary of Defense who said he didn’t know where he was going at the time, and you appear to St. John’s Church, which was boarded up and you held up a Bible. Reverend James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of a book on that church says, “The church is not a photo op, that religion is not a political tool, and God is not a play thing.” He’s among some religious leaders who were very critical of that visit. What’s your response?

President Donald Trump: (06:33)

Well, my response is simple: Most religious leaders loved it. I heard Franklin Graham this morning thought it was great. I heard many other people think it was great. It’s only the other side that didn’t like it, the opposition party as the expression goes. They burned down the church the day before. I heard how nice and wonderful the protesters were over there.

President Donald Trump: (06:53)

Really? Then why did they burn down the church today before… They burned down a big section of it. Fortunately, they were able to catch it in time. This is a church built at a similar time as the White House. Madison was your president. He was number six, I believe. Madison was your president, and he was the first president to enter and go to that church.

President Donald Trump: (07:14)

Now, when I said go to the church, I didn’t know protesters or not. Nobody tells me that. They say, “Yes, sir, we’ll go to the church.” We walked over to the church. It was very fast. I think it was very symbolic. I did hold up a Bible. I think that’s a good thing, not a bad thing, and many religious leaders loved it.

President Donald Trump: (07:31)

As to… If you read Mollie Hemingway, who I know you’re a fan of and I’m a big fan of, she wrote a piece that it was all fake news. There’s so much fake news. Most news is fake. They’re corrupt, and they’re fake, the lamestream media. If you read the story and if you read what Mollie Hemingway said, who’s a real reporter, a great journalist, you’ll see that that story was fake. They didn’t use tear gas. They didn’t use… They moved them out.

President Donald Trump: (07:58)

Now, when I went, I didn’t say, “Oh, move them out.” I didn’t know who was there. I figured I was going to walk over the church very nearby. If you read the Mollie Hemingway piece, you’ll get the real story, but most religious leaders loved it. Why wouldn’t they love it? I’m standing in front of a church that went through trauma, to put it mildly. I mean, the whole basement, a big part of the basement was burning. It’s very lucky that church didn’t burn down. That’s a very important church, so I haven’t heard-

Brian Kilmeade: (08:26)

I agree with you. What was the-

President Donald Trump: (08:27)

I haven’t heard what you told me.

Brian Kilmeade: (08:28)

Mr. President, was the original intent to go inside and see the damage, and did you notice it was boarded up when you got there?

President Donald Trump: (08:35)

No, they told me it was boarded up, and I said, “That’s all right. We’ll stand by the church. We won’t go inside.” It had received a very bad burning. I would have been able to go inside if I wanted to, but it was boarded up. The whole building was just about boarded up, but I would have been able to go in, but there’s no reason for it. It was smoke, a lot of smoke and a lot of damage, actually, a lot of damage, but it was confined to one area. The fire itself was confined to one area. But Brian, the church leaders loved that I went there with a Bible. I mean, take a look at Franklin Graham, so respected, and so many others. Take a look at Robert Jeffress. These are all people you know. They thought it was a great-

Brian Kilmeade: (09:14)

I hear you.

President Donald Trump: (09:14)

… symbol, and I thought it was a great symbol, but the fake news makes everything look bad, no matter what you do. We did a great job on ventilators. We’re giving them now to countries all over the world, we’re making them. When I started, we had practically none. The cupboards were bare. The Obama administration left us practically nothing. You don’t hear those stories. They don’t write about that.

President Donald Trump: (09:34)

We tested number 16 million yesterday, much more than anybody else. You don’t hear that we’ve done well in testing. They always say, “Well, why not more?” and yet Germany is at 3 million. We’re 16 million. We have incredible testing now. We’ve done a great job, but we don’t get credit for it, but hopefully, the people understand.

Brian Kilmeade: (09:52)

You have a pandemic and a national unrest, two unprecedented things, I would argue, in my lifetime, and probably yours. But the big picture, I thought we’d be talking about the day after George Floyd’s tragic death, which I think you agree it seems that law enforcement, you don’t want to convict someone before they have trial, but 96% of the country thinks that was out of bounds. The knee on the neck killed him. I’m one of them. [inaudible 00:10:20] can’t see-

President Donald Trump: (10:21)

[crosstalk 00:10:21]-

Brian Kilmeade: (10:21)

… [inaudible 00:10:21] the trial comes out, but this is the one stat I want to bring you to. I’m going to ask you if you can attack this. According to a Axios-Ipsos poll, 70% of white Americans say they trust the local police. Only 36% of African Americans do. How do you attack that problem? How do you change things?

President Donald Trump: (10:40)

Well, I think it’s a very sad problem. As you know, as a Republican, I’m doing very well with African Americans and with the vote, in polls and everything, especially I’ve been… I haven’t seen one very recently because you had the plague come in from China, so that changed things up, but we had the best economy ever, we have the best numbers for African American on employment and unemployment in history, best home ownership, best everything. We had the best numbers in everything, not only African-American, but the African American numbers were great.

Brian Kilmeade: (11:10)

But how do you handle the law enforcement part of this?

President Donald Trump: (11:12)

Well, I think you have to-

Brian Kilmeade: (11:12)

How do you handle the law enforcement part of this?

President Donald Trump: (11:13)

… get better than what they’ve been doing. I mean, obviously, that was a terrible thing. I’ve spoken about it numerous times in various speeches. It’s interesting. I spoke about it when we launched a very successful rocket, a tremendous program that culminated on that day, and now, obviously, it goes on from there, but I then made a speech, and it was a speech about the rocket, and I devoted at 25% of the speech, probably, to what happened, or more, to what happened with respect to George, George Floyd, and it was… Then you… Listen to this. “He doesn’t talk about George Floyd.”

President Donald Trump: (11:49)

The rocket went off. I then made a speech, and I talked about George Floyd, but they said, “He didn’t talk about George Floyd.” Half, maybe even almost half of the speech, but a large portion of the speech was devoted exactly to that. With the media, basically, no matter what you do, it’s never going to be good enough, but the people understand it, and that’s one of the beauties to social media. I mean, I would love-

Brian Kilmeade: (12:13)

So-

President Donald Trump: (12:13)

… not to even bother with social media, but I’m able to get my word out beautifully by social media. Fortunately, you use social media too.

Brian Kilmeade: (12:26)

Right.

President Donald Trump: (12:26)

But we have to get-

Brian Kilmeade: (12:27)

Also-

President Donald Trump: (12:27)

… the word out.

Brian Kilmeade: (12:27)

[crosstalk 00:12:27]-

President Donald Trump: (12:27)

Look, we have to… Brian, we have get the police departments, everybody has to do better, has to do better. This is a longterm problem. This didn’t happen today. This happened, I mean… A guy like Sleepy Joe Biden was in there for 43 years. Then he says, “I think we should do this.” I saw today he took his mask off for the first time in a while. I haven’t seen his face for a long time. He said, “I think we should do this,” or, “I think we should do that,” and actually, then he started speaking through the mask again. He feels comfortable with a mask on, I think, even though there was nobody anywhere near him, which is interesting, but-

Brian Kilmeade: (12:59)

Well-

President Donald Trump: (12:59)

… he made a statement about what he should do. I said, “He’s been there for 43 years. He was vice president for eight years. He didn’t do a thing.” His crime bill was a-

Brian Kilmeade: (13:06)

I’ll tell you what-

President Donald Trump: (13:06)

… disaster.

Brian Kilmeade: (13:08)

Right. I will tell you what he said. He said he won’t traffic in fear and division. He won’t fan the flames. He’ll seek to heal the racial wounds that have long played our country, not use them for political gain. I assume that he says, “You are doing all those things.”

President Donald Trump: (13:28)

Well, you see, he was written… That speech was there. He didn’t say that. He repeated the words. That’s all. That speech was written for him because he doesn’t speak like that. But here’s the thing. He did a crime bill that was a disaster. What he did with Clarence Thomas was a disaster. It was a disaster, the way he treated Clarence Thomas, a black man, a great justice as it turns out, but go back to those horrible days the way he treated Clarence Thomas. They write books about it. There was nobody worse than Biden.

President Donald Trump: (13:54)

Now, he’s not the same Biden. He’s about half, maybe less, but the fact is that he doesn’t say that. They write. He’s surrounded by… The Democrats have bad policy, in many ways, they’re bad politicians because their policy, open borders, take away everybody’s guns. They want to take your guns away, except now more people bought guns in the last three, four days than they have it a-

Brian Kilmeade: (14:18)

[crosstalk 00:14:18]-

President Donald Trump: (14:18)

… long time because when they look-

Brian Kilmeade: (14:19)

But Mr. President-

President Donald Trump: (14:19)

… out on the streets-

Brian Kilmeade: (14:22)

Right. I know. I saw it in my own neighborhood. They were wrapped around the building buying guns all last night as protesters were actually in suburbs-

President Donald Trump: (14:28)

Well, they want-

Brian Kilmeade: (14:28)

… last night.

President Donald Trump: (14:28)

… security, and they want-

Brian Kilmeade: (14:28)

But-

President Donald Trump: (14:30)

… safety. That’s right, and the-

Brian Kilmeade: (14:32)

But Mr. President-

President Donald Trump: (14:32)

… Democrats want to take the guns away.

Brian Kilmeade: (14:34)

In three separate polls, he’s beating you by about 10 points. How do you-

President Donald Trump: (14:39)

Okay, and I have-

Brian Kilmeade: (14:39)

… explain that.

President Donald Trump: (14:39)

… other polls where I’m winning, and you’ve seen them too, I guess, but I have polls. Just like last time, I was losing to Hillary in every state, and I won every state. I won Michigan. I won Wisconsin. I won places that they didn’t even think were pollable. They didn’t even want to go bother. We have tremendous support. I’ve seen many polls. CNN, didn’t CNN just to have a poll, which they didn’t want to use, where I was winning every single swing state? I think you’ve seen that. I had-

Brian Kilmeade: (15:08)

Couple weeks back.

President Donald Trump: (15:08)

… another poll yesterday… Yeah. Two weeks back. I had another poll, and CNN didn’t want to use it, so they used another poll where mostly Democrats were polled. Take a look at who they’re polling if they poll anybody because I don’t even think they go out and poll. I think they sit at a desk and say, “Give this number, give that number.”

President Donald Trump: (15:25)

That’s what happened the last time. The polling was ridiculous, other than two or three polls, which I do use and which I’m doing very well with. But I saw another poll where I’m winning every swing state, substantially. Why wouldn’t I? I built the greatest economy we’ve ever had. I built the greatest economy in the world in a fairly short period of time, three and a half years. Then the plague came in from China. They shouldn’t have let it happen. Not right. It came in from China. In fact, I see today, there’s a big article that they weren’t very transparent or forthcoming to put it mildly, the stall, they call it-

Brian Kilmeade: (16:00)

To the WHO.

President Donald Trump: (16:02)

… but I built this great economy, and I’m building it again, Brian. By the time of election, I believe the economy will be doing phenomenal numbers, big job increases, big GDP increases, and that’ll be before the election. I also think by the end of the year, we’ll have a vaccine. We’re doing very well. I just had a meeting yesterday. I think we’re going to have therapeutics, and I think we’re going to have cures, so we’re going to be in very good shape, but, you know… Right now, by the way, the numbers came out today, and they were much better than anybody would have thought. The stock market is booming. The stock market is at 26,000, almost 26,000 right now, the Dow, and who would think that because-

Brian Kilmeade: (16:40)

It’s gone up.

President Donald Trump: (16:44)

… people know, and we’re going to have a great year next year. It’s going to be a phenomenal year. We’re going to have a very good third quarter. We’re going to have a phenomenal fourth quarter. If I’m heading in that direction, I think we’re going to be very hard to beat, frankly, because Sleepy-

Brian Kilmeade: (16:57)

Couple of things.

President Donald Trump: (16:58)

… Joe turn-

Brian Kilmeade: (16:58)

I know-

President Donald Trump: (16:58)

… off immediately.

Brian Kilmeade: (17:00)

I know you got about a hundred meetings today, and I appreciate this time.

President Donald Trump: (17:04)

I do.

Brian Kilmeade: (17:04)

So does our audience. But Mr. President, a couple of things, the word is you want to invite Vladimir Putin to the G7 meeting. Let’s say it’s in September. What has he done to earn back the trust of the free world? He hasn’t left the Ukraine. He hasn’t left Georgia, creates havoc in Venezuela. Do you see where he deserves this respect?

President Donald Trump: (17:23)

Yeah. Well, look, helped us with the oil industry, which was good for him too, but we got it up, and now we’re going to save millions of jobs in Texas and North Dakota and other places, Oklahoma, with millions of jobs. I mean the oil now is sustainable. I’ve been, it was down to zero, which would have ruined… We would’ve lost 5 million jobs, but no, it’s not a question of what’s he done. It’s a question of common sense.

President Donald Trump: (17:47)

We have a G7. He’s not there. Half of the meeting is devoted to Russia, and if he was there, it’d be much easier to solve. He used to be, it used to be the G8, and Obama got taken over to cleaners. I mean, Obama had his pockets picked, and as you know, Putin did something that he shouldn’t have done because he didn’t respect Obama perhaps, and Obama got upset, and the United States said, “We don’t want to be here. Putin’s going to be there.”

President Donald Trump: (18:11)

The problem is many of the things that we talk about are about Putin, so we’re just sitting around wasting time because then you have to finish your meeting and somebody has to call Putin or deal with Putin on different things. I say, “Have him in the room. Have him in the room.” It used to be the G8 from a… and I don’t say deserving or non-deserving. I say, common sense. Get things done. I want to have a nuclear pack, just a safe nuclear because nuclear is the single biggest problem the world has. Single biggest problem, the power, and we have-

Brian Kilmeade: (18:43)

China-

President Donald Trump: (18:44)

… them, and we have more than anybody. We have more than anybody. China’s a very big problem. We did very well with China-

Brian Kilmeade: (18:50)

So-

President Donald Trump: (18:50)

… but then they sent us the plague.

Brian Kilmeade: (18:50)

Is that deal done?

President Donald Trump: (18:50)

Excuse me?

Brian Kilmeade: (18:50)

Is that deal done? Is that deal done-

President Donald Trump: (18:50)

The trade deal is done-

Brian Kilmeade: (18:50)

… [inaudible 00:18:50].

President Donald Trump: (18:50)

… but the trade deal got finished and the ink was in dry when the virus floated over from China and started killing everybody in the world, not just here, in the whole world. You look at Brazil, look at these countries, look at what Italy went through and Spain and France and all of them. I mean, the whole world, a 186 countries. When you say is the trade deal done, yeah, the trade deal’s done. It was a great deal.

President Donald Trump: (19:20)

China was having, before the plague, China was having the worst year they’ve had in 66 years. That’s because of me, and I’m not proud of that. I’m just saying that these presidents let China pick our pockets, and I did a great trade deal, but you know what, I’m not excited about anything with respect to China right now because of what happened. They could have sealed it. They could have closed it off.

President Donald Trump: (19:44)

I ask this. Why is it Wuhan… It came out of Wuhan. Why is it that it didn’t go to China but it went to the rest of the world? It went to Europe. It went to the world. It went to the United States. Came out of it, but it didn’t go to Beijing. It didn’t go to other parts of China. What’s that all about? How come they let it go out to the world, but they didn’t let it go into China? That’s a little strange deal going on there.

Brian Kilmeade: (20:07)

Lastly, I know you’ve been taking aim at Joe Scarborough and Chris Cuomo. Why put them in your cross hairs when there’s so many other huge problems out there?

President Donald Trump: (20:17)

I just do it. People hit me. I hit back. I fight. I’ve always felt that about Scarborough. A lot of people in Florida felt he got away with murder, I think, so I’ve always felt that that’s not a uncommon story if you look at it, so we don’t have to waste time on it, but I’ve always felt that he got away with murder. That was my feeling, a very strong feeling, and I do feel it. As far as Chris Cuomo, no, I just report on his ratings. His ratings are terrible, unlike your ratings at Fox & Friends where you’re fantastically well. Thank you, Mr. President. I think I help you a lot, but you have three great people, including you. You used to be a-

Brian Kilmeade: (20:54)

[crosstalk 00:20:54].

President Donald Trump: (20:54)

… six. Then you got to be a seven or eight, and now you’re approaching the nine territory, but those other two are great.

Brian Kilmeade: (21:01)

Thanks. I just-

President Donald Trump: (21:01)

They’re great.

Brian Kilmeade: (21:02)

Always room for improvement. That’s what a good coach does. You leave-

President Donald Trump: (21:05)

That’s right.

Brian Kilmeade: (21:05)

… room for improvement.

President Donald Trump: (21:06)

That’s right. There is. That’s true.

Brian Kilmeade: (21:08)

Mr. President, it’s a critical time in America’s history. Best of luck the rest of the way, and enjoy the rest of the day and all your meetings.

President Donald Trump: (21:16)

Thank you very much, Brian. You take care. Congratulations on 10 years. That’s fantastic. Thanks a lot.

Brian Kilmeade: (21:21)

Thank you, Mr. President.

Jun 25, 2020

Donald Trump Town Hall Transcript with Sean Hannity June 25

Donald Trump Sean Hannity Town Hall June 25

Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump Town Hall Transcript with Sean Hannity June 25

Fox News held a Donald Trump town hall hosted by Sean Hannity in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He said the violence in Chicago, Baltimore, other US cities are like “living in hell.” He also talked about statues being torn down, John Bolton’s book, the Roger Stone case, Joe Biden, and more. Read the full transcript of the interview & Q+A here.

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Sean Hannity: (00:00)

And now, here’s my town hall that we taped earlier today from an airplane hangar in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Now, by the way, we followed all the rules and recommendations of the county in which we’re doing this. So as to have as many people as they recommended, small crowd, but an enthusiastic group of people. Obviously, because of all that we’ve been dealing with COVID-19, we had a lot of ground to cover tonight. Watch this. Thank you, Mr. President. Thanks for joining us. We’re going to take some audience questions throughout the hour. You’re here in Wisconsin, one of the things that everybody’s looking for and we’ll get into more detail throughout the hour is the economy, you are going to leave this town hall, and you’re going to announce that you’re building 20 new ships. You rebuilding the military and how many jobs?

Donald Trump: (00:48)

Well, it’s going to be probably 6,000, 7,000 jobs, could go up to 10 in Wisconsin alone. And it’s a great shipyard that was on hard times. And now it’s a very good shipyard and a lot of people are going to be working. And it’s one of the most beautiful ships. It looks like a yacht with a lot of ammunition on it, I will tell you. It’s really something. And we’ll probably end up with 20 or 25. And these are big ones, beautiful ships. And they do a beautiful job in Wisconsin. So I’m here, it’s sort of like a launch. We’re starting work and the contract’s all given and you won it right here, so congratulations folks.

Sean Hannity: (01:27)

We as a nation, we’ve been watching, it was universal agreement that what happened to George Floyd should never happen, can never happen again. And you’ve been very outspoken about it as well. And they were peaceful protestors, but then there were people rioting. We see anarchy, we see rocks and bottles and bricks and Molotov cocktails thrown at police officers, police precincts burn to the ground. In Seattle, an autonomous zone that still remains, is changing apparently today but taken over, including a police precinct. And you’re offering all of these states help, New York, Illinois, and Washington. What are they telling you when you offer them help?

Donald Trump: (02:07)

Well, first of all, we have arrested, I think almost, but it could be over the number, hundreds of people. We have arrested a lot of people for what they’ve done. They’ve created bedlam. They’ve destroyed very important things. I mean, you’re also talking about statues of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln. They’d like to get Jesus, you know that, right? They said, “We want to get Jesus.”

Sean Hannity: (02:28)

Yeah, you had Shaun King, the radical.

Donald Trump: (02:30)

These have nothing to do with any particular event, other than they’re troublemakers or agitators. And they’re anarchists. The big thing they want is they want to really destabilize our country and we don’t let them. So I said to my people, “If you’ve arrested so many, how come we don’t know about it?” They said, “We don’t talk about it, sir, we do it.” But I said, “I think the public should know it.” And we have a statues act, a monument act, which puts you in jail for 10 years if you do what they’ve done. So we’ve got that. We’ve got all the tapes because the nice part is it’s all on television. Like the character on the horse the other day, he’s up there putting on the ropes. He’s in trouble, on the Andrew Jackson … beautiful, it’s beautiful, right opposite the White House.

Donald Trump: (03:09)

And you got to remember Andrew Jackson, the Battle of New Orleans and so much. He was a very good president. He was a great general and you can’t let that happen. But they’re after Abraham Lincoln and tonight, I guess they’re looking at Abraham Lincoln and that was the Emancipation Proclamation. So you have that and you’re signing Emancipation Proclamation and you have somebody, I think that wasn’t freed, and he’s getting up. It’s the position of, he’s getting up. He’s being freed by Abraham Lincoln. And I can see controversy, but I can also see beauty in it. And it was paid for by slaves. I don’t know if you know that, it was paid for because they were so grateful to the president.

Donald Trump: (03:51)

It was paid for that reason and they want to take it down. And we can take things down too, I can understand certain things being taken down. But they ought to go through a process legally and then we take it down. In some cases, put them in museums or wherever they may go. But these are really rioters and they’re a lot of bad people involved. They talk about protestors and they’re protestors, but there are beyond protesters too, and we’re not going to allow it. So we have many, many people under arrest and we have some just from the other night in Washington, but I’m talking about in other states also.

Sean Hannity: (04:26)

You’ve offered help to New York-

Donald Trump: (04:28)

Excuse me, by the way, and Washington is not D.C., not a state. Because if I say that, a little statement like that, sometimes I’ll say, should I correct myself? Because the fake news will say, “He thought D.C. was a state.” So I just want to make that clear so they can’t do it, okay.

Sean Hannity: (04:43)

Always predicting ahead.

Donald Trump: (04:43)

Oh, by the way, they do it all the time. You know what I mean?

Sean Hannity: (04:48)

Let’s talk about these states though. You see your old city, you’re now a Florida resident. You’re going to save a lot of money on taxes. There’s no state income tax in Florida, but you see New York City, 350% increase. You see in Chicago last weekend, 102 of our fellow citizens were shot. 12 were children and 14 died. The carnage existed all throughout these years that Joe Biden was vice president. Barack was president. I don’t know any reforms that they put in place after Ferguson or after Baltimore or many other incidents.

Donald Trump: (05:22)

Yeah, they did virtually nothing. And I call him Corrupt Joe, he’s corrupt. And you look at that administration. They have had more … and wait until you see what’s happening. Because you saw the notes now from the Oval Office meeting and all of the things-

Sean Hannity: (05:34)

We’re going to get to that.

Donald Trump: (05:34)

What’s happening is a disgrace. This is a corrupt situation. We caught them spying on my campaign. They were spying. I said that a long time ago, remember, but I said it without great knowledge. It turned out to be correct. They were spying on my campaign. And if that were the other way around, if it was switched with Democrat and Republican, the opposite way, you’d have people in jail for 50 years for they did because that’s treason. That’s a terrible thing what they did. And what they’ve done to people like General Flynn and like others is disgraceful, it’s disgraceful.

Sean Hannity: (06:08)

I want to get back to that. I want to stay on this issue though. If we are to become a more perfect union and if we really want to pursue happiness, we first have to have law and order.

Donald Trump: (06:19)

Correct.

Sean Hannity: (06:20)

Okay, these big cities, we’ve watched Chicago violence now for how long? All through the Obama, Joe Biden administration.

Donald Trump: (06:29)

Years ago.

Sean Hannity: (06:30)

They barely mentioned it in eight years. You see Seattle, you see New York City. We see now people dying in the autonomous zone. I don’t know how people can pursue their happiness and dreams in life, if they don’t have basic fundamental security.

Donald Trump: (06:45)

You can’t, you can’t. Look, Chicago’s an example. It’s like worse than Afghanistan. It’s worse than, I shouldn’t say because they’re working with us, Honduras, Guatemala, they’re all working with us now. You know, we have our lowest numbers. We have phenomenal numbers on the border. Border patrol has done a great job. We built 220 miles of wall. It’s going up very rapidly. We should be doing about 10 miles a week now. And we’re going to have … it will be completed very soon. But what we’ve done there is incredible. But you look at Honduras, Guatemala, all of these different places. We have cities that are worse. In some cases, far worse. Take a look at Detroit, take a look at what’s happening in Oakland. Take a look at what’s happening in Baltimore. And everyone gets upset when I say it, they say, “Oh, is that a racist statement?” It’s not a racist.

Donald Trump: (07:38)

Frankly, Black people come up to me say, “Thank you, thank you sir, for saying it.” They want help, these cities, it’s like living in hell. But last week and I think two weeks before that, they shot 14 and 18 people killed and 68 people in Chicago.

Sean Hannity: (07:59)

104 last weekend.

Donald Trump: (08:01)

If I’ve ever seen a case, I know it’s very controversial to say stop and frisk, okay. Stop and frisk, you take guns away. Chicago is the greatest example I think I’ve ever seen of that. Rudy Giuliani was a great mayor, he did it in New York. He started it and it worked great. Bloomberg blew it because he went crazy with it. And ultimately it took away a lot of rights and a lot of, it wasn’t a good job he did. But Rudy Giuliani started stop and frisk and he did a great, it was a great thing he did for New York.

Sean Hannity: (08:33)

The murder rate went, for those that don’t know, I lived in New York City at the time, went from around 2,500 a year, they drove it all the way down to 500. And what they did is they went into the areas that had the highest incidents of crime.

Donald Trump: (08:48)

That’s right.

Sean Hannity: (08:48)

And saved a lot of lives. So we’re Americans, I think we can do anything. I’m that optimistic, we could stop the violence, right, we could-

Donald Trump: (08:55)

Could stop it quickly. And at some point in the not too distant future, I’m going to do it. And if they don’t do something with Seattle, we’re going to do that. We’re going to go in there because what’s happening, they’re taking over American cities. By the way, in all cases, it’s Democrats, they’re Democrat run, in all cases. And Joe Biden would have that be the whole country. It’s so crazy what’s happening. Here’s a guy, doesn’t talk. Nobody hears him. Whenever he does talk, he can’t put two sentences together. I don’t want to be nice or un-nice, okay. But I mean, the man can’t speak and he’s going to be your president because some people don’t love me maybe and all I’m doing is doing my job. Don’t forget, before the China plague came in and it’s the China plague, before that came in, we had the best job numbers we’ve ever had.

Donald Trump: (09:43)

We had the best economy we’ve ever had. We had the best stock market we’ve ever had, which by the way, is getting very close to those numbers anyway. And in NASDAQ, it’s actually beat those numbers. But we have the best numbers we’ve ever had. African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, women, young people without a diploma, young people with a diploma, college, everything, everything. We had the best numbers we’ve ever had, the best economy we’ve ever had. I was absolutely doing a number on China. Not that I want to, but we’re taking billions and billions away. China ran away from us when we had … they were going to take over our country. If I didn’t come along, they would have taken over our country. What they did to Obama and Biden, they ripped off this country, hundreds of billions of dollars a year, going into China. And nobody said anything. They didn’t even talk about it.

Donald Trump: (10:33)

You know, it’s not like we had a bad deal with China. It was worse, we had no deal. They did whatever and I get along very well with them. I said, “How did it happen?” They said, “Nobody ever asked.” Nobody said, we’ve got to make a deal. We’re taking in hundreds of billions of dollars worth of tariffs. And we’re not paying for them, China is paying for them because they devalue their currency. So we’ve done an incredible job. We beat China badly. China had the worst year they’ve had 67 years, prior to the plague coming in, they had the-

Donald Trump: (11:03)

In 67 years prior to the plague coming in, they had the worst year they had in 67 years because of the tariffs and all of the things that I’ve done. But he’ll say, “He got beat in the China deal.” They didn’t do a China deal. China ate our lunch before me, and they would have destroyed our country. China, in my opinion, would have destroyed our country economically if I didn’t get elected, and many other things. Coronavirus … we did the ventilators. We didn’t have any ventilators. We did the ventilators. We did so much.

Sean Hannity: (11:28)

Ten days after the first identified case of coronavirus in the United States-

Donald Trump: (11:33)

Right.

Sean Hannity: (11:33)

You implemented a travel ban, followed by a quarantine that hadn’t had happened in 50 years, and then subsequent travel bans. Joe said it was hysteria, xenophobic, and-

Donald Trump: (11:45)

That’s right. Terrible.

Sean Hannity: (11:46)

… fear mongering.

Donald Trump: (11:46)

Well, he didn’t say it. They have people that … I’ll make a statement. It’ll be a nice statement. It’ll be a little complex, or maybe it’s not complex. And they will have that statement analyzed, and they’ll say, “Vice President Biden said …” and they’ll have it broken down to … And I said, “He didn’t say that. He never said xenophobic, because I don’t think he knows what the word means.” But he said it was xenophobic. It was horrible. I made it … that was at the end of January. That’s very early. January.

Sean Hannity: (12:12)

January 31st.

Donald Trump: (12:13)

Nancy Pelosi and many other people, including Republicans, were … months later, they were saying, “Let’s go to Chinatown and celebrate.” Nancy Pelosi was celebrating- [crosstalk 00:12:23]

Sean Hannity: (12:23)

February 24th.

Donald Trump: (12:24)

Correct. In the streets of Chinatown. You know, there’s no business like this. You could do a great job like Schumer. I did a phenomenal job on a trade deal, and they asked him, “What’d you think of the deal?”

Donald Trump: (12:38)

“I didn’t like it. No good. No good.” He never even saw the deal. It’s just an automatic thing. You hear the sound of that helicopter? Is that a beautiful sound?

Sean Hannity: (12:45)

Beautiful sound.

Donald Trump: (12:46)

Made in the USA. It’s all made in the US.

Sean Hannity: (12:50)

You mentioned earlier [inaudible 00:01:51]. Look, I was a little surprised. I’m not going to lie. They had predicted for May 9.5 million jobs lost. We ended up gaining 2.5 million.

Donald Trump: (13:03)

Almost three.

Sean Hannity: (13:04)

We had the largest retail sales month … I don’t know if you all saw the numbers. 18%. That’s a record. Here’s my list-

Donald Trump: (13:11)

And we had a pretty good number come out today on jobs, too.

Sean Hannity: (13:14)

I didn’t see that number.

Donald Trump: (13:15)

Also, better than projected. But more importantly … So, we have more cases because we do the greatest testing. If we didn’t do testing, we’d have no cases. Other countries, they don’t test millions. So, up to almost 30 million tests. When you do 30 million … You’re going to have a kid with the sniffles, and they’ll say, “It’s coronavirus, whatever you want to call it.” I said the other night, “There were so many names to this, I could name 19 names like CORONA-19,” but I could name 19 names. But the fact is that there’s never been a thing like this. We’ve done 30 million … almost. We’ll be there probably today or tomorrow. 30 million tests.

Donald Trump: (13:53)

Now, when you do tests, you have cases. But what they don’t say is there are fewer deaths than they have been way. Way, way down. Our mortality rate is among the best countries in the world meaning people that die, because a lot of these tests, it’s a case. It’s a kid that doesn’t even know. In some cases, it’s people that didn’t even know they were sick. Maybe they weren’t, but it shows up in a test. So, they’ll say 30 million tests. Now, you have a big percentage of that, but other countries do very few tests. So, it shows very few cases. Sometimes I jokingly say or sarcastically say, “If we didn’t do tests, we’d look great.” You know what? It’s not the right thing to do.

Sean Hannity: (14:30)

Treatment vaccine. Where are we?

Donald Trump: (14:33)

I think the vaccines are coming along great. And I think the … what they call therapeutics are coming along great. I think we’re going to have an answer very soon. Very soon, indeed. I think it will be even before the end of the year, we’ll have a vaccine. We have great companies, and we’re totally mobilized. Military is doing it. We’re ready to go. As soon as they have it, we will be distributing that all over the country.

Sean Hannity: (14:56)

Let me go. You had talked about my list earlier. Joe Biden was Vice President for eight years. He has a record that at some point, I assume, somebody might have to ask him, or maybe you will when you debate him if he shows up … which is a question we will find out in the future. But 13 million more Americans after eight years were on Food Stamps, 8 million more in poverty, the lowest labor participation rates since the ’70s.

Donald Trump: (15:22)

Right.

Sean Hannity: (15:22)

Worst recovery since the ’40s, lowest home ownership rate in 15 years. Now, I look at your record. Pre-coronavirus, we had record after record low unemployment with every … African Americans, Hispanic Americans, you know the list. Even African American youth unemployment. I want to get to the issue, because it seems like if we look, and compare, and contrast historically Black colleges of five-year commitment with more money than ever before, opportunity zones, I think one of the biggest changes is-

Donald Trump: (15:55)

Criminal justice.

Sean Hannity: (15:56)

Criminal justice reform.

Donald Trump: (15:58)

Well, the biggest thing, criminal justice reform. Obama and Biden never even tried it. That was something so important for the Black community. They came to me. They wanted it so badly, because it is … it’s a very unfair situation. And they came-

Sean Hannity: (16:13)

Unfair to minorities.

Donald Trump: (16:16)

And especially Black and Hispanic. It’s so unfair. And I said, “Why wasn’t this done before?” Now, Obama didn’t try. If he did, he may come out and say, “We did try,” but he didn’t get it done. I got it done. People said, “You wouldn’t be able to get it done.” I got it done with the help of some very good Republicans that frankly … they could have gone either way on it, to be honest. Although we had some very strong conservative Republicans, like Mike Lee. Republicans that wanted it very much. Chuck Grassley. Some great, strong conservative Republicans that wanted it very much.

Donald Trump: (16:51)

It was both ways. Very unusual. You had some very strong conservatives, and you also had some really, really liberal people. But we did criminal justice reform. Nobody thought it was possible to get it done. I got it done. They couldn’t get it done. Then they’ll say such horrible things. I mean, on the campaign they’ll say such horrible things about me. It’s a very unfair business. But it’s a great ad for them. “I got beaten by China.” Wrong. I beat China very badly. [crosstalk 00:17:22] I didn’t do this coronavirus.

Sean Hannity: (17:24)

I might take Joe’s side though, because I don’t think your son got 1.5 billion dollars.

Donald Trump: (17:31)

That’s right. That’s right. It’s a way of looking at it. I’ll tell you. Now, nobody’s ever seen anything like that. But what they’ll do is they’ll take five or six points, and just say I lost. If you look at what we’ve done on ventilators, on testing, again, where we have 30 million … Germany is second with maybe 4, maybe 5 million. Germany is going to show fewer cases because they’re testing far fewer people. Different sized countries and all, but they’re testing far fewer people. But many countries don’t do testing like that, so it shows we’re way up in testing.

Donald Trump: (18:01)

But what it also shows by doing that … in all fairness, it shows a very, very low mortality rate. Just about the lowest. We’re right at the bottom in a positive way. I think that people are starting to see it. But if I don’t do a show like this, which is live or semi-live … If I don’t do a show like this, we’re not going to get the word out. Because the press is really corrupt and dishonest. I can’t believe it. I used to say, “Fake news. Fake news.” It’s much worse than fake news. And it’s not only what they say. It’s what they don’t say.

Sean Hannity: (18:34)

Yeah.

Donald Trump: (18:34)

Something great could be happening, and they refuse to report it.

Sean Hannity: (18:37)

You mentioned General Flynn. We saw Peter Strzok. A lot of it was redacted, my sources have been telling me. In this program-

Donald Trump: (18:46)

It’s big stuff.

Sean Hannity: (18:46)

I’ve devoted almost three years to unpeeling every layer of the onion. In fact, what we now know is that there was that Jack Flynn was exonerated. The case was going to be closed. Then Joe Biden brought up the Logan Act, which you mentioned earlier, 1799 law nobody’s ever been prosecuted for. Now, not only was it that. We’ve now learned that there was premeditated fraud on a FISA Court to spy on you as a candidate, you and your transition team, and deep into your presidency. James Comey signed three of the four warrants, but he came to you after he signed the first one in Trump Tower and said … well, again, now we know the bulk of information was Hillary’s dirty Russian disinformation document.

Donald Trump: (19:29)

She paid a lot of money for it.

Sean Hannity: (19:31)

She paid for it. They knew it. They said they had verified it. It turned out to be all untrue. But it ended up for you to be in the country a three year nightmare. My question though is this: I mean, General Flynn lost four years of his life.

Donald Trump: (19:48)

Right.

Sean Hannity: (19:48)

Roger Stone’s supposed to report to jail, and the jury foreperson in his case … Paul Manafort’s case was dead. And many people that work for you paid how much in lawyer’s fees over this lie?

Donald Trump: (20:02)

So, start in reverse order. Paul Manafort, they sent it a book. It looked like he got all sorts of cash. It turned out to be a fraud. What they did to that man … what they did to Paul Manafort. Roger Stone, what they’ve done to Roger Stone because he knew me … he wasn’t on the campaign except the very, very beginning. What they did with Roger Stone, what they did to General Flynn. Then how about Papadopoulos? I didn’t know Papadopoulos. But what they put him through. He turned out to be totally … they had a tape of his conversation. It was supposed to be this conversation was like a perfect conversation.

Donald Trump: (20:34)

They also have a tape of Flynn’s conversation with the Russian ambassador, which is a normal thing to do. You’re going to have that position. You start calling up because you want to coordinate between countries, and the tape was … as you said, with the Russia, with the Ukrainian situation. It was a perfect tape. It was a perfect conversation that he had. What they’ve done to General Flynn … who’s a nice man, tough guy, smart guy, a great general. I’ll tell you, General Milley said he’s one of the finest people. He’s just a good man, Flynn.

Donald Trump: (21:07)

What happened to him, the way they went after him … And if you remember … you remember well. The FBI left. They said he did nothing wrong. They said he didn’t lie. They didn’t say he lied. They said he didn’t lie. They persecuted him.

Sean Hannity: (21:18)

They threatened to put his son and go after his son.

Donald Trump: (21:20)

They said to me, “What was the toughest friends of mine? What’s the toughest country to deal with? Who is it? Is it China? Is it Russia? Could it be North Korea?” I said, “No, it’s the United States of America. The toughest country to deal with.” Because we have Schumer, and Pelosi, and people that are bad people that I honestly believe don’t love our country. What they do to our country, and what they’ve done with this scam … the whole scam. Flynn is a piece of it. The Mueller scam. Now, it came out that Mueller should have announced in the first week that we did nothing wrong. In other words, they had evidence in the first few days that there was no collusion with Russia. There was nothing to do with Russia. They knew that immediately. He didn’t have to take two or two and a half years.

Donald Trump: (22:03)

They knew that immediately. He didn’t have to take two or two and a half years. They knew it immediately. What they’ve put this country through. Jeff Sessions was a disaster. He was a total disaster because he basically let it happen, unknowingly because he’s not very smart, but they let it happen. And it’s a shame what they put this country through.

Sean Hannity: (22:22)

As you look… We now have a Durham report, we now have the Inspector General report. I would imagine there’s probably going to be indictments at the end of this. When you look at the names of the people, for example, the jury foreperson in Roger Stone’s case was prejudiced against… That was not a fair and impartial jury.

Donald Trump: (22:39)

Can you believe it? Can you believe it? The hatred that she had for him and for me. And she said, “Oh no, I don’t know.” She acted like she was an innocent. She ran for Congress or something and lost. But she was pretending to be an innocent. How did she even get into the jury pool? She must have had a little contact. And the judge, who’s been brutal. The judge who sentenced Roger has been brutal. Take a look at what she’s done to people.

Sean Hannity: (23:05)

Same judge in the Manafort case.

Donald Trump: (23:07)

Well, take a look at what she did for Hillary related things, okay? Wasn’t brutal there. But look at what she did to people. Just take a look at what she’s done. And Roger Stone had a jury foreman, forewoman, who was a disaster. How that’s not declared a mistrial or more than a mistrial is incredible to anybody that sees it. This is a person that hated Roger Stone, hated me, and obviously said wonderful things. Otherwise, she couldn’t have gone and-

Sean Hannity: (23:39)

It looks like he reports to jail, I believe in four days. Are you thinking about a pardon for any of them?

Donald Trump: (23:45)

We’re going to see. I don’t want to get into that.

Sean Hannity: (23:47)

Commutation?

Donald Trump: (23:47)

But I think he was treated very unfairly.

Sean Hannity: (23:51)

Clearly.

Donald Trump: (23:51)

Other than he may have been involved very early on, and I’ve known him for a long time, but I’ve known him like everybody in Washington knew him. You have a lot of guys in Washington. He was not involved in the campaign. Maybe a little bit at the very, very beginning, but he wasn’t a part of the campaign. But he’s a professional. They’ve destroyed his life. Totally destroyed his life. What they’ve done to Roger Stone is incredible. And the jury forewoman stands out. And to at least not give him a new trial is inconceivable. And by the way, she was a dominant person. The jurors said she was very dominating in the room. She dominated. He got a tremendously big sentence. You see these guys, they’re burning down buildings, they’re ripping down statues, they’re hurting police. They don’t go to jail. Nothing happens to them. They wanted to give him nine years in jail.

Sean Hannity: (24:48)

Process crime.

Donald Trump: (24:50)

Yeah. If that. If that. And then you have these prosecutors who were Mueller related, the whole Mueller related thing. One friend said to me, “You have to be the most innocent man in the history of the United States.” I had 18 angry Democrat geniuses, all smart, smart as hell. Mueller lost it. But they’re all smart as hell. All these guys were after me. They spent 45, 49, 55, I hear all different numbers, million dollars over a period of two and a half years. And they got nothing on me. I think I am the probably… A friend of mine said, “You have to be the most perfect person.”

Sean Hannity: (25:32)

They had everybody. We’ll take a break. We’ll come back. As we continue from great Green Bay, Wisconsin. Also, the president will be answering your questions as we continue. Stay with us.

Sean Hannity: (25:49)

All right, welcome back. We are in Green Bay, Wisconsin. All right. The audience has some questions for the president. We’re going to start from Linda. Hi Linda from…

Linda: (25:59)

Wausau, Wisconsin.

Sean Hannity: (26:00)

Thank you for being here with us today. Say hello to President Trump.

Donald Trump: (26:03)

Wausau Windows, right? Windows. You know, I bought a lot of Wausau Windows over the years. I shouldn’t give them a free commercial, but they did a good job. It’s a great window.

Linda: (26:12)

They are.

Donald Trump: (26:13)

Wisconsin.

Linda: (26:14)

Love it up here.

Donald Trump: (26:15)

Thank you.

Linda: (26:19)

[foreign language 00:26:16] My Cuban background.

Donald Trump: (26:21)

Good.

Linda: (26:22)

I have a question for you. I appreciate so much what you have done for this country. And I know it’s been tough. What do you think is your greatest accomplishment, in your eyes?

Donald Trump: (26:37)

So a lot of people think it’s the fact that we will have, I think before I’m finished this term, we’ll have close to 300 federal judges. A lot of people think… Because that’s a record. That’s a number that nobody can even believe. And part of it was that President Obama was unable to get judges approved in a large number, about 142 judges. So I took it off, got them approved, and then got a lot approved beyond. So we’ll be close to 302 Supreme Court judges, great ones. And so I think a lot of people would say that.

Donald Trump: (27:07)

I think one of them, though, is our military. We have Space Force, which we’ve added after 76 years, we’ve added a new branch of the military. It’s a big deal, a very important deal, because space is going to be very important. It already is. I would say the rebuilding of the military and the taking care of our vets. We had a 91% joint approval rating the other day. The VA. The VA was a disaster. All of my life, I’ve seen these horror stories. I don’t want to really jinx it, because they’ll go around and find somebody that’s unhappy. But you don’t see that anymore. And our administrator, our secretary, has done a fantastic job. And we’re 91% approval rating with the VA.

Donald Trump: (27:47)

And we got Veterans Choice approved and Veterans Accountability. That’s where you can fire people that do a bad job. You couldn’t do it before. Very hard to get. They tried to get it for 50 years. Because of civil service unions, et cetera, you couldn’t get it. I got it. And the other thing is Veterans Choice, where if they can’t see a doctor, we have great doctors in the VA. But if you can’t see a doctor, you go out and you get a private doctor, we pay the bill. You have no idea how great it’s been. And it’s actually, you save money, believe it or not. But you have no idea. We save lives, tremendous number of lives. And I would say that’s an achievement.

Donald Trump: (28:22)

But we’ve done a lot. The largest tax cuts ever, the largest regular… If you look at our regulation cut, Sean, more than any other administration in history, whether it’s eight years or in one case, more than that, we cut regulations. And we we still have a lot more we’re going to be cutting over the next month and a half, two months. So we’ve done a lot and we’re very proud of it. And we had the best, until this artificial problem, because I call it an artificial problem. We had to turn off our country to save millions of lives, and now we’ve turned it back on, and it’s coming back much faster than anybody thought possible. So we’ve done a lot of things. But it could be judges, could be the military. Thank you.

Linda: (29:03)

Thank you very much.

Sean Hannity: (29:05)

Two questions. Question I get asked most often. The people that love and support you, they want to know why you fight so hard with the media. Why do you fight against them? Why do you com… You take on anybody that goes on. And you answered this, interestingly, in the Martha and Brett town hall. And for those that say, well, maybe you shouldn’t fight on all these issues, what do you say to them?

Donald Trump: (29:32)

I don’t think I have a choice. If I didn’t take on the media, I guarantee I wouldn’t be here with you tonight. I’d be watching on television, maybe I’d be in the crowd, but I’d be watching. I wouldn’t be interviewed. You couldn’t win. And I haven’t, even to this day, every… The New York Times is so dishonest. The Washington Post is so dishonest. They write things… You can do something great and they can make it sound horrible. You can do something good and they can make it sound beyond belief bad, like it’s the worst thing ever. And I said it a little bit before, you can do something great and it doesn’t get reported. That’s, in a way, just as bad, because a lot of people can figure it out.

Donald Trump: (30:15)

The level of dishonesty in the media is… I think they’re the most dishonest people I’ve ever dealt with. Now, not everybody. You’re an honest journalist. You’re a great journalist. We have great journalists. Look at the Pulitzer Prize. The Pulitzer Prize is very embarrassed. It’s lost a lot of its credibility, because all these writers got Pulitzer Prizes on the Russia, Russia, Russia, and they were all wrong. But John Solomon and all of the people that you deal with. And you, by the way. Laura, Lou Dobbs, Fox and Friends, people that are great. Great group in the morning, including the weekends, to be honest, with Pete. You have some great people. But they got Pulitzer Prizes on Russia, Russia, Russia, and they were wrong. Now, a committee should meet-

Sean Hannity: (31:05)

We were right on the deep state. They were wrong. For years, they were wrong for three years.

Donald Trump: (31:09)

No, you were right about everything. You were right on Ukraine. The Ukraine thing was a hoax. It was a pure hoax. Think of it. They impeached a duly elected President of the United States on a perfect conversation. Actually, there were two conversations. The first one was, “Hello, goodbye.” They don’t even talk about that. The second one was about the same thing. They impeached a President of the United States. Now, in all fairness, the Republican Party was great, because they got 196 to nothing Republican votes in the House, and 52 1/2 to 1/2, Romney. Romney. Half of a… I call it 52 1/2 to 1/2, because he had two votes and one was yes. But we did. They were great. The Republican Party was great. They were steadfast because they knew it was a hoax. It was purely a party line impeachment. Nothing like that’s ever happened before.

Sean Hannity: (32:05)

To add to that, they had to ignore Joe on tape saying, “You’re not getting the billion unless you fire the prosecutor investigating my zero experience on making millions.” But with that said, Jim is with us from beautiful Wisconsin. Hey, Jim.

Jim: (32:20)

Thank you, Sean. Mr. President, welcome to Green Bay, Wisconsin and Northeast Wisconsin.

Donald Trump: (32:25)

Thank you.

Jim: (32:25)

Great to have you with us. My question for you is, with all the unrest we’ve seen across the country, and right here in the state of Wisconsin, last night in our capital city, a Senator was beaten, Lady Forward was ripped off her pedestal, we lost some other statues. What steps is the administration taking to give us back our streets?

Donald Trump: (32:44)

So very strong. You happen to have a Democrat governor right now. If you would have had Governor Walker, that wouldn’t have happened.

Jim: (32:52)

That’s right.

Donald Trump: (32:52)

Wouldn’t have happened. I’m not saying it. If Scott were your governor, that would not have happened. But it did happen and it was a shame. And the person they beat up was a dem-

Donald Trump: (33:03)

And it was a shame. The person they beat up was a Democrat who happened to be gay. He was probably out there rooting them on or something, because Democrats think it’s wonderful that they’re destroying our country. It’s a very sick thing going on. Nobody’s ever seen it.

Donald Trump: (33:16)

Biden is going to be… Look, I don’t think Biden’s a radical left, but it doesn’t matter, because they’re going to just do whatever they want to do. They’ll take him over. He can’t perform. He’s not going to be able to perform. He’s shot. He’s shot. Whether you like it or not, he’s shot. The radical left is going to take him over. Look what happened. Eliot Engel was a pretty main line guy. He lost by like 37 points or so. He just got killed in the election we just had yesterday.

Donald Trump: (33:45)

He was supposed to be a shoo-in, and he got hit by a strong far left candidate. You have a couple of other Congressmen and women that probably are going to lose, or are going to lose, very close. Too close to call. Look at what’s happened to the Democrats, and these are real lefties. These are people that… Take a look at Venezuela. Venezuela was a very rich country, a great country, a beacon 20 years ago, 15 years ago. People looked… Richest country in Latin South America. Richest, everything good. They don’t have food. They don’t have water. They have death all over. People have nothing.

Donald Trump: (34:27)

It’s the same exact mindset and philosophy that we have today on attack, and it won’t happen. Not while I’m here, it won’t happen. But a guy like Biden, he’s going to have no power to do anything about it. And they’re dragging him. I don’t know if you saw, Bernie Sanders said, “My sole focus now is to take Joe Biden way left.” They’re going to do it, because there’s nobody in the center left. He was left anyway, but there’s nobody in the center or center left.

Donald Trump: (34:56)

I mean, it’s a disgrace what’s happened to our country. Now, with that being said, the Republicans have to get tougher. And I’m telling them all the time, because they’re sitting back, they want to be politically correct. They think, “Oh, it’s terrible to say something bad.” No, no, no. I told them. You’ll see, if anyone attacks… I stopped it the other night, I stopped it a number of times, but you’ll see what’s happening. We told him, every night we’re going to get tougher and tougher. At some point, there’s going to be retribution, because there has to be. These people have vandals, but they’re agitators, but they’re really terrorists, in a sense.

Donald Trump: (35:33)

So I think you’ll be extremely impressed, but you have to put pressure. Also, I love the Republicans. I told you, they came from me a hundred percent. I’m at 96% approval rating in the Republican party. But I said, “You’re going to have to get tougher. You can’t be politically correct anymore, because we’re really fighting something that’s very dangerous.” Thank you.

Speaker 1: (35:53)

Thank you, Mr. President.

Sean Hannity: (35:55)

Let’s talk about a second term. If you hear in 131 days from now, at some point in the night or early morning, we can now project Donald J. Trump has been reelected the 45th president of the United States. Let’s talk. What’s at stake in this election as you compare and contrast, and what is one of your top priority items for a second term?

Donald Trump: (36:17)

Well, one of the things that will be really great… You know, the word experience is still good. I always say talent is more important than experience. I’ve always said that, but the word experience is a very important word. It’s a very important meeting. I never did this before. I never slept over in Washington. I was in Washington, I think, 17 times. All of a sudden, I’m president of the United States. You know the story. I’m riding down Pennsylvania Avenue with our First Lady and I say, “This is great.”

Donald Trump: (36:43)

But I didn’t know very many people in Washington, it wasn’t my thing. I was from Manhattan from New York. Now I know everybody, and I have great people in the administration. You make some mistakes. An idiot like Bolton, all he wanted to do is drop bombs on everybody. You don’t have to drop bums on everybody. You don’t have to kill people. [ crosstalk 00:37:01]-

Sean Hannity: (37:01)

If John Bolton, in fact, released classified material. Should he be prosecuted?

Donald Trump: (37:06)

Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Well, he did release classified. Actually, he had a… A judge said that they released the book early, so he couldn’t do it.

Sean Hannity: (37:14)

Yeah, so they couldn’t stop it.

Donald Trump: (37:14)

But he said, “This is very dangerous, what you’ve done for yourself. And also, any money that you’ve made, good luck.” This was a very powerful opinion that we had. No. He’s sort of a sick guy. There’s something wrong with him. But I noticed that earlier, he made two very bad mistakes. He made a mistake where he talked about the Libyan model. I won’t go to explain that, but some of you understand, he was on Deface the Nation. And he talked about the Libyan model. I said, “That’s a disaster,” because you know why.

Donald Trump: (37:45)

And the other thing he said, “Going into Iraq was a good thing.” I said, “Okay, John, but now you know it wasn’t, right?” “No, no. I still think it was.” I said, “So we’re in for $8 trillion in the Middle East, and you think that was a good thing?” And I’m pulling out, you know, I’ve getting everybody out nice and easy. Everyone’s going nicely. Going nicely. “You think it was good to go into Iraq, go into the Middle East?”

Donald Trump: (38:10)

“Yes.” So those two things happened early in his little period of time. He was only there a short while. Once he said those two things, I no longer paid much attention to him, if any. But I’ll tell you, he was good for one thing. Everyone thought he was crazy, because all he wants to do is bomb people. You know, he’ll fight Russia. Let’s fight Russia. Let’s fight China. Let’s take them on at the same time. He’s crazy. When I walked into a room with him, I knew that. When they saw Bolton, they always gave me what I wanted, because they said, “Trump’s going to drop bombs on me. He’s got this maniac with him.”

Donald Trump: (38:42)

So in a way, he helped me in terms of a negotiation. But seriously, he didn’t do a good job. He wasn’t smart. He wasn’t sharp. And he’s the only man I think I’ve ever met… I knew him for a year, one year, whatever the time was, short time. I don’t think I ever saw him smile once. I said to him once, “John, do you have a smile?” And it tells you something about somebody.

Sean Hannity: (39:04)

You still beat back the caliphate. You got Baghdadi and associates, you got Soleimani. You got the al Qaeda leader in Yemen.

Donald Trump: (39:11)

We’ve done a lot, we’ve done a lot. We took out Soleimani, number one heroist in the world. We took out al-Baghdadi. He was also considered number one. I guess they fought for number one, I got them both. Obama should have gotten al-Baghdadi, but we took them both out.

Sean Hannity: (39:25)

And the caliphate.

Donald Trump: (39:26)

We took a hundred percent of the caliphate. When I took it over, it was all over the place. It was a disaster. That’s the ISIS caliphate.

Sean Hannity: (39:32)

It won’t be on your second term agenda to drop cargo planes of cash for mullahs in Iran, I’m just guessing.

Donald Trump: (39:40)

I got 1.8 billion in green, beautiful cash. But in cash, 1.8 billion, I think it was five plane loads of cash. Five plane loads.

Sean Hannity: (39:48)

Cargo.

Donald Trump: (39:49)

1.8 billion and 150 billion. Actually, I was more impressed with 1.8 billion in cash, if you want to know that truth. So it was one of those things.

Sean Hannity: (39:56)

Mark, Wisconsin. Hey Mark, how are you?

Donald Trump: (39:58)

Hi Mark.

Mark: (39:59)

Doing well. Looking forward to your second-

Donald Trump: (40:02)

He looks like Bolton, but a better looking version. Look at him.

Mark: (40:06)

I could do the same-

Donald Trump: (40:07)

Much better looking.

Mark: (40:07)

I could do a better job, I think.

Donald Trump: (40:08)

I don’t think he likes it.

Mark: (40:10)

Looking forward to your second term.

Donald Trump: (40:13)

Thank you.

Mark: (40:13)

The big concern I’ve got is, how are you going to make sure that the election is fair and free from fraudulent “absentee votes” and mail-in ballots? That’s the concern I’ve got.

Donald Trump: (40:25)

I think it’s the most important question I’ll be asked, because it’s a great question. Now we have a mail-in thing. As you see California, he’s sending out millions and millions of ballots. Where are they going? Where aren’t they going? Is the postman going to hand them out? Are they going to take them out of the mailboxes?

Donald Trump: (40:42)

The other thing, Mark, it’s very important. You get to foreign countries. You know, they keep talking, oh, Russia, China, this. Especially China, not Russia, especially China. Are they going to print millions of ballots using the exact same paper, using the exact same machines, and are they going to print ballots, and then hand them in? And all of a sudden, it’s the biggest risk we have: the mail-in ballot. Not so much the absentee ballot, because an absentee, like I’m in the White House, and I have to vote in Florida, et cetera, et cetera. You’re absentee, it’s okay.

Donald Trump: (41:14)

But people go through a process for that. You know, it’s really pretty good. But the mail-in ballots, they mail them to anybody, and they send them out by the millions. I think I read over 30 million ballots are going to be sent out in California. Where are they going? Nobody’s standing there watching you vote. At least the other way, you get in line, and they’re using… You know, I said the other day. We went through World War I and we voted. We went through World War II and we voted, and now we have a virus. By that time, it’ll be less and less. Why aren’t we going to vote? People want to vote, but it would be nice to be able to see the people. On top of that, they should have ID voting.

Mark: (41:53)

Absolutely.

Donald Trump: (41:53)

Okay. We should have ID ballots.

Mark: (41:55)

Absolutely.

Sean Hannity: (41:57)

Great question. You’ve said you would like to have more than three debates with Joe Biden.

Donald Trump: (42:03)

I said I’ll have three, and any amount they want. I didn’t say I want more. See, if you say you want more, just to show what a tricky business is. I want more. They’ll say, “Oh, he feels he’s losing. He wants more,” so I don’t like to say that. I will do whatever number they want to do. That’s okay with me three.

Sean Hannity: (42:19)

But a minimum of three.

Donald Trump: (42:20)

Yeah, I guess the three is the minimum. Now, he’s already saying that he can’t do the debates because of COVID. You believe it? “I can’t do the debates because of COVID.” I just heard a little inkling of it two days ago. I said, “Watch this one.” Now, I will do any amount of debates. You understand what I mean? If I say, “I want to do 10 debates,” they’ll say, “Oh, he’s afraid. He’s afraid he’s going to lose.”

Donald Trump: (42:40)

No, no. What I want to do is, I’ll do the three, and I’ll do any amount that they want. It doesn’t make any difference to me. He is a candidate that will destroy this country, and he may not do it himself. He will be run by a radical fringe group of lunatics that will destroy our country. And people have to know that.

Jul 19, 2020

Donald Trump Chris Wallace Interview Transcript July 19
Donald Trump Chris Wallace Fox News Interview
Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump Chris Wallace Interview Transcript July 19
On July 19, Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday interviewed President Donald Trump at the White House. There were several noteworthy soundbites from the interview that made the news. Read the full transcript here.

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Chris Wallace: (00:00)
And hello again from Fox News in Washington today from the White House. We’re on the president’s patio, just outside the oval office. President Trump, you’ve agreed to answer all manner of questions, no subject off limits. Thank you, and welcome back to Fox News Sunday.

Donald Trump: (00:15)
Thank you very much.

Chris Wallace: (00:17)
Let’s start with the surge of the coronavirus across the country in recent months. You still talk about it as, “Burning embers,” but I want to put up a chart that shows where we are with the illness over the last four months. As you can see, we hit a peak here in April, 36,000 cases-

Donald Trump: (00:37)
Cases.

Chris Wallace: (00:37)
… a day.

Donald Trump: (00:38)
Yeah, cases.

Chris Wallace: (00:39)
Then it went down and now since June, it has gone up, more than doubled. One day this week, 75,000 new cases.

Donald Trump: (00:48)
That’s right.

Chris Wallace: (00:48)
More than double the old-

Donald Trump: (00:49)
Chris, that’s because we have great testing, because we have the best testing in the world. If we didn’t test, you wouldn’t be able to show that chart. If we tested half as much, those numbers would be down. We tested-

Chris Wallace: (00:59)
But this isn’t burning embers, sir. This is a forest fire.

Donald Trump: (01:01)
No, no. But I don’t say… I say flames. We’ll put out the flames and we’ll put out, in some cases, just burning embers. We also have burning embers. We have embers and we do have flames. Florida became more flame-like, but it’s going to be under control. And it’s not just this country. It’s many countries. We don’t talk about it in the news. They don’t talk about Mexico and Brazil and still parts of Europe, which actually got hit sooner than us, so it’s a little ahead of us in that sense. But you take a look, why don’t they talk about Mexico, which is not helping us? And all I can say is thank God I built most of the wall because if I didn’t have the wall up we would have a much bigger problem with Mexico.

Chris Wallace: (01:38)
But sir, we have the seventh highest mortality rate in the world. Our mortality rate is higher than Brazil, it’s higher than Russia, and the European Union has us on a travel ban.

Donald Trump: (01:50)
Yeah, I think what we’ll do… Well, we have them on a travel ban, too, Chris. I closed them off. If you remember, I was the one that did the European Union very early. But when you talk about mortality rates, I think it’s the opposite. I think we have one of the lowest mortality rates in the world.

Chris Wallace: (02:04)
That’s not true, sir.

Donald Trump: (02:05)
Well we’re going to take a look.

Chris Wallace: (02:05)
We had 900 deaths on a single day.

Donald Trump: (02:08)
We will take a look.

Chris Wallace: (02:09)
This week-

Donald Trump: (02:10)
Ready?

Chris Wallace: (02:11)
Do you contribute-

Donald Trump: (02:12)
Would you please get me the mortality rate?

Speaker 1: (02:14)
Yeah.

Donald Trump: (02:14)
Kaylee’s right here. I heard we had one of the lowest, maybe the lowest mortality rate anywhere in the world. Do you have the numbers, please? Because I heard we had the best mortality rate.

Kaylee: (02:23)
This is it. Please speed up [inaudible 00:02:26] countries as Dr. Burks points out. And this is a chart-

Donald Trump: (02:30)
Number one low mortality rate. I hope you show this in there because it shows what fake news is all about. Go ahead.

Chris Wallace: (02:35)
I don’t think I’m fake news, but I will put-

Donald Trump: (02:37)
Today you were.

Chris Wallace: (02:37)
We’ll put our stats on.

Donald Trump: (02:38)
You said we had the worst mortality rate in the world, and we have the best.

Chris Wallace: (02:41)
I said you had the [crosstalk 00:02:42].

Speaker 2: (02:42)
All right, it’s a little complicated, but bear with us. We went with numbers from Johns Hopkins University, which charted the mortality rate for 20 countries hit by the virus. The US ranked seventh, better than the United Kingdom, but worse than Brazil and Russia. The White House went with this chart from the European CDC, which shows Italy and Spain doing worse, but countries like Brazil and South Korea doing better. Other countries doing better, like Russia, aren’t included in the White House chart.

Chris Wallace: (03:11)
California locking down again. Florida, deadliest day of the entire pandemic. Hospitals at capacity a number of places around the country, shortages of testing, shortages of personal protective equipment for nurses and doctors. A lot of people say this is because we don’t have a national plan. You talk about states, we don’t have a national plan. Do you take responsibility for that?

Donald Trump: (03:35)
Look, I take responsibility always for everything because it’s ultimately my job to. I have to get everybody in line. Some governors have done well, some governors have done poorly. They’re supposed to have supplies they didn’t have, I supplied everybody. Now we have somewhat of a surge in certain areas and other areas we’re doing great, but we have a surge in certain areas. But you don’t hear people complaining about ventilators. We’ve got all the ventilators we can use. We’re supplying them to other countries. We go out into parking lots and everything, everybody gets a test. We find if we did half the testing, with all of that being said, I’m glad we did it. This is the right way to do it. I’m glad we did what we’re doing, but we have more tests by far than any country in the world.

Chris Wallace: (04:20)
But sir, testing is up 37%.

Donald Trump: (04:24)
Well, that’s good.

Chris Wallace: (04:25)
I understand. Cases are up 194%. It isn’t just that testing has gone up, it’s that the virus has spread. The positivity rate has increased. The virus is worse than it was.

Donald Trump: (04:37)
Many of those cases are young people that would heal in today. They have the sniffles and we put it down as a test. Many of them. Don’t forget, I guess it’s like 99.7%. People are going to get better. And in many cases, they’re going to get better very quickly. We go out and we look, and then on the news, look, if you go back to the news, even your wonderful competitors, you’ll see cases are up. Cases are up. Many of those cases shouldn’t even be cases. Cases are up because we have the best testing in the world, and we have the most testing. No country has ever done what we’ve done in terms of testing. We are the envy of the world. They call and they say the most incredible job anybody’s done is our job on testing, because we’re going to very shortly be up to 50 million tests. You look at other countries, they don’t even do tests. They do tests if somebody walks into the hospital, they’re sick, they’re really sick, they test them then, or they’ll test them in a doctor’s office. But they don’t go around and have massive areas of testing, and we do. And I’m glad we do, but it really skews the numbers.

Chris Wallace: (05:41)
I’m going to do you a favor, because I’m sure a lot of people listening right now are going to say, “Trump, he tries to play it down, he tries to make it not seem as serious as it is.”

Donald Trump: (05:50)
I don’t play it… I’m not [crosstalk 00:05:50]. No, this is very serious.

Chris Wallace: (05:50)
When you see 75,000 cases a day.

Donald Trump: (05:54)
Show me the death chart.

Chris Wallace: (05:55)
Well, I don’t have the death chart.

Donald Trump: (05:57)
Well, the death chart is much more important.

Chris Wallace: (05:59)
I can tell you the death chart is 1, 000 cases a day.

Donald Trump: (06:02)
Excuse me. It’s all too much. It shouldn’t be one case. It came from China, they should have never let it escape, they should have never let it out. But it is what it is. Take a look at Europe, take a look at the numbers in Europe. And by the way, they’re having surges.

Chris Wallace: (06:14)
I can tell you, cases are 6,000 in the whole European Union.

Donald Trump: (06:17)
They don’t test. They don’t test like we do.

Chris Wallace: (06:20)
Is it possible that they don’t have the virus as badly as we do?

Donald Trump: (06:22)
No, it’s possible that they don’t test. That’s what’s possible. We find cases, and many of those cases heal automatically. We’re finding in a way we’re creating trouble. Certainly we’re creating trouble for the fake news to come along and say, “Oh, we have more cases.” Look, we did something that nobody’s ever done. Not only the ventilators where we’re supplying them all over the world. We did a testing program, the likes of which nobody’s ever done before.

Chris Wallace: (06:48)
The head of the CDC, Dr. Redfield, said this on Tuesday.

Dr. Redfield: (06:52)
I do think the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be probably one of the most difficult times that we’ve experienced in American public health.

Chris Wallace: (07:01)
Do you agree with Dr. Redfield?

Donald Trump: (07:02)
I don’t know and I don’t think he knows. I don’t think anybody knows with this. This is a very tricky deal. Everybody thought the summer it would go away and it would come back in the fall. Well, in the summer it came, they used to say the heat was good for it and it really knocks it out. Remember? And then it might come back in the fall. So they got that one wrong. They got a lot wrong. They got a lot wrong, the World Health got a tremendous amount wrong. They basically did whatever China wanted them to. And we’ll save now almost $500 million a year, which is nice. But the World Health got a lot wrong.

Chris Wallace: (07:34)
But this is one of the sharpest criticisms of you.

Donald Trump: (07:37)
I agree.

Chris Wallace: (07:38)
People say that you talk about the world as you’d like to see it rather than follow the science.

Donald Trump: (07:44)
No, I-

Chris Wallace: (07:46)
Let me just ask the question, sir. Why on earth would your administration be involved in a campaign at this point to discredit Dr. Fauci, who is the nation’s top infectious disease expert?

Donald Trump: (07:59)
Because we’re not. If one man from my administration doesn’t like him because he made a few mistakes… Look, Dr. Fauci said don’t wear a mask. Dr. Fauci told me not to ban China, it would be a big mistake. I did it over and above his recommendation. Dr. Fauci then said, “You saved tens of thousands of lives more than that.” He said, “You saved tens of thousands of lives.” Dr. Fauci’s made some mistakes, but I have a very good… I spoke to him yesterday at length. I have a very good relationship with Dr. Fauci.

Chris Wallace: (08:28)
But, sir, this weekend your White House put out a series of statements, so-called mistakes that Dr. Fauci had made. One of your closest aides, one of your right-hand men, Daniel Scavino, put out this. Have you seen this? Dr. Faucet. It shows him as a leaker and an alarmest.

Donald Trump: (08:50)
I don’t know that he’s a leaker.

Chris Wallace: (08:51)
Why would he say that?

Donald Trump: (08:52)
He’s a little bit of an alarmest. That’s okay. A little bit of an alarmest.

Chris Wallace: (08:53)
He’s a bit of an alarmest?

Donald Trump: (08:55)
A little bit of an alarmest. Let me just say, Dr. Fauci, at the beginning… And again, I have a great relationship with him. I spoke to him at length yesterday. Dr. Fauci, at the beginning, said, “This will pass. Don’t worry about it. This will pass.” He was wrong. Dr. Fauci said, “Don’t ban China. Don’t ban China.” I did. He then admitted that I was right.

Chris Wallace: (09:13)
But you made mistakes, too.

Donald Trump: (09:14)
I guess everybody makes mistakes.

Chris Wallace: (09:15)
I was going to say, you said at one point-

Donald Trump: (09:17)
One person coming in from China and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.

Donald Trump: (09:24)
When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.

Donald Trump: (09:32)
I think we’re going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that, at some point, that’s going to sort of just disappear, I hope.

Donald Trump: (09:40)
I’ll be right eventually. I will be right eventually.

Chris Wallace: (09:43)
I understand.

Donald Trump: (09:43)
I said it’s going to disappear. I’ll say it again, it’s going to disappear, and I’ll be right.

Chris Wallace: (09:47)
But does that discredit you?

Donald Trump: (09:47)
I don’t think so.

Chris Wallace: (09:48)
Right.

Donald Trump: (09:49)
I don’t think so. You know why it doesn’t discredit me? Because I’ve been right probably more than anybody else.

Chris Wallace: (09:54)
Then there are masks. From the first day that the CDC said that people should wear a mask on April third, you said you weren’t going to. You wore a mask for the first time in public at Walter Reed this weekend. Question, the CDC says, “If everybody wore a mask for four to six weeks, we could get this under control.” Do you regret not wearing a mask in public from the start, and will you consider a national mandate that people need to wear masks?

Donald Trump: (10:24)
No, I want people to have a certain freedom and I don’t believe in that. No. And I don’t agree with the statement that if everybody wore a mask everything disappears. Hey, Dr. Fauci said don’t wear a mask. Our surgeon general, terrific guy, said don’t wear a mask. Everybody was saying don’t wear a mask. All of a sudden everybody’s got to wear a mask. And as you know, masks cause problems, too. With that being said, I’m a believer in masks. I think masks are good. But I leave it up to the governors. Many of the governors are changing, they’re more mask into, they like the concept of masks. But some of them don’t agree. I do say this, schools have to open, young people have to go to school and there’s…

Donald Trump: (11:03)
… Have to open. Young people have to go to school and there’s problems when you don’t go to school too. And there’s going to be a funding problem because we’re not going to fund … When they don’t open their schools, we’re not going to fund them. We’re not going to give them money, if they’re not going to school, if they don’t open their schools.

Chris Wallace: (11:15)
Two points on that. First of all, what the federal government gives is eight percent.

Donald Trump: (11:20)
It’s 10%, and you know what? That’s a lot of money.

Chris Wallace: (11:24)
You know where the money goes? It goes overwhelmingly to disadvantaged kids and children with disabilities.

Donald Trump: (11:31)
Let the schools-

Chris Wallace: (11:31)
Why wouldn’t you send more money, so the schools will be safer.

Donald Trump: (11:34)
Chris, let the schools open. Did you ever see the statistics on young people below the age of 18? The state of New Jersey had thousands of deaths. Of all of these thousands, one person below the age of 18 in the entire state, one person. And that was a person that had, I believe he said diabetes. One person below the age of 18 died in the state of New Jersey during all of this. They had a hard time and they’re doing very well now. So that’s it.

Chris Wallace: (12:04)
The stimulus bill is running out the end of this month.

Donald Trump: (12:07)
Yeah.

Chris Wallace: (12:08)
The Republicans say they want liability limits, which the Democrats don’t like. You say that you want a payroll tax cut, which even some Republicans are cool to.

Donald Trump: (12:19)
Well a lot of Republicans like it, though. You know what I mean?

Chris Wallace: (12:21)
Will you only sign a bill that has those two provisions?

Donald Trump: (12:25)
Well, we’re going to see, but we do need protections because businesses are going to get sued just because somebody walked in. You don’t know where this virus comes from. They’ll sit down at a restaurant, they’ll sue the restaurant, the guy’s out of business.

Chris Wallace: (12:35)
Right.

Donald Trump: (12:35)
So we do need some kind of immunity. You do need it, just like you need immunity for the police. Okay? Whether they like it or not, you need immunity for the police, but they do need a form of immunity. You don’t know if they caught it and nobody’s ever going to be able to prove it one way or the other. You can’t put the people out. Look, the Democrats don’t want to do that because they’re totally captured by the lobby of lawyers. The lawyers lobby is probably the most powerful in the country.

Chris Wallace: (13:01)
What about the payroll tax cut?

Donald Trump: (13:02)
I want to see it. I want to see it.

Chris Wallace: (13:06)
It is in the bill?

Donald Trump: (13:06)
I’ll have to see. But yeah, I would consider not signing it, if we don’t have a payroll tax cut. Yes.

Chris Wallace: (13:12)
Hot enough for you here, Mr. President?

Donald Trump: (13:13)
It’s hot. Well, it’s almost record breaking stuff.

Chris Wallace: (13:18)
We wanted to do it inside. This was your choice.

Donald Trump: (13:20)
And I wanted you to sweat a little bit.

Chris Wallace: (13:22)
Well, we both are. There has been a spike in violent crime in America in recent weeks. We’ve seen deaths up in New York, deaths up in Chicago, shootings. How do you explain it? And what are you going to do about it?

Donald Trump: (13:37)
I explain it very simply by saying, their Democrat run cities, they’re liberally run. They’re stupidly run. We have a forced them in Seattle to end the chop because we were going in that following day. You probably have heard it. We were getting ready to go in. We were all set. And when they heard that we were going, they set their police force.

Chris Wallace: (13:56)
Liberal Democrats have been running cities in this country for decades.

Donald Trump: (14:00)
Poorly.

Chris Wallace: (14:00)
Why is it so bad right now?

Donald Trump: (14:03)
They’ve run them poorly. It was always bad, but now it’s gotten totally out of control. And it’s really because they want to defund the police and Biden wants to defund the police.

Chris Wallace: (14:12)
Sire, he does not.

Donald Trump: (14:13)
Look, he signed a charter with Bernie Sanders. I will get that one. Just like I was right in the mortality rate. Did you read the chart of that he agreed to?

Chris Wallace: (14:24)
It says nothing about defunding the police.

Donald Trump: (14:25)
Oh, really? It says abolish. It says, defund. Let’s go.

Chris Wallace: (14:27)
All right.

Donald Trump: (14:28)
Get me the charter, please.

Chris Wallace: (14:29)
All right to that.

Donald Trump: (14:30)
Chris, you’ve got to start studying for these.

Chris Wallace: (14:31)
He says, defund the police?

Donald Trump: (14:34)
He says, defund the police. They talk about abolishing the police. They talk about illegal aliens pouring-

Chris Wallace: (14:41)
I look forward to seeing that. Meanwhile, the George Floyd murder has re-ignited the issue of racism in policing in this country. I want to give you a couple of statistics. Nationwide, blacks are twice as likely, fewer in absolute numbers, but in terms of per capita. Blacks are twice as likely to be shot and killed by police as whites are. In Minneapolis over the last five years, police use force against blacks at a rate seven times that against whites. Can you understand why blacks would be angry at that?

Donald Trump: (15:13)
Of course, I do. Of course, I do. Many whites are killed, also. You have to say that. I mean, many, many whites are killed. I hate the sound, but this is going on for decades. This is going on for a long time. Long before I got here. If you look at what’s going on in Portland, those are anarchists and we’ve taken a very tough stand. If we didn’t take a stand in Portland, we’ve arrested many of these leaders. If we didn’t take that stand right now, you would have a problem like … They were going to lose Portland. So let’s see what this says here. Prosecution, sanctuary cities, incentivize illegal alien, expand asylum, abolish immigration detention.

Chris Wallace: (15:53)
That’s not-

Donald Trump: (15:53)
Well, no. We’ll find it.

Chris Wallace: (15:55)
Okay.

Donald Trump: (15:55)
This thing is many pages long. End prosecution of illegal border crossers, Support deathly. And these are the worst-[crosstalk 00:16:05]

Chris Wallace: (16:04)
Sir, I’m not disagreeing with you on any of those. I’m disagreeing about defund police.

Chris Wallace: (16:09)
The White House never sent us evidence, the Bernie, Biden platform calls for defunding or abolishing police because there is none. It calls for increased funding for police departments that meet certain standards. Biden has called for redirecting some police funding for related programs like mental health counseling.

Chris Wallace: (16:28)
This week, you said that Black Lives Matter and the Confederate flag are both issues of freedom of speech.

Donald Trump: (16:35)
Yeah.

Chris Wallace: (16:36)
But in the case of the Confederate flag, there are a lot of people who say these were traders who split from this country, fought this country in large part to preserve slavery. Is the Confederate flag offensive?

Donald Trump: (16:53)
It depends on who you’re talking about, when you’re talking about. When people proudly have their Confederate flags, they’re not talking about racism. They love their flag. It represents the South. They like the South. People right now like the South. I say it’s freedom of many things, but it’s freedom of speech.

Chris Wallace: (17:09)
So you’re not offended by it?

Donald Trump: (17:10)
Well, I’m not offended either by Black Lives Matter. That’s freedom of speech. And the whole thing with cancel culture. We can’t cancel our whole history. We can’t forget that the North and the South fought. We have to remember that. Otherwise, we’ll end up fighting again. You can’t just cancel all-

Chris Wallace: (17:28)
But let me ask you this one. It gets to be more than just canceled. Well, maybe this is canceled culture. The National Defense Authorization Act, the NDAA. You have threatened to veto it because in the bill, and this is supported by Republicans as well as Democrats that would rename army bases named for Confederate generals. Now, this is a bill that funds military operations. It gives the soldiers a pay raise. You’re going to veto that?

Donald Trump: (17:55)
No, because they’ll get their pay raise. Hey look, don’t tell me this. I got soldiers the biggest pay raises in the history of our military. I got soldiers, brand new equipment, brand new jets, brand new rockets, brand new … Two point five trillion. I did more for the military than any president that’s ever had this office.

Chris Wallace: (18:12)
But you’re going to veto this one?

Donald Trump: (18:12)
Because I think that Fort Bragg, Fort Robert E. Lee, all of these forts that have been named that way for a long time, decades and decades.

Chris Wallace: (18:21)
But the military says they’re for this.

Donald Trump: (18:23)
Excuse me, excuse me. I don’t care what the military says. I’m supposed to make the decision. Fort Bragg is a big deal. We won two World Wars. Nobody even knows General Bragg. We won two World Wars. Go to that community where Fort Bragg is, in a great state. I love that state. Go to the community. Say, “How do you like the idea of renaming Fort Bragg?” And then what are we going to name it? You’re going to name it after the Reverend Al Sharpton, what are you going to name it, Chris? Tell me what you’re going to name it. So there’s a whole thing here. We won two World Wars, two World Wars. Beautiful world Wars that were vicious and horrible. And we won them out of Fort Bragg. We won it out of all these forts and now they want to throw those names away.

Donald Trump: (19:09)
And no, I’m against that. And you know what most other people are. And I don’t believe in polls because I see the fakest polls I’ve ever seen. But that poll is a 64% thing, which actually surprised me. We won World Wars out of these military bases. No, I’m not going to go changing them. I’m not going to go changing them.

Chris Wallace: (19:29)
So you’ll veto that?

Donald Trump: (19:30)
I might. Yeah. I might.

Chris Wallace: (19:32)
At Mount Rushmore on July 3rd. You said that we face a far left fascism in this country. And then you said this.

Donald Trump: (19:39)
Our children are taught in school to hate their own country. And to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but that were villains.

Chris Wallace: (19:52)
You said, “Our children are taught in school to hate our country.” Where do you see that?

Donald Trump: (19:58)
I just look at school. I watch, I read. Look at the stuff. Now they want to change, 1492 Columbus discovered America. We grew up, you grew up, we all did. That’s what we learned. Now, they want to make it the 1619 Project. Where did that come from? What does it represent? I don’t even know.

Chris Wallace: (20:16)
It’s slavery.

Donald Trump: (20:17)
That’s what they’re saying, but they don’t even know it. They just want to make a change. Cancel culture, I hate the term actually, but I use it. Cancel culture.

Chris Wallace: (20:24)
But are they teaching people to hate America?

Donald Trump: (20:25)
I think so. Yeah. I think so. Look at the professors. Look at what’s going on in the colleges, if a conservator goes on a college. And look, we have as many as them. Excuse me, I think to the best of my knowledge was sitting at the White House and the Oval Office is right behind me. We have as many as them.

Chris Wallace: (20:43)
Who’s them?

Donald Trump: (20:44)
The liberal radical left. And I’m not talking all. I think liberal, I could tell you, I like a lot of liberal people. I like a lot of liberal governors, and senators, but Chris, we have a radical left destructive ideology and it’s being taught in our schools and don’t act like you’re surprised to hear this. There are books written about it and we can’t let that go on. We can’t let them change the true meaning of what we’re all about. And that’s what they’re trying to do. And I don’t want it to happen. Not on my watch. It’s not going to happen on my watch.

Chris Wallace: (21:20)
Mr. President, you’ll be happy to know that FOX News has a new poll out today. And you’re going to be the very first person to hear about it. In the national horse race, Joe Biden leads you by eight points, 49% to 41. That’s I think three, four points slimmer than it was a month ago.

Donald Trump: (21:40)
Fake polls.

Chris Wallace: (21:40)
And on the issues, people trust Biden more to handle the coronavirus by 17 points, on race relations by 21 points. And even on the economy, they trust Biden more, by one point. I understand we still have more than a 100 days to this election, but at this point you’re losing.

Donald Trump: (21:59)
First of all, I’m not losing because those are fake polls. They were faking …

Donald Trump: (22:03)
… Losing, because those are fake polls. They were fake in 2016 and now they’re even more fake. The polls were much worse in 2016. They interviewed 22% Republican. Well, how do you do 22% Republican? You see what’s going on. I have other polls that put me leading. And we have polls where I’m leading. I have a poll where we’re leading in every swing state. And I don’t believe that you’re… First of all, the Fox polls, whoever does your Fox polls, they’re among the worst. They got it all wrong in 2016. They’ve been wrong on every poll I’ve ever seen.

Chris Wallace: (22:35)
I must tell you-

Donald Trump: (22:35)
… No, I’m just telling you. And let me ask you this. So on the economy, so I’ve always led on the economy. By a lot.

Chris Wallace: (22:41)
I know, which is why I was surprised by this number.

Donald Trump: (22:42)
Biden can’t put two sentences together. They wheel him out, he goes up, he repeats, they ask him questions, he reads the teleprompter and then he goes back into his basement. You tell me the American people want to have that, in an age where we’re in trouble with other nations that are looking to do numbers on us.

Chris Wallace: (23:00)
So let me ask you a direct question. No, I’m going to ask you a direct question about Joe Biden. Is Joe Biden senile?

Donald Trump: (23:06)
I don’t want to say that. I say he’s not competent to be president. To be president you have to be sharp, and tough and so many other things. That he doesn’t even come out of his basement. They think, this is a great campaign. So he goes in, I’ll then make a speech. It’ll be a great speech. And some young guys start writing, “Vice President Biden said, this, this, this, this.” He didn’t say it. Joe doesn’t know he’s alive. Okay? He doesn’t know he’s alive. Do the American people want that? Number one. Number two, I built the greatest economy ever built anywhere in the world. Not only in this country, anywhere in the world, until we got hit with the China Virus. We got hit with a virus. Shouldn’t have happened. And we had to closeup. We saved millions of lives. Now we’ve opened it up.

Donald Trump: (23:47)
Got to go back to school. We’re open. You got to do things. We had the best job numbers we’ve ever had last month. We should have good ones coming up in two weeks. Look, I built the greatest economy in history. I’m now doing it again. You see the numbers, the numbers are through the roof. The Democrats are purposely keeping their schools closed, keeping their states closed. I called Michigan. I want to have a big rally in Michigan. Do you know we’re not allowed to have a rally in Michigan? Do you know what not allowed to have a rally in Minnesota? Do you know we’re not allowed to have a rally in Nevada? We’re not allowed to have rallies.

Chris Wallace: (24:19)
Well, some people would say [crosstalk 00:24:20].

Donald Trump: (24:20)
In these Democrat run states.

Chris Wallace: (24:21)
Wait a minute. Some people would say that that’s a health risk.

Donald Trump: (24:23)
Some people would say fine. But I guarantee you [crosstalk 00:24:26].

Chris Wallace: (24:26)
We had some issues after Tulsa.

Donald Trump: (24:27)
If everything was gone 100%, they still wouldn’t allow it. They’re not allowing me to do it. So they’re not allowing me to have rallies.

Chris Wallace: (24:35)
But, I got to tell you, if I may, sir, respectfully. In the Fox poll, they asked people who is more competent. Who’s mind is sounder? Biden beats you in that.

Donald Trump: (24:46)
Well, I tell you what. Let’s take a test. Let’s take a test right now. Let’s go down, Joe and I will take a test. Let him take the same test that I took.

Chris Wallace: (24:56)
Incidentally, I took the test too when I heard that you passed it.

Donald Trump: (24:59)
Yeah. How did you do?

Chris Wallace: (25:00)
It’s not the hardest test.

Donald Trump: (25:01)
No.

Chris Wallace: (25:01)
It’s a picture and it says, “What’s that?” And it’s an elephant.

Donald Trump: (25:04)
No, no, no. See, that’s all misrepresentation.

Chris Wallace: (25:07)
That’s what it was on the web.

Donald Trump: (25:07)
It’s all misrepresentation. Because yes, the first few questions are easy. But I’ll bet you couldn’t even answer the last five questions. I’ll bet you couldn’t. They get very hard, the last five questions.

Chris Wallace: (25:16)
Well, one of them was count back from 100 by seven.

Donald Trump: (25:19)
And let me tell you, you couldn’t answer many of the questions.

Chris Wallace: (25:26)
All right. What’s the questions?

Donald Trump: (25:26)
I’d get you the test. I’d like to give it, but I guarantee you that Joe Biden could not answer those questions.

Chris Wallace: (25:31)
Okay.

Donald Trump: (25:32)
Okay? And I answered all 35 questions correctly.

Chris Wallace: (25:35)
You talk about how you’re winning, campaigns going well. Why did you replace Brad Parscale? Isn’t that-

Donald Trump: (25:42)
… Because he’s a great digital guy. We all like him a lot. But I have somebody that was involved. They were all on the 2016 campaign.

Chris Wallace: (25:52)
Right.

Donald Trump: (25:52)
And we have Corey and we have all the people. And actually, Steve Bannon’s been much better not being involved. He says, “The greatest president ever.” I mean, he’s saying things that I said, “Let’s keep Steve out there. He’s doing a good job.” But, they’re all involved. If Joe Biden got in, first of all, he won’t call the shots. The people, the radical left people that surround him will call. Religion will be gone. Okay? Life, you could forget about that. The whole question of life.

Chris Wallace: (26:19)
When you say life, you mean abortion?

Donald Trump: (26:21)
Absolutely. 100%. That whole question, which is a very… It’s always been a 50/50 thing.

Chris Wallace: (26:27)
I understand.

Donald Trump: (26:27)
It’s actually trending a little bit more toward one side.

Chris Wallace: (26:30)
When you say religion is going to be gone, what does that mean?

Donald Trump: (26:33)
Look at what they’re doing to the churches. They won’t let the churches even open if they want to stand in a field six feet apart. We’ve had churches that wanted to stand in fields, six feet apart. There has never been an administration that’s done so much as I have. From tax cuts, to regulation cuts, to rebuilding the military, to getting choice for the vets. Nobody’s done the things I’ve done. Nobody. In three and a half years, no other president has been able to do what I’ve done.

Chris Wallace: (27:01)
You’re running in large part on the economy. You built it once. Now we have the coronavirus. You’re going to build it again? And in fact, you had great jobs numbers in May. You had solid jobs numbers in June. But I want you to look at some projections. The Nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the unemployment rate at the end of the year will be 10.5%. JP Morgan says in the fourth quarter, GDP will contract by 6.2%. With states now rolling back some of the reopening-

Donald Trump: (27:33)
… On purpose.

Chris Wallace: (27:34)
Well, there are a lot of Republican states that are doing it, like Texas.

Donald Trump: (27:39)
There’ll be open very soon.

Chris Wallace: (27:40)
Let me just ask my question.

Donald Trump: (27:41)
There’s no reason for California to be doing what they’re doing.

Chris Wallace: (27:44)
All right.

Donald Trump: (27:44)
Except for November 3rd.

Chris Wallace: (27:46)
With the states shutting back their reopening, in a lot of cases new lock downs, won’t the economy still be a problem for you on election day?

Donald Trump: (27:55)
I think so. I think the economy is expanding and growing beautifully. Now, the Democrats want to keep it closed as long as possible because they think that’s good for election. But I think the economy is doing very well. Now, we’re coming back. And we’re coming back at a level that nobody would have thought possible. And by the way, take a look at another… I mean, a gauge, whether you like it or not, the stock market. The stock market, NASDAQ hit its all time high two weeks ago. And it’s beaten it 14 different times. Okay? The stock market, Dow, et cetera, is 1,000 points away from its all time high. Meaning, very close. We’re going to have a stock market, perhaps on November 3rd, that’s the highest in history.

Chris Wallace: (28:40)
I want to talk to you about Obamacare. Since the pandemic hit, millions of people have lost their jobs and thereby lost their health insurance. And almost a half a million have signed up for Obamacare. Your administration just announced that you’re signing on to a lawsuit to overturn Obamacare.

Donald Trump: (28:56)
And replace it.

Chris Wallace: (28:58)
Why does it make sense to overturn Obamacare with which people now are relying on? Democrats are going to say, “The man who’s wanted to kill Obamacare is going to take away the protection for preexisting conditions.”

Donald Trump: (29:09)
First of all, we got rid of the individual mandate. Preexisting conditions will always be taken care of by me and Republicans. 100%.

Chris Wallace: (29:16)
But you’ve been in the office three and a half years. You don’t have a plan.

Donald Trump: (29:18)
We haven’t had… Excuse me. You heard me yesterday. We’re signing a healthcare plan within two weeks. A full and complete health care plan that the Supreme Court decision on DACA gave me the right to do. So we’re going to solve… We’re going to sign an immigration plan, a healthcare plan and various other plans. And nobody will have done what I’m doing in the next four weeks. The Supreme Court gave the President of the United States powers that nobody thought the president had, by approving, by doing what they did, their decision on DACA. And DACA is going to be taken care of also. But we’re getting rid of it because we’re going to replace it with something much better. But we got rid of already, which was most of Obamacare, the individual mandate. And that I’ve already won on. And we won also on the Supreme Court. But the decision by the Supreme Court on DACA allows me to do things on immigration, on healthcare, on other things that we’ve never done before. And you’re going to find it to be a very exciting two weeks.

Chris Wallace: (30:22)
Your niece, Mary Trump, has written a book about you and your family. And one of her main points is that she says your dad, Fred Trump Sr., damaged the whole family. And here’s what she says about what you learned from your father.

Mary Trump: (30:39)
He learned to become the killer, you mentioned. The man who needs to succeed at all costs. Who will do anything to get attention, financial rewards and to win.

Chris Wallace: (31:00)
Do you see any truth in that?

Donald Trump: (31:02)
My father liked to win. My father was a very good man. He was a strong man. It’s disgraceful that she said that. She was not exactly a family favorite. We didn’t have a lot of respect or like for her. I would have never said that, except she writes a book that’s so stupid and so vicious. And it’s a lie. My father was a great, wonderful man.

Chris Wallace: (31:21)
Let me just ask you this question-

Donald Trump: (31:22)
… But, this is not a person that I spent very much time with. Very little time. And now I’m glad.

Chris Wallace: (31:29)
You’ve developed a pretty thick skin over the years from decades of attacks in New York tabloids, now from the press here and your political opponents here in Washington. But even for Donald Trump, does it hurt you at all to be attacked in such personal terms by a member of your own family?

Donald Trump: (31:49)
It hurts me more about attacking my father, not being kind to my mother. I have a mother who was like a Saint. She was incredible. She was an incredible woman. And she was nasty even to my mother. She’s a very scarred person. She was not much of a family person. But look, let me just tell you, my father was… I think he was the most solid person I’ve ever met. And he was a very good person. He was a very, very good person. He was strong, but he was good.

Donald Trump: (32:18)
For her to say the kind of things, a psychopath, that he was a psychopath. Anybody that knew Fred Trump would call him a psychopath. And you know what, if he was, I would tell you. And I would say, “You know, Chris, I was with my father and it was impossible.” My father was… He was tough. He was tough on me. He was tough on all of the kids. But tough in a solid sense, in a really good sense. For her to say, I think the word she used was psychopath. What a disgrace. She ought to be ashamed of itself. That book is a lie.

Chris Wallace: (32:48)
Some people were surprised when you agreed to this interview, to sit down with me.

Donald Trump: (32:54)
What are you going to ask?

Chris Wallace: (32:55)
Especially because of some of the mean tweets that you’ve said about me. ” Mike Wallace wannabe. Nasty and obnoxious.” I will tell you-

Chris Wallace: (33:03)
… “Mike Wallace wannabe … nasty and obnoxious.” I will tell you, after that one, my son, Peter, whom you’ve met, called and he said, “Nasty? No. Obnoxious? Maybe.” But here’s the question. One of your beefs seems to be that I put Democrats on the show, and I ask them questions, and I guess the question I have is don’t you understand it’s my job to put Democrats on as well as Republicans, and to ask them probing questions, just like I ask Republicans?

Donald Trump: (33:28)
I’m not a big fan of Fox. I’ll be honest with you. They’ve changed a lot since Roger Ailes, and I watch people like Swalwell, who I don’t even know. He goes on the show. He got less than 1%. All of a sudden, he’s on being interviewed for endless [crosstalk 00:33:42].

Chris Wallace: (33:42)
Yeah, but I interviewed Nancy …

Donald Trump: (33:43)
I don’t know him.

Chris Wallace: (33:43)
Wait, I interviewed-

Donald Trump: (33:45)
I watched the nastiest people.

Chris Wallace: (33:47)
I interviewed, you sent one tweet after I interviewed Nancy Pelosi, and in the interview, I asked her specifically about the fact in February, you were in Chinatown pitching tourism while the virus was spreading.

Chris Wallace: (33:59)
If the president underplayed the threat in the early days, Speaker Pelosi, didn’t you as well?

Chris Wallace: (34:06)
Isn’t that legitimate to talk to the Speaker of the House?

Donald Trump: (34:09)
I would just say that … Look, I know you very well. I respect you a lot. I respect your father a lot. I thought he was one of the most talented journalists there are, and you likewise are a very talented person. I do think this. I think you are very … I think you are toward the Democrat side, which is okay. I mean, it’s okay.

Chris Wallace: (34:26)
It’s not … Watch the James Comey interview I did in December. 17 significant errors in the FISA process, and you say that it was handled in a thoughtful and appropriate way.

James Comey: (34:39)
Yeah, he’s right. I was wrong.

Chris Wallace: (34:40)
But you make it sound like you’re a bystander, an eyewitness. You were the director of the FBI while a lot of this was going on, sir.

James Comey: (34:47)
Sure. I’m responsible for … That’s why I’m telling you I was wrong. I was overconfident as director in our procedures.

Chris Wallace: (34:54)
You couldn’t do as tough an interview with Comey. I’d like to think I treat everybody the same.

Donald Trump: (34:59)
It just seems to me that you are very prone to be nice to the Democrats, and maybe I’m wrong about that, Chris, but it’s an honor to be with you. It’s fine. I love it. I love that it’s close to a hundred degrees out today.

Chris Wallace: (35:09)
Your choice again.

Donald Trump: (35:10)
Yeah, I know, that’s okay.

Chris Wallace: (35:11)
I’m not saying you’re going to lose. I am not saying that. We saw how you turned it around last time.

Donald Trump: (35:16)
I don’t think I’m going to lose at all.

Chris Wallace: (35:17)
But if you did, how crushing would it be to you?

Donald Trump: (35:20)
First of all, let me just tell you something. I know everyone wants to know that, because they’d love to see me lose finally.

Chris Wallace: (35:24)
I’m not … I am not saying that at all.

Donald Trump: (35:26)
You know how many times I’ve been written off? Do you know how many times I’ve been written off?

Chris Wallace: (35:29)
I’ve done some of it myself, sir.

Donald Trump: (35:30)
My whole life.

Chris Wallace: (35:31)
I’m not doing it this time.

Donald Trump: (35:32)
Don’t do it, because it would be bad.

Chris Wallace: (35:34)
But how crushing would it be?

Donald Trump: (35:35)
And you know why I won’t lose? Because the country, in the end, they’re not going to have a man who’s shot. He’s shot. He’s mentally shot. Let him come out of his basement, go around. I’ll make four, five speeches a day. I’ll be interviewed by you. I’ll be interviewed by the worst killers that hate my guts. They hate my guts. There’s nothing they can ask me that I won’t give them a proper answer to. Some people will like it. Some people won’t like it.

Chris Wallace: (36:01)
I agree with that.

Donald Trump: (36:02)
But, look.

Chris Wallace: (36:03)
You answer the questions.

Donald Trump: (36:04)
Let Biden sit through an interview like this. He’ll be on the ground crying for Mommy. He’ll say, “Mommy, Mommy, please take me home.”

Chris Wallace: (36:10)
Well, we’ve asked him for an interview, sir.

Donald Trump: (36:12)
He can’t do an interview. He’s incompetent. There’s a number you don’t mention. It’s called the enthusiasm number. The enthusiasm for Trump is through the roof, even higher …

Chris Wallace: (36:22)
I have mentioned it.

Donald Trump: (36:22)
… even higher than last time. The enthusiasm for Biden is nonexistent. Everyone knows he’s shot.

Chris Wallace: (36:27)
But the enthusiasm against you is high.

Donald Trump: (36:30)
Well, that’s okay. That’s his only shot. I mean, that’s his only shot.

Chris Wallace: (36:32)
Right.

Donald Trump: (36:32)
I agree. Those people know I’m doing a good job, but there’s something in my personality that they don’t like, because look, nobody’s done what I’ve done. Biden wants to come in and ruin our country, triple your taxes. He wants to do things. He wants to add regulations that I’ve all cut, and we still have regulation, a lot of regulation, but I’ve cut it down to a level that nobody ever thought possible. He will destroy this country, but it won’t be him. It will be the radical left, the same type ideology that took over Venezuela, one of the richest countries in the world. They now have no water. They have no food, and they have no medicine. That’s going to happen here if he wins.

Chris Wallace: (37:12)
Two final questions. In general, not talking about November, are you a good loser?

Donald Trump: (37:19)
I’m not a good loser. I don’t like to lose. I don’t lose too often. I don’t like to lose.

Chris Wallace: (37:24)
But are you gracious?

Donald Trump: (37:25)
You don’t know until you see. It depends. I think mail-in voting is going to rig the election, I really do.

Chris Wallace: (37:32)
Are you suggesting that you might not accept the results of the election?

Donald Trump: (37:35)
I have to see. Look, Hillary Clinton asked me the same thing.

Chris Wallace: (37:38)
No, I asked you the same thing at the debate.

Donald Trump: (37:40)
No, no. But-

Chris Wallace: (37:40)
There is a tradition in this country, in fact, one of the prides of this country, is the peaceful transition of power, and that no matter how hard fought a campaign is, that at the end of the campaign, that the loser concedes to the winner. Not saying that you’re necessarily going to be the loser or the winner, but that the loser concedes to the winner, and that the country comes together in part for the good of the country. Are you saying you’re not prepared now to commit to that principle?

Donald Trump: (38:05)
What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense.

Hillary Clinton: (38:09)
Well, Chris …

Donald Trump: (38:11)
And you know what? She’s the one that never accepted it.

Chris Wallace: (38:14)
I agree.

Donald Trump: (38:14)
She never accepted her loss, and she looks like a fool.

Chris Wallace: (38:17)
But can you give a direct answer, you will accept the election?

Donald Trump: (38:19)
I have to see. Look, I have to see. No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say [inaudible 00:38:24], and I didn’t last time either.

Chris Wallace: (38:25)
Whether it’s in 2021 or 2025, how will you regard your years as president of the United States?

Donald Trump: (38:33)
I think I was very unfairly treated from before I even won. I was under investigation by a bunch of thieves, crooks. It was an illegal investigation. Russia, Russia, Russia.

Chris Wallace: (38:42)
But what about the good parts, sir?

Donald Trump: (38:44)
No, no. I want to go this. I have done more than any president in history in the first three and a half years, and I’ve done it suffering through investigations where people have been, General Flynn, where people have been so unfairly treated. The Russia hoax, it was all a hoax. The Mueller scam, it was all a scam. It was all false. I made a bad decision on one bad decision, Jeff Sessions, and now I feel good, because he lost overwhelmingly in the great state of Alabama. Here’s the bottom line. I’ve been very unfairly treated, and I don’t say that as paranoid. I’ve been very … Everybody says it. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens, but there’s tremendous evidence right now as to how unfairly treated I was.

Donald Trump: (39:25)
President Obama and Biden spied on my campaign. It’s never happened in history. If it were the other way around, the people would be in jail for 50 years right now. That would be Comey. That would be Brennan. That would be all of this, the two lovers, Strzok and Page. They would be in jail now for many, many years. They would be in jail. It would’ve started two years ago, and they’d be there for 50 years. The fact is, they illegally spied on my campaign. Let’s see what happens. Despite that, I did more than any president in history in the first three and a half years.

Chris Wallace: (40:03)
Mr. President, thank you. Thanks for talking with us.

Donald Trump: (40:06)
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Jul 23, 2020

Donald Trump “Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV” Interview Transcript
Donald Trump Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV Interview
Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Political Transcripts › Donald Trump “Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV” Interview Transcript
Donald Trump did an interview with Fox News where he talked about a test he took to prove his cognitive memory skills. He repeated the terms “Person”, “Woman”, “Man”, “Camera”, and “TV” several times in the interview to explain the test. Read the interview transcript here.

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Interviewer: (00:00)
Presidential health or health of a candidate is going to be on the table of course as it always is. And I’ve been someone always asking for that. I’ve seen a lot about your health being in good health. What do you think should come out or be the attention regarding Vice President Biden?

Donald Trump: (00:14)
Well, I think we have to be in good health. I tell you what, this is a very important job to put it mildly. There is nothing like it and I will also say and I think I’ve had to work harder than others because I’ve been attacked from fronts that nobody ever got attacked on. With fake investigations, fake Russia, Russia, Russia, Ukraine, Ukraine. I mean nobody’s gone through and yet I’ve done more than any president in the first three years in history. There is no president that’s done what we’ve done with rebuilding the military, the judges. We’ll be up to almost 300 judges including two great Supreme Court judges at the end of this term. So it’s really something that’s been great. But you need stamina. You need physical health and you need mental health.

Donald Trump: (00:57)
And because you have so much fake news every once in a while you’d say, first they’d say, “He wants to take over the world. He’s going to take over the world. He’s a dictator.” The next day they’ll say, “He’s crazy.” The next day they’ll say, “Oh, he’s incompetent.” The next day they’ll say something. So the last time I was at the hospital, probably a year ago, a little less than a year ago. I asked the doctor, I said, “Is there some kind of a cognitive test that I could take?” Because I’ve been hearing about it because I want to shut these people up. They’re fake news, they make up stories. Like I’ll do an interview with you I didn’t say you can’t ask me about this. I say, ask me anything. I did one with Chris Wallace he was nice enough to say he said, “I just want to tell the audience there was no question that’s off bounds.” Okay and he’s a tough cookie.

Donald Trump: (01:44)
And it was a good interview. I liked it, I enjoyed it and it was good. But I didn’t say you can only ask this, you can only… We have to be sharp. If you’re in the office of the presidency, we have to be sharp. So they were saying all these different things, it was going all over. Whichever stuck, none of it stuck fortunately. But one of the reasons it didn’t is that I took a test. I said to the doctor, it was Dr. Ronnie Jackson. I said, “Is there some kind of a test an acuity test?” And he said there actually is and he named it, whatever it might be and was 30 or 35 questions. The first questions are very easy. The last questions are much more difficult. Like a memory question. It’s a like you’ll go person, woman, man, camera, TV. So they’ll say, “Could you repeat that?”

Donald Trump: (02:34)
So I said, “Yeah.” So it’s person, woman, man, camera, TV. Okay that’s very good. If you get it in order, you get extra points. Now he’s asking you other questions, other questions and then 10 minutes, 15, 20 minutes later they say, “Remember the first question? Not the first but the 10th question. Give us that again. Can you do that again?” You go person, woman, man, camera, TV. If you get it in order, you get extra points. They said nobody gets in an order. It’s actually not that easy but for me it was easy. And that’s not an easy question. In other words, they ask it to you, they give you five names and you have to repeat them and that’s okay if you repeat them out of order, it’s okay. But it’s not as good. But then when you go back about 20, 25 minutes later and they say, “Go back to that question.” They don’t tell you this, go back to that question and repeat them. Can you do it? And you go person, woman, man, camera, TV.

Donald Trump: (03:40)
They say, “That’s amazing. How did you do that?” I do it because I have a good memory, because I’m cognitively there. Now Joe should take that test because something’s going on and I say this with respect. I mean, going to probably happen to all of us, right? It’s going to happen, but we can’t take a chance of it happening when you’re dealing with Russia. And there’s nobody been tougher to Russia than me. Nobody been tougher to China than me I can tell you right now they would love to see Joe Biden instead of Trump. We’ve taken in billions and billions, tens of billions of dollars from China, which they never gave us anything. They had the worst year before the plague came in. They had the worst year and they’re just about in their history 67 years, it was the worst year they had in 67 years before the plague.

Donald Trump: (04:35)
And we were doing great we had the best economy. But we have to have somebody that’s sharp. If this person isn’t sharp because I can tell your president Xi is sharp, president Putin is sharp, [inaudible 00:04:48] is sharp. You don’t have any non sharp people that you’re dealing with. And we can’t have somebody that’s not a hundred percent. So what I did is you know it’s a public test and he said, “If you take this test we may have to reveal that.” I said, “It’s all right. I mean is it tough? Tell me about.” I’d never heard of it. And I got a perfect mark and the doctors they said very few people can do that. Very few people get that you understand?

Interviewer: (05:17)
Yes.

Donald Trump: (05:18)
It’s not that easy. There were other questions tougher than what I just did, but it’s not that easy. But as soon as they announced my score and that test, all the stuff went away about me. Is he competent? Remember they’re talking about 25th amendment the nonsense. And they said, wow! And even the enemies they don’t say that anymore. But they do say it about Joe Biden. And honestly he should take the test in a way as an obligation too, because you have to be able to show this country that the person that we’re picking as leader is sharp. Because we’re dealing with people that want to do very bad things to us if they had the chance and you have to be sharper than them. So in a certain way Joe Biden has an obligation to take a test like that one or something else.

Jul 25, 2020

Donald Trump Interview Transcript With Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports
Donald Trump Interview with Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports
Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump Interview Transcript With Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports
Donald Trump did an interview with Barstool Sports founder & internet celebrity David Portnoy. Trump said in the interview that he “too often” regrets his tweets & retweets. He also talked about kneeling during the anthem, Dr. Fauci, and more. Read the full interview transcript here.

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Dave Portnoy: (00:35)
Your son’s a big fan of our website.

Donald Trump: (00:37)
He’s a big fan of you.

Dave Portnoy: (00:39)
Even before this started, I was trying to get a retweet out of him for about six months.

Donald Trump: (00:43)
We’ll do that.

Dave Portnoy: (00:44)
Well, you got me one on one, but he’d DM me, I’d be like, “Okay, get the old man to get a retweet. Get the numbers up, then we’ll talk business.”

Donald Trump: (00:51)
Well, you’re doing pretty well on that [crosstalk 00:00:53] .

Dave Portnoy: (00:52)
Yeah. Well, so are you.

Donald Trump: (00:53)
Yeah, we are. We have good numbers.

Dave Portnoy: (00:56)
I consider myself, believe it or not, apolitical. I don’t consider myself wildly Republican, Democrat, caught down in the middle. In fact, this is my first interview I’ve ever done, so I started at the top.

Donald Trump: (01:06)
You started very well, that’s good.

Dave Portnoy: (01:07)
I was going to give you the heads up, I don’t know if you can remember this. You once were on Ali G’s show, and you were the only one that sniffed out that was a fake interview and the whole thing. I don’t know if you remember that. I thought maybe you’d be like, “Oh, this guy is a fake.”

Donald Trump: (01:19)
Were you involved with that show in some way?

Dave Portnoy: (01:21)
No, not at all. I just watched it on TV.

Donald Trump: (01:23)
But you’re right, I was the only one-

Dave Portnoy: (01:24)
30 seconds, in and out.

Donald Trump: (01:25)
All these guys, I said, “Hey, this guy is a total fraud,” and I left, and then I found out.

Dave Portnoy: (01:28)
And everyone else sits there for six hours, I know.

Donald Trump: (01:30)
You’re the only one that’s ever given me credit for that.

Dave Portnoy: (01:33)
That was a very sharp move because he’s pretty good at that. He gets everybody.

Donald Trump: (01:37)
Now I like this interview. No matter what he does it, I like this interview now, Mariano. That’s right. I said, “What’s going on with this guy?” I just felt it was a phony deal.

Dave Portnoy: (01:47)
Yeah. And nobody else did it. Nobody else smelled it out.

Donald Trump: (01:50)
He said he was from British Broadcasting Corporation. They called up with everything, beautiful, the voices, “This is British Broadcast …” And then this guy shows up, I said, “This is a …” like immediately. And thank you very much, you gave me credit.

Dave Portnoy: (02:03)
On it, good.

Donald Trump: (02:03)
Because I never get credit for anything good.

Dave Portnoy: (02:05)
I’m pretty good, that’s what I’m saying.

Donald Trump: (02:07)
You’re pretty good. I like you.

Dave Portnoy: (02:08)
And here’s part of it, I hate politics, my dad loves politics. The thing that drives me nuts is I feel like for us, which is good, they’re like, “Hey Dave, you’re a snowflake.” “Hey Dave, you’re a conservative, white, crazy person.” And almost on each side, you can predict what somebody is going to say, which drives me nuts. It’s like you put it in a box. So one of the things that I’ve been thinking about, and for all the people like me, which I think a good amount of the country is still like, “Which way am I going to vote?” One of the things that I have a question for, and again, I think it matters. I’m very curious on the answer.

Dave Portnoy: (02:38)
When the Kaepernick thing started, I was critical of it. And as it’s continued, baseball players now, I heard you say, if they kneel, you’ll turn the game off. And we’ve got the Black Lives Matter protests, so for me, how does somebody who’s dissatisfied, in your world, what’s the way for them to show it? Because we don’t want them looting and doing all the stuff they’re doing. To me, that’s a silent protest that is far better than going out on the streets and create crime. So I’m curious, what would you do if you had an issue with the country or something to show your displeasure?

Donald Trump: (03:11)
Well, I mean, you can always say you run for office, right? You become successful. You could run for a lower office, you can do things, but there are ways. You get groups together and there can be very friendly ways of doing it, very successful. I mean, you’re going to have negative rebounds if it keeps up the way it is. As an example of Portland, this is crazy. 51 days, we sent in very powerful, not military but very strong people. The police are good but they were told not to do anything by the radical left mayor. Now you have to go out and speak your mind. I think speaking your mind is good, but you have to do it fairly. We are for justice, but we’re for law and order. It’s got to be law and order, and there is law and order.

Donald Trump: (03:55)
I put something out when they were starting to rip down statues. I went out, I found an old law, an old bill, you couldn’t get it passed today. You get 10 years in jail. 10 years and no games, and we have a lot of people in jail right now. If you ripped down a federal statue, because the states have to take care of their own, unfortunately, because I’d do that too, but you rip down a federal statue you get 10 years in jail. 10 years, no three months, and nothing’s happened since then. It was amazing. I signed it. I had a news conference. I said, “If you do it …” And we were supposed to have thousands of people march on Washington that day, nobody showed up.

Dave Portnoy: (04:33)
How do we close the divide? At my age it just seems half the country hates the other half, and no matter what you say, they can’t get along. And you’re the lightning rod, there is no doubt about that in my mind. Do you agree with that? That you’re like a lightning rod.

Donald Trump: (04:46)
Sometimes for a purpose. I mean, but-

Dave Portnoy: (04:49)
How do we bring it together so the two sides right now that are at heads can be like, “You are my guy.”

Donald Trump: (04:53)
I think it was happening, and then we got hit by the China Virus. I think it was happening, success. Our country never did better. The best employment numbers in the history of our country. Best unemployment numbers, African American, Asian, American, Hispanic American, everybody, best unemployment numbers in history, Best stock market we’ve ever had. Although I must tell you, as you know probably very well, the stock market is almost at the same level right now, which a great tribute.

Dave Portnoy: (05:22)
I wasn’t watching it today. That’s why I went down today. I’ve been killing the stock market.

Donald Trump: (05:26)
But the stock market has been absolutely great.

Dave Portnoy: (05:28)
Yep, great since March.

Donald Trump: (05:29)
A lot of things are happening. Great housing numbers the other day, great everything. We’re doing really well. We’re trying to get rid of the rest of this pandemic, but success does it, and we were ready to do it. Because if you look at, when you say Hispanic, or when you say African American, Asian American, they were all working. Everybody was making a lot of money. Everybody was doing good, and it was coming together, and then China sent us this horrible, bad present, a real bad present. They could have stopped it. They should’ve stopped it. We made a trade deal with China, and it was a great deal, but it means much less to me now than it did then, because I’m not happy with what they’ve done to the world. They stopped it going into China from Wuhan, but they didn’t stop it going into Europe, the United States and the rest of the world.

Donald Trump: (06:19)
But we were ready to do it, and the word is success, and I think we’re going to have that. I think we’re going to have a great next year. You’ll be able to see the results before the election, which is interesting because the election is November 3rd, at the beginning of November, the numbers are going to come out for the third quarter. I predict those numbers are going to be really great, despite the fact that Democrats want to keep their areas closed because they want the numbers to be bad.

Dave Portnoy: (06:46)
Right, they politicized it.

Donald Trump: (06:46)
I mean, can you imagine?

Dave Portnoy: (06:46)
Yes.

Donald Trump: (06:48)
I know how you feel about that. I think a big part of the reason they do it is for politics.

Dave Portnoy: (06:56)
I don’t know whether a Black Lives Matter person would be like, “Well, the economy, great, but we still want the president to come out, whether it be Twitter or whatever, and have our back.” So that’s where the kneeling and things like that seems like such a small concession, and the thing to be like, “Yep, Donald’s our guy.”

Donald Trump: (07:12)
I don’t like the kneeling. I must be honest with you, I don’t like the kneeling. I didn’t like it for the NFL. I think there are many ways of showing you’re unhappy, because when the NFL was happening-

Dave Portnoy: (07:24)
I hate Goodell, by the way.

Donald Trump: (07:24)
I know, exactly. I know that. I’ve heard that actually. I don’t know why he did it. In the middle of the summer, all of a sudden, sitting in a T-shirt in his basement, he came out with this thing that nobody was even thinking about it.

Dave Portnoy: (07:35)
He spiked at it. That’s vintage Goodell. Nobody was talking about it, and he brought it back to the forefront.

Donald Trump: (07:42)
I don’t understand. He’s talking in the middle of the summer, he comes out and he’s sitting there and he looked nice, but I wouldn’t say like Mariano. He looked nice in his T-shirt. I don’t know if I’d look much worse than that to be honest with you. I wouldn’t wear a T-shirt. I think he would’ve looked better in a suit and tie.

Dave Portnoy: (07:58)
That’s why your Twitter game is strong.

Donald Trump: (08:00)
No, he would have looked better in a suit and tie. If I had any advice, number one, he could have waited until at least the fall. But more importantly, I would have worn a suit or a tie or even an open shirt that’s loose, not tight.

Dave Portnoy: (08:11)
I got you.

Donald Trump: (08:12)
Okay. So he came out with this thing, Dave, and everyone was saying, “Where did this come from now?” And the whole big thing started, and he’s made a mistake.

Dave Portnoy: (08:23)
I actually have a question on your presidential power. So you may not know this, but during the NFL draft, he said, “I’m going to do a charity auction, and somebody can sit in my basement, watch Monday Night Football with me, and the charity will go to COVID.” Well, I bid. And one, I spent $250,000 to win that chart. I won it fair and square, he rejected it.

Donald Trump: (08:41)
Well, he wanted no part of you, obviously.

Dave Portnoy: (08:44)
I know. I don’t know if you can arrest the guy for that.

Donald Trump: (08:45)
No, but I think it was a wise move.

Dave Portnoy: (08:47)
Yeah, by him.

Donald Trump: (08:48)
It was a very smart move he did.

Dave Portnoy: (08:49)
That’s the first nice thing you said about him.

Donald Trump: (08:51)
Look, he’s working hard and everything, but it’s a strange thing.

Dave Portnoy: (08:53)
He’s the most overpaid guy in the history of human beings.

Donald Trump: (08:56)
Well, he makes a lot of money.

Dave Portnoy: (08:57)
A lot of money for a job that a lot of people could do. All right, I have to ask this question because we followed. When you meet world leaders, you stick the handshake on them, and it looks like you’re going for the power move. Is that intentional?

Donald Trump: (09:08)
Before COVID, right now I guess-

Dave Portnoy: (09:09)
Right, now you can’t. This is pre-COVID.

Donald Trump: (09:11)
He’s the one, the only one I’ve shaken hands with in a long time. You, because you stuck your hand out, and I’m saying, “What are we doing?” But I shook your hand. You were tested?

Dave Portnoy: (09:20)
I was tested when I came in here.

Donald Trump: (09:21)
Otherwise they’d take you out right now. They’ll end the interview. Did you notice that? He stuck his hand out and I said, “What do I do here?” Rather than insult him, I said fine.

Dave Portnoy: (09:32)
I appreciated that. I don’t even think-

Donald Trump: (09:32)
Hey, I immediately ran, washed my hands, no. In the days, like four months ago, I just … People don’t know that I get along really great with the world leaders. I’m tougher with the world leaders than any president’s been. I’ve been tougher on Russia by far with the pipeline, with our military, with the oil. Now the number one energy producer in the world, and there’s nobody even close. I’ve been very tough with Russia. I mean, China, nobody’s been tough like me with China. And that’s not to be tough, that’s because for years they’ve taken advantage. So many countries, not those two only, the whole world, our allies, NATO, the whole world has taken advantage of our country.

Donald Trump: (10:16)
But despite that, I have a very good relationship with leaders. I mean-

Dave Portnoy: (10:20)
Because of the handshake?

Donald Trump: (10:21)
I shake their hand. I hug them.

Dave Portnoy: (10:24)
You power shake them.

Donald Trump: (10:25)
I have a lot of great … Abe of Japan, look, they’ve been ripping us off for years and years. They send the cars in, there’s no tax. We send a car to them, they say, “We don’t take your cars.” This is the kind of thing that we’ve put up with. We defend these countries, we get nothing for it. I’ve ended a lot of the craziness that’s gone on.

Dave Portnoy: (10:44)
Do you love doing Twitter?

Donald Trump: (10:46)
There are times when I love it, too much sometimes, right?

Dave Portnoy: (10:49)
Yeah.

Donald Trump: (10:49)
Where’s Dan? I think we have-

Speaker 5: (10:51)
He’s right there.

Donald Trump: (10:52)
Dan, what’s our number now, total?

Dan: (10:57)
207 million.

Donald Trump: (10:57)
Can you believe it?

Dave Portnoy: (10:57)
What happens to those Twitter accounts? Is it yours when it’s over? Do you lose all this?

Donald Trump: (11:01)
It’s mine. I don’t know if I’ll ever use it again, but it certainly was good. It’s a platform … Look, we have fake news. You don’t know about that, but we have fake news out there.

Dave Portnoy: (11:10)
I very much know about that. That exists in my world as well.

Donald Trump: (11:13)
And then, Dave, we have a very big voice. When you have the kind of numbers that we have, you’re able to get the word out and an honest word, and it’s important. So it’s been very important for me.

Dave Portnoy: (11:26)
Because I follow you on Twitter, and I know I do this, but I’m not the pre … well, my nickname is El pres, but I’m a company, so we’re doing it. Do you ever tweet out and wake up like, “Oh man, I wish I didn’t send that one out.”

Donald Trump: (11:38)
Too often.

Donald Trump: (11:40)
In the old days, before this, you’d write a letter and you’d say, “This letter is really bad,” you put it on your desk and then you go back tomorrow and you say, “Oh, I’m glad I didn’t send it,” right? But we don’t do that with Twitter. We put it out instantaneously. We feel great, and then you start getting phone calls, “Did you really say this?” I say, “What’s wrong with that?” And you find a lot of things. You know what I find? It’s not the tweets, it’s the retweets that get you in trouble.

Dave Portnoy: (12:05)
You’ve been caught retweeting, and people be like, “Oh, he just retweeted this crazy person,” so you don’t even look, you just press retweet. You just fire from the hip.

Donald Trump: (12:12)
You see something that looks good and you don’t investigate it, and you don’t look at what’s on the helmet exactly, which is in miniature and you don’t blow it up, and sometimes it’s … I have found almost always, it’s the retweets that get you in trouble.

Dave Portnoy: (12:28)
I’ve seen that a little bit with you. We got opening day today.

Donald Trump: (12:32)
Good.

Dave Portnoy: (12:32)
Fauci is throwing out the first pitch, can you give him any tips? You think he’s going to be able to. I mean, he seems like a little guy. I’ve never seen him. Are you expecting a good pitch here.

Donald Trump: (12:39)
Well, they say he was a good basketball player, and he is a very nice guy.

Dave Portnoy: (12:42)
How tall is he?

Donald Trump: (12:44)
Well, he was not tall, but he was a fast little guard, and they say he was a good basketball player. He’s actually a very nice guy. We don’t always agree on everything. He’d like to do things that I don’t like to do, but ultimately I make the decision, but we make it all a group of people. And he’s been here for like 45 years, for many, many years, and he’s a nice man actually.

Dave Portnoy: (13:07)
I’m a sports guy. The company that bought us Penn National are a gambling company, so sports gambling is a big part of what we do. I switched to the stock market actually, day trading. Fauci is on my X list, because every time he talks and says the country should stay inside, my stocks tank, so I don’t like that aspect of it.

Donald Trump: (13:22)
Well, he’d like to see it closed up for a couple of years, but that’s okay because I’m president, so I say, “Well, I appreciate your opinion, now give me another opinion, somebody please.”

Dave Portnoy: (13:30)
Yeah, you overruled.

Donald Trump: (13:31)
Well, you have to. Now we’re open and we’re doing well, and I just had a press conference about opening the schools. You’ve got to open the schools. They have a stronger immune system even than you have, or I have, the kids.

Dave Portnoy: (13:42)
That’s not saying much for me.

Donald Trump: (13:43)
That’s not saying much?

Dave Portnoy: (13:43)
No.

Donald Trump: (13:45)
But they do. They have it. It’s amazing. You look at the percentage, it’s a tiny percentage of 1%. And in that one case, I mean, I looked at a couple of cases, if you have diabetes, if you have problems with something, but the kids are in great shape. So we want to open the schools and we’re opening the country. We had great numbers announced the other day. And two weeks ago, we had the biggest number of jobs we’ve ever had. And the month before that, we had the same thing. A lot of good things are happening, and I think it looks like a V. We have a lot of people that would like to see their states closed. I have a feeling on November 4th, they’ll open them up. I think they want to do it for political reasons, but we’re doing well.

Donald Trump: (14:24)
The polls are starting to really shape up. Dave, we were doing great. We were sailing. George Washington would have had a hard time beating us. And then when the China virus came in, all of a sudden, it’s a dampener, it really is.

Dave Portnoy: (14:37)
Well, COVID is bad.

Donald Trump: (14:38)
Well, it’s a downer, though, psychologically. It went down, and now we’re really starting to do well. We’re looking really good at a lot of different places.

Dave Portnoy: (14:49)
I’m sure you’ve been asked this. It’s one of the questions that I had when I was thinking of what I would ask you here, because you theoretically, for somebody like me, who’s sports, entertainment, having fun, you had the dream life, seemingly. And there’s a part of me that’s like, “I wonder if he ever,” and I know the answer is going to be no, “Regrets it.” Because now, I mean, you’re the most famous person in the world. My guess is nobody ever said, “Hey, I don’t like Donald Trump before he became president,” but now everyone has an opinion and your life has changed forever when seemingly you had the dream life beforehand.

Donald Trump: (15:19)
I was in so many rap songs, like 79 or something. I was in every rap. This is before I did this, right? It’s a very interesting thing that you say, because the best day in my life in terms of business and life and everything was the day before I announced I’m running for president. Everything was good. The company was good. I had finished up a lot of jobs that were very successful, and then I said, “I want to do this.” Now, I’m really glad I did, but I was treated very unfairly with fake Russia. Russia, Russia, Russia. Ukraine, Ukraine, all fake stuff. It’s a very vicious business.

Donald Trump: (15:58)
Somebody said, “Who’s the toughest in the world to deal with? Is it Russia? Is it China? Could it be North Korea?” I said, “No, the toughest is the United States. It’s the toughest to deal with.” When you look at what I have to do, I have to focus on the big picture, but I also have to focus … I have so many people on the left or call them Democrats, call them whatever you want, and then you look at what they’re doing with cities. Every city is run by a liberal Democrat and they’re going to hell, and we have to do something. We just sent people into Chicago. We sent people into Portland, as we said. We’re sending people into New York to help out. It’s incredible, but I love doing it. There was this phony deal that I was devastated when I won, because I couldn’t have my life. I had a great life, I did.

Donald Trump: (16:49)
One thing that happened, I was going into a thing called the Robin Hood Foundation. I’ll never forget it. It was just about the night I announced or whatever. And my wife looked at me, she said, “I hear people booing.” And she was with me for a long time. We’ve been together a long time. She said, “Some people are booing.” I said, “Yeah, but some people were also clapping wildly.” She said, “You know what, I’ve been with you a long time, I’ve never heard anyone boo you.” This was right after I started being the politician. It meant something because I said it’s the first time in my life I was ever booed. You know this.

Dave Portnoy: (17:23)
Yeah.

Donald Trump: (17:24)
I’d go to Yankee stadium, people would go … Who is a 100%? But it was pretty close. And now, I would say this, I have more fervor on the one side, and I have far more animosity on the other side.

Dave Portnoy: (17:39)
That’s the vibe I get, “This is my DNA, but I’m now president.” I feel like so many interviews, they’re always coming from an agenda, positive or negative, and what noticed, I think, they come at you hard, you just come back harder. And that’s a very different thing for the president. I mean, I’m the president of Barstool, but people would say, is it presidential? Is it not? And you just do your thing and it wins. I wondered that. Here’s a hypothetical, if the perfect candidate, let’s not say Republican, Democrat, came along and said, “If we make him president, this country is going to be prosperous, everyone will get along.” Would you step aside?

Donald Trump: (18:12)
I mean, I don’t know that such a person exists.

Dave Portnoy: (18:12)
Probably not.

Donald Trump: (18:15)
And I should say yes, absolutely, I would. So let me say it that way, because that’s a much more politically correct? Absolutely.

Dave Portnoy: (18:22)
You’re not known to be politically correct.

Donald Trump: (18:23)
But it doesn’t work that way, because it just doesn’t, unfortunately. I really believe success. We were there. Everybody was working. Nobody’s … Probably you, I don’t know how you’re doing now, but you were probably doing better four months ago.

Dave Portnoy: (18:40)
Well, I got into the stock market right when it went up.

Donald Trump: (18:42)
Okay. Well, you got in at the right time, but a lot of people with the 401(k), I mean, they’re doing phenomenally. But a lot of people sold stock, and now they’re saying, “I missed it.” I said to people, “Don’t sell. Just don’t sell. Because the foundation is so strong, don’t sell.” But the people that really lost in terms of economic are the people that got out. The people that stayed in, they stayed with me, they’re doing great, and we’re almost at record highs.

Dave Portnoy: (19:09)
Okay. The last thing, and I’m going to wrap this up. And this, we asked for permission, you can say no if you don’t want to do it. My dad and I have had debates forever. He’s not the biggest fan of yours, what I want to do is kind of a prank. He doesn’t know I’m even here, but we’ve talked a lot. I want to call him, FaceTime him, and just he’d die if he saw that I was with you.

Donald Trump: (19:27)
Go ahead. You can do it quickly, right?

Dave Portnoy: (19:28)
Yeah. It’ll take two seconds. He knows it’s coming. This is going to be a-

Donald Trump: (19:31)
Oh, he does, that’s bad. That’s too bad.

Dave Portnoy: (19:36)
Well, this is going to be absolutely great. Let me get the thing here. I have it all set. This will take two seconds. Dad, this is going to be-

Donald Trump: (19:42)
Is he a good dad?

Dave Portnoy: (19:44)
He’s a great dad.

Donald Trump: (19:45)
Good.

Dave Portnoy: (19:47)
All right. I’ll put you on with-

Donald Trump: (19:48)
Don’t worry about socially distancing.

Dave Portnoy: (19:50)
No, I’ll come further. Hey, I got a question for you, what would you ask this guy, dad?

Speaker 7: (19:58)
I know. Trista sent me something, so I’m not shocked.

Dave Portnoy: (20:03)
The goal was to shock you. We’ve had a very good interview.

Donald Trump: (20:06)
And you have a very talented son, good guy.

Speaker 7: (20:11)
Really?

Dave Portnoy: (20:11)
That’s all he’s got.

Donald Trump: (20:14)
He’s honest. You have an honest father.

Speaker 7: (20:15)
I was wondering why you were pinning me down. Mr. President, he never calls me.

Donald Trump: (20:23)
That’s no good.

Dave Portnoy: (20:24)
There it is.

Speaker 7: (20:24)
I haven’t heard from him, unsolicited, in a long time.

Dave Portnoy: (20:29)
Well, there you go. You just needed a meeting with the president.

Speaker 7: (20:31)
I knew something was going on, sir. I knew something was going on, and I’m not shocked, although I didn’t expect to see your face just now.

Donald Trump: (20:39)
It’s great to see you.

Speaker 7: (20:40)
Can you get him to call me a little more.

Donald Trump: (20:42)
I’m going to put a lot of pressure on him. He’ll call you today in a little while.

Dave Portnoy: (20:45)
Thank you.

Donald Trump: (20:46)
Thank you very much.

Dave Portnoy: (20:47)
All right, dad.

Donald Trump: (20:47)
Great to meet you.

Speaker 7: (20:47)
Thank you, sir.

Dave Portnoy: (20:48)
He handled that better than I thought he would. Thank you.

Donald Trump: (20:50)
He was really good. I was really worried about that. He was nice.

Dave Portnoy: (20:52)
He got tipped off, so this must’ve been leaked. I don’t know how.

Donald Trump: (20:54)
He was nice. Dave, thank you very much.

Dave Portnoy: (20:54)
Yeah, I appreciate it. Thank you very much. Oh, can’t do it.

Donald Trump: (20:57)
A great honor.

Aug 3, 2020

Donald Trump Interview Transcript With Jonathan Swan of Axios on HBO
Donald Trump Interview Transcript With Axios on HBO
Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump Interview Transcript With Jonathan Swan of Axios on HBO
President Donald Trump was interviewed by Jonathan Swan on Axios on HBO on August 3. He talked about the coronavirus response, the federal election, and more. Read the transcript here.

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Jonathan Swan: (00:52)
Thank you so much for having us. We’re over here, Mr. President. Thank you. Kelly.

President Donald J. Trump: (01:07)
Okay.

Jonathan Swan: (01:09)
Mr. President, thank you for joining us.

President Donald J. Trump: (01:10)
Thank you very much.

Jonathan Swan: (01:11)
We appreciate you taking the time, and we appreciate your commitment to answer our questions.

President Donald J. Trump: (01:16)
Sure.

Jonathan Swan: (01:16)
We really appreciate that. Over the years, I’ve heard you talk about your adherence to a philosophy called positive thinking. Is this the mantra that if you believe something, if you visualize it, then it will happen?

President Donald J. Trump: (01:29)
To an extent. I also think in terms of the downside. I do. I’ve been given a lot of credit for positive thinking, but I also think about downside because only a fool doesn’t.

Jonathan Swan: (01:40)
To what extent do you think that that positive thinking mindset is suitable to handling the worst pandemic that we’ve seen in a century?

President Donald J. Trump: (01:49)
I think you have to have a positive outlook. Otherwise, you would have nothing without a positive outlook. I think we’ve done an incredible job, between the ventilators and stopping very infected people from China coming in, meaning putting the ban on China, which frankly nobody wanted me to do, practically nobody because it was very early in January. Then putting the ban on Europe, not an easy thing to do. When you put a ban on Europe, that’s a big thing. We would have probably lost hundreds of thousands of lives more had I not done that.

President Donald J. Trump: (02:18)
And all of the experts, every one of them, not one of them wanted to do it. They thought it was too severe. Three months later, they’re all saying, I’m glad you did it.

Jonathan Swan: (02:27)
The criticism of you that is most prominent, is about the communication. It’s the public health experts saying that it needs to be based in reality. And they’re saying that the wishful thinking and the salesmanship is just not suitable in a time when the pandemic has killed 145,000 Americans. And I understand what you’re saying, that people need to hear positive thinking, but for the past five months it’s been, the virus is totally under control, and the cases have been going up and the deaths have been going up.

President Donald J. Trump: (02:59)
Look, look.

Jonathan Swan: (03:00)
But you’ve been saying it’s under control.

President Donald J. Trump: (03:01)
Nobody knew what this thing was all about. This has never happened before. 1917, but it was a totally different, it was a flu in that case. Okay? But other than 1917, there’s never been anything like this. And by the way, if you watch the fake news on television, they don’t even talk about it. But you know, there are 188 of the countries right now that are suffering, some proportionately far greater than we are. Okay? As bad as we are.

Jonathan Swan: (03:24)
Very few. [crosstalk 00:03:25]

President Donald J. Trump: (03:24)
Some proportionately greater than we are. Right now, right now, Spain is having a big spike. There are tremendous problems in the world. You look at Moscow, look at what’s going on with Moscow. Look at Brazil, look at these countries what’s going on. This was sent to us by China, one way or the other, and we’re never going to forget it. Believe me, we’re never going to forget it.

President Donald J. Trump: (03:46)
And we were beating China at every single point. We were beating them on trade, we were making progress like nobody’s ever made progress. Before the pandemic, they had the worst year, Jonathan, that they’ve had in 67 years. You know that. With the tariffs and everything else I did, we would taking in billions of dollars. I was giving some of it to the farmers. The farmers were doing well because they were targeting the farmers, I was targeting China. We were doing good.

President Donald J. Trump: (04:14)
Then all of a sudden, the game changed, and I had to close it down. I closed down the greatest economy ever in history.

Jonathan Swan: (04:21)
I-

President Donald J. Trump: (04:21)
Well, wait. And then, I closed it down. And now we’re opening it. And we saved, by the way, by closing it down, we saved millions of lives. If we would have gone to herd and we knew very little about the disease, if we would’ve gone herd, we would have lost millions of people, millions of people. One person’s too much. We’re at 140,000 people. One person is too much. We’re at 140. We would have lost millions of people. And those people that really understand it, they really understand it. They said, it’s incredible the job that we’ve done. And again, I bring it up, the ban-

Jonathan Swan: (04:58)
Who says that?

President Donald J. Trump: (05:00)
Banning China from coming in far earlier-

Jonathan Swan: (05:03)
But it was already in here.

President Donald J. Trump: (05:05)
What’s that?

Jonathan Swan: (05:05)
It was already here. By the time you banned China, it came in through Europe.

President Donald J. Trump: (05:08)
Nobody knew the extent. Nobody knew how contagious it was. You know What? Maybe China knew.

Jonathan Swan: (05:12)
But the question is, Mr. President, by June we knew things were bad. And the last time I was with you was the day before your Tulsa rally in the Oval, and you were saying big, huge crowd, it was endorsed. These people, they listen to you.

President Donald J. Trump: (05:30)
By the way, [crosstalk 00:05:30] Excuse me, Jonathan, we had a 19,000 seat stadium and first of all, we had 12,000 people, not 6,000, which you reported and other people reported. But you couldn’t even get in. It was like an armed camp.

Jonathan Swan: (05:40)
Why would you want it that?

President Donald J. Trump: (05:41)
Because they had 120 Black Lives Matter people there and Tulsa-

Jonathan Swan: (05:44)
I understand but why would you have wanted a huge crowd?

President Donald J. Trump: (05:45)
Excuse me, wait. And Tulsa, well, because that area was a very good area at the time. It was an area that was pretty much over. [crosstalk 00:05:55] After, after, a month later, it started going up. That’s a month later, but Tulsa was a very good, Oklahoma was doing very well as a state. It was almost free. It spiked a month later, a month and a half, two months later. But it was a good area.

President Donald J. Trump: (06:09)
We had a tremendous crowd, we had tremendous response. It was like an armed camp. You couldn’t even get through. You couldn’t get anybody in. But we had 12,000 people. It was incorrectly reported. The other thing we had that nobody wants to talk about, so Fox broadcast it. It was the highest rating in the history of Fox television Saturday night. It was the highest rating.

Jonathan Swan: (06:33)
Mr. President-

President Donald J. Trump: (06:34)
Well, wait a minute. You’re saying something. That speech was the highest rated speech in the history of Fox television on Saturday night. And nobody says that.

Jonathan Swan: (06:44)
I think you misunderstand me. I’m not criticizing your ability to draw a crowd. Are you kidding me? I’ve covered you for five years. You draw massive crowds. You get huge ratings. I’m asking about the public health

President Donald J. Trump: (06:52)
I’m just saying this. I’m just saying this. At the time… And I canceled another one. I had to cancel it and we were going to have a great crowd in New Hampshire, and I canceled it for the same reason.

Jonathan Swan: (06:58)
But here’s the question. I’ve covered you for a long time. I’ve gone to your rallies. I’ve talked to your people. They love you. They listen to you. They listen to every word you say, they hang on your every word. They don’t listen to me or the media or Fauci. They think we’re fake news. They want to get their advice from you. And so, when they hear you say, everything’s under control, don’t worry about wearing masks. I mean, these are people, many of them are older people, Mr. President.

President Donald J. Trump: (07:19)
Well, what’s your definition of control?

Jonathan Swan: (07:20)
It’s giving them a false sense of security.

President Donald J. Trump: (07:21)
Yeah. Under the circumstances right now, I think it’s under control. I’ll tell you what-

Jonathan Swan: (07:25)
How? 1,000 Americans are dying a day.

President Donald J. Trump: (07:27)
They are dying. That’s true. And it is what it is. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can. It’s under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague that beset us.

Jonathan Swan: (07:39)
You really think this is as much as we can control it? 1,000 deaths a day?

President Donald J. Trump: (07:43)
Well, I’ll tell you, I’d like to know if somebody… First of all, we have done a great job. We’ve gotten the governors everything they needed, they didn’t do their job. Many of them didn’t and some of them did. Someday we’ll sit down. We’ll talk about the successful ones, the good ones. Look at that smile. The good ones and the bad. We had good and bad. And we had a lot in the middle, but we had some incredible governors. I could tell you right now who the great ones are and who the not so great ones are, but the governors do it. We gave them massive amounts of material.

Jonathan Swan: (08:11)
Mr. President, you changed your message this week, in terms of you canceled the Jacksonville convention, you said, “Wear a mask.” You’re saying that, “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.” It’s not something you’d like to say, I know. And you said that. The big question-

President Donald J. Trump: (08:23)
By the way, not get worse like the original flow. You understand that.

Jonathan Swan: (08:27)
Well, I hope not. It’s a 1,000-

President Donald J. Trump: (08:29)
But If you look, Arizona’s going down. Texas is going down, and Florida is going down.

Jonathan Swan: (08:31)
If I could just finish my question. The question is, even some of your own aides wonder whether you would stick to that message until Election Day, whether in a week or two, you won’t say, “Right, we’ve got to reopen again. We can’t do this stuff anymore.” That you’ll get bored of talking about the virus and go back to that sort of cheerleading.

President Donald J. Trump: (08:52)
No, I’m not going to get bored. I never get bored of talking about this, it’s too big a thing.

Jonathan Swan: (08:54)
So will you stick to that message?

President Donald J. Trump: (08:54)
And again, it should have been stopped by China, and it wasn’t.

Jonathan Swan: (08:59)
But now it’s here and you’re the President.

President Donald J. Trump: (09:00)
We have it here.

Jonathan Swan: (09:01)
[inaudible 00:09:04].

President Donald J. Trump: (09:02)
No, I think I’m very consistent. No, this is a very serious thing. We have 140,000 people at this moment.

Jonathan Swan: (09:08)
More than that.

President Donald J. Trump: (09:09)
This is a very, very serious situation. And what you have to do, is handle it the best it can be handled. And again, I’m working with the governors. I got them tremendous amounts of equipment that they would have never gotten. Jonathan, they wouldn’t have equipment now, if I didn’t get.

Jonathan Swan: (09:25)
When can you commit, by what date, that every American will have access to the same day testing that you get here in the White House?

President Donald J. Trump: (09:34)
Well, we have great testing. We’re doing and many other people do-

Jonathan Swan: (09:37)
By what date?

President Donald J. Trump: (09:39)
Let me explain the testing. We have tested more people than any other country, than all of Europe put together times two. We have tested more people than anybody ever thought of. India has 1.4 billion people. They’ve done 11 million tests. We’ve done 55, it’ll be close to 60 million tests. And there are those that say, you can test too much. You do-

President Donald J. Trump: (10:03)
And there are those that say you can test too much. You do know that.

Jonathan Swan: (10:04)
Who says that?

President Donald J. Trump: (10:05)
Oh, just read the manuals, read the books.

Jonathan Swan: (10:08)
Manuals?

President Donald J. Trump: (10:08)
Read the books. Read the books.

Jonathan Swan: (10:10)
What books?

President Donald J. Trump: (10:11)
What testing does-

Jonathan Swan: (10:13)
Wait a minute. I’m sorry.

President Donald J. Trump: (10:14)
Let me explain. What testing does, it shows cases. It shows where there may be cases. Other countries test… you know when they test? They test when somebody is sick. That’s when they test. And I’m not saying they’re right or wrong. Nobody has done it like we’ve done it. We’ve gotten absolutely no credit for it. But we’ve come up with so many different tests. The only thing that we have now is some people have to wait longer than we’d like them to. We want it-

Jonathan Swan: (10:38)
That’s a big problem.

President Donald J. Trump: (10:39)
We want point to point. We want to have a five minute to a 15 minute test.

Jonathan Swan: (10:44)
Right. When do you think-

President Donald J. Trump: (10:44)
And we have… and like many others-

Jonathan Swan: (10:46)
Every American-

President Donald J. Trump: (10:47)
And, from what I understand, we’re close to 50% where it’s point to point tests. We are making thousands of instruments, thousands of tests right now, tens of thousands that can be distributed to various parts of the country. But you have to understand. And we’ve even sent some of them to other countries where they had a big problem. Jonathan, almost 50%, in fact, I think the number might be over, is immediate testing. The other is tough. You take a test. You have to send it to a laboratory. Let’s say that takes a day. Let’s say it’s a day.

Jonathan Swan: (11:19)
Right. It’s difficult.

President Donald J. Trump: (11:20)
So, it’s three, or four, or five days.

Jonathan Swan: (11:21)
I understand.

President Donald J. Trump: (11:21)
There is nothing you can do about that.

Jonathan Swan: (11:22)
But when do you think you will have it for everyone? What day?

President Donald J. Trump: (11:25)
I think that you will have that relatively soon. I mean-

Jonathan Swan: (11:27)
What does that mean?

President Donald J. Trump: (11:28)
You already have half.

Jonathan Swan: (11:29)
Yeah.

President Donald J. Trump: (11:31)
I would much rather get back to you.

Jonathan Swan: (11:32)
Okay. That’s fine.

President Donald J. Trump: (11:32)
Because I don’t want to have you write in one month, I didn’t make it.

Jonathan Swan: (11:35)
That’s fine.

President Donald J. Trump: (11:35)
I missed it by a day.

Jonathan Swan: (11:36)
Yeah. I get it.

President Donald J. Trump: (11:37)
And it’s a headline.

Jonathan Swan: (11:37)
Mr. President, I want to talk about the federal intervention.

President Donald J. Trump: (11:40)
Excuse me. One thing I would say about testing.

Jonathan Swan: (11:42)
Yeah. Yeah.

President Donald J. Trump: (11:43)
Because we test so much, we show cases. So, we show many, many cases. We show tremendous number of cases. I know you’re smiling when I say that, but I’m telling you.

Jonathan Swan: (11:52)
Well, I mean, I’ve heard you say this.

President Donald J. Trump: (11:54)
I know. Other countries don’t test like we do. So, they don’t show case.

Jonathan Swan: (11:58)
Just a couple points on that. I wasn’t going to continue on the testing, but you said it. So, we’re testing so much because it’s spread so far in America. And, when you-

President Donald J. Trump: (12:06)
We’re testing so much because we had the ability to test.

Jonathan Swan: (12:08)
Okay.

President Donald J. Trump: (12:09)
Because we came up with test-

Jonathan Swan: (12:10)
But South Korea-

President Donald J. Trump: (12:11)
Jonathan, we didn’t even have a test. When I took over, we didn’t even have a test. Now, in all fairness-

Jonathan Swan: (12:17)
Why would you have a test?

President Donald J. Trump: (12:21)
There was no test for this-

Jonathan Swan: (12:23)
The virus didn’t exist.

President Donald J. Trump: (12:23)
Excuse me. I was going to say-

Jonathan Swan: (12:23)
Okay.

President Donald J. Trump: (12:23)
There was no test for this. We didn’t have a test because there was no test.

Jonathan Swan: (12:26)
Of course.

President Donald J. Trump: (12:27)
And, in a very short order, we got one test. We got another test.

Jonathan Swan: (12:30)
It was broken, the first one.

President Donald J. Trump: (12:31)
We got another. Many of those tests are now obsolete because it’s called science.

Jonathan Swan: (12:34)
Right.

President Donald J. Trump: (12:34)
And, all of a sudden, something is better. But, because we tested so many people, 55, 60 million people, very soon, we get cases. You test. Some kid has even just a little runny nose. It’s a case. And then, you report many cases. So, we look like we have more cases than massive countries like China, which by the way, doesn’t report, as you know.

Jonathan Swan: (12:58)
Well, I don’t put any stock in China’s figures.

President Donald J. Trump: (13:00)
No. No. The point is-

Jonathan Swan: (13:01)
Yeah.

President Donald J. Trump: (13:01)
The point is, because we are so much better at testing than any other country in the world, we show more cases.

Jonathan Swan: (13:09)
The figure I look at is death. And death is going up now.

President Donald J. Trump: (13:12)
Okay. No, no.

Jonathan Swan: (13:12)
It’s a thousand a day.

President Donald J. Trump: (13:14)
If you look at death-

Jonathan Swan: (13:15)
Yeah. It’s going up again.

President Donald J. Trump: (13:16)
Let’s look. Let’s look.

Jonathan Swan: (13:17)
Daily death.

President Donald J. Trump: (13:17)
Take a look at some of these charts.

Jonathan Swan: (13:19)
I’d love to.

President Donald J. Trump: (13:20)
We’re going to look.

Jonathan Swan: (13:21)
Let’s look.

President Donald J. Trump: (13:21)
And, if you look at death per-

Jonathan Swan: (13:23)
Yeah. It’s started to go up again.

President Donald J. Trump: (13:25)
Here is one. Well, right here, United States is lowest in numerous categories. We’re lower than the world.

Jonathan Swan: (13:37)
Lower than the world?

President Donald J. Trump: (13:37)
We’re lower than Europe.

Jonathan Swan: (13:39)
What does that mean? In what? In what?

President Donald J. Trump: (13:40)
Look. Take a look. Right there. Here is case death.

Jonathan Swan: (13:46)
Oh, you’re doing death as a proportion of cases. I’m talking about death as a proportion of population. That’s where the U.S. is really bad, much worse than South Korea, Germany, et cetera.

President Donald J. Trump: (13:55)
You can’t do that.

Jonathan Swan: (13:56)
Why can’t I do that?

President Donald J. Trump: (13:58)
You have to go by where… look. Here is the United States. You have to go by the cases. The cases are there.

Jonathan Swan: (14:04)
Why not as a proportion of population?

President Donald J. Trump: (14:07)
What it says is, when you have somebody where there’s a case-

Jonathan Swan: (14:11)
Oh, okay.

President Donald J. Trump: (14:11)
The people that live from those cases.

Jonathan Swan: (14:14)
Oh. It’s surely a relevant statistic to say, if the U.S. has X population and X percentage of death of that population versus South Korea-

President Donald J. Trump: (14:22)
No. Because you have to go by the cases.

Jonathan Swan: (14:22)
Well, look at South Korea, for example. 51 million population, 300 deaths. It’s like, it’s crazy compared to-

President Donald J. Trump: (14:28)
You don’t know that.

Jonathan Swan: (14:29)
I do.

President Donald J. Trump: (14:30)
You don’t know that.

Jonathan Swan: (14:31)
You think they’re faking their statistics, South Korea? An advanced country?

President Donald J. Trump: (14:33)
I won’t get into that because I have a very good relationship with the country.

Jonathan Swan: (14:36)
Yeah.

President Donald J. Trump: (14:37)
But you don’t know that. And they have spikes. Look, here’s one of-

Jonathan Swan: (14:39)
Germany, low 9,000.

President Donald J. Trump: (14:40)
Here’s one. Here’s one right here, United States.

Jonathan Swan: (14:43)
Let me look.

President Donald J. Trump: (14:44)
You take the number of cases.

Jonathan Swan: (14:45)
Okay.

President Donald J. Trump: (14:45)
Now look, we’re last meaning we’re first.

Jonathan Swan: (14:47)
Last? I don’t know what we’re first in.

President Donald J. Trump: (14:48)
We have the best.

Jonathan Swan: (14:49)
As a what?

President Donald J. Trump: (14:50)
Take a look again. It’s cases.

Jonathan Swan: (14:51)
Okay. I’ll just… okay.

President Donald J. Trump: (14:52)
And we have cases because of the testing.

Jonathan Swan: (14:54)
I mean, a thousand Americans die a day. But I understand. I understand on the cases, it’s different.

President Donald J. Trump: (14:59)
No, but you’re not reporting it correctly, Jonathan.

Jonathan Swan: (15:02)
I think I am, but-

President Donald J. Trump: (15:03)
If you take a look at this other chart… look, this is our testing. I believe this is the testing. Yeah.

Jonathan Swan: (15:09)
Yeah. We do more tests.

President Donald J. Trump: (15:10)
No, wait a minute. Well, don’t we get credit for that? And, because we do more tests, we have more cases. In other words, we test more. We have… now, take a look. The top one, that’s a good thing not a bad thing. But the top… Jonathan-

Jonathan Swan: (15:22)
If hospitals rates were going down and deaths were going down, I’d say, terrific. You deserve to be praised for testing.

President Donald J. Trump: (15:28)
Well, they don’t even-

Jonathan Swan: (15:28)
But they are all going up.

President Donald J. Trump: (15:29)
Well, they very rarely talk-

Jonathan Swan: (15:30)
Plus, 60,000 Americans are in hospital, 1,000 dying a day.

President Donald J. Trump: (15:32)
If you watch the news or read the papers, they usually talk about new cases, new cases, new cases.

Jonathan Swan: (15:37)
I’m talking about death.

President Donald J. Trump: (15:38)
Well, you look at death.

Jonathan Swan: (15:39)
It’s going up.

President Donald J. Trump: (15:39)
Death is way down from where it was.

Jonathan Swan: (15:42)
It’s 1,000 a day.

President Donald J. Trump: (15:43)
Death-

Jonathan Swan: (15:43)
It was two and a half thousand. It went down to 500. Now, it’s going up again.

President Donald J. Trump: (15:46)
Death… excuse me. Where it was is much higher than where it is right now.

Jonathan Swan: (15:50)
It went down and then it went up again.

President Donald J. Trump: (15:52)
It spiked, but now it’s going down again.

Jonathan Swan: (15:53)
It’s going up.

President Donald J. Trump: (15:53)
It’s gone down in Arizona. It’s going down in Florida.

Jonathan Swan: (15:55)
nationally it’s going up.

President Donald J. Trump: (15:56)
It’s going down in Texas. Take a look at this. These are the tests.

Jonathan Swan: (15:59)
It’s going down in Florida?

President Donald J. Trump: (16:01)
Yeah. It leveled out and it’s going down. That’s my report, as of yesterday.

Jonathan Swan: (16:05)
Anyway, Mr. President, if I could change subjects.

President Donald J. Trump: (16:06)
It is going down in Arizona. It is gong down in Texas.

Jonathan Swan: (16:09)
Arizona it is. Arizona it is. Texas has big problems.

President Donald J. Trump: (16:10)
And it is spiked. It spiked and is now going down in Florida. It’s evened out and going down in Florida.

Jonathan Swan: (16:15)
I’ll have to see those figures.

President Donald J. Trump: (16:16)
But you have to look at this. This is the number of tests compared to the rest of the world.

Jonathan Swan: (16:19)
I don’t deny your figures. You’ve done more tests by far than the rest of the world. I don’t deny that.

President Donald J. Trump: (16:22)
Right. And, because we’ve done more tests, we have more cases.

Jonathan Swan: (16:24)
You have more infections.

President Donald J. Trump: (16:25)
Now, you can take them back. Check it out in your office.

Jonathan Swan: (16:28)
Mr. President, different subject, it’s been widely reported that the U.S. has intelligence indicating that Russia paid bounties or offered to pay bounties to Taliban fighters to kill American soldiers.

President Donald J. Trump: (16:37)
Right. Right.

Jonathan Swan: (16:37)
You had a phone call with Vladimir Putin on July 23rd. Did you bring up this issue?

President Donald J. Trump: (16:42)
No. That was a phone call to discuss other things. And frankly, that’s an issue that many people said was fake news.

Jonathan Swan: (16:50)
Who said it was fake news?

President Donald J. Trump: (16:51)
I think a lot of people. If you look at some of the wonderful folks from the Bush Administration, some of them, not any friends of mine, were saying that it’s a fake issue. But a lot of people said, it’s a fake issue.

Jonathan Swan: (17:04)
There was dispute within intelligence.

President Donald J. Trump: (17:05)
But we had a call. We had a call talking about nuclear proliferation.

Jonathan Swan: (17:08)
Right.

President Donald J. Trump: (17:08)
Which is a very big subject where they would like to do something. And so would I. We discussed numbers things. We did not discuss that. No.

Jonathan Swan: (17:14)
And you’ve never discussed it with him.

President Donald J. Trump: (17:15)
I have never discussed it with him. No. I would. I’d have no problem with it.

Jonathan Swan: (17:19)
But you don’t believe the intelligence.

President Donald J. Trump: (17:19)
But you know it never got to-

Jonathan Swan: (17:20)
It’s because you don’t believe the intelligence. That’s why.

President Donald J. Trump: (17:24)
It’s interesting. Nobody ever brings up China. They always bring Russia, Russia, Russia. If we can do something with Russia in terms of nuclear proliferation, which is a very big problem.

Jonathan Swan: (17:34)
Right.

President Donald J. Trump: (17:34)
Bigger problem than global warming.

Jonathan Swan: (17:36)
Right.

President Donald J. Trump: (17:36)
A much bigger problem than global warming in terms of the real world, that would be a great thing. No. It never reached my desk.

Jonathan Swan: (17:43)
Okay.

President Donald J. Trump: (17:43)
You know why? Because intelligence, they didn’t think it was real.

Jonathan Swan: (17:48)
It was in your written brief though about it.

President Donald J. Trump: (17:50)
They didn’t think it was worthy. I wouldn’t mind. If it reached my desk, I would have done something about it. It never reached my desk because-

Jonathan Swan: (17:57)
Do you read your written brief?

President Donald J. Trump: (17:58)
I do.

Jonathan Swan: (17:58)
Do you?

President Donald J. Trump: (17:58)
I read it a lot.

Jonathan Swan: (17:59)
Really?

President Donald J. Trump: (17:59)
I read a lot. They like to say I don’t read. I read a lot.

Jonathan Swan: (18:03)
You read your daily intelligence brief?

President Donald J. Trump: (18:04)
I comprehend extraordinarily well, probably better than anybody that you’ve interviewed in a long time. I read a lot. I spend a lot of time at meetings. Usually it’s once a day or at least two or three times a week, intelligence meetings.

Jonathan Swan: (18:18)
Because this was apparently in your-

President Donald J. Trump: (18:19)
Talking about India, talking about the problems with China.

Jonathan Swan: (18:22)
Right.

President Donald J. Trump: (18:22)
Talking about so many different elements of the world.

Jonathan Swan: (18:25)
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

President Donald J. Trump: (18:25)
The world is a very angry place, if you look all over the world. We call up. I see a 22 soldiers were killed in India with China fighting over the border. It’s been raging for many, many decades. And they’ve been fighting and back and forth. I have so many briefings on so many different countries, but this one didn’t reach my desk.

Jonathan Swan: (18:50)
The reason I say this is, even if you don’t believe this particular piece of intelligence, and there is dispute, no doubt, there is dispute in the intelligence committee about it, John Nicholson, former head of forces in Afghanistan said, and this is when he was working for you, that Russia is supplying weapons to the Taliban. Isn’t that enough to challenge Putin over the killings of U.S. soldiers?

President Donald J. Trump: (19:10)
Well, we sold them weapons when they were fighting Russia too. When they were fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan-

Jonathan Swan: (19:17)
Yeah. But that’s a different era.

President Donald J. Trump: (19:18)
Well, it’s a different… I’m just saying. Yes.

Jonathan Swan: (19:20)
But how does that affect-

President Donald J. Trump: (19:21)
I’m just saying we did that too.

Jonathan Swan: (19:22)
But how does that-

President Donald J. Trump: (19:23)
I don’t know. I didn’t ask Nicholson about that. He was there for a long time. Didn’t have great success because he was there before me. And then, ultimately, I made a change.

Jonathan Swan: (19:30)
But you surely heard that. Right? I mean, it’s well known in the intelligence community, that they’re arming the Taliban, Russia.

President Donald J. Trump: (19:36)
I don’t know. When you say arming is-

Jonathan Swan: (19:38)
Supplying weapons.

President Donald J. Trump: (19:39)
Paying or they-

Jonathan Swan: (19:40)
Russia is supplying weapons and money to the Taliban.

President Donald J. Trump: (19:42)
I have heard that but, again, it’s never reached my desk.

Jonathan Swan: (19:48)
I mean, he said it on the record when he was in-

President Donald J. Trump: (19:50)
Hey, Russia doesn’t want anything to do with Afghanistan. Let me just say about Russia. Russia used to be a thing called the Soviet Union. Because of Afghanistan, they went bankrupt. They became Russia, just so you do understand. Okay? The last-

President Donald J. Trump: (20:03)
Went bankrupt, they became Russia, just so you do understand, okay? The last thing that Russia wants to do is get too much involved with Afghanistan. They tried that once. It didn’t work out too well.

Jonathan Swan: (20:09)
Last question on this subject.

President Donald J. Trump: (20:10)
And by the way, we’re largely out of Afghanistan, as you probably know.

Jonathan Swan: (20:13)
Well, I wanted to ask you about that. The US troop level in Afghanistan right now is roughly the same as it was when you-

President Donald J. Trump: (20:21)
No, you’re wrong. No.

Jonathan Swan: (20:22)
Mr. President. I’m sorry. We have to do-

President Donald J. Trump: (20:24)
Okay. Are you ready?

Jonathan Swan: (20:25)
No, no. I need-

President Donald J. Trump: (20:25)
We’ll be down in a very short… It’s already planned.

Jonathan Swan: (20:27)
Well, that’s a different question.

President Donald J. Trump: (20:28)
Let me explain. We’ll be down in a very short period of time to 8,000, then we’re going to be down to 4,000. We’re negotiating right now. We’ve been there for 19 years.

Jonathan Swan: (20:38)
I know. I know.

President Donald J. Trump: (20:38)
19 years.

Jonathan Swan: (20:39)
But if you just let me finish my question.

President Donald J. Trump: (20:40)
We’ll be getting out.

Jonathan Swan: (20:41)
I understand. Look, when you came in, it was 8,800. You boosted to 14,000, and now you’re back down to 8,500.

President Donald J. Trump: (20:49)
We’re now-

Jonathan Swan: (20:49)
My question to you-

President Donald J. Trump: (20:51)
We’ll be at 4,000. I’ll get you the exact-

Jonathan Swan: (20:52)
When?

President Donald J. Trump: (20:53)
Very soon. Very soon.

Jonathan Swan: (20:54)
What will be the number? Very soon? 4,000?

President Donald J. Trump: (20:56)
Very soon. Yeah, very soon.

Jonathan Swan: (20:57)
Like how soon?

President Donald J. Trump: (20:58)
I don’t want to tell you that. I don’t want to tell you.

Jonathan Swan: (21:00)
That’s big news.

President Donald J. Trump: (21:01)
What is? That is [crosstalk 00:21:02]

Jonathan Swan: (21:02)
It’s going down to 4,000.

President Donald J. Trump: (21:03)
I’ve always said-

Jonathan Swan: (21:04)
Well, what about election day?

President Donald J. Trump: (21:06)
We will get largely out-

Jonathan Swan: (21:07)
On election day, how many American troops will be in Afghanistan?

President Donald J. Trump: (21:12)
Probably anywhere from four to 5,000.

Jonathan Swan: (21:16)
That’s almost as many as when you came into office.

President Donald J. Trump: (21:17)
No, it’s not. We had-

Jonathan Swan: (21:18)
8,000.

President Donald J. Trump: (21:19)
We had much more. We had a lot of people over there too.

Jonathan Swan: (21:21)
8,800 [crosstalk 00:21:22] troops.

President Donald J. Trump: (21:22)
A lot of people. And we did a good job. We wiped out ISIS. Let me just tell you what you don’t see.

Jonathan Swan: (21:25)
Have you thought about going down to zero?

President Donald J. Trump: (21:26)
We took out, in Syria, we took out ISIS. We a hundred percent of the caliphate. When I took over Obama, it was totally rampant. ISIS was all over the place. We took them out. We captured them. We killed them a hundred percent, not 99%. I wanted to get out at 99. Everyone said, “Oh, please, would you stay?” I stayed. 99% was good, but a hundred percent of the caliphate.

President Donald J. Trump: (21:52)
We took out Soleimani. We took out al-Baghdadi. We took out people that nobody thought possible. Al-Baghdadi was the biggest terrorist of them all. They couldn’t find him. I took him out. Soleimani, even bigger. I took him out. I’ve done things that no other president’s done. None. I mean, fortunately, not too many. They should have never been in the Middle East. The decision to go to the Middle East and get into the Middle East was the single biggest mistake made in the history of our country. That’s my opinion.

Jonathan Swan: (22:22)
You told Fox News recently that you couldn’t say whether you’d accept the results of the 2020 election. What does that actually look like as the sitting president? I mean, it’s unprecedented. What would that actually look like?

President Donald J. Trump: (22:36)
Well, Hillary Clinton never accepted them.

Jonathan Swan: (22:37)
Well, she conceded on them.

President Donald J. Trump: (22:39)
I mean, she doesn’t accept them and she got beaten very easily.

Jonathan Swan: (22:41)
But that’s the important point. That’s the important point. She conceded on election night. Now, she grumbled about it and said all sorts of-

President Donald J. Trump: (22:45)
Grumbled? Grumbled? She wrote books about it.

Jonathan Swan: (22:46)
Okay, fine, she wrote books.

President Donald J. Trump: (22:47)
And don’t use the word grumbled.

Jonathan Swan: (22:48)
Fine. But-

President Donald J. Trump: (22:48)
She wrote books about it.

Jonathan Swan: (22:50)
That’s fine, but I just-

President Donald J. Trump: (22:50)
She got beaten easy.

Jonathan Swan: (22:51)
I get it. I get it.

President Donald J. Trump: (22:52)
306 to 223. That’s a lot. That’s a lot.

Jonathan Swan: (22:54)
I’m not disputing you beat Hillary Clinton. Listen, what of asking is you’ll be the sitting president in the White House. What does that look like not accepting-

President Donald J. Trump: (23:03)
I’ll tell you what it looks like.

Jonathan Swan: (23:04)
Are you litigating?

President Donald J. Trump: (23:05)
Let me tell you what it looks.

Jonathan Swan: (23:05)
Okay.

President Donald J. Trump: (23:07)
So we have a new phenomena. It’s called mail-in voting, where you send, where a governor-

Jonathan Swan: (23:13)
New?

President Donald J. Trump: (23:13)
Well, it’s new-

Jonathan Swan: (23:14)
It’s been here since the Civil War. Americans have-

President Donald J. Trump: (23:15)
In terms of kind of the kind of millions and millions of ballots. They’ve never done anything like that.

Jonathan Swan: (23:21)
It’ll be bigger this year because of the pandemic.

President Donald J. Trump: (23:23)
Bigger? Not bigger, massively bigger.

Jonathan Swan: (23:25)
Yeah, because of the pandemic.

President Donald J. Trump: (23:26)
So they’re going to send tens of millions of ballots to California, all over the place, to who’s going to get them. I have a friend who lives in Westchester County-

Jonathan Swan: (23:33)
They send applications, not allots.

President Donald J. Trump: (23:35)
His son passed away. He had a beautiful, wonderful son. Young man. Passed away seven years ago. He called me, he said, “I just got a ballot for my son, Robert.”

Jonathan Swan: (23:46)
Probably an application.

President Donald J. Trump: (23:46)
“He died seven years ago.” Somebody got at ballot for a dog. Somebody got a ballot for something else. You got millions of ballots going, nobody even knows where they’re going. You look at some of the corruption having to do with universal mail-in voting… Absentee voting is okay. You have to apply, you have to go through a process.

Jonathan Swan: (24:03)
You have to apply for mail-in. It’s the same thing.

President Donald J. Trump: (24:05)
Absentee voting is good. Look, you’re sending it out-

Jonathan Swan: (24:07)
Let’s do concrete. Let’s do concrete.

President Donald J. Trump: (24:08)
Jonathan, they’re sending out-

Jonathan Swan: (24:10)
Applications. You download them off [crosstalk 00:24:12]

President Donald J. Trump: (24:12)
Governors, millions of ballots. There is-

Jonathan Swan: (24:14)
No, they’re not. It’s applications. You can get them off the internet.

President Donald J. Trump: (24:16)
There is no way you can go through a mail-in vote without massive cheating.

Jonathan Swan: (24:22)
I honestly don’t understand this topic with-

President Donald J. Trump: (24:24)
Go ahead.

Jonathan Swan: (24:25)
The Republican party has an extremely well-funded vote by mail program. Your campaign puts out emails telling people to vote by mail.

President Donald J. Trump: (24:33)
Correct.

Jonathan Swan: (24:34)
Your daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, she did robocalls in California saying it’s safe and secure, mail-in voting.

President Donald J. Trump: (24:40)
Let me tell you. We have no choice.

Jonathan Swan: (24:41)
The Republic won. That was an all mail-in race.

President Donald J. Trump: (24:43)
Let me tell you. You ready?

Jonathan Swan: (24:45)
Yeah.

President Donald J. Trump: (24:45)
We have no choice because right now, we have, but we have many court cases that we’re waiting. We have one filed in Western Pennsylvania. We have many court cases where we’re trying to end it. We went through World War I, you went to the polls, you voted, we went through World War II, you went to the polls, you voted.

Jonathan Swan: (25:01)
You’ve had mail-in voting since the Civil War.

President Donald J. Trump: (25:02)
And now because of the China virus, we’re supposed to stay home, send millions of ballots all over the country, millions and millions. You know, you could have a case where this election won’t be decided on the evening of November 3rd.

Jonathan Swan: (25:16)
Absolutely. What’s wrong with that?

President Donald J. Trump: (25:16)
This election could be decided two months later,

Jonathan Swan: (25:18)
It won’t be two months, but what’s wrong with the proper mail-in count?

President Donald J. Trump: (25:20)
It could be decided many months later.

Jonathan Swan: (25:22)
Have you discussed the-

President Donald J. Trump: (25:23)
You know why? Because lots of things will happen during that period of time. Especially when you have tight margins, lots of things can happen. There’s never been anything like this when you try… Now, of course, right now, we have to live with it, but we’re challenging it in many courts, as you know, all over the country.

Jonathan Swan: (25:40)
You’re going to [crosstalk 00:25:38]? Mr. President, the other day, a reporter asked you about Ghislaine Maxwell. You said, “I just wish her well, frankly. I’ve met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach, but I wish her well, whatever it is.” Mr. President, Ghislaine Maxwell has been arrested on allegations of child sex trafficking. Why would you wish such a person well?

President Donald J. Trump: (25:59)
Well, first of all, I don’t know that, but I do know this-

Jonathan Swan: (26:01)
She has. She’s been arrested for that. You know that.

President Donald J. Trump: (26:02)
Her friend or boyfriend-

Jonathan Swan: (26:04)
Epstein.

President Donald J. Trump: (26:05)
Was either killed or committed suicide in jail. She’s now in jail. Yeah, I wish you well, I’d wish you well, I’d wish a lot of people well. Good luck. Let them prove somebody was guilty. I mean, you do know that she [crosstalk 00:26:17]

Jonathan Swan: (26:17)
Oh. So you’re saying you hope she doesn’t die in jail? Is that what you mean by wish her well?

President Donald J. Trump: (26:20)
Well, her boyfriend died in jail and people are still trying to figure out how did it happened? Was it suicide? Was he killed? And I do wish her well. I’m not looking for anything bad for her. I’m not looking bad for anybody. And they took that and made it such a big deal-

Jonathan Swan: (26:32)
I mean, she’s a alleged child sex trafficker.

President Donald J. Trump: (26:35)
But all it is is her boyfriend died. He died in jail. Was he killed? Was it suicide? I do, I wish her well.

Jonathan Swan: (26:45)
Let’s move to Portland. I’m sure you’ve seen the disturbing footage of people in fatigues beating the Navy veteran.

President Donald J. Trump: (26:53)
No, no, no, no, no, no. No. No.

Jonathan Swan: (26:54)
Well, it’s there.

President Donald J. Trump: (26:55)
here you go, the fake news.

Jonathan Swan: (26:56)
It’s not fake news, it’s on video.

President Donald J. Trump: (26:58)
No, no.

Jonathan Swan: (26:58)
Pepper spraying him.

President Donald J. Trump: (26:59)
For 59 days, these people were anarchists and agitators, and some protesters, but these were anarchists. These people were beating the hell out of the city. They were beating up our federal buildings and our federal courthouse. We told the police to stop it. You make sure. And the police wouldn’t do it. Not the police-

Jonathan Swan: (27:17)
Your own justice department and Homeland Security Inspector General-

President Donald J. Trump: (27:19)
Excuse me.

Jonathan Swan: (27:19)
But your Inspector Generals are investigating unconstitutional-

President Donald J. Trump: (27:23)
You’re trying now to blame law enforcement instead of anarchists-

Jonathan Swan: (27:27)
I’m not.

President Donald J. Trump: (27:27)
Instead of Antifa.

Jonathan Swan: (27:29)
I’m not.

President Donald J. Trump: (27:29)
It’s Antifa and anarchists that are causing the problems, not law enforcement. Our law enforcement, if we didn’t have people at our courthouse, and they’re strong, tough people, and they don’t want… They try and be very good, believe me. But if we didn’t have people there, you would have your federal courthouse, a $600 million building, you would have that thing burned to the ground right now.

Jonathan Swan: (27:51)
I’m asking you about tactics and about the unmarked vans where they’re rounding people up. And I want to-

President Donald J. Trump: (27:55)
Okay, let me tell you about unmarked.

Jonathan Swan: (27:56)
Can I just finish my question.

President Donald J. Trump: (27:57)
Well let me tell you about unmarked.

Jonathan Swan: (27:58)
Could I just finish my question? Because it relates to this. I promise. This is from Rand Paul. “We cannot give up liberty for security. Local law enforcement can and should be handling these situations in our cities, but there is no place for federal troops or unidentified federal agents rounding people up at will.” What is your response to Senator Paul?

President Donald J. Trump: (28:16)
First of all, these are Homeland Security people. They’re securing a courthouse.

Jonathan Swan: (28:21)
They’re border patrol.

President Donald J. Trump: (28:22)
They’re Homeland Security.

Jonathan Swan: (28:24)
Elite units.

President Donald J. Trump: (28:24)
Border, hopefully they have ICE in there.

Jonathan Swan: (28:26)
Camo< gas [inaudible 00:28:26].

President Donald J. Trump: (28:26)
Hopefully they have ICE. Now, do you know why they’re unmarked?

Jonathan Swan: (28:29)
Why?

President Donald J. Trump: (28:30)
Because these terrorists, these Antifa people, these people that are at anarchists and agitators, when they see the name on a uniform of a person, a policeman or a law enforcement person, they find out where that person lives. And then they go and they scare the hell out of the person’s family. And so they do it for that reason. It’s just common… There’s nothing secret about this. And you know it.

President Donald J. Trump: (28:54)
You see what’s going on right now. We have Chad Wolf. They have people. He’s doing a fantastic job. He’s the acting head. He’s doing a fantastic job. Chad Wolf has pickets and very dangerous looking people outside of his house. He’s going to be just fine. He’s tough and he’s got people, but if you have the names on all of these uniforms, you’ll have these maniacs in front of their houses, scaring their family and their wives or husbands, whatever it may be. I think it’s a very good reason not to have your name. Why should you have identification? “My name is Bill Smith and here’s where I live and I’m a member of-”

Jonathan Swan: (29:33)
The really serious concern is the reports-

President Donald J. Trump: (29:34)
No, no, that’s a serious concern.

Jonathan Swan: (29:36)
No, no, not about that. The serious concern is the reports of people being rounded up and not being told why they’re being detained. That’s what’s being investigated by-

President Donald J. Trump: (29:42)
Why? Why are they being detained?

Jonathan Swan: (29:43)
Mr. President, the Inspectors Generals-

President Donald J. Trump: (29:45)
You know why? You know why they’re being detained? Well, [crosstalk 00:29:47].

Jonathan Swan: (29:48)
There’s an investigation. Do you support that investigation?

President Donald J. Trump: (29:50)
Well, I haven’t seen the result yet. Let me see the result.

Jonathan Swan: (29:51)
But you support the initiative of it?

President Donald J. Trump: (29:54)
No, I think that actually-

Jonathan Swan: (29:56)
You don’t?

President Donald J. Trump: (29:56)
I think Antifa should be investigated, not the law enforcement. They’re investigating, think of [crosstalk 00:30:01]

Jonathan Swan: (30:01)
They shouldn’t be investigating?

President Donald J. Trump: (30:02)
Have you been watching television-

President Donald J. Trump: (30:03)
They’re investigating-

Jonathan Swan: (30:03)
They shouldn’t be investigating?

President Donald J. Trump: (30:03)
Have you been watching television?

Jonathan Swan: (30:04)
I have.

President Donald J. Trump: (30:04)
Have you been seeing the violence?

Jonathan Swan: (30:06)
Sure.

President Donald J. Trump: (30:06)
Now, if you watch NBC News like I watch NBC fake news. I’m watching it. Lester Holt, real beauty. I’m watching this NBC News sham, and you have a mayor named Wheeler and he’s standing out there and he’s being accosted by the people. You know that. I mean, it’s horrible what they’re doing to him in Portland, the mayor of Portland and he thought he’d go out. He’d be a man.

President Donald J. Trump: (30:29)
What they were doing and saying, and everything else to him, I happened to watch it on a different station. He had to get out. He had five security guards.

Jonathan Swan: (30:36)
I saw it.

President Donald J. Trump: (30:36)
He got out with his life. Okay.

Jonathan Swan: (30:38)
Mr. President-

President Donald J. Trump: (30:38)
Wait. If you watch NBC News, they make them like he’s standing there bravely fighting with the people, in a positive sense, that everything is wonderful.

President Donald J. Trump: (30:48)
No. He went out there. He’s lucky he got away with his life because they would’ve killed him. He had five guards, but NBC News showed it like he’s standing with the people for justice. Look, those people, take a look at what they’ve done to the courthouse. Take a look at what they’ve done to the streets. Take a look at the violence.

Jonathan Swan: (31:06)
It’s getting worse since they’ve gone in. It’s getting worse.

President Donald J. Trump: (31:09)
Actually, it’s getting better. We had a very good… We’ve arrested a lot of people and we now have a 10 year rule. You try not to knock down our courthouse-

Jonathan Swan: (31:15)
More businesses damaged, more violence-

President Donald J. Trump: (31:17)
You touch our courthouse, you go to jail for 10 years.

Jonathan Swan: (31:19)
Turning to the rest of the country, we haven’t seen protests like this since the ’60s. I mean, we’re seeing-

President Donald J. Trump: (31:25)
These are Democrat-run cities.

Jonathan Swan: (31:26)
If I could finish my question. If I could finish my question.

President Donald J. Trump: (31:28)
And they’re doing it for political reasons.

Jonathan Swan: (31:30)
You said you’ve done so much for African Americans.

President Donald J. Trump: (31:32)
I have.

Jonathan Swan: (31:33)
But there are Americans-

President Donald J. Trump: (31:35)
Criminal justice reform, opportunity.

Jonathan Swan: (31:36)
Yeah, I understand, but let me finish. There were Americans out in the streets asking for change. Mr. President, have you ever met with a Black Lives Matter activist to hear them out, hear their arguments?

President Donald J. Trump: (31:46)
Well, Black Lives Matter started off to me very badly because it was-

Jonathan Swan: (31:50)
Did you ever meet with one?

President Donald J. Trump: (31:52)
… pigs in a blanket, burn them like bacon. That was the first time I ever of Black… That was three, four years ago. Pigs meaning policemen. Pigs is what they’re referring to, in a blanket, fry them like bacon. So I got off to a bad start. I got off to a very bad start.

Jonathan Swan: (32:11)
Would you meet with a-

President Donald J. Trump: (32:11)
And so did [crosstalk 00:32:12].

Jonathan Swan: (32:12)
Would you with a Black Lives Matter activist?

President Donald J. Trump: (32:13)
I would. But I think right now when they paint-

Jonathan Swan: (32:17)
Why haven’t you?

President Donald J. Trump: (32:17)
… the sign. Nobody’s asked for a meeting, right? I’ve never been, nobody’s ever asked me for a meeting. Let me tell you with African Americans, I’m doing very well. They had the best employment numbers they’ve ever had. They had the best job numbers they’ve ever had. They were making more money than they ever made. We were all set until we got hit by China with the virus. Jonathan, there was actually, we were becoming a very unified country.

Jonathan Swan: (32:39)
Do you believe that-

President Donald J. Trump: (32:40)
Because of success.

Jonathan Swan: (32:41)
I understand. Do you believe though, Mr. President, that many police treat black people differently from white people?

President Donald J. Trump: (32:48)
Well, I hope not. I hope not. Certainly the…

Jonathan Swan: (32:51)
You’ve seen the statistics.

President Donald J. Trump: (32:53)
The knee on the neck was a disgrace. Okay?

Jonathan Swan: (32:55)
Yeah.

President Donald J. Trump: (32:55)
It was a disgrace.

Jonathan Swan: (32:56)
I’m talking about what does systemic racism mean to you?

President Donald J. Trump: (33:00)
I hope the answer to that question is no. Does anybody really answer that question accurately? Does anybody really know?

Jonathan Swan: (33:08)
But what about not hope? What about analysis? What’s your cold-hearted view of it?

President Donald J. Trump: (33:10)
I have seen where there is a difference and I don’t want there to be a difference. I don’t like that there would be a difference. But with that being said-

Jonathan Swan: (33:18)
Why do you think Black men are two and a half times-

President Donald J. Trump: (33:19)
Police have killed white people-

Jonathan Swan: (33:21)
I know, but why do you think Black men-

President Donald J. Trump: (33:22)
… in larger number, police have killed white people.

Jonathan Swan: (33:25)
In quantity, but why do you think Black men are two and a half times more likely to be killed by police than white men?

President Donald J. Trump: (33:29)
That I don’t know-

Jonathan Swan: (33:30)
Why?

President Donald J. Trump: (33:30)
… but I don’t like it.

Jonathan Swan: (33:32)
But you must’ve thought about it.

President Donald J. Trump: (33:33)
I don’t know why, but I don’t like it. I do know this-

Jonathan Swan: (33:36)
Does it speak to something systemic?

President Donald J. Trump: (33:37)
… that police have killed many white people also.

Jonathan Swan: (33:39)
But proportionally, what does it speak to?

President Donald J. Trump: (33:42)
It speaks to something, if that’s the number?

Jonathan Swan: (33:45)
It is the number.

President Donald J. Trump: (33:45)
Okay. If that’s the number, it speaks to something that to me is unacceptable.

Jonathan Swan: (33:49)
And what do you do about it then?

President Donald J. Trump: (33:51)
Well, I think we’ve already done a lot of things-

Jonathan Swan: (33:52)
But you haven’t, it still exists.

President Donald J. Trump: (33:53)
Let me just tell you.

Jonathan Swan: (33:54)
No, no, I understand your achievements. I know what you’re going to say. I’m not suggesting you haven’t done a lot economically-

President Donald J. Trump: (33:58)
I’ve done a thing called criminal justice reform.

Jonathan Swan: (34:00)
I get it, I’m just saying what changes-

President Donald J. Trump: (34:01)
And your friend President Obama couldn’t get done.

Jonathan Swan: (34:02)
He’s not my friend. I’m asking about a statistic.

President Donald J. Trump: (34:04)
He tried, but he couldn’t get it done. I got criminal justice [crosstalk 00:34:07]-

Jonathan Swan: (34:07)
I get it. I get it.

President Donald J. Trump: (34:07)
I got opportunities on, I took care of the historically Black… If you look at what I’ve done for colleges, for Black colleges and universities, I got them funding. Obama never did it. I did more for the Black community than anybody with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln, whether you like it or not. People say, “Oh, that’s interesting.”

Jonathan Swan: (34:31)
You really believe you did more than Lyndon Johnson who passed the Civil Rights Act?

President Donald J. Trump: (34:34)
I think I did, yeah.

Jonathan Swan: (34:34)
How? How possibly did you-

President Donald J. Trump: (34:36)
Because I got criminal justice reform done, I got prison reform-

Jonathan Swan: (34:38)
Lyndon Johnson-

President Donald J. Trump: (34:39)
I’ve done things. Well-

Jonathan Swan: (34:41)
He passed the Civil Rights Act.

President Donald J. Trump: (34:43)
Ask. Ask. How has it worked out? If you take a look at what Lyndon Johnson did?

Jonathan Swan: (34:46)
You think the Civil Rights Act was a mistake?

President Donald J. Trump: (34:46)
How has it worked out? Because frankly, it took a long time, but for African Americans-

Jonathan Swan: (34:53)
But you think that was a mistake?

President Donald J. Trump: (34:54)
… under my administration, Jonathan, under my administration, African Americans were doing better than they have ever done in the history of this country. So I did a lot, job numbers, all of it, money. They had money, they were getting great. Their percentage was up, their housing ownership was up. They did better than they’ve ever done until we got hit-

Jonathan Swan: (35:12)
I just don’t know how you can-

President Donald J. Trump: (35:13)
… and now you know what we’re doing? I’m building it up again. We’re going to have it. Next year will be a great year, unless it’s screwed up by somebody that doesn’t know what he’s doing, which could happen, but I don’t think it will.

Jonathan Swan: (35:24)
John Lewis is lying in state in the U.S. Capitol. How do you think history will remember John Lewis?

President Donald J. Trump: (35:29)
I don’t know. I really don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know John Lewis. He chose not to come to my inauguration. He chose… I never met John Lewis, actually, I don’t believe.

Jonathan Swan: (35:42)
Do you find him impressive?

President Donald J. Trump: (35:46)
I can’t say one or the other. I find a lot of people impressive. I find many people not impressive. But no, but I didn’t go-

Jonathan Swan: (35:52)
Do you find his story impressive?

President Donald J. Trump: (35:53)
He didn’t come to my inauguration. He didn’t come to my State of the Union speeches, and that’s okay. That’s his right. And again, nobody has done more-

Jonathan Swan: (36:02)
Right, but back-

President Donald J. Trump: (36:03)
… for Black Americans than I have.

Jonathan Swan: (36:05)
I understand.

President Donald J. Trump: (36:05)
He should’ve come. I think he made a big mistake by not showing up.

Jonathan Swan: (36:08)
But taking your relationship with him out of it, do you find his story impressive? What he’s done for this country?

President Donald J. Trump: (36:14)
He was a person that devoted a lot of energy and a lot of heart to civil rights, but there were many others also.

Jonathan Swan: (36:23)
There’s a petition to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama as the John Lewis Bridge. Would you support that idea?

President Donald J. Trump: (36:32)
I would have no objection to it if they’ve like to do it.

Jonathan Swan: (36:34)
Yeah? It’s a good idea?

President Donald J. Trump: (36:34)
Would have no objection to it whatsoever.

Jonathan Swan: (36:36)
Mr. President, you’ve been so generous with your time and we really appreciate.

President Donald J. Trump: (36:39)
Well, thank you very much. Great honor.

Jonathan Swan: (36:40)
Thank you so much.

President Donald J. Trump: (36:41)
Thank you.

Speaker 1: (36:45)
Okay, thank you.

President Donald J. Trump: (36:46)
Thank you very much.

Jonathan Swan: (36:47)
Thank you, sir.

Sep 1, 2020

Donald Trump Laura Ingraham Interview Transcript August 31: Says People “in the Dark Shadows” Controlling Biden
Donald Trump Laura Ingram August 31 Interview Fox News
Rev › Blog › Transcripts › 2020 Election Transcripts › Donald Trump Laura Ingraham Interview Transcript August 31: Says People “in the Dark Shadows” Controlling Biden
On August 31, Donald Trump sat down for an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. He claimed that people “in the Dark Shadows” and “people that are controlling the streets” are controlling Joe Biden and “pulling Biden’s strings”, making several comments about protests like the ones happening in Portland. Read the full transcript here.

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Part 1
Laura Ingraham: (00:01)
Mr President, thank you so much for joining us.

Donald Trump: (00:03)
Thank you.

Laura Ingraham: (00:04)
On Friday, Ted Wheeler, the Mayor of Portland sent a letter to you saying, basically we don’t want your help. You make matters worse. Saturday, one of your supporters is murdered in Portland by it looks like a suspected Antifa individual. And then on Sunday, Wheeler comes out and Biden, and essentially tries to blame shift to you for the violence there. Your reaction.

Donald Trump: (00:28)
Well, these are terrible and very incompetent people. Portland’s been burning for many years, for decades it’s been burning, but now it’s gotten to a point they don’t want to do… I watched the Mayor try and get in with these people. And he went to a protest and he went in there. They almost killed him. If he didn’t have security, whatever he had, five security guards, he would have been dead, just like they would have done to Rand Paul, who’s a great guy, and his wife, Kelly. It is a disgrace. When you look at what’s happening. Now, we sent in Homeland Security. The reason we sent them in was to protect our courthouse. We have a $300 million courthouse, and they wanted to blow up our courthouse or burn it down. “Take your choice, blow it up, or burn it down,” they said, and I said, “No, no, that’s not happening.”

Donald Trump: (01:13)
So they wouldn’t protect it, because the Mayor said he doesn’t care. So we sent in our Homeland people, they did a great job. Homeland Security. Immediately, it was protected. And that’s the only reason they were there. I’ve offered to send in the National Guard. I’ve offered to send in anybody they want. I could put that out in 45 minutes and it would stop. And I think the people of Portland and the people of Oregon, I know it’s a liberal state, considered liberal. They’re tired of it. They’re tired of living with this curse. They’re living with a curse. They say that when you walk through the streets of Portland, this is years and years of burning and it’s not-

Laura Ingraham: (01:55)
The last 90 days it’s been really [crosstalk 00:01:57]

Donald Trump: (01:57)
It’s been horrible the last 90 days. But no, it’s been going on for many… It’s been going on for many, many years. It’s like, you’re in, I won’t name the city, but it’s the city someplace in the world that’s not so good, okay? It’s a terrible situation.

Laura Ingraham: (02:10)
The Oregon governor said, “No one is safe in Donald Trump’s America.” They’re trying to turn the tables on you after months of… They’re not really saying much about the violence.

Donald Trump: (02:21)
Right? But they won’t ever criticize anybody that truly, that’s a violent person, frankly. That’s violent. They stick up for the violence. The people that are getting hurt, they don’t care about. They don’t care about these people. It’s a weird thing. It’s like warped minds. And for the last 93 days, I’ve been offering to send in… And as you know, they have to take the offer. They have to ask to have help. I’ve been standing and I’ve been saying, “Anytime you’re ready, we’ll put it out.”

Laura Ingraham: (02:49)
What’s motivating them, Mr. President?

Donald Trump: (02:51)
I think it’s a sickness, actually. I think they’re are also, there’s a fear. I watched the way they treated this Mayor Wheeler when he was standing there. And I’ll tell you how unfair the news is. NBC news didn’t show that he was being shouted at and cursed at. And he ran, literally he had to run for his life, because they were going to really hurt him. He had security. If he didn’t, he would have probably-

Laura Ingraham: (03:14)
Well, they shot up an apartment building [crosstalk 00:00:03:17].

Donald Trump: (03:16)
How he can still stick up for them. I think there’s a fear. I think he’s afraid.

Laura Ingraham: (03:20)
Are they afraid that Oregon could be in play because of people’s concern about law and order?

Donald Trump: (03:26)
I don’t know. No, I think that like the Mayor Wheeler, I think he’s probably afraid for his life. Because if you would have seen him… But I’ll show you, had this on NBC news put on and they didn’t have the people shouting, they had him standing there, and they talked about how it was a show of great unity. The mayor standing with the people. Those people were going to kill him. They were saying things that I can’t repeat right now, but horrible things. But they didn’t put that on. I actually happened to see the real tape on Fox. He escaped with his life, and yet he doesn’t want any help. It’s so unfair to the people of Oregon. We could solve that problem quickly. Like I did in Kenosha. You know, Kenosha went through three or four days of that. You wouldn’t have a Kenosha right now. We demanded that they send in the National Guard. Called the governor. And in all fairness, the governor did it. Not enough, but it was enough to put it out. And we ultimately put in where we had 1,000 people and we put it out quickly. You wouldn’t have Kenosha right now.

Laura Ingraham: (04:30)
In Pittsburgh today, Joe Biden gave a speech, and he spoke directly about this violence.

Joe Biden: (04:37)
You may believe mouthing the words law and order makes him strong. But his failure to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia in this country shows how weak he is.

Laura Ingraham: (04:51)
Your response to the Vice President, sir?

Donald Trump: (04:54)
Look, he’s a weak person. He’s been weak all his life, but now he’s really weak. He shouldn’t be running for president. He should not be there.

Laura Ingraham: (05:02)
But do you want your supporters to confront the left wing protestors? Or do you want to leave it to law enforcement?

Donald Trump: (05:09)
No, I don’t want them to. I want to leave it to law enforcement. But my supporters are wonderful, hardworking, tremendous people. And they turn on their television set, and they look at a Portland or they look at a Kenosha before I got involved and stopped it. Or they look at Chicago, where 78 people were shot last week and then numerous people died. Or they look at New York where violence is up by like what, 150%? It’s up by a number that nobody… And people are leaving. They’re looking at all of this and they can’t believe it. They can’t believe it. Whether it’s my supporter or not.

Laura Ingraham: (05:46)
But you don’t want them showing up to try to-

Donald Trump: (05:48)
Well, it’s a peaceful protest. I mean, they were protesting. They weren’t… You know, it’s amazing. They want to protest and they get criticized. The other people run through the streets, burn down storefronts, hurt people, beat people and kill people, kick people in the face. That would have happened to Rand Paul, by the way, and his wife, except that you had two, and then ultimately four very good policeman, who took a big beating. They took a big beating and they really saved Rand Paul. In fact, we’re going to bring them into the white house and give them some kind of an accommodation because they really… What they did was very brave, actually. I mean, can you imagine? I’m saying policemen were brave because they were escorting, but they’re escorting a US Senator and his wife. And as Rand said, he would have been killed if they weren’t there. It’s a terrible-

Laura Ingraham: (06:34)
Isn’t it true also, Mr. President, that the Democrats have been in their own way, inciting this violence against individuals for almost as long as you’ve been in office?

Donald Trump: (06:44)
Sure.

Maxine Waters: (06:44)
If you see anybody from that cabinet, you get up and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.

Cory Booker: (06:58)
Please, get up in the face of some Congress people.

Speaker 6: (07:00)
There needs to be unrest in the streets.

Nancy Pelosi: (07:02)
The domestic enemies to our voting system and our honoring our constitution are right at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, with their allies in the Congress of the United States.

Donald Trump: (07:14)
It’s not only the Democrats, it’s the media, the fake news. The news is so fake. Like I told you with the mayor, where they make them look like it’s a great unity thing, when actually they were cursing at him and they would have done big numbers on him, but they don’t show that. They just show the mayor standing with these very tough thugs and he was gone. Okay? They saved him. But NBC shows it like it’s unity with the people. I don’t get it. I don’t know why they’re doing it. And I will say this. At some point I will not be President. Hopefully that’ll be in five years from now, but I will not be President. And they’re going to die. They’re all going to die. Can you imagine if they had to cover sleepy Joe Biden, it won’t be very much fun. But much more importantly, our country would go to hell. Our stock markets will crash, as sure as you’re sitting there. We will have problems like you’ve never had. But if you take Kenosha and if you take other parts of the country that I don’t even talk about, I could show you things that we’ve done to stop this kind of a thing that’s happening in Portland, and happening in Chicago, and happening in other places.

Laura Ingraham: (08:20)
Most red states are cooperating with federal law enforcement and things are relatively calm in red state America. But Biden said again today in Pittsburgh, that essentially you’re not going to be safe in Donald Trump’s America.

Donald Trump: (08:36)
So if it weren’t Donald Trump’s America, to just use the expression as I’m president, you would have riots like you’ve never seen. The Democrats have lost control of the radical left. And if you look at Bernie and the, I call it the manifesto that was agreed to with Biden and his crew, that’s further left than Bernie ever was. They won’t be able to control these people. These people have lost control of these people and it’s hurting them. Don’t forget, Biden wasn’t going to come out of his basement until the election. Now he had to because the polls are so good for me. Now he had two because the polls are different. So all of a sudden he’s in Pittsburgh. He wasn’t going to leave his basement. Then he said, “Okay,” he’s leaving. But he won’t leave for 10 days. 10 days is a long time. So in the meantime, like on Sunday, or Saturday, I’m in Texas, I’m in Louisiana. I was going to stop in two other places. Fortunately, they didn’t get hit. Arkansas wasn’t hit very much, et cetera, et cetera. I would have stopped. But I’m all over the place. I leave early in the morning. I get home late at night. And that’s what you have to do as president Joe doesn’t have energy.

Laura Ingraham: (09:46)
Tomorrow you’re going to Kenosha, Wisconsin, of course the scene of so much unrest lately. And the governor says he doesn’t want you to come. Why is it important for you to be seen by the people of Wisconsin now?

Donald Trump: (10:02)
Because I am a tremendous fan of law enforcement and I want to thank the law enforcement. They’ve done a good job. And when the governor says that I shouldn’t come or he’d prefer that I not come, I’m the one that called him and said, “Tony, you got to bring out the National Guard.” “Well, I don’t really want to do it.” “Tony, you got to bring it out.” And unlike your governor of Oregon, that just keeps saying no, he agreed to it at least. Now he agreed to a small number, but the small number was plenty.

Laura Ingraham: (10:27)
But isn’t it a political motivation. They don’t want you to come to blue state America, because they don’t want the media to have to cover what’s really happening on the ground. Isn’t this political?

Donald Trump: (10:36)
Oh, that’s true. That’s true. If you look at what’s going on in, as you call it, blue state America, blue city America. You look at what’s going on in New York. You look at what’s going on in these states. Chicago is a disaster. Portland. You look at Portland. Now Portland’s a little different. That’s anarchists. And I actually think in many ways that’s easier to handle. I think Portland is very easy to handle, because that’s a group of anarchists that are paid by the outside. And you know, we put a lot of people in jail. I don’t know if you know this or not. You remember three, four months ago, we were having a problem with monuments? They were ripping down statues and monuments [crosstalk 00:00:11:10].

Laura Ingraham: (11:10)
Democrats didn’t say anything about that.

Donald Trump: (11:10)
Oh, the Democrats had no control. It actually got out of control even for them. I signed in an executive order, 10 years in jail if you knock down a statue or monument. You haven’t heard one thing about it. You haven’t. We wouldn’t have… They were going after Thomas Jefferson, they were going after Lincoln. And they were going after the Washington monument, that they could knock that one down. They were going after it. And I actually don’t even think they know. I think they’re just thugs. I don’t think it’s… It may be an ideology and it may not. It is an ideology for the people that are paying them. And the funny thing is, and the strange thing is, the people that are paying them and all this money, because somebody’s doing it [crosstalk 00:11:49] The people paying them, those people will be overthrown. Their lives will be taken away. Their lives will be endangered. They’re all going to be gone. They’re just stupid foolish people that made a lot of money.

Laura Ingraham: (12:01)
But corporations have given an enormous amount of money in the tens of millions, or hundreds of millions, to Black Lives Matter, which is all over a lot of these protests. So what does that mean about these corporations? Why are they paying that money out?

Donald Trump: (12:14)
Because they’re weak people led by weak people. In many cases, not all corporations.

Laura Ingraham: (12:19)
What’s that mean, they’re weak people?

Donald Trump: (12:19)
I looked at numbers where one company is giving hundreds of millions of dollars.

Laura Ingraham: (12:23)
When you say they’re weak, what do you mean? Explain that.

Donald Trump: (12:24)
Because they just do what’s the easiest path. That’s not the easy path. That’s a very dangerous path. Black Lives Matter is a Marxist organization. You remember pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon. That was the first time I ever heard of Black Lives Matter. I said, “That’s a terrible name. It’s so discriminatory.” It’s bad for black people. It’s bad for everybody. And all of a sudden it becomes like, sort of… Although now if you look, it’s gone way down, because people are tired of this stuff, what’s going on. The Black Lives Matter. If you look at what’s going on with the bats and a lot of thugs.

Laura Ingraham: (12:58)
Running through DC last night.

Donald Trump: (13:00)
Oh, it’s terrible, what’s going on. But Black Lives Matter came into existence, walking down the street, screaming, “Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon.” And that was about police officers that was representing police. They were pigs, pigs in a blanket, like the sausages or hot dogs, fry them like bacon.

Laura Ingraham: (13:18)
Well they were saying worse over the last couple of days. And-

Donald Trump: (13:20)
I think even worse, yeah. Probably. [crosstalk 00:13:23] I don’t know, do you get worse?

Laura Ingraham: (13:24)
But DOJ’s role in trying to really hit the law enforcement accelerator here against these groups, a lot of the individuals coming into Wisconsin have been tracked as out of staters, the ones who’ve been arrested.

Donald Trump: (13:38)
We have them all.

Laura Ingraham: (13:39)
Can DOJ do more? And what could they do to really start putting the fear of God in these violent… Not the peaceful protesters, but violent protesters.

Donald Trump: (13:48)
So they have under investigation a lot. In fact, I’ll show you. I just had this, because of this very important interview with you. But I just… And I’ll give this to you. In Kansas City, violence has decreased by a third since the initiative began. In Indianapolis, 49 guns confiscated. More than 1000 arrests have been made under the initiative. DOJ is addressing violence and crime across the country. But you don’t read that. The FBI and ATF are assisting the Portland police department, but you can’t do much when you have absolutely no cooperation.

Laura Ingraham: (14:19)
But if they don’t think they’re going to go to jail for 10 years for doing what they’re doing, then they’re going to keep doing it. So how does a Trump reelection calm things down in the United States? Biden says he’s going to calm things down. [crosstalk 00:14:31] How will a Trump election calm? Why? Why won’t he calm things down?

Donald Trump: (14:34)
Biden won’t calm things down. They will take over. They will have won. If Biden gets in, they will have won. He’s a weak person. He’s controlled like a puppet. So it’s not going to be calm things down. It’s going to be, they will have won. They will have taken over your cities. It’s a revolution. You understand that, it’s a revolution. And the people of this country will not stand for that. They’re not going to stand for that. The vast majority of people feel like me. They feel like… Every time I put law and order up on social media, it gets such an incredible positive response. The people of this country will not stand for it. If you say calm things down. Yeah. Calm things down, because they will have taken over. Take a look at what’s going on. And Biden… Well, Biden is, I don’t even like to mention Biden, because he’s not controlling anything.

Laura Ingraham: (15:20)
Who do you think is pulling Biden’s strings. Is it former Obama people?

Donald Trump: (15:24)
People that you’ve never heard of. People that are in the dark shadows. People that are-

Laura Ingraham: (15:29)
What does that mean? That sounds like conspiracy theory. Dark shadows, what is that?

Donald Trump: (15:32)
People that you haven’t heard of. There are people that are on the streets. There are people that are controlling the streets. We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend and in the plane, it was almost completely loaded with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear and this and that. They’re on a plane.

Laura Ingraham: (15:53)
Where is-

Donald Trump: (15:54)
I’ll tell you sometime, but it’s under investigation right now. But they came from a certain city, and this person was coming to the Republican National Convention. And there were like seven people on the plane like this person. And then a lot of people were on the plane to do big damage. They were coming [crosstalk 00:16:12]-

Laura Ingraham: (16:11)
Planning for Washington.

Donald Trump: (16:12)
Yeah, this is all happening.

Laura Ingraham: (16:15)
But the money is coming from somewhere. How can it be tracked?

Donald Trump: (16:17)
Money is coming from some very stupid rich people, that have no idea that if their thing ever succeeded, which it won’t, they will be thrown to the wolves like you’ve never seen before.

Part 2
Laura Ingraham: (00:01)
Women voters, so important to reach out to them-

Donald Trump: (00:06)
Yep.

Laura Ingraham: (00:06)
Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, you have a deficit among women voters.

Donald Trump: (00:10)
Well, that’s what they said last time, too.

Laura Ingraham: (00:11)
Right, well, let’s say, for the sake of argument, you have a deficit among female voters, who maybe in some cases, you’re too aggressive, your tone or your tweets. What do you say to them directly about what you’ll do in a second term?

Donald Trump: (00:26)
Okay. I have to be aggressive because I’m like standing here in a sea of incompetent people, stupid people, and violent people. Very violent.

Laura Ingraham: (00:37)
But that’s the kind of language. Stupid people-

Donald Trump: (00:40)
That’s okay.

Laura Ingraham: (00:40)
That’s like, a lot of women don’t like that.

Donald Trump: (00:40)
It’s also the kind, well … Where are we? Oh, we’re in the White House. I see. See. Okay? So I’m standing here in a sea of people, and we need law and order in this country, and women see that with me. You’re never going to have law and order with Biden. Hey, look at Ferguson. Look what happened during the … You know, people forget. Look at all of those horrible race riots you had during Obama. Ferguson’s just one that comes to mind. But you had them all the time. Look at all of what happened with Brown and this one and that one. Look at all of the problems you had under Obama. It was a disaster. It was actually worse than anything.

Donald Trump: (01:16)
This is a much different situation. Again, the anarchists in Portland are different than what’s going on in Chicago. Chicago can be solved. I think it’s actually a little bit more difficult to solve. I think the anarchists, in many ways, are much more solvable, but for women, more than anything else, they want security. They want safety. They have to have safety. They talk about the suburban woman. What I did recently, I ended the regulation that provided low-income housing, that mandated low-income housing-

Laura Ingraham: (01:48)
That was Obama’s rule.

Donald Trump: (01:49)
That was the Obama rule. It was a disaster.

Laura Ingraham: (01:51)
Do you think the suburbs are in danger if Biden is elected?

Donald Trump: (01:55)
Oh, yeah. We already- [crosstalk 00:01:56]

Laura Ingraham: (01:56)
We already know the cities are in danger, but are the suburbs in danger? Because they say that’s fear-mongering on the part of Republicans.

Donald Trump: (02:00)
I know the suburbs, look … Westchester was ground zero, okay? For what they were trying to do. They were trying to destroy the suburban, beautiful place. The American dream, really. They wanted low-income housing, and with that comes a lot of other problems, including crime. May not be nice to say, but I’ll say it. [crosstalk 00:02:18]

Laura Ingraham: (02:18)
You’re not saying that all poor people are criminals, though?

Donald Trump: (02:19)
No, I’m not saying that at all, but it does … There is a level of violence that you don’t see. So you have this beautiful community in the suburbs, including women, right? Women. They want security. I ended where they build low-income housing project right in the middle of your neighborhood. I ended it. If Biden gets in, he already said, it’s going to go at a much higher rate than ever before, and you know who’s going to be in charge of it? Cory Booker. That’s going to be nice. Okay. So I think that women are going to want me, well, for a lot of other reasons. The stock markets will crash. As sure as you’re sitting there, your 401(k)s will go down to a small percentage of what they are-

Laura Ingraham: (02:59)
Biden says he’s not going to raise taxes on anyone making under $400,000.

Donald Trump: (03:03)
He’s going to do $4 trillion in tax increases. He’s going to do things that are going to cost so much on the Green New Deal, which is done by a child. Okay? That’s the mind of a child. Because the Green New Deal is ridiculous. It doesn’t work. They’re going to do things under the Green … You know, the Green New Deal, if you actually did it, is $100 trillion. That’s more money than this country could make in a thousand years-

Laura Ingraham: (03:28)
They say it’s going to be good-paying jobs. All the great-paying jobs that Obama apparently didn’t create.

Donald Trump: (03:32)
Let’s rip down a building and build a new one with no windows. Okay?

Laura Ingraham: (03:35)
The African American community. You’ve made more strides in outreach to African American voters, than I think of any Republican president in my lifetime. What can you tell the African American community tonight about your commitment to doing more in the second term, and what will that include?

Donald Trump: (03:53)
I’ve done criminal justice reform. I saved the historically black colleges and universities. What they went through was, for years, including Obama-

Laura Ingraham: (04:01)
Defunding.

Donald Trump: (04:02)
Prison reform, criminal justice reform.

Laura Ingraham: (04:05)
Next term.

Donald Trump: (04:05)
Opportunity zone. More of the same. And in fact, I actually said in the speech, the best is yet to come. And I’ve been treated very well, at least in the polls, I hope. I hope that translates because, unfortunately, the African American, the Black community, has been so used to going and pressing the Democrat lever, and what have they got out of it? They’ve got nothing. Obama didn’t give them criminal justice reform. I did. Obama didn’t give them opportunity zones. I did. Obama didn’t do all of the things, didn’t save … Obama could have saved the historically black colleges and universities. He didn’t do anything for them. He didn’t do anything for them. I’ve done more.

Donald Trump: (04:45)
And I said in the speech, some people would say, you shouldn’t say it. It’s too aggressive. I said, what’s aggressive? I’ve done more than any president in the United … in the history of our country, except for maybe Abe, and I say maybe, maybe, Abraham Lincoln. The reason I say maybe is I’ll explain that to you later. Okay?

Laura Ingraham: (05:01)
All right. I want to talk about-

Donald Trump: (05:03)
Wait a minute. I’ve done more for the Black community than any president in the United States with the exception of Abraham Lincoln. And it’s true. Criminal justice reform was such a big deal, and look what Biden did in 1994, what he did to people, to Black people.

Laura Ingraham: (05:21)
He called the criminals predators.

Donald Trump: (05:23)
Well, he called them predators.

Laura Ingraham: (05:25)
Super predators.

Donald Trump: (05:25)
Super predators, actually. He called them super predators.

Laura Ingraham: (05:28)
So when you see the unrest on the streets, and so much of it is driven by an antipathy toward law enforcement, and more African Americans are stopped by the police. The statistics that are cited over and over again. What can you say to those families who live on those streets, and who are worried? They’re worried because they think their sons or even their daughters could be targeted. Because I known you for a long time, you don’t want that. You want people to all be treated equally, but they have a caricature of Republican voters, and you’re the leader of the party. What do you say to them about that mischaracterization?

Donald Trump: (06:03)
What the Black community wants in this country is they want police, and they want law and order. They don’t want what’s happening to their communities. They’re being affected in a much harsher, meaner matter than anybody else. That includes Hispanics, who aren’t doing very well, also. Look, they want law and order. They want the police. They do polls, and the polls are at 82, 83%. They want the police. They’ve gotten along with the police, and the police have been very badly mistreated because you have one bad apple, and it becomes a story for weeks.

Laura Ingraham: (06:37)
St. Louis African American police officer shot in the head and killed-

Donald Trump: (06:40)
Oh, yeah. Dorn-

Laura Ingraham: (06:41)
Last night. No, another African American just killed yesterday.

Donald Trump: (06:47)
Yeah, that’s true. Yeah. That’s true. Killed.

Laura Ingraham: (06:50)
It’s more dangerous to be a police officer today, do you not think, than it has been in a long time?

Donald Trump: (06:54)
The police are under siege because of things … They can do 10,000 great acts, which is what they do. And one bad apple, or a choker, you know, a choker, they choke. Shooting the guy.

Laura Ingraham: (07:08)
You mean they panic?

Donald Trump: (07:08)
Shooting the guy in the back many times. I mean, couldn’t you have done something different? Couldn’t you have wrestled him? In the meantime, he might’ve been going for a weapon, and there’s a whole big thing there. But they choke. Just like in a golf tournament, they miss a three-foot-

Laura Ingraham: (07:26)
You’re not comparing it to golf, because of course, that’s what the media will say.

Donald Trump: (07:27)
I’m saying people choke.

Laura Ingraham: (07:29)
People might, people hack.

Donald Trump: (07:30)
People choke, and people are bad people. You have both. You have some bad people, and you have, they choke. You could be a police officer for 15 years, and all of a sudden you’re confronted. You’ve got a quarter of a second to make a decision. If you don’t make the decision and you’re wrong, you’re dead. People choke under those circumstances, and they make a bad decision. I’ve seen bad decisions of people that, it looked bad, but probably it was a choke. But you also have bad police, but you also … The vast, not only the vast majority, thousands and thousands of great acts, and one bad one, and you make the evening news for weeks.

Laura Ingraham: (08:09)
I know you reached out to Jacob Blake’s mom. And she said on camera she was sorry she missed the call. She respects the office of the presidency, and I think she would like to talk to you. Have you tried to talk to her again, and would you talk to her again?

Donald Trump: (08:22)
The call is being made, as I understand it, yes.

Laura Ingraham: (08:25)
Fantastic.

Part 3
Laura Ingraham: (00:01)
On the flu vaccines in Massachusetts, they’re mandating that children get flu vaccines in order to go back to school. There’s a controversy about that. A lot of parents are like, whoa, we don’t want our kids to get the flu vaccines. Are you worried that on the push for vaccines, these fast vaccines for COVID, you might be splitting a coalition of Americans, frankly in both parties, who aren’t comfortable with these vaccines?

Donald Trump: (00:25)
Well, once you get to a certain number, we use the word herd, right? Once you get to a certain number, it’s going to go away. So, it doesn’t have to be. But yeah, I mean, a lot of people are not going to want to do it. A lot of people don’t want to do the flu vaccine.

Laura Ingraham: (00:39)
Should it be mandatory?

Donald Trump: (00:40)
You know, I never had the flu, but I never had a shot. I never had the vaccine. I come here, the first thing is, sir, you have to have a flu shot. I said, “Why?” “Because you have to have it.” I say, “What’s the percentage? And I wasn’t thrilled with the percentage, it’s like 50%, 55%.”

Laura Ingraham: (00:56)
But Dr. Fauci It might not give “great protection” because it’s a Coronavirus.

Donald Trump: (01:01)
Well, I said, look, if I’ve never had it, wouldn’t it be good? And then I thought I should have it because I’ll set an example. So I had it. So I’ve had it now three times, and I still haven’t had the flu. So maybe I’ll give credit to the flu vaccine. I don’t know.

Laura Ingraham: (01:14)
If you had it-

Donald Trump: (01:15)
If I can say this. I think we’re going to have a vaccine very soon. A lot of tremendous work has been done. We’re going to have a vaccine, just like we have therapeutics, which to me are even more important. You go into the hospital, you make people better. That’s to me the most, and we just did the convalescent plasma, I think. And you have other things too. So I think we’re going to have a lot of therapeutics and we’re going to have a vaccine very soon as to whether or not people take it-

Laura Ingraham: (01:43)
35% say they’re not going to take the COVID vaccine. They don’t want it. So it shouldn’t be mandatory, then should it?

Donald Trump: (01:48)
You add 35 to the people that have had it. And to all of the other things. People that have had it, where in theory, you can’t get it, although they found one person and they’re making a big deal. One person got it twice. But if you add it all up, it gives you very good protection.

Laura Ingraham: (02:02)
Biden says he would shut down the economy again. If the scientists said that was the right thing to do in the fight against COVID.

Donald Trump: (02:10)
Yeah.

Laura Ingraham: (02:10)
Would you?

Donald Trump: (02:11)
Well, I think it’s a very dangerous statement for him to make. Look, we did the right thing. We shut it down and now we built it up and we’re setting records on job numbers. We’re setting records on retail numbers. So this guy comes in, I heard it the other day, if they said, so that means that if some doctor said we have to shut it down, we’re going to shut it down. We’re setting records. By the way, the stock market is at an all time record right now. You look at what’s going on in the stock market. Look at what’s going on. We’re going to have a phenomenal year, next year. We’re going to have a great third quarter. Interestingly, the numbers for the third quarter will come out before the election.

Laura Ingraham: (02:49)
Are you worried if something happens in the market and it corrects in October-

Donald Trump: (02:49)
So what happens- [crosstalk 00:02:47].

Laura Ingraham: (02:49)
They’re like trumps push on the market.

Donald Trump: (02:50)
Well, I can tell you what is happening. Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to give any stimulus. We should have it. It wasn’t the people’s fault that China gave us this virus. China gave us the virus. Whether it was through incompetence or on purpose.

Laura Ingraham: (03:02)
She called you a domestic enemy and enemy of the state, your supporters. How do you work with her on another stimulus? Will it happen?

Donald Trump: (03:08)
Well, I always tell her to go back to San Francisco, take care of your homeless problem. Take care of your problem in California. Because there’s nothing like what I’m witnessing out there. Right outside, right where she lives right in her district is so bad. Needles all over the place-

Laura Ingraham: (03:22)
Well, will you get a stimulus or not?

Donald Trump: (03:23)
Well, we should have. We’d like to get it for the people because it wasn’t their fault, but she doesn’t want to give it because that will make the economy a little bit better and that would be a terrible thing.

Laura Ingraham: (03:32)
If you had to do it all again, I know that’s kind of a hard question, but do it all again, would you put Fauci front and center every day in charge of the coronavirus task force?

Donald Trump: (03:42)
I get along with him very well. I disagree with a lot of what he said. He said, “Keep it open for China.” That was a big mistake, and he admits it. I get along with him, but every once in a while, he’ll come up with one that I say, “Where did that come from?” I inherited him. He was here. He was a part of this huge piece of machine. I didn’t put anybody in charge. He was here. He’s been here for 40 years.

Laura Ingraham: (04:05)
’84, 1984.

Donald Trump: (04:05)
Okay. He’s been here for many, many years, but you inherit a lot of people. It’s part of the machinery and you have some you love, some you don’t. I like him, I don’t agree with him that often, but I like him.

Laura Ingraham: (04:19)
And when you look back on the last four years and the first three were impeachment, Mueller, pandemic, [crosstalk 00:04:28] investigations.

Donald Trump: (04:29)
Yeah.

Laura Ingraham: (04:30)
What do you say to the American people about what they don’t see when they’re doing interviews like this? How you cope with this constant barrage from the Hill. There’s always back and forth, that’s fine. But it’s been different for you.

Donald Trump: (04:46)
It’s been different because I’ve accomplished so much. On the military, I’ve accomplished, first of all I’m bring in many of the troops home and most of the troops home, even cutting down Germany. Okay? Because they’ve taken advantage of us like you wouldn’t believe. But it’s been different for a lot of different reasons. I think primarily because I’ve accomplished so much.

Sep 1, 2020

Donald Trump Laura Ingraham Interview Transcript August 31: Says People “in the Dark Shadows” Controlling Biden
Donald Trump Laura Ingram August 31 Interview Fox News
Rev › Blog › Transcripts › 2020 Election Transcripts › Donald Trump Laura Ingraham Interview Transcript August 31: Says People “in the Dark Shadows” Controlling Biden
On August 31, Donald Trump sat down for an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. He claimed that people “in the Dark Shadows” and “people that are controlling the streets” are controlling Joe Biden and “pulling Biden’s strings”, making several comments about protests like the ones happening in Portland. Read the full transcript here.

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Part 1
Laura Ingraham: (00:01)
Mr President, thank you so much for joining us.

Donald Trump: (00:03)
Thank you.

Laura Ingraham: (00:04)
On Friday, Ted Wheeler, the Mayor of Portland sent a letter to you saying, basically we don’t want your help. You make matters worse. Saturday, one of your supporters is murdered in Portland by it looks like a suspected Antifa individual. And then on Sunday, Wheeler comes out and Biden, and essentially tries to blame shift to you for the violence there. Your reaction.

Donald Trump: (00:28)
Well, these are terrible and very incompetent people. Portland’s been burning for many years, for decades it’s been burning, but now it’s gotten to a point they don’t want to do… I watched the Mayor try and get in with these people. And he went to a protest and he went in there. They almost killed him. If he didn’t have security, whatever he had, five security guards, he would have been dead, just like they would have done to Rand Paul, who’s a great guy, and his wife, Kelly. It is a disgrace. When you look at what’s happening. Now, we sent in Homeland Security. The reason we sent them in was to protect our courthouse. We have a $300 million courthouse, and they wanted to blow up our courthouse or burn it down. “Take your choice, blow it up, or burn it down,” they said, and I said, “No, no, that’s not happening.”

Donald Trump: (01:13)
So they wouldn’t protect it, because the Mayor said he doesn’t care. So we sent in our Homeland people, they did a great job. Homeland Security. Immediately, it was protected. And that’s the only reason they were there. I’ve offered to send in the National Guard. I’ve offered to send in anybody they want. I could put that out in 45 minutes and it would stop. And I think the people of Portland and the people of Oregon, I know it’s a liberal state, considered liberal. They’re tired of it. They’re tired of living with this curse. They’re living with a curse. They say that when you walk through the streets of Portland, this is years and years of burning and it’s not-

Laura Ingraham: (01:55)
The last 90 days it’s been really [crosstalk 00:01:57]

Donald Trump: (01:57)
It’s been horrible the last 90 days. But no, it’s been going on for many… It’s been going on for many, many years. It’s like, you’re in, I won’t name the city, but it’s the city someplace in the world that’s not so good, okay? It’s a terrible situation.

Laura Ingraham: (02:10)
The Oregon governor said, “No one is safe in Donald Trump’s America.” They’re trying to turn the tables on you after months of… They’re not really saying much about the violence.

Donald Trump: (02:21)
Right? But they won’t ever criticize anybody that truly, that’s a violent person, frankly. That’s violent. They stick up for the violence. The people that are getting hurt, they don’t care about. They don’t care about these people. It’s a weird thing. It’s like warped minds. And for the last 93 days, I’ve been offering to send in… And as you know, they have to take the offer. They have to ask to have help. I’ve been standing and I’ve been saying, “Anytime you’re ready, we’ll put it out.”

Laura Ingraham: (02:49)
What’s motivating them, Mr. President?

Donald Trump: (02:51)
I think it’s a sickness, actually. I think they’re are also, there’s a fear. I watched the way they treated this Mayor Wheeler when he was standing there. And I’ll tell you how unfair the news is. NBC news didn’t show that he was being shouted at and cursed at. And he ran, literally he had to run for his life, because they were going to really hurt him. He had security. If he didn’t, he would have probably-

Laura Ingraham: (03:14)
Well, they shot up an apartment building [crosstalk 00:00:03:17].

Donald Trump: (03:16)
How he can still stick up for them. I think there’s a fear. I think he’s afraid.

Laura Ingraham: (03:20)
Are they afraid that Oregon could be in play because of people’s concern about law and order?

Donald Trump: (03:26)
I don’t know. No, I think that like the Mayor Wheeler, I think he’s probably afraid for his life. Because if you would have seen him… But I’ll show you, had this on NBC news put on and they didn’t have the people shouting, they had him standing there, and they talked about how it was a show of great unity. The mayor standing with the people. Those people were going to kill him. They were saying things that I can’t repeat right now, but horrible things. But they didn’t put that on. I actually happened to see the real tape on Fox. He escaped with his life, and yet he doesn’t want any help. It’s so unfair to the people of Oregon. We could solve that problem quickly. Like I did in Kenosha. You know, Kenosha went through three or four days of that. You wouldn’t have a Kenosha right now. We demanded that they send in the National Guard. Called the governor. And in all fairness, the governor did it. Not enough, but it was enough to put it out. And we ultimately put in where we had 1,000 people and we put it out quickly. You wouldn’t have Kenosha right now.

Laura Ingraham: (04:30)
In Pittsburgh today, Joe Biden gave a speech, and he spoke directly about this violence.

Joe Biden: (04:37)
You may believe mouthing the words law and order makes him strong. But his failure to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia in this country shows how weak he is.

Laura Ingraham: (04:51)
Your response to the Vice President, sir?

Donald Trump: (04:54)
Look, he’s a weak person. He’s been weak all his life, but now he’s really weak. He shouldn’t be running for president. He should not be there.

Laura Ingraham: (05:02)
But do you want your supporters to confront the left wing protestors? Or do you want to leave it to law enforcement?

Donald Trump: (05:09)
No, I don’t want them to. I want to leave it to law enforcement. But my supporters are wonderful, hardworking, tremendous people. And they turn on their television set, and they look at a Portland or they look at a Kenosha before I got involved and stopped it. Or they look at Chicago, where 78 people were shot last week and then numerous people died. Or they look at New York where violence is up by like what, 150%? It’s up by a number that nobody… And people are leaving. They’re looking at all of this and they can’t believe it. They can’t believe it. Whether it’s my supporter or not.

Laura Ingraham: (05:46)
But you don’t want them showing up to try to-

Donald Trump: (05:48)
Well, it’s a peaceful protest. I mean, they were protesting. They weren’t… You know, it’s amazing. They want to protest and they get criticized. The other people run through the streets, burn down storefronts, hurt people, beat people and kill people, kick people in the face. That would have happened to Rand Paul, by the way, and his wife, except that you had two, and then ultimately four very good policeman, who took a big beating. They took a big beating and they really saved Rand Paul. In fact, we’re going to bring them into the white house and give them some kind of an accommodation because they really… What they did was very brave, actually. I mean, can you imagine? I’m saying policemen were brave because they were escorting, but they’re escorting a US Senator and his wife. And as Rand said, he would have been killed if they weren’t there. It’s a terrible-

Laura Ingraham: (06:34)
Isn’t it true also, Mr. President, that the Democrats have been in their own way, inciting this violence against individuals for almost as long as you’ve been in office?

Donald Trump: (06:44)
Sure.

Maxine Waters: (06:44)
If you see anybody from that cabinet, you get up and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.

Cory Booker: (06:58)
Please, get up in the face of some Congress people.

Speaker 6: (07:00)
There needs to be unrest in the streets.

Nancy Pelosi: (07:02)
The domestic enemies to our voting system and our honoring our constitution are right at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, with their allies in the Congress of the United States.

Donald Trump: (07:14)
It’s not only the Democrats, it’s the media, the fake news. The news is so fake. Like I told you with the mayor, where they make them look like it’s a great unity thing, when actually they were cursing at him and they would have done big numbers on him, but they don’t show that. They just show the mayor standing with these very tough thugs and he was gone. Okay? They saved him. But NBC shows it like it’s unity with the people. I don’t get it. I don’t know why they’re doing it. And I will say this. At some point I will not be President. Hopefully that’ll be in five years from now, but I will not be President. And they’re going to die. They’re all going to die. Can you imagine if they had to cover sleepy Joe Biden, it won’t be very much fun. But much more importantly, our country would go to hell. Our stock markets will crash, as sure as you’re sitting there. We will have problems like you’ve never had. But if you take Kenosha and if you take other parts of the country that I don’t even talk about, I could show you things that we’ve done to stop this kind of a thing that’s happening in Portland, and happening in Chicago, and happening in other places.

Laura Ingraham: (08:20)
Most red states are cooperating with federal law enforcement and things are relatively calm in red state America. But Biden said again today in Pittsburgh, that essentially you’re not going to be safe in Donald Trump’s America.

Donald Trump: (08:36)
So if it weren’t Donald Trump’s America, to just use the expression as I’m president, you would have riots like you’ve never seen. The Democrats have lost control of the radical left. And if you look at Bernie and the, I call it the manifesto that was agreed to with Biden and his crew, that’s further left than Bernie ever was. They won’t be able to control these people. These people have lost control of these people and it’s hurting them. Don’t forget, Biden wasn’t going to come out of his basement until the election. Now he had to because the polls are so good for me. Now he had two because the polls are different. So all of a sudden he’s in Pittsburgh. He wasn’t going to leave his basement. Then he said, “Okay,” he’s leaving. But he won’t leave for 10 days. 10 days is a long time. So in the meantime, like on Sunday, or Saturday, I’m in Texas, I’m in Louisiana. I was going to stop in two other places. Fortunately, they didn’t get hit. Arkansas wasn’t hit very much, et cetera, et cetera. I would have stopped. But I’m all over the place. I leave early in the morning. I get home late at night. And that’s what you have to do as president Joe doesn’t have energy.

Laura Ingraham: (09:46)
Tomorrow you’re going to Kenosha, Wisconsin, of course the scene of so much unrest lately. And the governor says he doesn’t want you to come. Why is it important for you to be seen by the people of Wisconsin now?

Donald Trump: (10:02)
Because I am a tremendous fan of law enforcement and I want to thank the law enforcement. They’ve done a good job. And when the governor says that I shouldn’t come or he’d prefer that I not come, I’m the one that called him and said, “Tony, you got to bring out the National Guard.” “Well, I don’t really want to do it.” “Tony, you got to bring it out.” And unlike your governor of Oregon, that just keeps saying no, he agreed to it at least. Now he agreed to a small number, but the small number was plenty.

Laura Ingraham: (10:27)
But isn’t it a political motivation. They don’t want you to come to blue state America, because they don’t want the media to have to cover what’s really happening on the ground. Isn’t this political?

Donald Trump: (10:36)
Oh, that’s true. That’s true. If you look at what’s going on in, as you call it, blue state America, blue city America. You look at what’s going on in New York. You look at what’s going on in these states. Chicago is a disaster. Portland. You look at Portland. Now Portland’s a little different. That’s anarchists. And I actually think in many ways that’s easier to handle. I think Portland is very easy to handle, because that’s a group of anarchists that are paid by the outside. And you know, we put a lot of people in jail. I don’t know if you know this or not. You remember three, four months ago, we were having a problem with monuments? They were ripping down statues and monuments [crosstalk 00:00:11:10].

Laura Ingraham: (11:10)
Democrats didn’t say anything about that.

Donald Trump: (11:10)
Oh, the Democrats had no control. It actually got out of control even for them. I signed in an executive order, 10 years in jail if you knock down a statue or monument. You haven’t heard one thing about it. You haven’t. We wouldn’t have… They were going after Thomas Jefferson, they were going after Lincoln. And they were going after the Washington monument, that they could knock that one down. They were going after it. And I actually don’t even think they know. I think they’re just thugs. I don’t think it’s… It may be an ideology and it may not. It is an ideology for the people that are paying them. And the funny thing is, and the strange thing is, the people that are paying them and all this money, because somebody’s doing it [crosstalk 00:11:49] The people paying them, those people will be overthrown. Their lives will be taken away. Their lives will be endangered. They’re all going to be gone. They’re just stupid foolish people that made a lot of money.

Laura Ingraham: (12:01)
But corporations have given an enormous amount of money in the tens of millions, or hundreds of millions, to Black Lives Matter, which is all over a lot of these protests. So what does that mean about these corporations? Why are they paying that money out?

Donald Trump: (12:14)
Because they’re weak people led by weak people. In many cases, not all corporations.

Laura Ingraham: (12:19)
What’s that mean, they’re weak people?

Donald Trump: (12:19)
I looked at numbers where one company is giving hundreds of millions of dollars.

Laura Ingraham: (12:23)
When you say they’re weak, what do you mean? Explain that.

Donald Trump: (12:24)
Because they just do what’s the easiest path. That’s not the easy path. That’s a very dangerous path. Black Lives Matter is a Marxist organization. You remember pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon. That was the first time I ever heard of Black Lives Matter. I said, “That’s a terrible name. It’s so discriminatory.” It’s bad for black people. It’s bad for everybody. And all of a sudden it becomes like, sort of… Although now if you look, it’s gone way down, because people are tired of this stuff, what’s going on. The Black Lives Matter. If you look at what’s going on with the bats and a lot of thugs.

Laura Ingraham: (12:58)
Running through DC last night.

Donald Trump: (13:00)
Oh, it’s terrible, what’s going on. But Black Lives Matter came into existence, walking down the street, screaming, “Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon.” And that was about police officers that was representing police. They were pigs, pigs in a blanket, like the sausages or hot dogs, fry them like bacon.

Laura Ingraham: (13:18)
Well they were saying worse over the last couple of days. And-

Donald Trump: (13:20)
I think even worse, yeah. Probably. [crosstalk 00:13:23] I don’t know, do you get worse?

Laura Ingraham: (13:24)
But DOJ’s role in trying to really hit the law enforcement accelerator here against these groups, a lot of the individuals coming into Wisconsin have been tracked as out of staters, the ones who’ve been arrested.

Donald Trump: (13:38)
We have them all.

Laura Ingraham: (13:39)
Can DOJ do more? And what could they do to really start putting the fear of God in these violent… Not the peaceful protesters, but violent protesters.

Donald Trump: (13:48)
So they have under investigation a lot. In fact, I’ll show you. I just had this, because of this very important interview with you. But I just… And I’ll give this to you. In Kansas City, violence has decreased by a third since the initiative began. In Indianapolis, 49 guns confiscated. More than 1000 arrests have been made under the initiative. DOJ is addressing violence and crime across the country. But you don’t read that. The FBI and ATF are assisting the Portland police department, but you can’t do much when you have absolutely no cooperation.

Laura Ingraham: (14:19)
But if they don’t think they’re going to go to jail for 10 years for doing what they’re doing, then they’re going to keep doing it. So how does a Trump reelection calm things down in the United States? Biden says he’s going to calm things down. [crosstalk 00:14:31] How will a Trump election calm? Why? Why won’t he calm things down?

Donald Trump: (14:34)
Biden won’t calm things down. They will take over. They will have won. If Biden gets in, they will have won. He’s a weak person. He’s controlled like a puppet. So it’s not going to be calm things down. It’s going to be, they will have won. They will have taken over your cities. It’s a revolution. You understand that, it’s a revolution. And the people of this country will not stand for that. They’re not going to stand for that. The vast majority of people feel like me. They feel like… Every time I put law and order up on social media, it gets such an incredible positive response. The people of this country will not stand for it. If you say calm things down. Yeah. Calm things down, because they will have taken over. Take a look at what’s going on. And Biden… Well, Biden is, I don’t even like to mention Biden, because he’s not controlling anything.

Laura Ingraham: (15:20)
Who do you think is pulling Biden’s strings. Is it former Obama people?

Donald Trump: (15:24)
People that you’ve never heard of. People that are in the dark shadows. People that are-

Laura Ingraham: (15:29)
What does that mean? That sounds like conspiracy theory. Dark shadows, what is that?

Donald Trump: (15:32)
People that you haven’t heard of. There are people that are on the streets. There are people that are controlling the streets. We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend and in the plane, it was almost completely loaded with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear and this and that. They’re on a plane.

Laura Ingraham: (15:53)
Where is-

Donald Trump: (15:54)
I’ll tell you sometime, but it’s under investigation right now. But they came from a certain city, and this person was coming to the Republican National Convention. And there were like seven people on the plane like this person. And then a lot of people were on the plane to do big damage. They were coming [crosstalk 00:16:12]-

Laura Ingraham: (16:11)
Planning for Washington.

Donald Trump: (16:12)
Yeah, this is all happening.

Laura Ingraham: (16:15)
But the money is coming from somewhere. How can it be tracked?

Donald Trump: (16:17)
Money is coming from some very stupid rich people, that have no idea that if their thing ever succeeded, which it won’t, they will be thrown to the wolves like you’ve never seen before.

Part 2
Laura Ingraham: (00:01)
Women voters, so important to reach out to them-

Donald Trump: (00:06)
Yep.

Laura Ingraham: (00:06)
Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, you have a deficit among women voters.

Donald Trump: (00:10)
Well, that’s what they said last time, too.

Laura Ingraham: (00:11)
Right, well, let’s say, for the sake of argument, you have a deficit among female voters, who maybe in some cases, you’re too aggressive, your tone or your tweets. What do you say to them directly about what you’ll do in a second term?

Donald Trump: (00:26)
Okay. I have to be aggressive because I’m like standing here in a sea of incompetent people, stupid people, and violent people. Very violent.

Laura Ingraham: (00:37)
But that’s the kind of language. Stupid people-

Donald Trump: (00:40)
That’s okay.

Laura Ingraham: (00:40)
That’s like, a lot of women don’t like that.

Donald Trump: (00:40)
It’s also the kind, well … Where are we? Oh, we’re in the White House. I see. See. Okay? So I’m standing here in a sea of people, and we need law and order in this country, and women see that with me. You’re never going to have law and order with Biden. Hey, look at Ferguson. Look what happened during the … You know, people forget. Look at all of those horrible race riots you had during Obama. Ferguson’s just one that comes to mind. But you had them all the time. Look at all of what happened with Brown and this one and that one. Look at all of the problems you had under Obama. It was a disaster. It was actually worse than anything.

Donald Trump: (01:16)
This is a much different situation. Again, the anarchists in Portland are different than what’s going on in Chicago. Chicago can be solved. I think it’s actually a little bit more difficult to solve. I think the anarchists, in many ways, are much more solvable, but for women, more than anything else, they want security. They want safety. They have to have safety. They talk about the suburban woman. What I did recently, I ended the regulation that provided low-income housing, that mandated low-income housing-

Laura Ingraham: (01:48)
That was Obama’s rule.

Donald Trump: (01:49)
That was the Obama rule. It was a disaster.

Laura Ingraham: (01:51)
Do you think the suburbs are in danger if Biden is elected?

Donald Trump: (01:55)
Oh, yeah. We already- [crosstalk 00:01:56]

Laura Ingraham: (01:56)
We already know the cities are in danger, but are the suburbs in danger? Because they say that’s fear-mongering on the part of Republicans.

Donald Trump: (02:00)
I know the suburbs, look … Westchester was ground zero, okay? For what they were trying to do. They were trying to destroy the suburban, beautiful place. The American dream, really. They wanted low-income housing, and with that comes a lot of other problems, including crime. May not be nice to say, but I’ll say it. [crosstalk 00:02:18]

Laura Ingraham: (02:18)
You’re not saying that all poor people are criminals, though?

Donald Trump: (02:19)
No, I’m not saying that at all, but it does … There is a level of violence that you don’t see. So you have this beautiful community in the suburbs, including women, right? Women. They want security. I ended where they build low-income housing project right in the middle of your neighborhood. I ended it. If Biden gets in, he already said, it’s going to go at a much higher rate than ever before, and you know who’s going to be in charge of it? Cory Booker. That’s going to be nice. Okay. So I think that women are going to want me, well, for a lot of other reasons. The stock markets will crash. As sure as you’re sitting there, your 401(k)s will go down to a small percentage of what they are-

Laura Ingraham: (02:59)
Biden says he’s not going to raise taxes on anyone making under $400,000.

Donald Trump: (03:03)
He’s going to do $4 trillion in tax increases. He’s going to do things that are going to cost so much on the Green New Deal, which is done by a child. Okay? That’s the mind of a child. Because the Green New Deal is ridiculous. It doesn’t work. They’re going to do things under the Green … You know, the Green New Deal, if you actually did it, is $100 trillion. That’s more money than this country could make in a thousand years-

Laura Ingraham: (03:28)
They say it’s going to be good-paying jobs. All the great-paying jobs that Obama apparently didn’t create.

Donald Trump: (03:32)
Let’s rip down a building and build a new one with no windows. Okay?

Laura Ingraham: (03:35)
The African American community. You’ve made more strides in outreach to African American voters, than I think of any Republican president in my lifetime. What can you tell the African American community tonight about your commitment to doing more in the second term, and what will that include?

Donald Trump: (03:53)
I’ve done criminal justice reform. I saved the historically black colleges and universities. What they went through was, for years, including Obama-

Laura Ingraham: (04:01)
Defunding.

Donald Trump: (04:02)
Prison reform, criminal justice reform.

Laura Ingraham: (04:05)
Next term.

Donald Trump: (04:05)
Opportunity zone. More of the same. And in fact, I actually said in the speech, the best is yet to come. And I’ve been treated very well, at least in the polls, I hope. I hope that translates because, unfortunately, the African American, the Black community, has been so used to going and pressing the Democrat lever, and what have they got out of it? They’ve got nothing. Obama didn’t give them criminal justice reform. I did. Obama didn’t give them opportunity zones. I did. Obama didn’t do all of the things, didn’t save … Obama could have saved the historically black colleges and universities. He didn’t do anything for them. He didn’t do anything for them. I’ve done more.

Donald Trump: (04:45)
And I said in the speech, some people would say, you shouldn’t say it. It’s too aggressive. I said, what’s aggressive? I’ve done more than any president in the United … in the history of our country, except for maybe Abe, and I say maybe, maybe, Abraham Lincoln. The reason I say maybe is I’ll explain that to you later. Okay?

Laura Ingraham: (05:01)
All right. I want to talk about-

Donald Trump: (05:03)
Wait a minute. I’ve done more for the Black community than any president in the United States with the exception of Abraham Lincoln. And it’s true. Criminal justice reform was such a big deal, and look what Biden did in 1994, what he did to people, to Black people.

Laura Ingraham: (05:21)
He called the criminals predators.

Donald Trump: (05:23)
Well, he called them predators.

Laura Ingraham: (05:25)
Super predators.

Donald Trump: (05:25)
Super predators, actually. He called them super predators.

Laura Ingraham: (05:28)
So when you see the unrest on the streets, and so much of it is driven by an antipathy toward law enforcement, and more African Americans are stopped by the police. The statistics that are cited over and over again. What can you say to those families who live on those streets, and who are worried? They’re worried because they think their sons or even their daughters could be targeted. Because I known you for a long time, you don’t want that. You want people to all be treated equally, but they have a caricature of Republican voters, and you’re the leader of the party. What do you say to them about that mischaracterization?

Donald Trump: (06:03)
What the Black community wants in this country is they want police, and they want law and order. They don’t want what’s happening to their communities. They’re being affected in a much harsher, meaner matter than anybody else. That includes Hispanics, who aren’t doing very well, also. Look, they want law and order. They want the police. They do polls, and the polls are at 82, 83%. They want the police. They’ve gotten along with the police, and the police have been very badly mistreated because you have one bad apple, and it becomes a story for weeks.

Laura Ingraham: (06:37)
St. Louis African American police officer shot in the head and killed-

Donald Trump: (06:40)
Oh, yeah. Dorn-

Laura Ingraham: (06:41)
Last night. No, another African American just killed yesterday.

Donald Trump: (06:47)
Yeah, that’s true. Yeah. That’s true. Killed.

Laura Ingraham: (06:50)
It’s more dangerous to be a police officer today, do you not think, than it has been in a long time?

Donald Trump: (06:54)
The police are under siege because of things … They can do 10,000 great acts, which is what they do. And one bad apple, or a choker, you know, a choker, they choke. Shooting the guy.

Laura Ingraham: (07:08)
You mean they panic?

Donald Trump: (07:08)
Shooting the guy in the back many times. I mean, couldn’t you have done something different? Couldn’t you have wrestled him? In the meantime, he might’ve been going for a weapon, and there’s a whole big thing there. But they choke. Just like in a golf tournament, they miss a three-foot-

Laura Ingraham: (07:26)
You’re not comparing it to golf, because of course, that’s what the media will say.

Donald Trump: (07:27)
I’m saying people choke.

Laura Ingraham: (07:29)
People might, people hack.

Donald Trump: (07:30)
People choke, and people are bad people. You have both. You have some bad people, and you have, they choke. You could be a police officer for 15 years, and all of a sudden you’re confronted. You’ve got a quarter of a second to make a decision. If you don’t make the decision and you’re wrong, you’re dead. People choke under those circumstances, and they make a bad decision. I’ve seen bad decisions of people that, it looked bad, but probably it was a choke. But you also have bad police, but you also … The vast, not only the vast majority, thousands and thousands of great acts, and one bad one, and you make the evening news for weeks.

Laura Ingraham: (08:09)
I know you reached out to Jacob Blake’s mom. And she said on camera she was sorry she missed the call. She respects the office of the presidency, and I think she would like to talk to you. Have you tried to talk to her again, and would you talk to her again?

Donald Trump: (08:22)
The call is being made, as I understand it, yes.

Laura Ingraham: (08:25)
Fantastic.

Part 3
Laura Ingraham: (00:01)
On the flu vaccines in Massachusetts, they’re mandating that children get flu vaccines in order to go back to school. There’s a controversy about that. A lot of parents are like, whoa, we don’t want our kids to get the flu vaccines. Are you worried that on the push for vaccines, these fast vaccines for COVID, you might be splitting a coalition of Americans, frankly in both parties, who aren’t comfortable with these vaccines?

Donald Trump: (00:25)
Well, once you get to a certain number, we use the word herd, right? Once you get to a certain number, it’s going to go away. So, it doesn’t have to be. But yeah, I mean, a lot of people are not going to want to do it. A lot of people don’t want to do the flu vaccine.

Laura Ingraham: (00:39)
Should it be mandatory?

Donald Trump: (00:40)
You know, I never had the flu, but I never had a shot. I never had the vaccine. I come here, the first thing is, sir, you have to have a flu shot. I said, “Why?” “Because you have to have it.” I say, “What’s the percentage? And I wasn’t thrilled with the percentage, it’s like 50%, 55%.”

Laura Ingraham: (00:56)
But Dr. Fauci It might not give “great protection” because it’s a Coronavirus.

Donald Trump: (01:01)
Well, I said, look, if I’ve never had it, wouldn’t it be good? And then I thought I should have it because I’ll set an example. So I had it. So I’ve had it now three times, and I still haven’t had the flu. So maybe I’ll give credit to the flu vaccine. I don’t know.

Laura Ingraham: (01:14)
If you had it-

Donald Trump: (01:15)
If I can say this. I think we’re going to have a vaccine very soon. A lot of tremendous work has been done. We’re going to have a vaccine, just like we have therapeutics, which to me are even more important. You go into the hospital, you make people better. That’s to me the most, and we just did the convalescent plasma, I think. And you have other things too. So I think we’re going to have a lot of therapeutics and we’re going to have a vaccine very soon as to whether or not people take it-

Laura Ingraham: (01:43)
35% say they’re not going to take the COVID vaccine. They don’t want it. So it shouldn’t be mandatory, then should it?

Donald Trump: (01:48)
You add 35 to the people that have had it. And to all of the other things. People that have had it, where in theory, you can’t get it, although they found one person and they’re making a big deal. One person got it twice. But if you add it all up, it gives you very good protection.

Laura Ingraham: (02:02)
Biden says he would shut down the economy again. If the scientists said that was the right thing to do in the fight against COVID.

Donald Trump: (02:10)
Yeah.

Laura Ingraham: (02:10)
Would you?

Donald Trump: (02:11)
Well, I think it’s a very dangerous statement for him to make. Look, we did the right thing. We shut it down and now we built it up and we’re setting records on job numbers. We’re setting records on retail numbers. So this guy comes in, I heard it the other day, if they said, so that means that if some doctor said we have to shut it down, we’re going to shut it down. We’re setting records. By the way, the stock market is at an all time record right now. You look at what’s going on in the stock market. Look at what’s going on. We’re going to have a phenomenal year, next year. We’re going to have a great third quarter. Interestingly, the numbers for the third quarter will come out before the election.

Laura Ingraham: (02:49)
Are you worried if something happens in the market and it corrects in October-

Donald Trump: (02:49)
So what happens- [crosstalk 00:02:47].

Laura Ingraham: (02:49)
They’re like trumps push on the market.

Donald Trump: (02:50)
Well, I can tell you what is happening. Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to give any stimulus. We should have it. It wasn’t the people’s fault that China gave us this virus. China gave us the virus. Whether it was through incompetence or on purpose.

Laura Ingraham: (03:02)
She called you a domestic enemy and enemy of the state, your supporters. How do you work with her on another stimulus? Will it happen?

Donald Trump: (03:08)
Well, I always tell her to go back to San Francisco, take care of your homeless problem. Take care of your problem in California. Because there’s nothing like what I’m witnessing out there. Right outside, right where she lives right in her district is so bad. Needles all over the place-

Laura Ingraham: (03:22)
Well, will you get a stimulus or not?

Donald Trump: (03:23)
Well, we should have. We’d like to get it for the people because it wasn’t their fault, but she doesn’t want to give it because that will make the economy a little bit better and that would be a terrible thing.

Laura Ingraham: (03:32)
If you had to do it all again, I know that’s kind of a hard question, but do it all again, would you put Fauci front and center every day in charge of the coronavirus task force?

Donald Trump: (03:42)
I get along with him very well. I disagree with a lot of what he said. He said, “Keep it open for China.” That was a big mistake, and he admits it. I get along with him, but every once in a while, he’ll come up with one that I say, “Where did that come from?” I inherited him. He was here. He was a part of this huge piece of machine. I didn’t put anybody in charge. He was here. He’s been here for 40 years.

Laura Ingraham: (04:05)
’84, 1984.

Donald Trump: (04:05)
Okay. He’s been here for many, many years, but you inherit a lot of people. It’s part of the machinery and you have some you love, some you don’t. I like him, I don’t agree with him that often, but I like him.

Laura Ingraham: (04:19)
And when you look back on the last four years and the first three were impeachment, Mueller, pandemic, [crosstalk 00:04:28] investigations.

Donald Trump: (04:29)
Yeah.

Laura Ingraham: (04:30)
What do you say to the American people about what they don’t see when they’re doing interviews like this? How you cope with this constant barrage from the Hill. There’s always back and forth, that’s fine. But it’s been different for you.

Donald Trump: (04:46)
It’s been different because I’ve accomplished so much. On the military, I’ve accomplished, first of all I’m bring in many of the troops home and most of the troops home, even cutting down Germany. Okay? Because they’ve taken advantage of us like you wouldn’t believe. But it’s been different for a lot of different reasons. I think primarily because I’ve accomplished so much.

Sep 12, 2020

Donald Trump Judge Jeanine Pirro Interview Transcript September 12
Donald Trump Judge Jeanine Interview Transcript
Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump Judge Jeanine Pirro Interview Transcript September 12
Donald Trump and Fox News TV host & former judge Jeanine Pirro did an interview on Saturday September 12. President Trump talked about the Bob Woodward tapes, the coronavirus vaccine, and more.

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Jeanine Pirro: (00:18)
Mr. President, thanks so much for doing this. Joe Biden has indicated after the Woodward information came out that your handling of the coronavirus and that situation was not only despicable but it’s almost criminal. What do you say to Joe Biden?

Donald Trump: (00:34)
Well I think a statement like that is criminal because we did a much better job than he could ever have done. As you know he was months later before he even thought the ban was a good thing and ultimately he had to apologize for what he did. We would have lost hundreds of thousands of lives and what I said to Woodward was actually good. I said calm, we need calm. We don’t need panic. You want me to jump up and down and start screaming, is everyone going to die, is everyone going to … That’s not what leadership is about. I’m a cheerleader for the country. We need calm. That’s all I’ve said, and by the way, that was done after, that was done after I had already banned China –

Jeanine Pirro: (01:08)
Right.

Donald Trump: (01:08)
From coming into the country. So I took big steps.

Jeanine Pirro: (01:09)
That was in February. You did the ban January 31.

Donald Trump: (01:12)
So Jeanine, I took tremendous steps, everybody knew how I feel, otherwise I wouldn’t be banning China and then shortly thereafter I banned Europe. We saved hundreds of thousands of lives with each one of those bans and saved probably two or two and a half million lives by doing what we did early.

Jeanine Pirro: (01:28)
So you say that your timing was good but let me ask you about Bob Woodward’s timing. He did this interview with you on February 7 where you talked about how dangerous the virus was and yet he waited until September, seven months later, to announce to the American public how dangerous you said it was. Was his timing good?

Donald Trump: (01:48)
Look, he is an opportunist and not a bad guy to be honest, he’s doing his thing. His first book I didn’t have anything to do with it and he wrote things that were false and untrue and I could have straightened it out and I said, “Let me do,” I took quite a few phone calls, 16 phone calls or something like that and we had some good conversations, not long, but good conversations. I don’t even know if the book is good or bad. I can tell you that what this says is that I said don’t panic, we don’t want panic. The press will make everything look bad because it’s fake, the fake news, most of it. I’d say 85% unfortunately, that’s the number we’re up to. But I discussed with him lots of different things. I think that they were very good discussions. We’ll see how it comes out but on this subject if you look, and he’s actually being [inaudible 00:02:37] because if he thought it was wrong, then he should have reported it early. If lives were going to be lost, he should have reported it early. The truth is he didn’t think there was anything wrong with it and I think that he thought it was surprising that the press even picked it up. It’s fake news. It’s all fake news.

Jeanine Pirro: (02:52)
Well in fact when he called you in March a month later you said to him, “I didn’t want to cause panic,” and that’s precisely why I as a leader didn’t go out just say everyone’s going to die.

Donald Trump: (03:05)
Well go out and look at the great leaders of the world. Winston Churchill stood on the rooftops in London, very calm, making speeches. Winston Churchill. You want calmness. You don’t want to somebody going to be jumping up and down. I could do that too. I could jump up and down, say, “Oh, this is terrible. This is terrible.” We want strength, we want leadership and we don’t want panic.

Jeanine Pirro: (03:25)
What about the vaccine itself? Now Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and the Gallup survey that they just did says that the acceptance of the vaccine is pretty much going along political lines. The Democrats don’t want to accept it because they don’t trust it because it’s coming out of your administration.

Donald Trump: (03:42)
They don’t want it because they think it’s going to make me look good and it wins the election for me but we’re very close to a vaccine. We also have already come out with therapeutics. If you look at remdesivir and others, the plasma, you take a look at the things that we’ve come out with already and the number, we’re 85% better in terms of fatalities. You look at the kind of numbers, I don’t know if you’ve been seeing this but we’re really rounding the corner and this is actually without anything further than we already have and we have some very good things out there already in terms of … I would say in terms of … You can’t use the word cure yet but pretty close to a cure. You’re going to be pretty close to a cure. The vaccine itself, I mean it could come out in October, but whether it’s October, November, December, it’s going to come out very soon. We have great companies that are very advanced and the results are going to be very good.

Jeanine Pirro: (04:34)
Well the numbers, you’re correct, the numbers are going down, and there’s a question as to whether or not the lockdown works, that maybe people need to get outside and if the coronavirus cases are dropping and Joe Biden now is coming out and saying, “On the advice of the scientists I would shut it all down again.” How do you think that’s going to work for him?

Donald Trump: (04:54)
Well it would be a disaster and we’re setting records on job production. We’re 10.4 million for the last four months. Nobody’s ever seen numbers like this, we’re setting records by millions and millions of jobs. The country’s coming back, it’s a super V, it’s beyond a V, it’s a super V, retail sales are beyond any number they were ever at. I mean think of it, we’re doing numbers now as we’re rounding I think the final turn, and that’s with, without, it doesn’t matter. With or without. Having the vaccine is great, it’s going to happen very soon. Could happen in October, it could very well happen October but we’re rounding the turn on the virus. They have to open up. It’s only the Democrats that are closed and in my opinion they’re closed for political reasons. They have North Carolina, you have Michigan, you have a couple of other states that are …

Donald Trump: (05:41)
New York, I mean, look at New York, what they’re doing in New York, that poor city with the restaurants. You can’t go to a restaurant. It’s like a ghost town. What they’ve done to New York and people are leaving is disgraceful between Cuomo and DeBlasio. That combination, I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. Coming from New York, it’s a very sad thing to witness, but we have to open up our states, totally open them. They’re keeping them closed because they want on November 3, they want to have the numbers as bad as possible. Based on the numbers that you’re seeing it’s not even affecting this but probably it would be better if these states were open. Forget about numbers though. The people that are inside those lockdowns, they’re suffering between depression, losing their jobs, drugs, alcohol, all of the different things that are happening to those people. That’s causing much more damage than the virus itself.

Jeanine Pirro: (06:32)
Well what’s interesting, you mentioned North Carolina. Voting has already started in North Carolina. They’re on lockdown. How do you think that impacts people who want to vote for you?

Donald Trump: (06:39)
Well look, I’d like people to go out and vote but if they want to sign something … You have solicited and unsolicited ballots –

Jeanine Pirro: (06:46)
Right. Mail-in. Yep.

Donald Trump: (06:47)
In the country. They’re going to send out 80 million unsolicited. In other words people that don’t even know what a ballot is, all of a sudden, here comes a ballot. Now we don’t even know if the people are going to get it. That’s my problem. Supposing they’re not sending them to Republican neighborhoods. Supposing they’re not sending them to wherever. Or supposing the people aren’t giving them back, or they go out and they harvest them. Somebody … It could be either way, but the Democrats seem to do that. I mean they played that game for a long time.

Jeanine Pirro: (07:14)
Yeah, I’ve prosecuted those cases. So I’m familiar with it.

Donald Trump: (07:16)
Well, you might have to prosecute a lot more. The fact is they’re playing very dirty. 80 million ballots. We never had any number like that, anywhere close to that, and you’re going to see a mess on Election Night that’s going to be … It’s going to be legendary, and all they have to do is say, “Go out and vote,” or request a ballot. Get what’s called a solicited ballot or absentee, a lot of people use the word absentee. Get an absentee ballot where you request it, it comes to you, you vote and you send it back. That’s different, but they’re just sending out all over, they’re sending out 80 million ballots.

Jeanine Pirro: (07:53)
Well they’re generic and a lot of people don’t know what to do with them, a lot of people have moved, a lot of people have died, the registration rolls, a lot of them haven’t been purged, it’s a whole problem.

Donald Trump: (08:01)
How about signatures? They don’t even want to have signatures verified.

Jeanine Pirro: (08:03)
They’re not confirming. Right. [inaudible 00:08:05]

Donald Trump: (08:04)
They don’t want to have signatures verified. Where are they sending them? Who are they sending them to? Who’s sending them back? Who’s sending them back? It’s a very … It’s so unconstitutional, it’s so dishonest, and you have states that can’t even do small elections that way.

Jeanine Pirro: (08:19)
So what can you do about it?

Donald Trump: (08:20)
Well we’re in courts, in many, many courts right now and hopefully the courts are going to decide because if they don’t you’re going to have one hell of a mess on Election Night.

Jeanine Pirro: (08:28)
So you talked about Election Night. I want to talk about Election Night also but it brings me to the issue of law and order and you, when you ran in 2016, you were the law and order candidate. It’s almost prescient to think that four years later, that is one of the main issues. So we’ve got this anarchy going on in the streets, we’ve got towns and states run by Democrat governors and mayors who are refusing to allow the National Guard to come in. There are people in those cities and states who want order to come in, but you can’t go in unless they request your help.

Donald Trump: (09:04)
That’s right. Every problem.

Jeanine Pirro: (09:05)
What are you going to do … Let’s say there are threats, they say that they’re going to threaten riots if they lose on Election Night, assuming we get a winner on Election Night. What are you going to do?

Donald Trump: (09:17)
We’ll put them down very quickly if they do that.

Jeanine Pirro: (09:18)
How are you going to do that?

Donald Trump: (09:19)
We have the right to do that, we have the power to do that if we want. Look, it’s called insurrection. We just send them in and we do it very easy. I mean it’s very easy. I’d rather not do that because there’s no reason for it but if we had to we’d do that and put it down within minutes, within minutes. Minneapolis, they were having problems. We sent in the National Guard within a half an hour. That was the end of the problem. It all went away.

Jeanine Pirro: (09:40)
Kenosha.

Donald Trump: (09:40)
You look at Kenosha. Look at the problems they had. In fact the sheriffs there, the police chief, they’re all on my side, 100%. Law enforcement all over the country is on my side and I will say this. Look, we have … Even with the horrible things that are going on in New York and Chicago, all run by Democrats. Everything we’re talking about is run by Democrats. We’re not talking about one Republican place. It’s all run by Democrats. Even the police chiefs, they’re all quitting all over the country. Every single one, I think I saw 15 or 20, every single one of them is from a Democrat city. Look, before China sent us the plague, before the plague came in, we had the best crime numbers in history. When the plague came it changed things, let’s face it, it changed things, but all of the problems are in Democrat run cities. They’re badly run, the taxes are too much, they want to defund their police. Biden is all in that. He hasn’t still to this day used the term law and order. He’s afraid to use the term because he’s going to lose. He would lose the radical left supporters that he’s got if they even show up for him because there’s a question as to whether or not they’re going to show up, but they don’t want to talk about law and order.

Donald Trump: (10:51)
One other thing, you have a lot of people living in the suburbs, you know it well. You live in Westchester, you know it well. I ended a rule or regulation where low-income housing has been forced into the suburbs and this has been going on for a long time but especially so under Biden and Obama. I ended it, I terminated it. Not going to happen anymore unless I’m not here in which case they’re going to [inaudible 00:11:13] worse. So the suburbs are not going to have these projects forced into them. Now who in the suburbs is not going to vote for me? They’re going to make the projects bigger, better. They’re putting Cory Booker in charge. I mean one of the most liberal, the most liberal is Kamala, but Cory’s right there, and he’s going to be in charge of building projects in the suburbs. You’re going to destroy your suburbs. It’s already happening because you see what’s going on, you see what they’ve done. They take over the zoning and they force projects, projects. Really terrible situation.

Jeanine Pirro: (11:45)
So the cities are being destroyed and the combination of lawlessness and the pandemic shutdown, New York City, and now the suburbs but you know –

Donald Trump: (11:53)
Well the suburbs are going to be next.

Jeanine Pirro: (11:55)
Yeah –

Donald Trump: (11:55)
Look, the suburbs, the people, these same protesters, but they’re not protesters, they’re anarchists, they’re agitators, and they’re rioters –

Jeanine Pirro: (12:01)
Who are they? Who are they?

Donald Trump: (12:02)
They’re people that in many cases are paid –

Jeanine Pirro: (12:04)
By whom?

Donald Trump: (12:05)
And then their stupid kids.

Jeanine Pirro: (12:07)
Who’s paying them?

Donald Trump: (12:08)
By people that we’re looking at right now. We’re looking at them right now.

Jeanine Pirro: (12:12)
Can you tell me?

Donald Trump: (12:13)
No, not yet, but you’re going to be finding out pretty soon. Look, they’re stupid people too, because they’ll be overthrown as soon as they get their wish. These people don’t respect them, they’re just using their money. These are super liberal people that have money and they’re helping these anarchists and their agitators and they’re dangerous … Did you see what happened over the weekend with the people walking up to a restaurant and grabbing the steak off –

Jeanine Pirro: (12:35)
Grabbing their food –

Donald Trump: (12:35)
The plate and biting the steak and then dropping it down, two elderly people having dinner at a restaurant and they walk in and they take a steak and they take the potato and they eat it?

Jeanine Pirro: (12:45)
That’s exactly the problem. Now you’re waiting to be asked in. When does that change? When you do cross the Rubicon?

Donald Trump: (12:54)
Well in Kenosha they asked me in, and we did a job like nobody’s ever seen before.

Jeanine Pirro: (13:00)
But if they don’t ask you when, there are American people who want you.

Donald Trump: (13:03)
Then you’re not allowed to do it, unless you do insurrection in which case it’s just not big enough for insurrection.

Jeanine Pirro: (13:07)
You won’t do insurrection before an election?

Donald Trump: (13:09)
You don’t need it. You don’t –

Jeanine Pirro: (13:09)
Not yet?

Donald Trump: (13:10)
Oh I’d be willing to do it in a heartbeat if you needed it but we don’t need it. Our National Guard –

Jeanine Pirro: (13:14)
When you do need it?

Donald Trump: (13:14)
Our National Guard is so good and so tough.

Jeanine Pirro: (13:17)
But they’ve got to be asked.

Donald Trump: (13:18)
By the way, police departments, in places that we’re talking about, Seattle, we were going into Seattle and they solved the problem the night before we got there.

Jeanine Pirro: (13:25)
Yeah, they didn’t want you there.

Donald Trump: (13:25)
We were getting ready to go, they heard we were going in.

Jeanine Pirro: (13:27)
Did you hear Ted Wheeler’s numbers? Like 20% in Portland.

Donald Trump: (13:32)
Ted Wheeler’s a disaster. He’s a laughingstock. He went out to protest with the so-called agitators and they were going to destroy him. They were going to beat him up badly, he fortunately had security but they were going to beat him up badly. The man is a disaster. If he would say come into Portland, within a half an hour, the whole thing would be solved.

Jeanine Pirro: (13:50)
He’s not going to say that.

Donald Trump: (13:53)
The governor’s gotten closer. Look, what’s going on out there? I will tell you –

Jeanine Pirro: (13:55)
That’s Kate Brown [inaudible 00:13:57]?

Donald Trump: (13:56)
The governor has gotten closer. I’ve spoken to the governor two days ago.

Jeanine Pirro: (13:59)
Good.

Donald Trump: (13:59)
They’re arresting a lot of people that we sent in the U.S. Marshals for the killer, the man that killed the young man on the streets. He shot him.

Jeanine Pirro: (14:08)
Right. Yeah, in cold blood.

Donald Trump: (14:08)
I mean it was on television. Just cold-blooded killed him. He didn’t like his hat or he didn’t like something and it wasn’t a Trump hat.

Jeanine Pirro: (14:15)
Right. It was peaceful prayer –

Donald Trump: (14:17)
It was a lot, it was a religious hat, and he shot him, cold blood. Two and a half days went by and I put out when are you going to go get him? The U.S. Marshals went in to get him and in a short period of time, they ended in a gunfight. This guy was a violent criminal.

Jeanine Pirro: (14:34)
A lot of them out there.

Donald Trump: (14:35)
The U.S. Marshals killed him and I will tell you something, that’s the way it has to be. There has to be retribution when you have crime like this. There can’t be guys standing up that want to fight, they want to fight. You can’t throw bricks at people [inaudible 00:14:51].

Jeanine Pirro: (14:50)
But the problem Mr. President, you and I both agree. The problem is there are now prosecutors who are not prosecuting the protestors. This is like a grassroots level, they’re being funded by socialists who are now electing people like I used to prosecute crime, they’re letting them go.

Donald Trump: (15:09)
So what’s going to happen, and this is a shame, you’re going to have a backlash like you’ve never seen if these people don’t stop. Because you have very smart, very tough people that aren’t going to take it any more and once they say we’re not going to take it anymore, its going to end in a very vicious backlash and that’s a terrible thing.

Jeanine Pirro: (15:24)
How does it end?

Sep 16, 2020

Donald Trump ABC News Town Hall Transcript with George Stephanopoulos in Philadelphia
Donald Trump ABC News Town Hall Transcript
Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump ABC News Town Hall Transcript with George Stephanopoulos in Philadelphia
President Donald Trump participated in a Philadelphia town hall with undecided voters, hosted by George Stephanopoulos of ABC News. He faced several tough questions from the audience about a variety of 2020 election issues. Read the full transcript of the September 15, 2020 event here.

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George Stephanopoulos: (00:26)
Welcome to our town hall with President Trump. Mr. President, thank you for joining us.

Donald Trump: (00:30)
Thank you very much.

George Stephanopoulos: (00:31)
We’re here with a group of Pennsylvania voters. As you can see, we’re socially distanced in this COVID era.

Donald Trump: (00:34)
I can see, definitely. There’s no doubt about it.

George Stephanopoulos: (00:36)
Everyone’s been tested. You should know that some of these people voted for you last time around, some voted for Hillary Clinton, some voted for third party candidates or no one at all. All have written their own questions. The first one comes from Paul Tubiana. Paul, take it away.

Donald Trump: (00:52)
Hi, Paul.

Paul Tubiana: (00:56)
Mr. President, I voted for you in 2016. I’m conservative pro-life and diabetic. I’ve had to dodge people who don’t care about social distancing and wearing face masks. I thought you were doing a good job with a pandemic response until about May 1st. Then you took your foot off the gas pedal. Why did you throw vulnerable people like me under the bus?

Donald Trump: (01:22)
Well, we really didn’t, Paul. We’ve worked very hard on the pandemic. We’ve worked very hard. It came off from China. They should have never let it happen. If you look at what we’ve done with ventilators and now, frankly, with vaccines, we’re very close to having a good vaccine. If you want to know the truth, the previous administration would have taken perhaps years to have a vaccine because of the FDA and all the approvals. And we’re within weeks of getting it, could be three weeks, four weeks, but we think we have a Johnson & Johnson Pfizer. We have great companies and they’re very, very close. It’s a terrible thing. But if you look at as an example, are you from New York? Where are you from?

Paul Tubiana: (02:05)
Originally, I’m from New York. I’ve lived in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for 18 and a half years. It’s the longest place I’ve ever lived.

Donald Trump: (02:12)
Well, that’s very good. It’s a good place. But actually, if you look at what we’ve done for various things, we built hospitals. New York, we took the Convention Center, converted it to 2,800 rooms. We brought in the ships. I wish they would have used it because frankly they would have saved a lot of people had they used it, but we really are. We’re starting to get very good marks. If you look at what we’ve done compared to other countries with the excess mortality, the excess mortality rate, we’ve done very, very well.

Donald Trump: (02:40)
When you see our testing, we’re going to be at 84 million tests, 84 million. Think of that. And next would be India with about 50 million less. Our testing program’s far greater. I brought this along today because I think it’s something that’s really very special. We have a new test that came out literally today, that’s just showing you a numbers of how well we’re doing relative to other countries.

Donald Trump: (03:05)
But this is actually a new test just came out from Abbott, highly sophisticated. You wouldn’t think it’s a piece of a really little light cardboard. This came out and this is a very accurate test and people will be able to have this and they’ll be able to test or ideally go through a doctor. But it’s very simple and very accurate.

Donald Trump: (03:27)
We supplied governors including this state with equipment like nobody’s ever gotten. We were short on ventilators because the cupboards were bare when we took it over. We’re now making thousands of ventilators a month, many thousands that we’re sending, and we don’t need them in our country anymore. Not one person that needed a ventilator, didn’t get a ventilator. Everybody got a ventilator and, Paul, they’re very complex. They’re very hard to make, but we’re making out tens of thousands a month and sending them to other countries who are in dire need of them.

Donald Trump: (03:59)
I feel that we’ve done a tremendous job, actually and it’s something that I don’t think it’s been recognized like it should. But when you look at our testing, when you look at our swabs, when you look at our ventilators, when you look at what we’ve done with hospitals, and we’ve made a lot of governors look very good and now some are in a shutdown and some aren’t, we’d like to see it open up and open up as soon as possible. But we’re very proud of the job we’ve done, and we’ve saved a lot of lives, a tremendous number of lives.

George Stephanopoulos: (04:28)
Mr. President, you mentioned a number of things. Let’s talk about the mortality first, because you said we’re doing better in mortality than other countries. But here’s this chart right here. It shows the United States is right here. This is number of deaths per million residents. Here’s Western Europe here, Canada way down there. We’re not at the top of the list.

Donald Trump: (04:44)
The excess mortality rate is among the best in the whole world. I mean, I can show you there’s a chart that just came out a little while ago. Excess mortality rate is compared to Europe, compared to other places, it’s about 25% better. In one case, it’s over 60% better. And we also have a very big country here. This is, we’re talking about a lot bigger than most countries. When you look at testing, just as an example, when India does 40 million less tests than us, they have 1.5 billion people. China, you don’t get the accurate numbers out of China, but China, they lost a lot of people. They just don’t say what-

George Stephanopoulos: (05:22)
Actually, we have 4% of the world’s population, more than 20% of the cases, more than 20% of the deaths.

Donald Trump: (05:28)
Well, we have 20% of the cases because of the fact that we do much more testing. If we wouldn’t do testing, you wouldn’t have cases. You would have very few cases.

George Stephanopoulos: (05:35)
As you know, Dr. Fauci, says most of these are actual cases.

Donald Trump: (05:38)
Well, Dr. Fauci, said we’ve done a fantastic job. He just said it yesterday. Actually, he said we’ve done a fantastic job that we didn’t mislead anybody. Now. I’m not going to make people feel like I want to… Look, with a leader of a great country, we want to keep it that way. I don’t want to scare people. I don’t want to make people panic and you’re not going to go out and say, “Oh, this is going to be. This is death, death, death.” You have to run a country. We’re in a country. We got hit by something very unfairly.

Donald Trump: (06:08)
What I noticed yesterday Dr. Fauci, said that we’ve done a really good job and we didn’t mislead anybody. He came out with that statement, which I appreciate. But whether it’s Dr. Fauci, or anybody else, a lot of people got it wrong. They talked about, don’t wear masks, and now they say wear masks, although some people say don’t wear masks. I mean, you have a lot of different ideas. Some people say, “Just leave it the way it is and don’t do any shutdowns.” Other people say, “Do shutdowns.” I have my own views on that.

George Stephanopoulos: (06:37)
What did you get wrong? You say a lot of people got things wrong. I mean, you mentioned China at the top right there. All through January and February, you were down playing by your own admission, the severity of the crisis that you didn’t want to panic people.

Donald Trump: (06:50)
Not down playing-

George Stephanopoulos: (06:50)
Let me just finish the question first.

Donald Trump: (06:51)
Not downplaying.

George Stephanopoulos: (06:53)
But you said, those are your words.

Donald Trump: (06:54)
I don’t want to drive our nation into a panic. I’m a cheerleader for this nation. I’m the one that closed up our country. I closed it up long before any of the experts thought I should and saved hundreds of thousands of lives. But when I closed it, I put a ban on our country. And the ban was a very important ban because China [crosstalk 00:07:12]. China was heavily infected.

Donald Trump: (07:15)
By the way, I read where other people said, “Do it.” No people that I saw said do it, and I know they said security advisers and others. I put a ban on when it wasn’t at all popular. Joe Biden said I was xenophobic because I put the ban on, and I thought that was a very unfair. By the way, he’s totally taken that back. But I’m not sure he knows what it means, anyway.

George Stephanopoulos: (07:36)
I want to ask you about China though, because at that time you were actually praising President Xi. You were saying he was transparent. You were saying he was strong. You were saying he was doing a good job. Did you get that wrong? Did you misjudge President Xi?

Donald Trump: (07:48)
I don’t think I did. We just finished a trade deal. We just had the largest order of corn in the history of our country last week, the largest order of soybeans, largest order of beef, because they know I’m very unhappy. They know I’m very, very-

George Stephanopoulos: (08:00)
But you said he was doing a good job and now you’re blaming China.

Donald Trump: (08:02)
No, I didn’t say one way or the other. I’m not saying one way or the other. At the beginning before anybody knew what it was, I spoke with President Xi and he said, “We are doing it well. We are having it under control.” And I was very open with that. He told me that it was under control, that everything was, and it turned out to be not true, because it wasn’t under control. It went all over the world, 188 countries.

Donald Trump: (08:25)
I didn’t say anything bad about President Xi initially, because nobody knew much about the disease. Nobody knew the seniors are susceptible. They thought people would be susceptible, but not… The seniors are really a very, very endangered group of people, especially if they have problems with hearts or diabetes or any of that.

George Stephanopoulos: (08:43)
You mentioned masks. We had Julie Bard, who’s from Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. She’s right here. She has a question about that. You voted for Hillary Clinton last time, I believe.

Julie Bard: (08:51)
Yes, I did. The wearing of mask has proven to lessen the spread of COVID. Why don’t you support a mandate for national mass wearing, and why don’t you wear a mask more often?

Donald Trump: (09:02)
Well, I do wear them when I have to, and when I’m in hospitals and other locations. But I will say this, they said at the Democrat Convention, they’re going to do a national mandate. They never did it, because they’ve checked out and they didn’t do it. A good question, as you ask, like Joe Biden, they said, “We’re going to do a national mandate unrest-”

George Stephanopoulos: (09:24)
He’s called on all governors to have them. It is the state responsibility.

Donald Trump: (09:26)
No, but he didn’t do it. I mean, he never did it. By the way, a lot of people don’t want to wear masks. There are a lot of people think that masks are not good. And there are a lot of people that, as an example, you have-

George Stephanopoulos: (09:38)
Who are those people?

Donald Trump: (09:39)
I’ll tell you who those people are, waiters. They come over and they serve you, and they have a mask. I saw it the other day where they were serving me and they’re playing with a mask. I’m not blaming them. I’m just saying what happens. They’re playing with a mask, and so the mask is over and they’re touching it. And then they’re touching the plate. That can’t be good.

Donald Trump: (09:58)
There are a lot of people, if you look at Dr. Fauci’s original statement, you look at a lot of people, CDC, you look at a lot of people’s original statement, they said very strongly George, “Don’t wear masks.” Then all of a sudden they want to wear masks. The concept of a mask is good, but it also does, you’re constantly touching it, you’re touching your face, you’re touching plates. There are people that don’t think masks are good.

George Stephanopoulos: (10:22)
Let’s get one final question on COVID. We’ve got Johnny Powell right here. She’s from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and you actually haven’t voted before. How are you?

Johnny Powell: (10:31)
Hello. Hi. My question is, if you believe it’s the president’s responsibility to protect America, why would you downplay a pandemic that is known to disproportionately harm low income families and minority communities?

Donald Trump: (10:47)
Yeah. Well, I didn’t downplay it. I actually, in many ways I applied it in terms of action. [crosstalk 00:10:54]. My action was very strong because what I did was with China, I put a ban on, with Europe, I put a ban on, and we would have lost thousands of more people had I not put the ban on. So that was called action. Not with the mouth, but in actual fact, we did a very, very good job when we put that ban on, whether you call it talent or luck, it was very important. So we saved a lot of lives when we did that.

George Stephanopoulos: (11:18)
There were holes in the ban and the European ban didn’t come for another month.

Donald Trump: (11:22)
Well, they were Americans. I mean, the holes in were if you have somebody in China, that’s an American citizen, we had to let them in. I mean, there were actually some people that said, well, once it got going, they said, “Wait a minute. That is really a heavily infected place.” We had a case where we had a lot of Americans, they probably had COVID and we’re saying, “Do we let them into our country?” We let them in very carefully. We quarantined them, but we let them in. But yeah, they say that we allowed certain people and it’s true, but they were American citizens.

George Stephanopoulos: (11:54)
I want to move on to some other subjects, but we’re still [inaudible 00:11:56] with 195,000 deaths in the United States right now. When you see that, when you think about that, does that give you any pause? Does it make you think, “Is there anything I could have done differently?” Anything-

Donald Trump: (12:07)
I think we could have had 2 million deaths if we didn’t close out the country.

George Stephanopoulos: (12:11)
So you regret nothing?

Donald Trump: (12:12)
No, I think we did a great job. If we didn’t close the country, look, we created, I created, we all created it together. You helped everybody. The fact is, we created the greatest economy in the history of the world, best employment numbers for African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American, women, everything, the best employment, high school, no high school, college. We had the best economy we’ve ever had. 160 million people almost, just short of 160 million people. We were never closed.

Donald Trump: (12:42)
And then somebody comes in and then somebody else, doctors, and they start talking about the pandemic and about closing, they want to close up our country. I said, “Wait a minute. We have the greatest country, the greatest economy.” And it was coming together, even in terms of unity, because it was so successful that people that weren’t getting along were starting to get along, George. That’s the way we solved that problem. But we had the greatest economy ever, and we have to close it. If I didn’t close it, I think you’d have 2 million deaths instead of having the 185, 190. It’s a terrible. [crosstalk 00:13:15].

George Stephanopoulos: (13:17)
… more mitigation earlier on, there would have been fewer deaths.

Donald Trump: (13:21)
George, I was so far ahead of my closing. I’ll give you an example. When I closed at the end of January, Joe Biden was talking about in March about it’s totally over-exaggerated. Nancy Pelosi was standing in the streets of Chinatown in San Francisco, late a month, more than a month after that saying, “This thing’s totally exaggerated, come to try and build up tourism.” And all of these people-

George Stephanopoulos: (13:50)
You were saying it was going to disappear.

Donald Trump: (13:51)
What?

George Stephanopoulos: (13:51)
You’re saying it was going to disappear.

Donald Trump: (13:53)
It is going to disappear. It’s going to disappear. I still say that.

George Stephanopoulos: (13:56)
But not if you don’t take action. Correct?

Donald Trump: (13:58)
No, I still say it. It’s going to disappear, George. We’re going to get back. We aren’t going to have studios like this. We have all of this empty space in between. I want to see people and you want to see people. I want to see football games. I’m pushing very hard for Big Ten. I want to see Big Ten open, lift the football games, let them play sports. But no, it’s going to disappear, George. And I say this-

George Stephanopoulos: (14:16)
But Dr. Fauci, say we have to hunker down. We have to be prepared for a possible second wave. I understand that you don’t want to panic people. You said you want people to be calm. You’ve often talked about Winston Churchill, and FDR, and they did reassure people. They were strong. They did keep people calm, but they also were straight. They said, “This war is going to be tough. It’s going to be a real fight. We have to persevere.”

Donald Trump: (14:39)
When Churchill was on the top of a building, and he said, “Everything’s going to be good. Everything’s going to be. Be calm.” And you have the Nazis dropping bombs all over London, he was very brave because he was at the top of a building. It was very well known that he was standing on buildings and they were bombing. And he says, “Everyone’s going to be safe.” I don’t think that’s being necessarily honest, and yet I think it’s being a great leader.

Donald Trump: (15:03)
But he said, “You’re going to be safe. Be calm. Don’t panic.” And you had bombers dropping bombs all over London. So I guess you could say, that’s not so honest, but it’s still great leadership.

George Stephanopoulos: (15:17)
Do you think it’s okay to be dishonest?

Donald Trump: (15:19)
I’m not looking to be dishonest. I don’t want people to panic, and we are going to be okay. We’re going to be okay, and it is going away. It’s probably going to go away now a lot faster because of the vaccine. It would go away without the vaccine, George, but it’s going to go away a lot faster-

George Stephanopoulos: (15:33)
It will go away without the vaccine?

Donald Trump: (15:34)
Sure. Over a period of time. Sure, with time, it goes away.

George Stephanopoulos: (15:37)
And many deaths.

Donald Trump: (15:39)
You’ll develope like a hard mentality, it’s going to be hard developed, and that’s going to happen. That will all happen. But with the vaccine, I think it will go away very quickly.

George Stephanopoulos: (15:50)
We’ve got to take a quick break.

Donald Trump: (15:50)
But I really believe we’re rounding the corner, and I believe that strongly.

George Stephanopoulos: (15:53)
As you know, Dr, Fauci, disagrees with that.

Donald Trump: (15:55)
Well, I mean, but a lot of people do agree with me. You look at Scott Atlas, you look at some of the other doctors that are highlighted from Stanford, look at some of the other doctors, they think maybe we could have done that from the beginning. I think we did it exactly right. We closed it up. Now, we’re opening and we’re opening up to a super-vee because the numbers are fantastic.

Donald Trump: (16:15)
The employment numbers, you look at, we hired 10.4 million jobs in four months. That’s a record by far. We have every record. Retail sales are through the roof. We have every record. We did the right thing. If we didn’t close it up, I believe we’d have two million, two and a half, maybe three million deaths.

George Stephanopoulos: (16:35)
We’re going to have take more about [inaudible 00:16:35] when we come back. But also race, policing, and protests. We’ll be right back.Welcome back to our town hall with President Trump. The next question comes from Laura Galvis. She’s from Glen Shaw, Pennsylvania. Registered nurse, who’s always voted Republican for president. Laura, go ahead.

Laura Galvis: (19:40)
Hello, Mr. President. Martin Luther King Jr, once famously wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” In the light of the ongoing protests surrounding the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the recent shooting of Jacob Blake, do you feel racial injustices are occurring in this nation? And if so, what can be done to address them?

Donald Trump: (20:05)
Well, I think they were tragic events, and I do feel that we have to also take into consideration that if you look at our police, they do a phenomenal job. You’ll have people joke, make mistakes, and they happen. It happens where they have to make a fast decision and some bad things happen. And you also have bad apples, but you have 99% great people. I know the police forces very well. I think almost every one of them. If you look, I’ve been endorsed by so many of them, and these are great people.

Donald Trump: (20:37)
I will say this, if you’re going to stop crime, we have to give the respect back to the police that they deserve. They’ve done a fantastic job in many locations, but then bad things happen. Look at New York, New York was a very safe city. Rudy Giuliani did a fantastic job. The city was safe, and then all of a sudden we have a mayor. He starts cutting the police force and crime is up a hundred percent, 150%. I saw one form of crime up 300%.

Donald Trump: (21:05)
So I think it’s very important, whether you talk Seattle, where they have very good police, but they’re not allowed to do their job. You have to allow the police to do their job. I agree with you, those events are terrible, but we have to allow the police to do their job. Otherwise, crime is going to soar.

Donald Trump: (21:22)
Now, the problem is that in Democrat, usually liberal Democrat run cities, we have tremendous problems. The top 10 most unsafe cities are run by Democrats. You go into the top 25 and top 35, almost every one of them is run by Democrats. No cash bail, just weak policies on crime. We have to give the police the respect that they deserve and we have to give them their mojo. We have to let them protect us.

Donald Trump: (21:52)
How about that horrible crime that took place two days ago, where this terrible human being walks up to a police car with two people sitting in the car and he starts shooting bullets right through the glass right in their face and just has destroyed? I hear they’re going to make it, but they’re going to have a hard time ever being the same-

George Stephanopoulos: (22:11)
Mr. President-

Donald Trump: (22:12)
It’s just a terrible thing.

George Stephanopoulos: (22:14)
That was monstrous. There’s no question about that. But a lot of people look at the-

Donald Trump: (22:18)
But that’s a lack of respect. When somebody can do that, that’s a lack of respect. There’s no retribution. The field, there’s no retribution. This guy walks up to a police car and he starts shooting point blank range at two innocent people. You can’t let that happen. You have to be very tough on crime when it comes to that.

George Stephanopoulos: (22:37)
Tough on crime, but also obey the rules and regulations for policing. You talk about police choking, you talk about bad apples, but a lot of people look at the statistics, Black Americans, more than three times more likely than White Americans to be killed by police. That indicates that this just isn’t bad apples. This just isn’t choking. This is a real systemic endemic problem. Do you believe that? What will you do to address it?

Donald Trump: (23:02)
So, just do a poll where…

George Stephanopoulos: (23:03)
Do you believe that? What will you do to address it?

Donald Trump: (23:03)
I just saw a poll where African-Americans in this country, black communities are 81% in favor of having more police. They want more police. They want protection. They suffer more than anybody else by bad police protection. All minorities, whether it’s Hispanic or black or Asian, they suffer more than anybody else, George. We have to give the police back the authority to stop crime. When you have something like in Portland, where it’s just night after night, I could stop that with the people we have in a half an hour if they’d let me do that, but they don’t-

George Stephanopoulos: (23:39)
What would you do?

Donald Trump: (23:41)
Bring in the National Guard. We’d bring it in, and we would stop that within… Well, we did it in Minneapolis. Take a look at Minneapolis-

George Stephanopoulos: (23:47)
How do you stop police killing blacks at three times the rate of killing whites?

Donald Trump: (23:52)
I can only say this, that the police in this country have done generally a great job. There are crimes, there are problems, and there are chokers. They choke under pressure. They have one quarter of a second to make a decision, and sometimes they make a wrong decision. That’s a terrible thing. The problem is that’ll be on the news for two weeks or three weeks in a row, and the hundreds of thousands and thousands of good acts, nobody talks about it.

George Stephanopoulos: (24:19)
You didn’t think that’s a sign of systemic racism?

Donald Trump: (24:21)
No, I think there’s problems, but I also think there’s some very big problems where if you don’t give the police back their authority… Right now, police are afraid they’re going to lose their pension, they’re going to lose their job if they talk to somebody in the wrong way. When I watch New York… The New York City Police endorse me, and I love them. [crosstalk 00:24:42] but I watched six months ago, policemen walking down the street, and people were dumping water on their head. They had absolutely no fear. They had absolutely… There was no retribution. I thought it was a low point. I thought it was a low point for New York City’s finest.

Donald Trump: (24:59)
Frankly, those people should’ve turned… Those cops should’ve turned around and really done something.

George Stephanopoulos: (25:04)
We have another question on the subject from Pastor Carl Day. He’s from Philadelphia, voted for Jill Stein last time.

Pastor Carl Day: (25:10)
How you doing, Mr. President?

Donald Trump: (25:12)
Good.

Pastor Carl Day: (25:12)
You’ve coined the phrase, “Make America great again.” When has America been great for African-Americans in the ghetto of America? Are you aware of how tone deaf that comes off to the African-American community?

Donald Trump: (25:25)
Well, I can say this. We have tremendous African-American support. You’ve probably seen it in the polls. We’re doing extremely well with African-American, Hispanic-American at levels that you’ve rarely seen a republican have. If you talk about make America great, if you look at just prior to, and I’m talking about for the black community, you look just prior to this horrible situation coming in from China, when the virus came in, that was probably the highest point. Home ownership for the black community, home ownership, lower crime, the best jobs they’ve ever had, highest income, the best employment numbers they’ve ever had. If you go back and you want to look over many years, you could just go back six or seven months from now, that was the best single moment in the history of the African-American people in this country, I think, I would say.

Pastor Carl Day: (26:21)
Well, I mean, your statement is, “Make it great again.” Historically, the African-American experience, especially in these ghettos that have been redlined historically, these ghettos that have systemically been treated the way that they have been, the conditions of the drugs, the guns, and everything else that actually created the symptoms for what we see that you profess to be just the democratic cities themselves, these things have been historically been happening for African-Americans in these ghettos, and we have not been seeing a change. Quite frankly, under your administration, under Obama’s administration, under the Bush, under the Clinton, the very same things happen, and the very same systems and cycles continue to ensue, and we need to see, because you say again, we need to see when was that great, because that pushes us back to a time in which we cannot identify with such greatness.

Pastor Carl Day: (27:15)
I mean, you’ve said everything else about choking and everything else, but you have yet to address and acknowledge that there’s been a race problem in America.

Donald Trump: (27:22)
If you go… Well, I hope there’s not a race problem. I can tell you, there’s none with me, because I have great respect for all races, for everybody. This country is great because of it, but when you go back six months and you take a look at what was happening, you can’t even compare that with past administrations. When you look at income levels, and a lot of things, because of the job situation, where they had the lowest income, the best unemployment numbers they’ve ever had, the black community, by far, and that was solving a lot of problems. You know what else? It was bringing people together. I was starting to get, just before… We were having a long run of success. I was starting to get calls from democrats that, “Hey, it’s starting to work. Let’s get together.” People that you would never have thought this would’ve happened with, there was going to be unity, but unfortunately, that was hurt because we got set back.

Donald Trump: (28:14)
Now, I think next year’s going to be one of our best years economically, but [crosstalk 00:28:18]

Pastor Carl Day: (28:18)
Income equality is higher. I mean, jobs can be produced, but at the same time, in a lot of these big major cities where African-Americans are underserved, under-resourced, that’s an $8 an hour job, does not meant that they can necessarily afford to live where they have to live or where they’ve been living at for the last 20 years.

Donald Trump: (28:36)
Well, the income inequality, which I agree with you is a problem, I always agreed with that, but if you looked under President Obama and Biden, the income inequality was phenomenal. It was record setting. It was-

George Stephanopoulos: (28:49)
It’s getting worse now.

Donald Trump: (28:51)
Well, we’re talking about a plague coming in. Before the plague, we were doing very well. Now, we will soon be doing well again, because we’re going to have a fantastic third quarter. You’re seeing the numbers come in. I think you’re going to have a GDP that’s mid 20s and may be much higher. Somebody said 35. I don’t know. These are all records we’re talking about. You’re going to have a very good… Economically, you’re going to have a very good year next year, but I agree with a lot of the things you say, but you have to look back, because we really had it going well. Had we not been hit by this horrible disease that came into our land and all over the world, by the way, came all over the world, we would be in a position where I think income inequality would be different. It was really getting there. We were really driving it down.

George Stephanopoulos: (29:36)
Mr. President, we have to move on, but even before the pandemic, the average black family was earning half of what the average white family was earning. Even if you hold education constant-

Donald Trump: (29:45)
I can only compare it to the past. The African-American, the black community was doing better than it had ever done by far, both in terms of unemployment, home ownership, so many different statistics, even in terms of crime-

George Stephanopoulos: (30:02)
There’s still a gap between blacks and whites.

Donald Trump: (30:04)
I mean, there was a gap, but we were doing a good job. It was getting better. Then, it was artificially shut down by this disease that came onto our land.

George Stephanopoulos: (30:13)
Got to take another break. We’ll be right back.

George Stephanopoulos: (34:28)
Welcome back to our town hall. We’re taking questions from voters in Pennsylvania who’ve not yet made up their minds for a final decision in this election. The next question comes from Leah Schwotzer of Pittsburgh.

Leah Schwotzer: (34:38)
Hello.

Donald Trump: (34:39)
Hi.

Leah Schwotzer: (34:40)
I worry about a second or third wave of unemployment. Employers that weathered the first six months of COVID-19 are now seeing their businesses dramatically impacted due to the effect of this virus on our economy. What, as a president, is your plan to aid these workers who may not lose their jobs today, but in the months to come?

Donald Trump: (35:01)
Well, as you know, we did pay check, but we’re doing a lot of other things. But, what I want to do is see some additional stimulus. We’re trying to get it, and we may. I mean, just before I came here, we had some pretty good talks with the democrats. We’ll see, but they’ve been very difficult-

George Stephanopoulos: (35:14)
Why not call the Speaker down to your office, hammer it out [crosstalk 00:35:17]

Donald Trump: (35:17)
Because, they know exactly where I stand. At the right time, I’ll do that, but they know exactly where I stand. What they want is a bail out of democrat run states that are doing poorly. I don’t think this is the right way-

George Stephanopoulos: (35:28)
Why do you keep talking about democrat states?

Donald Trump: (35:30)
They are.

George Stephanopoulos: (35:30)
They’re American states and American cities.

Donald Trump: (35:32)
No, the democrat run states are the ones that are doing badly, George. If you look at New York, if you look at Illinois, if you look at a lot of different places, they’re doing poorly, and cities in particular. Cities, I mean, these cities are being run so poorly-

George Stephanopoulos: (35:44)
Don’t you have a responsibility for those states and cities as well?

Donald Trump: (35:47)
… but largely because of the crime. They don’t want to do anything about crime. Sanctuary cities. They have sanctuary cities where they’re protecting criminals. They have things that the republicans don’t have. So, they are. I don’t want to say… Look, I’m the president of everybody, but I don’t want to say it, but they’re democrat run cities. It is what it is.

George Stephanopoulos: (36:07)
Will you be calling the Speaker in? Can you hammer out a deal?

Donald Trump: (36:09)
At the right time, yes, I would like to see additional stimulus for people that really, it wasn’t their fault. It wasn’t your fault, wasn’t anybody’s fault. It was China’s fault. I don’t care how you want to define it. This was China’s fault, and our people shouldn’t be hurt. We should do stimulus. We did a lot of it initially, and now they stopped, because they think it’s going to be better for the election.

George Stephanopoulos: (36:33)
They say if you’ll come up, they said they’ll meet you halfway on the money.

Donald Trump: (36:37)
Well, we can do something maybe, but I’m just hearing for the first time about an hour ago that maybe there is a chance to get something, and I’d like to do it. I would like to see it happen, George.

George Stephanopoulos: (36:46)
Next question’s on healthcare. It comes from Ellesia Blaque. She’s from Philadelphia, an assistant professor who voted for Hillary Clinton last time.

Ellesia Blaque: (36:54)
Hi.

Donald Trump: (36:55)
Hi.

Ellesia Blaque: (36:56)
Mr. President, I was born with a disease called sarcoidosis. From the day I was born, I was considered uninsurable. That disease started in my skin, moved to my eyes, into my optic nerves, and when I went to graduate school, into my brain. When it hit my brain, I was automatically eligible for disability for the rest of my life. I chose instead to get a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, a PhD, and become a professor.

Donald Trump: (37:27)
That’s great.

Ellesia Blaque: (37:27)
It is great, except I still have similar healthcare problems. It costs me, with copays, I’m still paying almost $7,000 a year in addition to the copay, and should preexisting conditions, which Obamacare brought to fruition be removed-

Donald Trump: (37:47)
No.

Ellesia Blaque: (37:48)
Please stop and let me finish my question, sir. Should that be removed? Within a 36 to 72 hour period without my medication, I will be dead. I want to know what it is that you’re going to do to ensure that people like me who work hard, we do everything we’re supposed to do, can stay insured. It’s not my fault that I was born with this disease. It’s not my fault that I’m a black woman, and in the medical community, I’m minimized and not taken seriously. I want to know what you are going to do about that.

Donald Trump: (38:22)
First of all, I hope you are taken seriously. I hope you are. We are not going to hurt anything having to do with preexisting conditions. We’re not going to hurt preexisting conditions, and in fact, just the opposite. If you look at what they want to do, where they have socialized medicine, they will get rid of preexisting conditions. If they go into Medicare for all, which is socialized medicine, and you can forget about your doctors and your plans, just like you can forget under President Obama. He said you can have your doctor, you can have your plan, and that turned out to be a lie. He said it 28 different times, at least. We have 28 different times. You can have your doctor, you can have your plan. Well, it’s not true. But, what we’re doing is we’re going to be doing a healthcare plan, preexisting, protecting people with preexisting conditions. As an example, yourself. It sounds like that’s exactly perfect. That’s exactly what we’re talking about. We’re going to be doing a healthcare plan very strongly, and protect people with preexisting conditions.

Donald Trump: (39:21)
I will say this, they will not do that, because they have socialized-

George Stephanopoulos: (39:25)
I have to stop you there. I just have to stop you there, because just on a couple points. Number one, Joe Biden has ran against Medicare for all in the primaries, but much more importantly, Obamacare guaranteed people with preexisting conditions could buy insurance, guaranteed they could buy it at the same price as everyone else, guaranteed a package of essential benefits, guaranteed that insurance companies couldn’t put a lifetime limit on those benefits. You fought to repeal Obamacare. You are arguing in the Supreme Court right now to strike it down. That would do away with preexisting conditions.

Donald Trump: (39:59)
No, so we can do new healthcare.

George Stephanopoulos: (40:01)
You’ve been promising a new healthcare plan. I interviewed you in June of last year. You said the healthcare plan would come in two weeks. You told Chris Wallace this summer, it would come in three weeks. You promised an executive order on preexisting-

Donald Trump: (40:12)
I have it already. I have it already.

George Stephanopoulos: (40:13)
But, you’ve been trying to strike down preexisting conditions.

Donald Trump: (40:16)
It doesn’t matter. I have it already, and it’s a much better plan for you, and it’s a much better plan.

George Stephanopoulos: (40:20)
What is it?

Donald Trump: (40:21)
When you say Obamacare, I got rid of the individual mandate, which is the worst part of Obamacare.

George Stephanopoulos: (40:25)
You’re striking down the whole law.

Donald Trump: (40:27)
Wouldn’t pertain to you, but it’d pertain to a lot of people where they were going literally bust because they didn’t want to have health insurance, and they were paying for it anyway, and it was no good. Obamacare was a disaster. Obamacare is too expensive. The premiums are too high. It’s a total disaster. You’re going to have new healthcare, and the preexisting condition aspect of it will always be in my plan, and I’ve said that loud and clear-

George Stephanopoulos: (40:51)
But, you haven’t come up with it.

Donald Trump: (40:52)
And, we got rid of the individual mandate, which essentially ended Obamacare-

George Stephanopoulos: (40:58)
Only because you’re arguing for it.

Donald Trump: (40:59)
George, I had a decision to make. Do I run… We gutted out the worst parts of Obamacare. Now, I have to make this decision. This is three years ago. Do we run Obamacare well and do a good job, and do the best, even though it’s never going to be very good, or do we let it run badly? Probably letting it run badly would’ve been a better political decision, but I couldn’t do that. We have run it so much better than Obama ran it. Now, it’s not the same because I got rid of the most unpopular thing and a very unfair thing, which was the individual mandate.

George Stephanopoulos: (41:32)
You’re trying to strike down the whole law.

Donald Trump: (41:34)
George, we have run it really well, but we also have now other… If you go to Department of Labor, our great secretary as you know, and you know him well, we have other alternatives to Obamacare that are 50% less expensive, and they’re actually better.

George Stephanopoulos: (41:50)
It’s been three and a half years.

Donald Trump: (41:51)
George, it’s been 40 years since you had good healthcare. You never really had good healthcare in this country. This country has never had it. But, when you say that Biden doesn’t want to do it, everybody else does. Bernie does. He agreed to the manifesto as I call it. The agreement with Bernie is that you’re going to go to socialized medicine.

George Stephanopoulos: (42:12)
He ran against Medicare for all.

Donald Trump: (42:14)
If you go to socialized medicine… Well, he agreed. Harris, who he today, said, Harris-Biden, because you think she’s president, Harris… Someday, you’ll have to explain that one to me, but Harris is all for doing that. She wants to go to socialized medicine. You no longer have your doctor really, and you no longer have your plan. And, Joe can say all he wants, he’s only doing it because he sees his poll numbers going down so substantially. But, Joe can say all he wants about healthcare. Obamacare has been a failure from day one. It’s too expensive, whether it’s the premium or whether it’s the cost generally, and they don’t have their doctors, and they don’t have their plans. We’re going to have a very good healthcare. I think maybe a great healthcare for less money.

George Stephanopoulos: (42:58)
Got to take another break. We’ll be right back.

Commercial: (48:14)

George Stephanopoulos: (48:22)
Welcome back to our Town Hall with President Trump. Mr President thank you for being here.

Donald Trump: (48:26)
Thank you.

George Stephanopoulos: (48:26)
The next question comes from Jim Roudeski, he’s from Irwin, Pennsylvania, that’s around Pittsburgh. And you voted for President Trump last time around.

Donald Trump: (48:32)
Hi Jim.

Jim Roudeski: (48:33)
Hi. At times, some have called your behavior not presidential. What, if anything, would you do differently if reelected to create a more unified message where all sides can take responsibilities for their actions and come together to make positive change?

Donald Trump: (48:48)
Good Jim. So I’m fighting a battle, it’s a big battlefield and I have a lot of forces against me. I have the media, which I call the fake news, because a lot of it is fake. And I mean a big pop, as you understand, a lot of is fake. I’m fighting a lot of forces. Sometimes you don’t have time to be totally, as you would say, presidential. You have to get things done. I think I’ve done more than any other president in the first three and a half years. When you look at what we’ve done for tax cuts and regulation cuts and the vets, all of the things that we’ve done for the West, we have a 91% approval factor now for the vets, we rebuilt our military, we created Space Force. I mean, we did so many things, Right-to-try, which is so incredible and so successful. You know what Right-to-try is?

Donald Trump: (49:35)
We did more, I really believe it, more than any other president in the first three and a half years. By the way, at the end of my first term, we’re going to have close to 300, maybe over 300 new federal judges, including Court of Appeal, two Supreme Court justices. And honestly, we move very fast and I have to get rid of people fast because they’re not doing their job. I could tell you people that weren’t doing their job. And when I do that to get somebody else that is good, and if they don’t do it, we get rid of that person.

Donald Trump: (50:06)
We do a lot of things and we have to get them done. I could be so pres… I always used to sort of kid on the campaign trail that I could be more presidential, would be very easy, more presidential than any other candidate, except for possibly Abraham Lincoln when he’s wearing the hat, right? The high hat. But the fact is, being presidential is easier than what I have to do, but I get things done. I get things done like nobody’s ever gotten, including environmental things. When you look at what’s going on in the country and all that we’ve done, we unfortunately got hit by this plague, but it’s going to be back very soon, we opened it up and we have…you talk Jim about the V. We have a super V, looks like it’s going to be a super V.

Donald Trump: (50:47)
We’re going to have a great economy next year. And I think we’re going to have a great economy in the third quarter. And thank you for voting for me in 2016. I hope you’re going to do it again.

Jim Roudeski: (50:56)
Thanks sir.

Donald Trump: (50:57)
Thank you. Thank you very much.

George Stephanopoulos: (50:58)
You talk about a super V Mr. President. A lot of people look at this and say, it’s more like a K-shaped recovery, that people at the top who have a lot of stocks are doing pretty well. [crosstalk 00:51:06]

George Stephanopoulos: (51:08)
But now you’ve only gotten half the jobs back.

Donald Trump: (51:11)
George, stocks are owned by everybody. I mean, they talk about the stock market is so good, that’s 401(k)s. I’m meeting people with as long as they didn’t sell when the market went down, when we first realized the extent of this horrible thing from China. I mean, these people are doing, some of them are doing better than they were doing before the pandemic came.

George Stephanopoulos: (51:29)
So that 33.6 [inaudible 00:00:51:30].

Donald Trump: (51:31)
If people held onto their stocks, and remember this, because I noticed you said wealthy, sure, wealthy, but you have people that aren’t wealthy, but have done well because of the stock market. I’ve set records on the stock market even during the pandemic. And that doesn’t happen by accident. I will tell you this, if Joe Biden ever got this position and that’s a headwind on the stock market, our stock market would be much higher if it weren’t for that. If Joe Biden ever got in, I think you’d have a depression, the likes of which we’ve never seen in this country. If you look at his policies, where he wants to raise everybody’s taxes, you look at what he wants to do in terms of regulation, where he wants to put all of the regulations back on that I took off, and then some, and in many cases, double it up, you will have a depression, the likes of which we haven’t seen in this country, and that doesn’t affect big people.

Donald Trump: (52:22)
It affects everybody. It affects a person that owns $10,000 worth of stock in IBM or whatever company it may be. Look, we’re having a tremendous thing in the stock market and that’s good for everybody, but people that aren’t rich own stock and they have 401(k)s. You take a look at the 401(k)s. They’re in many cases better than they were before the pandemic came.

George Stephanopoulos: (52:46)
Next question comes from Alexandra Stehman from Pittsburgh, sat out the last presidential election, I believe.

Alexandra: (52:51)
Unfortunately so, I did.

Donald Trump: (52:53)
Thank you.

Alexandra: (52:54)
Good evening Mr. President. So I’d like to ask regarding your recent comments about our United States soldiers and referring to them as suckers.

Donald Trump: (53:04)
Could you say that again?

Alexandra: (53:07)
Our United States soldiers referring to them as suckers and particularly the late John McCain, our prisoners as war losers.

Donald Trump: (53:17)
Oh, oh, I see. Okay. It was a fake statement. Go ahead

Alexandra: (53:18)
And recently requesting to ban amputee veterans from a military parade. How do you expect to win back the support of our military, their families, their friends, and military supporters?

Donald Trump: (53:32)
It’s easy, because they never made those statements. They were never made by me. They said, I stood over the grave of soldiers killed many years ago, and I said they were suckers. I never made that. We had 26 people as of today, come out to say it never happened, and many people were there. Then they said about the rain didn’t happen and that wasn’t the reason. The secret service said, we have a statement from them. They said that we could not travel because the helicopter couldn’t be used, we would not be able to travel. Because when you do that through a major city, it takes them days to get it prepared. I wanted to go anyway. I said, “Let me just go separately in a car in disguise. I don’t care.” I wanted to be there so badly, but the statements never happened. They were lies.

Donald Trump: (54:15)
As far as John McCain, I was never a fan of John McCain. I never thought he treated our vets well, he didn’t do the job. I was never a fan of his, and I think that’s fine and everybody knows that, and I said it to his face. I was very much up in that.

George Stephanopoulos: (54:30)
You said he’s not a war hero.

Donald Trump: (54:31)
But as far as [inaudible 00:54:30], I have done so much for our vets and for our military, I rebuilt our military. When I came into this great office, our military was depleted, it was in the worst shape it was in probably ever. It was depleted. The planes were old and broken, the ships, everything. You see what I’ve done. I’ve rebuilt $2.5 trillion, and you think that was easy, getting that money from Democrats? Because they don’t like the military. This magazine came up, they made up this quote. It was a made up quote. And the gloves are off with Biden who I’ve never respected greatly. I’ve never respected him greatly. But when they took this made up quote that was now knocked out by over 25 people and they made an ad out of it, I thought it was a disgrace. Do you know what disinformation is? That’s what it was.

Donald Trump: (55:22)
They made up a phony quote and then they went with it. It was a phony deal. And the one who started it was a big friend of President Obama and Clinton. And it was a phony deal from a very not very successful [inaudible 00:55:34].

George Stephanopoulos: (55:35)
Mr. President you have used language like that in the past. You did say that John McCain wasn’t a war hero. And notably silent in the wake of this article were General John Kelly, who was your chief of staff at the time. General James Mattis, who served as defense secretary for you has said-

Donald Trump: (55:51)
They didn’t hear me say that.

George Stephanopoulos: (55:52)
Has said, well, I’m getting to a broader point with the generals.

Donald Trump: (55:56)
Because I never said it.

George Stephanopoulos: (55:57)
General Mattis said, you’re dividing, you’re not trying to unite the country. General Kelly said he agreed with that. John Bolton, who was your National Security Advisor said you are a danger to the country. The people in these top military positions who served most closely with you have said you’re unfit for office. How do you respond to that?

Donald Trump: (56:14)
These are people that I let go. These are disgruntled former employees to put it in a nice way with a term people would understand. Mattis was a highly overrated general, didn’t do the job, didn’t do good on ISIS. I took over a hundred percent of the ISIS caliphate. I had the people that I wanted and Mattis was fired as you know by President Obama. And I fired him also.

George Stephanopoulos: (56:35)
He says he resigned.

Donald Trump: (56:36)
He didn’t resign. I said, “Give me a letter.” No more. Give me a letter. I was being nice. One of the problems when you’re nice, oftentimes it comes back to hit you. I said, “Jim, give me a letter. It’s time for you to move on.” He gave me a letter, but I fired him, [inaudible 00:56:50], I fired him. Now, General Mattis Didn’t do the job. I wasn’t happy with him. If you look at John Bolton, John Bolton, all he wanted to do is blow people up. He wanted to go to war with everybody. And frankly, I used him very nicely. I bring him into a room in a negotiation, when people saw them, they said, “Oh wow, he’s going to go to war.” I’m bringing our troops back from Afghanistan. I’m bringing our troops back from Iraq. We’re almost out of almost every place. Everybody said because of my personality, they said, “He’ll be in a war immediately.” Look at North Korea, how that’s worked out. The sanctions are on, everything’s the same, we haven’t spent anything. We’re getting along with him, I get along with Kim Jong-un.

Donald Trump: (57:36)
That was supposed to be a war. If President Obama were president, if Hillary Clinton ever got in, that would be a war. We would have a war, probably a nuclear war with North Korea. In the meantime, I’m getting calls all the time from friends of mine in South Korea. “Thank you. We love you. Thank you.” It’s really been rather amazing. So instead of wars, everybody said, look at what we had today with the United Arab Emirates, UAE, and just take a look at what happened with Israel today with that. Take a look at what’s going on. That was going to be a problem. We’re actually creating peace in the Middle East without blood staining our sand. Look at what happened with Bahrain-

George Stephanopoulos: (58:18)
You’ve criticized Jim Mattis.

Donald Trump: (58:19)
George, look at what happened with Bahrain. Well, a guy like Jim Mattis would have disagreed with the way I went about it, and I’ve turned out to be correct. Tom Friedman of the New York Times wrote incredible glowing articles last week about this incredible thing that I’ve been able to do in the Middle East. A guy like Jim Mattis could have never done it because they were all doing it the old fashioned way. They were going in the wrong outlets and the wrong doors. And what happened today with the UAE, and with Bahrain, and with Israel, people don’t even believe it. And George, as sure as you’re sitting there, I have numerous other countries in that region that are going to be signing very soon also. You’ll have peace in the Middle East, and this is without war and without losing, and I’m talking about on both sides, but without losing our great young soldiers.

Donald Trump: (59:09)
I go to Dover and I greet oftentimes soldiers coming in, and they’re dead. And there’s no sadder thing than to sit with a widow or a mother and watch these big, massive cargo planes, and that back opens up and these incredible Marines are walking off a casket and they were killed in the Middle East. And in many ways, nobody even knows why. Going there was the worst decision in the history of our country. We’ve spent $8 trillion and we’ve lost thousands of lives, but really millions of lives because I view both sides. Okay? If that’s okay. Millions of lives, this was the worst decision. And by the way, Iraq did not… Saddam Hussein did not knock down the World Trade Center in case you don’t know, and I’m sure you do know that. They said they had weapons of mass destruction, they made a mistake. So we’re now $8 trillion. We’ve been in there for 20 years, almost 20 years in Afghanistan. I guess it’s getting very close to that, it’s over 19 and we’re bringing our soldiers back home.

Donald Trump: (01:00:18)
Nobody expected that from me and people are so happy about it. And you know who’s the happiest? The soldiers. I see them all the time. “What do you think? Should we be here?” “No, sir. You shouldn’t be here.” “Why?” “They don’t like us, sir.” And I’ll tell you what, I’ve rarely met a soldier that’s over there. They’re better than anybody because they can tell you better than anybody what’s happening. Rarely do I meet a soldier that says we should be there. It was the worst mistake, the most costly mistake in the history of our country, going into the Middle East.

George Stephanopoulos: (01:00:45)
Going to be right back.

Commercial: (01:00:53)
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. 2020, The President and The People will return in a moment. The President and The People, a special edition of 2020. Here again, George Stephanopoulos.

George Stephanopoulos: (01:06:03)
Welcome back to our Town meeting with President Trump. The next question comes from Alexander J. Floyd of Dallas, Pennsylvania. He voted for President Trump last time around.

Alexander: (01:06:12)
Hello Mr. Trump. My question is actually about police reform. And how can we balance common sense police reform without sacrificing public safety in a time when part of the country is calling to defund the police and actively cheering when they’re gunned down in the street, and another part is tired of seeing the lawlessness?

Donald Trump: (01:06:30)
So we have a great Senator named Tim Scott from South Carolina, and he had a plan that was very much of a compromise plan, but it was a plan that everybody pretty much agreed to. A lot of Democrats agreed to it, but they wouldn’t vote for it. And it was a really good, it was a compromise of a lot of different factors, and it didn’t get done, and it should have gotten done and it could still be out there, it could still be resurrected very easily, but they just didn’t want to do it. Because I think the Democrats are viewing this as a political issue, and I probably agree with them. I think it’s very bad for them because we’re about law and order, we have to be about law and order. Otherwise you’re going to see your cities burn and that’s the way it is.

Donald Trump: (01:07:10)
If we can do a plan like Tim Scott’s plan, which is really, it goes far enough, but it doesn’t take the dignity away from our police. We have incredible people. They’ve been protecting us for a long time. I mean, we are here, and I feel very safe being in this room. These are great people. We can’t take their dignity away. We have to let them be able to do what they do better than anybody else. So I think we have to look at it that way. We have to be very, very careful. Police are so afraid today, that they do something slightly wrong, slightly wrong, and their pension’s gone, their job’s gone, who knows what happens? Their life is ruined, their wife or their husband will leave, the whole thing, it’s a very scary thing to do.

Donald Trump: (01:07:52)
And then you look at safety. I mean, you look at that horrible human being that shot these two police, [inaudible 01:07:59] right next, just a disgusting and then ran off. You look at that. This is a very tough job and it’s a very unsafe job. It’s a very dangerous job. We have to give them back their dignity and we have to give them back respect. These are great people, for the most part. There’s always going to be a bad apple in your business, in my business, no matter what. I mean, there’s going to be bad apples so we have to weed out the bad apples, but we have to give the police back that strength that they had a short while ago and that they have in Republican cities, frankly, and states. But you take a look, this is a Democrat problem.

Donald Trump: (01:08:39)
George, I know you’re a Democrat, but this is largely a Democrat problem. If you just take a look at the list, every Democrat city, almost, not all, but a lot of them certainly in the top 25, even if you go to the top 50, almost every city is run by the Democrats. People don’t respect our police and they have to respect them-

George Stephanopoulos: (01:09:02)
Mr.President, you promised four years ago-

Donald Trump: (01:09:02)
Respect our police.

George Stephanopoulos: (01:09:02)
Mr. President.

Donald Trump: (01:09:02)
And they have to respect them.

George Stephanopoulos: (01:09:02)
You promised four years ago at the Republican Convention, “I’m going to restore law and order in this country-”

Donald Trump: (01:09:08)
And I have, except in Democrat-run cities. Look, we have laws. We have to go by the laws. We can’t move in the National Guard. I can call insurrection, but there’s no reason to ever do that. Even in a Portland case. We can’t call in the National Guard unless we’re requested by a governor. If a governor or a mayor is a Democrat, like in Portland, we call them constantly. I just spoke to the governor yesterday, because we’re giving them relief from the fires. We’re giving them an emergency declaration. I said, “Governor, let us go in and we’ll clean up Portland so fast. In a half an hour, it’ll be all right.” And she’s just torn by it. I don’t understand the thinking, but they are torn by it. I have a lot of respect for the governor, frankly, and what happened in Minneapolis was pretty amazing.

Donald Trump: (01:09:56)
Unfortunately, it just went on for a week or a week and a half before he allowed us to bring in the National Guard. When we brought in the National Guard, everything stopped, the crime was gone, meaning the whole thing. But by that time, a big portion of the city was burned down. We’re talking about Minneapolis. In Seattle, we let them know we’re coming in. They took over a big chunk of the city, 20% of the city. We said, “We’re coming in.” As soon as we said that the police department went in and these other people were exhausted, but had we not said we’re going in, we were ready to go in, we were going in the following morning, wherever you have a Democrat city, not in all cases, but if you look at the really troubled cities in our country, they’re Democrat-run and that’s Biden.

Donald Trump: (01:10:43)
They’re weak, they’re ineffective.

George Stephanopoulos: (01:10:45)
Mr. President, you’re president for those cities right now.

Donald Trump: (01:10:47)
I’m president, but I can only do what I’m allowed to do. George. I don’t need insurrection. I don’t need an insurrection act to take care of 250 anarchists. We can do that very easily with the National Guard. We proved that in Minneapolis. They came in after the city was burning. And the thing I don’t really get is that the news media is saying, “No, these are peaceful. These are peaceful.” And right over the reporter, it was a CNN reporter, right over his shoulder, and you saw that, right over his shoulder, the city is burning. It looked like it was Berlin during the war. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen, and he’s trying to say, I don’t know why the news media tries to make so light of it. These are not protests. These are far greater than protests.

George Stephanopoulos: (01:11:32)
Got to take another quick break.

Commercial: (01:11:38)
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice. 2020, The President and The People will return after this.

Commercial: (01:16:32)
From the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, here again, George Stephanopoulos.

George Stephanopoulos: (01:16:37)
Welcome back to our Town meeting with President Trump. We’re taking questions. Pennsylvania voters have not made up their minds this election. Next one comes from Flor Cruceta. She’s from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She has not voted before because she just became a citizen.

Donald Trump: (01:16:50)
Oh, very good.

Flor Cruceta: (01:16:52)
Thank you so much. Hi, Mr. President.

Donald Trump: (01:16:54)
Thank you.

Flor Cruceta: (01:16:55)
Mr. George. Hi everyone. My name is Flor Cruceta. Sorry if I can’t hold my tears. [crosstalk 01:17:02] I came in 2006 with my mom from Dominican Republic. Sorry.

Donald Trump: (01:17:20)
That’s all right. And just take your time. That’s fine. George has plenty of time. I hope, right?

George Stephanopoulos: (01:17:25)
Absolutely.

Donald Trump: (01:17:25)
Thank you. Did you say your mom got COVID?

Flor Cruceta: (01:17:27)
We come from Dominican Republic in 2006 to live our American dream. But she forget how to take care of herself, and she died last month. Sorry.

Donald Trump: (01:17:49)
Terrible. And that’s okay. It’s okay.

Flor Cruceta: (01:17:56)
She have breast cancer, but it made metastasized on her brain, bone, and lungs. And she passed on the 19. One of her biggest dream was to become a citizen to vote and she did. She did it 10 days before she died and I did it too. She pushed me so hard to do it and I did it this past 28. I’m here because of her. She was supposed to be here and ask you and thank you for the [inaudible 01:18:29] you take during this epidemic. You made people closer. We lost our job but we learn how to love our family. So I’m saying that from her.

Donald Trump: (01:18:41)
Very nice.

Flor Cruceta: (01:18:46)
Here’s a question for you both because she write this question. What will you do for our immigration system? What would you change to make more people like me and like her to become citizen and vote?

Donald Trump: (01:19:02)
So, we are doing something with immigration that I think is going to be very strong because we want people to come into our country, people like you and like your mother, and that just shows how vicious the COVID is, especially when you have another problem, you have a heart problem or another type of a problem. And it’s a very sad story, but we want people to come into our country. We want them to come in, a lot of people, but we want them to come in through a legal system, through a system that they love our country, they work to come into our country, a merit system, and we’re working on something very hard right now and in a very short time, we’re going to be announcing it. And I think it’s going to have quite an impact. I think it’s going to be something that actually will be popular for all.

Donald Trump: (01:19:48)
I mean, as far as your situation with your mother, that is just devastating. Because I can imagine how you feel and sounds like a great woman, and I’ll tell you, I’m pretty good with people. She gave us a great daughter, a great child. What she’s done with you, the way you are, the love that you have for your mother, I can see that. It’s hard, and so many people, and they die alone. They die alone because this is such a vicious thing. You can’t go there and hold their hand. You can’t give them a kiss goodnight. It’s a terrible, terrible thing. And hopefully the vaccines are going to be very soon. Hopefully. Did you have COVID? You didn’t have it, right?

Flor Cruceta: (01:20:26)
No.

Donald Trump: (01:20:26)
You didn’t have it, mother. We’ll have it taken care of. It’s going to get taken care of. The vaccines are going to make a big difference. What has made a big difference is Remdesevir. We have many things now and things are going to be announced soon, which frankly, if you take a look at some of the things we’re doing in terms of the word wouldn’t be cure, but the word would be therapeutically or therapeutics, we have some incredible things which is so important. And I view that actually in a certain way is more important than the vaccine where you can go into a hospital and get your mother and give her a transfusion or a shot and they can get better, get better much faster. So we have some of those things and they’ve been very, very successful, but we have others coming out and in order to get them, we had to get the FDA to approve these products, these very sophisticated medicines, I guess you could call them medicine, but we had to get them approved very quickly and they did it.

Donald Trump: (01:21:25)
Dr. Hahn, the head of the FDA, Alex Azar, they’ve really done a fantastic job. I believe George that none of this would have happened in another administration. And I think you know that. The FDA is approving things at a level that they’ve never done and at speed with which they’ve never acted before.

George Stephanopoulos: (01:21:44)
Big question is, is it being done safely? We’ve got to take a another break. We’re going to be right back [crosstalk 01:21:47].

Commercial: (01:21:52)
The right of citizens of the United States who are 18 years of age or older to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of age.

Commercial: (01:22:06)
This special edition of 2020 will return in a moment. The President and The People, a special edition of 2020. Here again, George Stephanopoulos.

George Stephanopoulos: (01:27:12)
Welcome back to our town meeting. We have time for one final question that comes from Ashley West of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania.

Ashley West: (01:27:17)
Hi Mr. Trump.

Donald Trump: (01:27:19)
Hi Ashley.

Ashley West: (01:27:21)
Sorry. My question is, what has been the most difficult part of your presidency and what have you learned from it?

Donald Trump: (01:27:29)
So I think without question, I would say, because things were going so well, I think I’d have to say the whole COVID, the China virus as I call it because it comes from China so I think it’s a much more accurate term. But it’s been very difficult, it’s been so sad. As an example, talking to you about your mother, it’s just such a sad situation. Yeah, we’re getting there, we will get there, we’re going to, it’s going to happen, but it’s been very difficult, nobody’s seen anything like this probably since 1970 [inaudible 01:28:03].

George Stephanopoulos: (01:28:04)
What did you learn from it?

Donald Trump: (01:28:07)
I learned that life is very fragile. I knew people that were powerful people, strong people, good people, and they got knocked out by this and died. Six people. It was five until about two weeks ago, now it’s six. But I’ve learned that life is very fragile because these were strong people and all of a sudden they were dead, they were gone, and it wasn’t their fault. It was the fault of a country that could have stopped it. And I made a great trade deal with China,

George Stephanopoulos: (01:28:39)
Any of it was your fault?

Donald Trump: (01:28:41)
I feel so differently about that deal now. It’s a great deal. It was good for the farmers, good for the manufacturers, but I don’t view it the same way. It was good for us, but I don’t view it the same way because of the horror of this disease that really could have been stopped at the border.

George Stephanopoulos: (01:28:57)
Could you have done more to stop it?

Donald Trump: (01:28:59)
I don’t think so. I think what I did by closing up the country, I think I saved two, maybe two and a half, maybe more than that lives. I really don’t think so. I think we did a very good job. I don’t know if that’s been recognized. We’ve made a lot of governors feel good. We’ve made some, reputationally. We’ve enhanced their reputation. They didn’t have anything, we got them the supplies, we got them the ventilators. We’ve made a lot of people look good that shouldn’t look good to be honest with you.

George Stephanopoulos: (01:29:26)
We’re out of time, Mr. President. Thank you for your time.

Donald Trump: (01:29:28)
Thank you very much.

George Stephanopoulos: (01:29:29)
Thanks to all the questions here and thanks to all of you at home for watching. Have a good night.

Sep 19, 2020

Donald Trump Learns About Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death, His Reaction Transcript
Donald Trump Learns of RBG Death
Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump Learns About Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death, His Reaction Transcript
Statement from President Donald Trump after just learning of the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He said, “She was an amazing woman, whether you agreed or not.” Read the transcript here.

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Donald Trump: (00:05)
She just died? Wow. I didn’t know that. You’re telling me now for the first time. She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman. Whether you agreed or not, she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life. I’m actually saddened to hear that. I am sadden to hear that. Thank you very much.

Sep 19, 2020

Transcript: Donald Trump Says He’ll Have His SCOTUS Pick ‘Next Week’, ‘Most Likely’ Will Be a Woman
Donald Trump Says He’ll Pick a SCOTUS Nomination Next Week
Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Transcript: Donald Trump Says He’ll Have His SCOTUS Pick ‘Next Week’, ‘Most Likely’ Will Be a Woman
Donald Trump spoke with reporters before his September 19 North Carolina rally, saying he will be making his Supreme Court nomination “next week” and “most likely it would be a woman,” mentioning Barbara Lagoa. Read the full transcript of his comments here.

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Speaker 1: (00:00)
[inaudible 00:00:00]?

Donald Trump: (00:01)
Well, they’re going to report the full scope of the deal very soon, very soon, but it’ll be totally controlled by Oracle and Walmart. All of the control is Walmart and Oracle, two great American companies. You have the combination of the Walmart, that’s obvious, and the high tech of Oracle, and the genius of the two leaders of those companies. Okay?

Speaker 3: (00:28)
[crosstalk 00:00:33]. Senator Collins said, “We’d like to see the next president be the one to nominate a Supreme Court Justice.” What do you think about that?

Donald Trump: (00:37)
Who said that?

Speaker 3: (00:38)
Senator Collins.

Speaker 4: (00:38)
Collins.

Donald Trump: (00:38)
Well, I totally disagree with her. We have an obligation. We won, and we have an obligation as the winners to pick who we want. That’s not the next president. Hopefully, I’ll be the next president-

Speaker 5: (00:51)
What about Obama?

Donald Trump: (00:52)
But we’re here now. Right now, we’re here. And we have an obligation to the voters, all of the people, the millions of people that put us here in the form of a victory. We have an obligation to them, to all of those voters, and it’s a very simple thing. So I would disagree. If that’s what she said, that’s not the way I read it. I read it differently. But if that’s what she said, I totally disagree.

Speaker 6: (01:17)
[crosstalk 00:01:17] How many people are on your short list? Do you have a short list?

Donald Trump: (01:21)
I do. I have a short list.

Speaker 4: (01:21)
How many?

Donald Trump: (01:22)
I’ve had a short list for a while. We added a number of people onto the list, the previous list. We have about 45 altogether. I do indeed have a short list. I’ve gotten to know many of them. I think it’s probably, from a legal standpoint, from a sophisticated understanding of the law, from a constitutional standpoint, I think it’s the greatest list ever assembled.

Speaker 6: (01:47)
What do you think of [crosstalk 00:01:48]?

Donald Trump: (01:48)
And I think that the other side should show their radical left list, and I think you’ll be surprised.

Speaker 6: (01:55)
President Trump, what do you think of Amy Coney Barrett? A lot of people think she’s the front runner.

Donald Trump: (01:58)
Well, she’s very highly respected. I can say that.

Speaker 6: (02:01)
Would you like the new lead to be a woman?

Donald Trump: (02:05)
I could see most likely it would be a woman. Yeah, I think I can say that it would be a woman. If somebody were to ask me now, I would say that a woman would be in first place, yes. The choice of a woman I would say would certainly be appropriate.

Speaker 7: (02:23)
[crosstalk 00:02:23] Barbara Lagoa.

Donald Trump: (02:26)
She’s an extraordinary person. I’ve heard incredible things about her. I don’t know her. She’s Hispanic and highly respected. Miami. Highly respected.

Speaker 8: (02:36)
Sir, President Obama said in 2016, Merrick Garland, he had a chance to [inaudible 00:02:42]. That was an election year. Why should [inaudible 00:02:44] get a chance to [inaudible 00:02:46] in the election year?

Donald Trump: (02:46)
Well, that’s called the consequences of losing an election. He lost the election. He didn’t have the votes. When you lose elections, sometimes things don’t work out well.

Speaker 3: (02:55)
He didn’t lose the election. [crosstalk 00:02:56]

Donald Trump: (02:56)
And by the way, I have to say this. Judge Garland is highly respected. I have a lot of respect for him. I do. I have a lot of respect for him, but it’s the consequences of an election.

Speaker 9: (03:06)
Do you expect a vote before the election or after the election?

Donald Trump: (03:10)
Well, I don’t know. We’re working with all of the Republican senators and working with Mitch McConnell, and we’ll be making a decision. I would think before it would be very good, but we’ll be making a decision. I think the process can go very, very fast. I’ll be making my choice soon, and when the choice is made, I’ll be sending it over to Mitch and the Senate, and they will do what they have to do. I think we’ll have a very popular choice, whoever it may be, but we’ll be sending it over to the Senate.

Speaker 10: (03:41)
Mr. President, [crosstalk 00:03:42] next week?

Donald Trump: (03:44)
I think the choice will be next week. Yes, I do. I do. Okay? We’ll see you, some of you in North Carolina, okay? Thank you very much.

Sep 27, 2020

Donald Trump Interview Transcript on Roe v. Wade, Amy Coney Barrett, and SCOTUS
Donald Trump Interview Transcript on Amy Coney Barrett & Roe v Wade
Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump Interview Transcript on Roe v. Wade, Amy Coney Barrett, and SCOTUS
Donald Trump did an interview with Fox News’ Pete Hegseth from “Fox and Friends” on September 27. He discussed his thoughts on the fate of Roe v. Wade, his Supreme Court nomination Amy Coney Barrett, and more. Read the full interview transcript here.

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Pete Hegseth: (00:20)
The pick is in, and the third pick of your presidency, it’s Amy Coney Barrett. How did you come to this pick, Mr. President?

Donald Trump: (00:29)
So we have a list of about 45 people, and it was set up over a period of time, a long period of time, in conjunction with a lot of other people that are very talented, conservative, but very talented people. And it was definitely a time for a woman. And so I had, I broke it down into five women, and this is a person who is just outstanding. A great student, a great scholar. Her professor, one of the most notable and actually the, probably one of the most respected at Notre Dame said that Amy was the best student that he ever had. He was there for many years. The best student. So that meant something because academics means something to me. And I’m just, I think it’s going to be really thrilling. I hope it goes smoothly. Perhaps it will, perhaps it won’t. I think it’s going to be very hard to dispute her qualifications or anything about her.

Pete Hegseth: (01:25)
When did you know, Mr. President? There’s been speculation about her name, reports a year ago that you may have been saving her for a Ginsburg opening? When was it crystal clear?

Donald Trump: (01:35)
Well, I’ve been very happy that the two people that we put on. It’s a very proud moment for a president to make choices. And if you look at Justice Gorsuch, or Justice, Kavanaugh, they’ve been just outstanding people, outstanding men. And it was time for a woman. I think I knew. I mean, there was thought of it last time, but I thought that at that time, Judge Kavanaugh, was Judge, was just very outstanding. And I just felt that this was the right time. I did consider her at that time, but when this happened with Justice Ginsburg, when this happened, this just seemed like a natural fit.

Pete Hegseth: (02:21)
There are reports you’ve spoken with her multiple times, met with her here at the White House. What did you talk about, Mr. President? Did you talk about any specifics cases?

Donald Trump: (02:28)
No, specifically I didn’t do that because in theory you, it’s nicer if you don’t. I guess you have no, you could talk about anything you want, but I just really got to know her a little bit, a little bit the last time. And when this was happening, in the process of happening, I called her and I said, “I’d like to have you come down.” And it just worked out very quickly and very well. I didn’t discuss certain concepts and certain things. And some people say you shouldn’t, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t, but I decided not to do it. And I think it gives her freedom to do what she has to do. She has to make rulings. But I think she’s going to make a lot of people, very proud. There’s also, there has been, I noticed there’s a tremendous clamoring for her. The public really, I’ve been seeing it. We’re all human, and I’ve been seeing it. There was a tremendous feeling that she was somebody that was going to be picked. I didn’t tell anybody, but a lot of people felt she was going to be picked.

Pete Hegseth: (03:25)
I want to dive right into the core issue for conservatives, for Evangelicals, for Catholics. Since 1973, there’s been a clamoring for a review and reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Donald Trump: (03:37)
Right.

Pete Hegseth: (03:38)
You sat down with our own Chris Wallace in 2016, Mr. President and said this. “If we put another two or three justices on the court, the overturn of Roe v. Wade will happen automatically in my opinion, because I’m putting pro-life justices on the court.” Would you like to see Roe challenged and overturned?

Donald Trump: (03:55)
So I didn’t think it was for me to discuss that with her, because it’s something she’s going to be ruling on. And this is what I was told, although I would have had the right to do that. But if you look at her past actions and rulings, I guess she maybe would be in the category that you mentioned. I don’t know. I can say this, that she is certainly conservative in her views and her rulings. And we’ll have to see how that all works out, but it will work out.

Pete Hegseth: (04:24)
Do you think a six to three court, with three of your picks on there, Mr. President would potentially rule on a life issue, on a Roe issue?

Donald Trump: (04:32)
It’s certainly possible, and maybe they do it in a different way. Maybe they’d give it back to the states. You just don’t know what’s going to happen. But I’ve been surprised. I’ve been surprised by some of the rulings that we’ve already had over the last year. You think you know somebody and then you get rulings that are a little bit different than you think could happen. So you never know what’s going to happen. Mostly, I’m looking for somebody that can interpret the Constitution as written. We say it all the time. And she is very strong on that. And it will be very interesting.

Donald Trump: (05:06)
Also our Second Amendment. I feel I know what she’s doing on Second Amendment, but I can’t really speak for her. And again, I’m picking a person. She’s going to have to rule the way she feels. But the Second Amendment is under siege if Joe Biden got in, in any way, if he would have, because I can’t imagine if that’s going to happen, but your Second Amendment is going to be gone. And it’s going to be gone quickly, I think. So we can’t let that happen. But they’ll probably be ruling on Second Amendment and various other things. They say it’s the most important thing a president can do. I don’t know if that’s true. I mean, I would say military. You might agree with me on military protection.

Pete Hegseth: (05:49)
I might.

Donald Trump: (05:49)
But they say the selection of a Supreme Court Justice is the most important thing. And the other thing, by the end of the term, we’ll have almost 300 federal judges and court of appeals judges, which is a record. So we will have had a great impact on the court system going forward.

Pete Hegseth: (06:07)
When you consider what you’ve been through here in these last three and a half years, you’ve got, you’re a tough guy, you’ve got thick skin. People have been coming at you. What’s your advice to someone like Amy Coney Barrett, who’s about to go through them. [crosstalk 00:06:20].

Donald Trump: (06:20)
Yeah. It’s such a great question. It’s just, you can’t answer it. But I do believe that in a way, Justice Kavanaugh was a pioneer. What he went through was so horrible. False accusations, and he’s such a gentleman the way he handled it, but nobody was, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody for any position treated the way he was treated. And so viciously by Harris and all of them. The way they spoke to this man was so horrible. And I actually think it makes it easier for Amy. I think they can’t do that again. They can never get away with it. Nobody’s ever been treated so badly as Justice Kavanaugh, at that time, Judge Kavanaugh. I will say this, Judge Gorsuch, at the time Judge Gorsuch, he was treated pretty tough. Got through it strongly. He did a great job. But the way Judge Kavanaugh was treated was, I’ve never seen. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve seen some bad treatment. I have never seen anything like that. I think that makes it a lot easier for Amy.

Pete Hegseth: (07:25)
Do you think they can resist it, Mr. President? Let’s say, the resume holds up and there is no obvious attack. The left seems to believe the ends justify the means. Personal destruction is justified to pursue their political power. Could they resist and hold back? Is that possible [crosstalk 00:00:07:44]?

Donald Trump: (07:43)
I don’t know if they can hold back, but I think they don’t look good if they go crazy again. They went crazy. They went, what they did was crazy. And we had a couple of people that weren’t real fighters on our side. And they’re gone. They’re gone. I wonder where they went, but they’re no longer with us, and that’s a good thing. We have, I think we have great, the Republican Party is very united in this. Lindsey Graham, every one of our members, they’re tremendous. Mitch. We speak all the time.

Pete Hegseth: (08:17)
Did you think Mitch McConnell would be this, play this big of a role in cementing your legacy? Three big justices.

Donald Trump: (08:24)
Well, we worked very closely together and it’s been pretty amazing. Look, we have, there’s never been anything like it. If you think, again, by the end of, we have 40 or 50, we have many people in there waiting to be confirmed right now for federal judgeships. That’s a big deal. A federal judgeship. And don’t forget, President Obama left us over 100. It’s unheard of. He left us over 100 because he probably thought that Crooked Hillary who was going to win. And in which case it wouldn’t have mattered too much. I guess that’s what he assumed. But he left us a lot. So we will have a record. And that’s a, very record, that’s a very important record. Again, judges and justices, especially justices of the Supreme Court. And to think that I’d have three in one term.

Pete Hegseth: (09:12)
Democrats are threatening to pack the Court. What would you, that would be the fastest way to try to undo this legacy issue? How would you take [inaudible 00:09:20]?

Donald Trump: (09:20)
Well, the only way they can do that if they win the presidency and they have to win the Senate. And I’ll tell you, I think we’re doing really well. There’s a great hidden majority. I call it hidden, you can call it a silent majority, but it’s not really silent. It’s very, you see the rallies. Our people showed up last night in Virginia. We’re looking at Virginia very strongly. We think Virginia is in play and you saw the people that showed up last night. We had probably 35,000 people show up at an airport on a short notice. So we think there’s a lot of things going on out there that, much more so than even four years ago. Four years ago, you knew it better, you saw it early Pete, but four years ago we had tremendous enthusiasm. It’s much more now. It’s much more this year.

Pete Hegseth: (09:59)
Confirmation hearing scheduled October 12th. You anticipate to have her confirmed before the election?

Donald Trump: (10:06)
I would like to. I would say we have plenty of time, just in case your next question would be, well, should you wait? They wouldn’t wait, number one. And importantly, we have a lot of time. We also could go after. We have tremendous amount of time. And it’s been done many times before this way. It’s an election year. No, I think we’re going to have it done easily before the election. I think it would be nice to do, get it out of the way. It’s so important a decision. I think it’s important. We’re going to try to have it done quickly and before the election. But think of all the time. So then you have, from that day, you have all the way to January 20th. So I mean, who would not do this? They say, well, why don’t you wait for the next? Well, elections have consequences. And we won the election. We have the Senate. We have the presidency. So I think, I think she’ll be confirmed before, and probably long before the election, relatively long before the election.

Pete Hegseth: (11:02)
The debate’s coming up. Everyone’s going to be watching. How are you preparing, specifically, Mr. President?

Donald Trump: (11:07)
I think I prepare every day. I think when you’re President, you sort of see everything that they’re going to be asking and they may disagree with you, but we’ve done a great job. We created the greatest economy in history and there’s never been, from an employment standpoint, from every standpoint, and now it’s coming back. We closed it. We saved millions and millions of lives by doing what I did. And now we’re bringing it back. It’s a V. It’s a V-shape, which is, it’s maxed out. I mean, we’re setting records on employment and everything else. Even the stock market. Look how high the stock market is. And we’re rounding the turn. They hate when I say that, the opposition, but we are. We’re rounding the turn on the pandemic. And very incredibly, we have some of the great vaccines, great companies, and we’re going to have different vaccines, very powerful vaccines, great vaccines and therapeutics, but this is all happening very, very soon. So we’re in great shape, but we built the greatest economy in history, and now we’re doing it again. We’re doing it rapidly. And I think next year, we’re going to have a great third quarter, by the way. And next year I think is going to be one of the greatest years we’ve ever had on the economy. And it’s going to, it’s really very exciting, actually.

Pete Hegseth: (12:17)
Well, Mr. President, thank you so much for joining us on Fox and Friends.

Donald Trump: (12:20)
Thank you very much.

Pete Hegseth: (12:20)
Congratulations on a very historic day.

Donald Trump: (12:22)
Thank you very much, Pete.

Oct 1, 2020

Donald Trump Sean Hannity Interview Transcript After Debate: Condemns White Supremacists, Talks Hope Hicks Testing Positive for COVID
Donald Trump Tells Sean Hannity I condemn all white supremacists
Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump Sean Hannity Interview Transcript After Debate: Condemns White Supremacists, Talks Hope Hicks Testing Positive for COVID
Donald Trump talked with Sean Hannity on the night of October 1, two nights after the first presidential debate against Joe Biden. He said, “I condemn the KKK. I condemn all white supremacists. I condemn the Proud Boys. I don’t know much about the Proud Boys, almost nothing, but I condemn that.” He also talked about Hope Hicks testing positive for coronavirus. Read the full transcript of the interview here.

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Sean Hannity: (00:00)
Let me ask you, we have a lot of ground to cover and very little time to do it, there’s an election in 33 days. I went through a lot of things, and I don’t know. We always say the words, this is the land of the free and the home of the brave, and Mark is right.

Sean Hannity: (00:19)
If you look at the debate with Paul Ryan years ago, Joe Biden interrupted a lot, fought a lot, but from all my interviews with you, you don’t apologize for fighting to take out the Caliphate or Soleimani or al-Baghdadi or the Al Qaeda leader in Yemen.

Sean Hannity: (00:37)
You don’t seem to mind to fight to get the money for the wall or fight for lower taxes or to go out and fight for energy independence, or fight for the justices you promised you’d put on the Supreme Court. Some people say, “Well, maybe the president shouldn’t have fought so hard in the debate.” How do you respond to them?

Donald Trump: (01:03)
If you look at what he did, he was probably, or possibly losing that coherence that everybody talks about, because he’s a mess. Let’s face it. He’s a mess. Now I could have waited, but he was saying so many lies that I figured it was just better to bring it up as he’s saying them, because it was just lie after lie, after lie.

Donald Trump: (01:22)
And so I’d do it as he said it, I would criticize him. And I think it was effective. If you look at the polls, I mean, almost all the polls, the poll people, the polls say that I won. The Hispanics, they had me close to 70% at 28 because they’re strong people, smart people.

Sean Hannity: (01:39)
That was the Telemundo poll. There was a WGM poll that had you at 61%. But by the way, I want to just-

Donald Trump: (01:47)
I mean, I would have preferred letting him catch himself because he can’t issue a full statement practically, but at the same time, on the assumption that he does, he’s going on and on with lie after lie, so I had to correct those lies as they came up. Too many to go back and get. We didn’t have enough paper. Too many to go and get. And I don’t know. I think it was very effective. Frankly, I’d like to leave the same format. I like the format.

Sean Hannity: (02:14)
What if they change, talking about the debate commission, talking about changing the rules. There are already rules agreed to. What is your reaction if they try to do that?

Donald Trump: (02:25)
Well, this is the rules that were agreed to, but I think it would be very bad. Do you remember with Hillary Clinton, they had modulated my mic, and they actually apologized for it, but they modulated my mic. So when I looked at her, they had my mic turned off or way down, and I said, “What’s going on over here?” They actually issued an apology. So we’re dealing with very tricky people here, but I think you remember that very well.

Donald Trump: (02:49)
They modulated my mic and they say I won all of the debates. So I was in 16, 17 debates. They say I won all of the debates. I like this format, but at the same time, he’s got got to be truthful. And by the way, a number of people brought up today, Sean, that he was the one that interrupted me. He started off with three major interruptions long before I started doing it to him.

Sean Hannity: (03:13)
By the way, I want to point out tonight, I know the first lady, Melania Trump, the White House is pink tonight in honor of breast cancer awareness month, and she wrote that, “As one nation, we remember the precious lives lost. Pray to bring comfort and strength to those battling the disease.” By the way, my mom in life had very advanced stage breast cancer, double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation. She survived it, but barely. So it is an important thing. One in seven women can get this. It’s very scary.

Sean Hannity: (03:51)
Let me ask you about Joe Biden will not answer the question about packing the Court. Chuck Schumer said last night that everything is on the table. That means statehood for D.C., statehood for Puerto Rico, ending the legislative filibuster, and some Democrats have even talked about moving for a constitutional amendment to end the electoral college. Joe Biden says that it’s a trick, a Donald Trump trick, to tell the American people if he’ll stack the courts or do any of these things. Your response?

Donald Trump: (04:26)
Well, I went after him on that and I said, “Are you going to stack the Court?” I also said, “Are you going to say the words law and order?” He wouldn’t say them. He then said, “Law and order with safety and justice,” or something. But I said to him that, but we need law and order in our country. And the Democrats cities are falling to pieces with these people running them.

Donald Trump: (04:45)
But stacking the courts. They can have many justices. They want to put many because we’ve been beating them, and we have the nine justices and we have a great new one going on. But now what they want to do is they want to put many additional justices on the Supreme Court. It’s sort of like you’re losing the game and you start cheating.

Donald Trump: (05:07)
They are. I mean, they’re doing it with the ballots, they’re doing it with the Supreme Court, and it’s a very sad thing. But they are, they are looking to stack the court. And they are also going to add two or three new states. I heard Guam and two others that you mentioned, as you know. That would give them six automatic Senate seats, automatic, no chance. It would be very unfair. And 20 something congressional seats. So that’s what they want to do.

Donald Trump: (05:39)
So if you give them what they want, we really have a one-party system. We can never catch up. So they’ll be talking about anywhere from four to six senators. Republicans can’t win those states, although I’ve been better to Puerto Rico than any other president. I’ve given them a lot of help. But if you take a look at what’s happening, they’re not good to Puerto Rico, but I’ve been good to Puerto Rico. I have a great relationship to Puerto Rico.

Donald Trump: (06:04)
But they’re looking for statehood. A lot of Puerto Ricans don’t want statehood. They’re doing better the way it has now, frankly. And you’ve been seeing this. This has been taking place. They want to put two or three states. So they want to have 53, right? 53. What’s the flag going to look like? Right, Sean? What’s the flag going to look like? They want to have 53 or 52? Depending on what they do, I guess they could probably do even more than that. We have islands all over the place. What don’t they go for the whole ball game?

Donald Trump: (06:36)
So it’s a very, very sad thing for our country. Very, very sad thing. And in all fairness to Mitch, he did not want to do the nuclear option. And I disagreed because I said, “They’re going to do it.” It turned out that they are, but he’s a legitimate guy. He wasn’t going to do the nuclear option because he thought it was bad for our country. So I understood that. I didn’t go wild.

Donald Trump: (06:56)
But I did say, “It would be good to do it because they’re going to do it.” So it’s a very sad thing. So you’re going to have two or three more states added. You’re going to have four or six senators added, 100% Democrat, 100%. You’re going to have maybe 20 congressional candidates or districts added. And it’s really a horrible thing. It’s going to be very unfair. You’re going to end up having a one-party system in the United States. So if people want to stop that you got to vote against the Democrats.

Sean Hannity: (07:29)
By the way, some news broke earlier this evening. Hope Hicks, who’s worked for you for a long time has tested positive for coronavirus. Obviously, our prayers are with her, and by the way, everybody that has, as you call, gotten this invisible enemy. Do you have any update on her and where are we with therapeutics? Where we with the vaccine?

Donald Trump: (07:50)
So she did test positive. I just heard about this. She tested positive. She’s a hard worker, a lot of masks. So she wears masks a lot, but she tested positive, and I just went out with a test, because we spend a lot of time and the first lady just went out with a test also.

Donald Trump: (08:07)
So whether we quarantine or whether we have it, I don’t know. It’s very hard when you’re with soldiers, when you’re with airman, you’re with the Marines and the police officers, I’m with them so much. And when they come over to you it’s very hard to say, “Stay back, stay back.” It’s a tough kind of a situation. It’s a terrible thing.

Donald Trump: (08:27)
So I just went for a test and we’ll see what happens. I mean, who knows? But you know Hope very well. She’s fantastic and she’s done a great job. But it’s very, very hard when you are with people from the military or from law enforcement and they come over to you and they want to hug you and they want to kiss you because we really have done a good job for them. And you get close and things happen.

Donald Trump: (08:51)
I was surprised to hear with Hope, but she’s a very warm person with them, and she knows there’s a risk, but she’s young. And I just went out for a test. They just do it. It’ll come back later, I guess. And the first lady also, because we spend a lot of time with Hope and others. So we’ll see what happens, but you have to treat our people great. You can’t just say, “Stay away, stay away.”

Donald Trump: (09:18)
They come up to you. They have such love with what we’ve done for them. And there’s such love and you have to treat our people great. I think the vaccines are coming quickly. I do think it’s somewhat political. They’d like to do it, even the drug companies, they’ve dealt with these people a long time.

Donald Trump: (09:34)
I think they’d like to do it after the election, even if it’s a couple of days, but the fact is, the vaccines are coming out. The therapeutics are coming out, and they’re coming out really good. Regeneron and others, other companies, are great, Eli Lilly.

Donald Trump: (09:50)
And so, we’ll have to see. The survival rate is so much better now than it was. You’ve seen those numbers. I guess 95% or something like that, better. So we’ll have to see. I mean, I’ll get my test back either tonight or tomorrow morning, but I spend a lot of time with Hope and so does the first lady, and she’s tremendous.

Donald Trump: (10:09)
I was a little surprised, but she’s a very warm person. She has a hard time when soldiers and law enforcement comes up to her. She wants to treat them great, not say, “Stay away. I can’t get near you.” It’s a very, very tough disease.

Sean Hannity: (10:23)
Let me ask you this question. You have talked a lot about the issue of voter fraud. And by the way, this was just breaking tonight as we’re coming on the air, that the Trump campaign is suing Philadelphia over mail-in voting offices. We had 100,000 ballots in trouble. The Heritage Foundation identified 1,285 cases of recent voter fraud, including nearly 1,000 convictions on the issues.

Sean Hannity: (10:54)
We saw the Trump ballots, military ballots, in a wastepaper basket in Pennsylvania. We had people being mailed absentee ballots, and we had a criminal conviction in New Jersey, attempted to bribe voters with mail-in ballots. Project Veritas came out with a tape. There was a case in Florida. There’s been cases all over Colorado, Florida, Texas.

Donald Trump: (11:21)
A scam and everyone knows it, Sean. It’s a scam and everyone knows it.

Sean Hannity: (11:26)
How do we have voter integrity, and this idea that Hillary Clinton talked about, you accepting the results of the election, and Hillary said under no circumstances should Joe Biden ever concede the election. Joe said the other night he would under the right circumstances. Do you really foresee a problem? And these last-minute changes that are being made, I mean, to me, it’s incalculable how that then impacts the election. What are your thoughts?

Donald Trump: (11:56)
Well, in New York they last 100,000 ballots were sent out wrong. The envelopes were wrong, the names were wrong, everything was wrong. So they said, “Oh, that’s okay. We’ll send out a new 100,000.” Okay, let’s assume they get it right. What happens to 100,000 that they sent out? They’re going to be sent back by somebody and it’s going to be a fraud.

Donald Trump: (12:13)
This is a terrible thing that’s happening to our country. And the only one that knows it better than you and I and other people is the Democrats. They know it, they know it. They’re smart. But I’ll tell you the big hope is that we have great federal judges. And we have a lot of cases in front of these federal judges. And I think they’re really talented, very smart. And I think that we’re going to do very well.

Donald Trump: (12:37)
How about this? The election ends on November 3rd, but they’re giving certain states the right to go another week. So that means we’re not going to know, because they’re big states, that means we’re not going to know the election for another week. Just take a look at New York. Take a look at the one city, the ballots that were thrown into a garbage can and they all had the Trump name on it.

Donald Trump: (13:03)
They were military ballots. They were thrown into a garbage can. The ones that were on a tray and they were thrown into a creek or river, it’s a terrible thing. And if you look at Carolyn Maloney, what they did to that guy that ran against her is a disgrace. That’s in New York, and that’s only for a congressional race.

Donald Trump: (13:20)
They have no idea where the votes are, where the ballots are. This is going to be all over. This is in Virginia. This is in New Jersey. It’s a very, very sad thing. And hopefully we can win by a lot because I have no doubt that they’re going to be doing a number. I have no doubt about it.

Donald Trump: (13:36)
And the press knows that too. They act so sacrosanct. They act so, “Oh, it’s so terrible. He’s talking about our democracy.” They know what’s going on. It’s really a shame. If the other side did this, you would see everybody would be arrested, put in jail. You have to see what’s going on.

Donald Trump: (13:55)
But the good news is we just got a very good decision in Rhode Island, great decision. We have some great decisions coming down. You have to have the votes in by November 3rd. You have to have it signed. You have to have it certified. They have to guarantee the certification.

Donald Trump: (14:11)
I mean, in Nevada, Sean, they don’t want to have any certification of a signature, just do a signature and they don’t want to have certification. I think you don’t even have to sign it. And the governor is a very political person. It’s a ridiculous thing. And we’re going to win Nevada on a fair basis, but it’s very hard when they send millions of ballots out and then they cheat.

Sean Hannity: (14:37)
Let me ask you, we learned this week, and this is something, we broke a lot of news in the last three and a half years, not really gotten a lot of credit for it, turns out we were right all along that the Obama administration knew in 2016, that they knew Hillary was attempting to tie you to Russia to get away and distract from her subpoenaed emails.

Sean Hannity: (15:01)
We also learned that now James Comey, along with Rod Rosenstein, along with Sally H, knowing what they know now, never would’ve signed the FISA applications that denied constitutional rights to Carter Page to spy on your campaign, your transition team, and your presidency. Comey had amnesia on the rest of it.

Sean Hannity: (15:22)
But we also learned that Christopher Steele’s source, and that was the bulk of data, Andrew McCabe said, “No Christopher Steele files and Hillary dossier, there would be no FISA warrants.” We now know that all of it was from a guy that our own FBI knew to be a Russian operative for 10 years. We don’t have a lot of time. Your reaction to all of this new news?

Donald Trump: (15:49)
Well, it’s a scam. They spied on our campaign. They got caught. The only sad thing is nothing’s happening with them and their a bunch of crooks. They spied on our campaign. They got caught. They tried to do a coup and they got caught. Now we get to see what’s going to happen. It’s time to move.

Donald Trump: (16:07)
This is ridiculous, okay? This is ridiculous. It’s so sad. We caught them spying on our campaign. Never happened before. Spied before and after, and it never happened before. And I watched Comey. He couldn’t remember anything, but he’s writing all these books.

Donald Trump: (16:22)
They’re guilty as hell. They should all be in jail, okay? You know it and I know it. They should all be in jail and it’s disgraceful. It’s a disgrace to our country if they don’t go to jail. Hillary Clinton got caught, Comey got caught, they all got caught. And Biden, by the way, mentioned the Logan Act. That was a big part of it, and Obama too. It’s a disgrace what’s happened, a disgrace. And they should do something about it. They can’t let this just go on ad infinitum. They should do something about it.

Sean Hannity: (16:52)
Let me ask you very quickly here. This election is in 33 days. In the 45 seconds we have left, you’ve gone through things you want to do, the economy, law and order, safety, security, and a vaccine. Are those your three top things that you want to accomplish?

Donald Trump: (17:10)
Well, it is. I mean, it is, but we’ve already rebuilt the military, two and a half trillion dollars. It’s the strongest military in the world by far. We have weapons the likes of which nobody even comes close to. And so we’ve done that. We’ve cut taxes at a record level. If you look at regulations, we’ve cut more regulations than any president in history by far.

Sean Hannity: (17:32)
Where will the economy be by the end of this year in your view? You have 20 seconds.

Donald Trump: (17:35)
Well, I think better than that. I think you’re going to see some great numbers just two days before, because you’re going to have the third quarter come out just before the election, and I think you’re going to be up anywhere from 22 to 35% in GDP. And if that’s the case, that’s bigger than any economic rebound in history. So I think that’ll be good. Let’s see what happens, but those numbers are coming out sometime prior to November 3rd, which is the election.

Sean Hannity: (17:59)
All right, Mr. President. 33 days, the American people, the ultimate jury. Thank you for being with us.

Donald Trump: (18:05)
Thank you very much, Sean. Thank you.

Oct 8, 2020

Donald Trump Says He Won’t Participate in Virtual Debate Transcript October 8
Donald Trump Says He Won’t Participate in Virtual Debate Transcript October 8
Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump Says He Won’t Participate in Virtual Debate Transcript October 8
During an interview with Fox on October 8, President Donald Trump said he will not participate in a virtual debate. He also addressed his health after contracting coronavirus, saying “I’m better to a point where I’d love to do a rally tonight.” Read the transcript of his remarks about the second presidential debate and COVID-19 here.

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President Trump: (00:00)
I beat him in the first debate. At the second debate, we have a never Trumper as a host, but that’s okay because I’d beat him in the second debate also. And I’m not going to do a virtual debate.

Maria: (00:12)
So Mr. President, you’re not going to do it because the CPD, the commission on presidential debates announcing this morning that the second presidential debate will be virtual. You saying you’re not going to participate?

President Trump: (00:24)
No, I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate. That’s not what debating’s all about. You sit behind a computer and do a debate. It’s ridiculous. And then they cut you off whenever they want. I have a host who I always thought was a nice guy, but I see is a never Trumper. You know, it came out that he’s a never Trumper. And we do have some of them Maria, believe it or not, because they don’t like to win. And so, but I’m not doing, I’m not doing it a virtual debate.

Maria: (00:47)
I believe that moderator at one point…

President Trump: (00:49)
They didn’t even tell us about the debate Maria.

Maria: (00:52)
So you just learned this this morning?

President Trump: (00:55)
Yeah. We learned it the same way you learned it. They called up two minutes ago and it was announced and they’re trying to protect Biden. Everybody is. Like that NBC disaster, where he went on the show with Lester Holt. It was like, it was meant for a child. It wasn’t meant for a grown person. He gets up and he says, “We’re not fracking. We’re not fracking.” He was fracking for six months. He was fracking. He was raising his very thin hand and he was fracking. And now all of a sudden, he’s not fracking. Well tell the Pennsylvania people that you’re going, it’s ridiculous. He said, he’s not fracking. That’s all he said. And then all of a sudden, he goes to a fracking mode. And how about her? She committed her life to it. And all of a sudden she’s a fracker. She’s a big fracker. They going to stop fracking the minute they get into office, they’re lying to everybody. They’re lying about so many different things, but you have to confront them people, you can’t do it over a computer.

Maria: (01:49)
I want to talk to you about that. I want to talk to you about what you heard last night. But, but Mr. President, you say you’re not going to do this debate. Address the criticism, Mr. President, the criticism that you removed your mask for a photo op, you got to the top of the steps. You removed it. People are worried about your recent diagnosis. Now you’ve got 30 plus people with coronavirus in and around the White House. Address that concern for us, Mr. President, as you tell the commission on debates you’re not going to do this virtually.

President Trump: (02:18)
Yeah. Well, first of all, I think I’m better to a point where I’d love to do a rally tonight, I wanted to do one last night, but I think I’m better to a point that I feel better than I did you know, I jokingly said 20 years ago, I feel perfect. There’s nothing wrong. I had a case, I got it knocked out. I think it was Regeneron that was responsible for it. Because of that, it was sort of like almost a gift from heaven because of what I went through and I felt pretty lousy. A lot of people did. A lot of people do. No matter how good the security, you’re not going to protect yourself from this thing with just your standard anything, unless you just literally don’t come out and even those people found out. Did you see in New York City, the most heavily locked down place, the people that caught it the most were the people that were caught in their houses and their apartments. Okay?

Oct 8, 2020

Donald Trump Sean Hannity Interview Transcript October 8, Trump Says He’s Ready to Hold Rallies
Donald Trump Sean Hannity Interview Transcript October 8
Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump Sean Hannity Interview Transcript October 8, Trump Says He’s Ready to Hold Rallies
Donald Trump talked with Sean Hannity of Fox News on the night of October 8. Trump said he is working to hold a rally this Saturday night, just over one week after testing positive for COVID-19. Read the full transcript of the interview here.

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Sean Hannity: (00:00)
… [inaudible 00:00:00] radio host. Thank you, Mark. Joining us now live from the White House, President Donald Trump. Mr. President, thank you for being with us. First, an obvious question, how are you feeling? How’s the First Lady feeling? And I want to get into your comments that you would make Regeneron and therapeutics free for the American people. But first, how are you doing?

President Donald Trump: (00:20)
Really good, and First Lady is doing really good. I thought Mark was fantastic, and I love your show.

Sean Hannity: (00:29)
Okay, I’ll take it. Have you been tested since? Your campaign and your doctor, Sean Conley put out that you’ll be medically safe and cleared for safe return to public engagements by Saturday, five full days. Have you been tested recently?

President Donald Trump: (00:51)
Yeah, I just saw the doctors today. They think I’m in great shape. I’m in great shape. I know I’m in good shape [crosstalk 00:00:54].

Sean Hannity: (00:53)
Did you test negative?

President Donald Trump: (00:55)
And I’ll tell you, I took this Regeneron. It’s phenomenal. Eli Lilly has something very comparable. It’s phenomenal. It’s a whole new day. It’s all… If you go back a few months, nobody ever even thought about this stuff. We came up with it, and I’m going to have it delivered to every hospital we have sick people with the COVID, or the China Virus as we call it, and we’re going to make people better. It actually made me better. I went in, I could have left a day later.

President Donald Trump: (01:24)
I’m telling you Sean, it was incredible. So, that’s Regeneron. But again, Eli Lilly has something similar. The kind of things we’re coming up with now are incredible. Remdesivir, but that’s a little bit different, works much differently actually. But these things are absolutely incredible. I think I’m going to try doing a rally on Saturday night if we have enough time to put it together. But we want to do a rally probably in Florida on Saturday night. I might come back and do one in Pennsylvania the following night. It’s incredible what’s going on, because I feel so good.

Sean Hannity: (02:01)
Have you had a test since your diagnosis a week ago?

President Donald Trump: (02:05)
Well, what we’re doing is probably the test will be tomorrow, the actual test, because there’s no reason to test all the time. But they found very little the infection or virus, if any. I don’t know that they found any. I didn’t go into it greatly with the doctors. We have these great doctors at Walter Reed, and you do rely on them. They’re really fantastic talents, and they came in from Johns Hopkins also and other places. Yeah. When you’re president, there are so many doctors looking over me. I think I’m the most analyzed human being in the world right now. But we have… They had people at not only Walter Reed which is incredible with the job they do, but also Johns Hopkins and other hospitals. I think they’re amazed at how quickly this went frankly.

Sean Hannity: (02:52)
Let me ask you, the Debate Commission said earlier tonight that their decision is not going to be reversed even if you get a full, healthy go ahead from all of your doctors and follow the CDC guidelines. How do they get to unilaterally decide that without consulting with you or former Vice President Biden’s campaign even?

President Donald Trump: (03:20)
Well, I didn’t even want to use them. Last time, I had a big problem. They isolated my mikes when I had one debate… We had three debates with Hillary. Or I think the first debate, they… Excuse me. On the first debate, they asked isolated the mike and they isolated it very, very seriously, and they actually apologized to me. And I said-

Sean Hannity: (03:43)
In 2016?

President Donald Trump: (03:44)
… “What’s this all about?” They were Clinton people. And I said, “We ought to just do the debates ourselves, John. We ought to just do it ourselves.” I pick… I’m the president, so we won’t to have debates. I’d rather just do it ourselves. Pick some good anchor. So I ended up with Chris Wallace who’s essentially… Look, his father did me once or twice. Twice, I guess. Those 60 minutes, he was great, Mike. Chris is not Mike that I can tell you. He’s not even close, but Chris was terrible. He was protecting Biden the whole night. I asked Biden about, “Why did he get all of that money from the Mayor of Russia, from the wife of the Mayor of Russia?” Then Chris wouldn’t let that be answered.

President Donald Trump: (04:23)
When I said, “What did you do with a billion dollars? You’re not getting a billion dollars to Ukraine unless you get rid of the prosecutor.” Chris wouldn’t let that. He protected him. The guy was choking like a dog. He couldn’t answer the questions and he was choking like a dog. And Chris kept staying, and so now we have another one. I didn’t know this, but the other one is from C-SPAN and he’s never-Trumper, and I think somebody said he worked for Biden at one point. These are the people we get.

President Donald Trump: (04:50)
That’s okay, because I’ve had some bad ones over the years, and I’ve got an unblemished record I think in the debating world according to the polls. If you look at [inaudible 00:04:59] 15 debates last time, and they say I won them all against very talented people in some cases. But I will say this, that it’s a very sad thing. Now you have this Debate Commission. It’s a joke. The commission’s a joke. Take a look at the letter they wrote me four years ago when they apologized. They were oscillating my mike. They were turning it up and down when I was speaking to Hillary, crooked Hillary who turns out to be very crooked.

President Donald Trump: (05:25)
Look at all the stuff we found out on Obama and Biden and her. So we’ll see what happens. But no, I’m not interested in doing a virtual. I’m not Joe Biden. I’m not going to do a virtual debate, sit behind a computer screen. That gives them the answers, because there’ll be handing him the answers just like he gets what he asks. He does news conferences, he does them and they give him the answer and they give him the question and they give him what kind of a news conference. He does them all the time. He was choking like a dog the other night, but Chris Wallace bailed him in. He just bailed him in or bailed him out.

Sean Hannity: (05:58)
Let me ask you this, because I think this is… You have an opportunity to challenge Joe Biden directly. His campaign could make the decision to go forward with a debate, get any health check that they want and follow through and have two debates, and you could agree upon the rules. You don’t need a debate commission to do that. So I guess you have the ability to challenge Joe Biden to such a debate. Are you doing that tonight?

President Donald Trump: (06:25)
Well, I might. I’ll do it right through your show. Let’s go, Joe. Let’s have a fair… Let’s get a fair anchor, somebody like a great Sean Hannity. We’ll get Rush.

Sean Hannity: (06:34)
Oh, yeah.

President Donald Trump: (06:35)
We’ll get Mark. We’ll get Laura.

Sean Hannity: (06:37)
That’ll happen.

President Donald Trump: (06:37)
We’ll get [Judge Jeanine 00:06:38].

Sean Hannity: (06:37)
That’s going to happen.

President Donald Trump: (06:41)
We got a lot of them out there. We got a lot. We’ll get Jesse or Pete. We got a lot of them. Tucker [inaudible 00:06:48] feeling good. [crosstalk 00:06:49] is a disgrace.

Sean Hannity: (06:49)
You’re going to get me killed on all the Fox talk. Let me ask you.

President Donald Trump: (06:54)
[inaudible 00:06:54] but this is a disgrace what’s going on. So now I find out the guy that’s doing it from C-SPAN is a never-Trumper, but I don’t mind that. Look at the people I’ve had in the past, and I’ve always won the debates. I had Martha Raddatz. Her hatred was so incredible I couldn’t believe it, but I beat Hillary in that debate easily. So I don’t mind that. It’s not even that. But I’m not going to sit behind a computer and have somebody feed him answers, because he has no idea, because he won’t be president for three months before the wonderful Kamala takes over with her. She’s the most liberal person in the senate. She’s not a socialist. She’s a step beyond socialism as you know.

Sean Hannity: (07:32)
What did you think of the… What did you think of last night’s debate, sir?

President Donald Trump: (07:34)
I thought Mike was great, legitimately. I don’t mean because he’s with me and he’s my friend and he’s done a great job as vice president, I thought he was great. He’s a calm person. We’re really a good combination. A lot of people have said that for a long time. He’s a calm person. He’s a good person, and he was just… He couldn’t believe some of the things she was saying, and he really didn’t. He couldn’t believe it what she was saying. They lie. They lie so much, like fracking.

President Donald Trump: (08:03)
Him and her for a year, whatever the Democrat debate said, we are against fracking. We will… Biden says, “We will never ever see fracking and…” etc. As soon as he gets the nomination, he has to center over a little bit. No, we want to go fracking. We’ll be fracking. Her too, even her. I mean, she’s a super… Then they get beat up by AOC plus 3, because they said, you never said that before. Now the press gives them a pass. The reason they give them a pass is because they are fake. The news is fake, the enemy of the people and the press gives them a pass. If I ever did that, I would be excoriated.

Sean Hannity: (08:43)
Let me ask you about the issue that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris refuse to answer, that is about packing the United States Supreme Court which would a change that hasn’t happened in 150 years. And-

President Donald Trump: (09:00)
Yeah, terrible thing.

Sean Hannity: (09:00)
… Joe Biden literally said today, and I honestly thought last night Kamala Harris would have a different answer. I thought when Mike Pence challenged her that she was going to say no, that they would not support it. Their non-answer’s revealing. Joe Biden went further today and said, “You’ll know my position on court packing the day after the election.” What’s your reaction to that?

President Donald Trump: (09:26)
I think it was a terrible thing to say. I think it’s so disrespectful to the people, and he should have said something, and say, “Look, to the best of my knowledge, this is probably what I’d do.” I think what he said was so disrespectful to the process and to the people. What he said then was just disgraceful. But what that means really is that they’re going to do it, because obviously, that means 100% that’s what they’re going to do. No, they’re going to end the filibuster and they’re going to do things that you wouldn’t have thought. I’d been fighting the filibuster with Mitch for a long time, because I said, “Mitch, they’re going to do whatever. If they ever got in, Schumer would do that on day one.” I agree that what they did was right.

President Donald Trump: (10:09)
You take a look at what Mitch and some very good Republican senators, because it’s good for the country. But I said, “Here’s the problem. If they ever got in, day one, this would be the first move they make, end the filibuster,” the nuclear option as they call it. And they’ll do that… Not a week will go by, probably not a day will go by. But again, Harry Reid did it, that’s why we have so many judges. I want to thank you very much, Harry Reid. Because Harry Reid, he ended the filibuster and I’m going to have 300 judges by the time I finish. 300, it’s a record by the end of the first term. Think of that. It’s a record [inaudible 00:10:49] the term. By the end of the first term, I have 300 judges just about give or take a few couple. And-

Sean Hannity: (10:57)
Mr. President don’t-

President Donald Trump: (10:57)
… it’s all because of… Think of it, Sean. It’s all because of Harry Reid and a lot of good work-

Sean Hannity: (11:00)
2013.

President Donald Trump: (11:00)
… by a lot of good Republicans including Mitch.

Sean Hannity: (11:05)
Don’t you think or do you think that the people of this country need to know whether or not Joe Biden, if he were elected president would pack the courts, whether or not he would support statehood for places like DC, whether or not he would support ending the filibuster, whether or not even maybe pursue a constitutional amendment to abolish the electoral college? To me, these are fundamental questions that he is refusing to answer. What is your answer to his non-answer? In the media, I think he’s answered less than 100 questions since this whole campaign has started which I think makes these two debates that are forthcoming even more important than any average presidential year.

President Donald Trump: (11:54)
Well, he’s got a lot of non-answers. Look at Second Amendment, you never talk about Second Amendment. He wants to take away your guns 100%. He put Beto as a… He turned out to be… He was exposed by Ted Cruz and me, I think I helped a lot too. But he was exposed as a clown, as much worse than that, but I want to be nice, because it’s a nice evening show. But he was exposed as a clown. He wants to take away your guns. He’s going to take away your Second Amendment. Nobody ever… Nobody asks him about the Second Amendment anymore. Do you notice that? The Second Amendment is very important. It’s a big thing that we campaign on it. I protected this.

President Donald Trump: (12:36)
If I weren’t president, you wouldn’t have a Second Amendment right now. And Biden does it. Nobody’s talks about life anymore, pro-life. Is he pro-life? No, he’s not pro-life. What is he? Why don’t you ask him that question? He doesn’t want to talk about it. But he endorsed a Governor of Virginia who not only executed a baby late term abortion, but executed a baby because he said the baby can be born and then you can kill the baby. He’s totally in favor of that. I can tell you, your pro-life groups are… They’re in mess. This is their one shot because what’s going on is so bad.

President Donald Trump: (13:24)
It’s so evil. The governor of Virginia said, we will execute the baby after the baby is born, that’s… When you talk about late term abortion, this is early term execution, and it’s a very, very bad thing. But you don’t ever hear everybody talking about pro-life, pro-choice with Biden. Did you ever hear it? I haven’t heard it. Very rarely do you hear it? I don’t think he’d know how to discuss it. But very importantly, a Second Amendment. They just don’t discuss the Second Amendment. He’s going to take your guns away. So everybody with a gun, you can’t vote for him because you’re not going to have your gun. At the same time, they want to defund the police.

President Donald Trump: (14:01)
So if you’re not going to have police protection and by the way, you can’t have a gun. So if one of these maniacs breaks into your house at night because there are no cops around and you don’t have a gun to protect yourself, that’s a great combination. The suburbs are going to fall. A lot of people talk about the women of the suburbs. Women of the suburbs, they do or don’t like Trump. I don’t know. But what I’ve done is incredible for the suburbs. The suburbs are over as you know. The suburbs have become more unsafe than the cities run by the Democrats. And so I think I should do very well with suburban women, because I’m the one that’s protecting them both in terms of law and order and in terms of zoning.

President Donald Trump: (14:44)
They want to build low-income housing right next to your house as the American dream is destroyed, but they don’t talk to Biden about this. They don’t talk to him about law and order. I said to him the other night, “Mention the words law and order.” He wouldn’t do it. He wouldn’t do it. I said, “Don’t mention the word law and order. Go ahead.” He wouldn’t do it. And then of course Chris Wallace came in to protect him.

Sean Hannity: (15:09)
Let me ask you this Mr. President if I may, I played at the beginning of the show. We don’t have a lot of time left, I won’t play it again. Joe Biden twice in the debate that he had with you said he will eliminate the Trump tax cuts. Now he’s saying only on people $400,000 or more, but that’s… I’ll let you explain it. He says he’s not against fracking, but I have him saying he will eliminate fracking twice, and we played that tape.

Sean Hannity: (15:38)
He has repeatedly said, and Kamala Harris last night falsely claimed that you do have yet to once condemn white supremacy, yet I showed multiple instances when you have done just that, the neo-Nazis, David Duke, white supremacy, white nationalism, disavowing David Duke. And yet they continue to spread that falsehood. Your reaction, because they don’t seem to get called out by the media on the fact that what they are saying is false.

President Donald Trump: (16:09)
And I condemn the people on the left like Antifa that are burning down your cities all summer long and without any control whatsoever. They’re all Biden people, meaning not Biden. Biden’s not smart enough to know what the hell it even is, but they’re of that philosophy. I condemn them very strongly, very, very strongly. It’s not just the right. It’s the right, it’s the left. But the left has been the problem up for a long time. Antifa is a big, big problem. I see Whitmer today, she’s complaining, but it was our justice department that arrested the people that she was complaining about.

President Donald Trump: (16:44)
It was my justice department that arrested them. But instead, she goes and does her little political act and she keeps her state closed although we just won the big case as you know to open up Michigan, because what she’s doing is a horrible thing to the people. The churches are closed, the schools are closed and all state is closed. People are being hurt very badly by it in the form of drinking and suicides and depression. It’s a very sad thing. But now, Joe Biden wants to raise taxes. And very sadly, if you take a look, he wants to raise taxes, but he says he’s going to end our tax cut. Well, people are getting actually much more.

President Donald Trump: (17:22)
Mike [Inaudible 00:00:17:23], he said 2000 was actually much more than $2,000 in child tax credits, which is a $1000 a child. but he wants to take all that away. So therefore, if you do nothing else, you’re raising taxes by the largest percentage in the history of our country. If he terminated my tax cuts, which is one of the reasons that our economy has done so great, even now in this pandemic which hopefully we’re rounding the turn and we have incredible cures and a lot of therapeutics and the vaccines are going to be coming very soon. But I’ll tell you what I took is incredible. To me, I viewed it as a cure. It’s incredible, and we’re going to get it to everybody free of charge.

President Donald Trump: (18:01)
It’s going to hospitals. Starting very soon, the military is going to be delivering it. But he’s looking to do big, big tax cuts, big, big tax increases at a level that’s never been seen. Nobody’s ever gotten the cuts that I got. I got the biggest tax cuts ever given as you know Sean, better than probably most. But he’s going to end those tax cuts and reverse them. And now, people are going to pay $2000 plus child tax credits, all that. It’s going to be a disaster for our country. It’s going to put our country into a depression. Your 401ks are going to go down the tubes, and your jobs are going to go away, and you’re going to have a depression the likes of which our country has never seen before. And that possibly includes 1929.

Sean Hannity: (18:47)
Mr. President, there has been articles out, and I would assume that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris not giving their position on court packing would be a national ad. I assume them both on record saying they would ban fracking would be an ad that would run on a lot of cycles in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Their website that endorses the Green New Deal, and Joe Biden saying he would spend trillions of dollars on it and pledging that. What would the new Green Deal look like in your view if implemented as promised by both Joe Biden and as a cosponsor with Kamala Harris in the US Senate?

President Donald Trump: (19:30)
Well, it’s a deal that was conceived up by not smart people, AOC plus 3 and others, but I don’t even think they had any experience in the environment. But this was a deal conceived up. The real price is $100 trillion. That’s more money that this country could make in 100 years if things went well. They literally want to take buildings down and rebuild them with tiny little windows. Little windows, so you can’t see out, you can see the light. The whole thing is so crazy. It’s such a crazy thing. Take a look, Biden agreed to this with crazy Bernie, because they have the manifesto.

President Donald Trump: (20:11)
They’ve agreed to most of these things, and it’s going to cost more money. Our country will be a Ninth World country, not a Third World country, a Ninth World country. We won’t have energies. Look at what’s happening with the rolling blackouts in California? Looking at where California is going to have to ration water? You know why? Because they set millions of gallons of water out to sea, out to the Pacific because they want to take care of certain little tiny fish that aren’t doing very well without water to be honest with you. But it’s a very sad thing that’s happening. It’s still common sense. Even the fires in California. I talk about, you need…

President Donald Trump: (20:53)
I was with governor Newsom. I get along with him very well. We disagree on a lot of things, but I get along with him. Number one, you should let water come down from the North and accept it instead of throwing it out to the Pacific. But you also have to have forest management. We send them so much money. I don’t have to, but I want to help California. But they have the biggest forest fires because they don’t manage their land. They don’t have separators. They have trees that have been laying on the ground that are stone cold dead, dry like a matchstick. You throw a cigarette butts on between the leaves and the trees, everything catches on fire. You lose 200,000 acres in a short period of time. They get to manage their forest. And if they manage their forest, you’re not going to see the forest fires.

Sean Hannity: (21:40)
Mr. President, the Heritage Foundation identified nearly 1000 convictions on voting fraud. There have been… You have expressed many times your concerned about some of the changing laws and rules and have spoken negatively about these changes. But with that said, a lot of states have now begun early voting. Some will be starting in a week or two. Will you encourage your supporters to get out and vote early?

President Donald Trump: (22:10)
Well, I want them to vote, but I will say this, absentee is okay, because absentee ballots… Excuse me. Absentee ballots are fine, because absentee ballots, you request, you ask for a ballot and you request and that’s it. Absentee ballots are absolutely fine. You request them, you fill them in, you send them back in. But these unsolicited ballots, universal unsolicited ballots Sean, it’s going to be a disaster the likes of which we’ve never seen. We will never have seen an election like what’s going to take place. Thousands of ballots all over the country are being reported. Some thrown in garbage cans with my name on them. Some thrown in trays in a river. What’s going on is absolutely crazy. We have people watching. We have US attorneys watching. We have sheriffs watching. We have US Marshals watching. But with all of that-

Sean Hannity: (23:05)
With that said-

President Donald Trump: (23:05)
… you’re talking about millions of ballots are being sent out-

Sean Hannity: (23:09)
With that said, if there’s in-person early voting-

President Donald Trump: (23:13)
… [crosstalk 00:23:13] big and tremendous fraud.

Sean Hannity: (23:14)
… would you prefer that your supporters, if that’s the system and that’s what the law is, would you prefer that they get out early also so that there’s not a big deficit heading into election day?

President Donald Trump: (23:28)
Well, my supporters are going to be mostly people that vote. They go to the vote the old fashioned where it’s like go to the voting booth and vote, which first of all, we should have voter ID all over the country. We don’t. When you buy something, you have voter ID. To get into the Democrat National Convention, you had to have voter ID.

Sean Hannity: (23:46)
That’s true. I had to have it four years ago.

President Donald Trump: (23:51)
Right. But to get into vote, you don’t need voter ID in many places. In many places, you do. Indiana has a great system. You have many places where you do have it. But we should have voter ID, universal voter ID. When you go to vote, they should see who you are, make sure that it’s not fraudulent. But this will be one of the greatest fraudulent, most fraudulent elections ever because of this whole thing with… They’re sending out millions and millions and millions of ballots. Where are they sending them? Who’s sending them? Where are they going? Where are they coming back from? How many are fraudulent? Are they being thrown away? Are they being sold?

President Donald Trump: (24:27)
Are they being harvested? It’s a terrible thing, Sean. Despite that, I think we’re going to have a tremendous victory. I saw some polls just now, some real polls not the fake news polls where they put out fake numbers like at CNN and ABC, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, NBC. It’s the same stuff as I had. It’s not nearly as bad as it used to be. It used to be much worse believe it or not. It’s hard to believe when you think of it. But I’m looking at polls that are doing great. We’re doing great in Ohio. We’re doing great in Iowa. We’re doing great in many, many places, many places. Then you come home, you turn on television. You say, gee, I’m four down. I can’t believe it. But they’re the fake polls.

Sean Hannity: (25:05)
Last question, and I only have about a minute for you to answer. And that is the, we now discovered that the CIA had briefed then President Obama on a plan that Hillary Clinton concocted to distract from her email server scandal and concoct this Russia hoax. We also learned that she paid… We already knew she paid for the dirty Russian misinformation dossier, and that the source was Steele’s dossier was a known Russian operative for over 10 years. They still went forward with it. In the 40 seconds, we have left your reaction to this new news?

President Donald Trump: (25:41)
We caught them spying on our campaign. This is treason. We caught them trying to take down a duly elected administration/ president. We have all the evidence down. Now, we have to see what the law enforcement’s going to do with it, but we caught them spying. As sure as you’re sitting there, I assume you’re sitting, but as-

Sean Hannity: (26:03)
I’m sitting.

President Donald Trump: (26:04)
… sure as you’re sitting there, we caught them spying on our campaign. You know that almost better than anybody. And it’s something when you see the New York times, Washington Post get [inaudible 00:26:14] surprises they got everything wrong. They get everything wrong. We caught them spying in our campaign. We caught them trying to take down a duly elected… And then they talk about, we want a peaceful transition of power. Peaceful-

Sean Hannity: (26:28)
We know what Hillary Clinton said.

President Donald Trump: (26:30)
… [crosstalk 00:26:30] answer was that answer last night. Peaceful transition. Look what they did. They spent three and a half years trying to terminate a presidency.

Sean Hannity: (26:37)
Mr. President, we wish you and the First Lady and every American that contracted COVID a very speedy recovery. Very, very positive news on Regeneron and Eli Whitney and the therapeutics, and Operation Warp Speed seems to be moving along nicely. We pray that it gets finished-

President Donald Trump: (26:55)
It’s doing really well.

Sean Hannity: (26:55)
… quickly. All right, sir-

President Donald Trump: (26:56)
Thank you very much.

Sean Hannity: (26:57)
… thank you. 26 days.

President Donald Trump: (26:58)
Thank you, Sean.

Sean Hannity: (26:58)
Let not your heart be trouble…

Oct 9, 2020

Donald Trump Rush Limbaugh Interview “Radio Rally” Transcript October 9
Donald Trump Rush Limbaugh Interview “Radio Rally” Transcript October 9
Rev › Blog › Transcripts › Donald Trump Transcripts › Donald Trump Rush Limbaugh Interview “Radio Rally” Transcript October 9
Donald Trump joined Rush Limbaugh’s radio show for a “radio rally” on October 9. Read the transcript of the interview here.

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Rush Limbaugh: (03:06)
And greetings to you music lovers, thrill seekers, and conversationalists all across the fruited plain. Welcome to the Rush Limbaugh program. Mr. President, it is a distinct honor and privilege to have you with us, and I want you to do something for me, sir.

Donald Trump: (03:19)
Go ahead.

Rush Limbaugh: (03:20)
I want you to imagine you have just landed in a gleaming majestic Air Force One, to the largest radio rally in history. Instead of thousands cheering as you walk up to the stage, there are millions and millions of patriots out there right now anxiously awaiting to hear from you. No doubt, they’re waving Trump flags, wearing their bright red MAGA hats proudly. This, sir, is a mega MAGA rally. And we are all thrilled to be with you today, we are so glad you’re doing better. And welcome to the EIB Network.

Donald Trump: (03:53)
Well, I want to thank you Rush, you’re a fantastic man, a friend of mine. But before I really even knew you as a friend, you were a supporter. And I said, “I know that guy, he’s got a big audience.” But I never even knew the importance of what you do and what you say, and now I do very well. And it keeps us all in the game. And we just got great polls out of, you probably heard, out of Arizona, we’re getting them out of Nevada. The real polls, not the fake polls. We’re getting them out of North Carolina, looking really good. I think Pennsylvania is looking good. Florida is looking great. It’s all a big phony deal they have going Rush, and we’re going to win this. I think it’s going to be a bigger win than we had four years ago.

Rush Limbaugh: (04:34)
Oh, that would be great. [crosstalk 00:04:36]. Mr. President, I have to tell you, from the moment that your appearance was announced, we’ve received… We’ve never had a response like this, sir. I’m in my 32nd year, we have never had a response like, we’ve had thousands and thousands of questions and comments for you. I hope you know how deeply loved you are by so many Americans who have invested their hopes and prayers for this country in you. They want to see you in the White House for four more years. And I’ll tell you what I want. I want them to get to know you as I do. I want them to know that Donald Trump that I know. You are one of the strongest, the most unwavering, the most determined, loyal people I’ve ever met. But you care deeply about the country. You care about everybody. And it’s just a breathtaking thing. The difference in you as portrayed in the media, and who you really are, is breathtaking. Today, I want people to get to know the Donald Trump that I know.

Donald Trump: (05:46)
Well, I appreciate it. And when you suggested this, I immediately jumped on it because your audiences is the biggest. I mean, it’s just incredible. And we have some great friends in Sean Hannity, and so many others, and Mark, and so many people are so great to us. But we have so many people that are so untruthful. And the biggest thing, and the one thing I haven’t figured out is why. If we say we’re going to create a strong military and protect, we’re going to create a strong economy like we’ve never had an economy prior to the plague, and that we’re building it up again stronger than before. Watch, it’s going to be stronger than before. We’re almost at record stock market. Nobody can believe that. And we’re rounding the turn on the pandemic, and I’ll have something to say about that. Because I’m telling you, we have a cure. More than just a therapeutic. We have a cure.

Donald Trump: (06:34)
But so many things that we’ve done, and no matter what you do, they try and find fault. And not only fault, vicious, they’re vicious people. And you say, why wouldn’t they want to have good education, a good military, a strong economy, safety, security? Why would they want to live like they live in Portland, and where they just allow these agitators and anarchists to run the streets? Why would they want that? That’s the only thing I haven’t figured out. Why would they? And why would these big companies like Comcast, I call it Concast. It’s Comcast, but I call it Concast because it’s a con job. That’s NBC mostly. But if you look at that or CNN, which is so pathetic, why would they do that? Why would they want to have a country that’s in turmoil? Because they create it. The fake news is the worst thing we have going. The lame stream, I call it the lame stream media. But you’d think that they’d want to see great education, great country, great security, strong military.

Rush Limbaugh: (07:33)
They don’t want to see you responsible for it. They don’t-

Donald Trump: (07:36)
It’s a crazy thing, Rush. It’s the one thing I’ve never quite figured it out, you know? And they become less wealthy. To a large extent, they become less wealthy. And they’re willing to give up their wealth in order to see the country go to hell. Some day when you figure that out, you’re going to let me know. Okay, [crosstalk 00:07:52]-

Rush Limbaugh: (07:52)
I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you today. I know exactly what this is. We’ve got a lot of questions for you from members of the audience. So before we dive into those, I need to ask you something that I’ve not really had a chance to ask you prior. Before you did this, before 2015 when you came down the escalator and announced you’re a candidate, you had a storybook life. You had an absolutely fabulous life. You had a life that anybody would aspire to. You were very successful. You were happy. You were a media darling. They loved you back then. Why did you decide to run for president and put up with the day in and day out maligning that you get? Because you did not have to do this.

Donald Trump: (08:33)
I’ll tell you, it’s such a great question. And I’d do it again, even though it’s far worse. I never thought I’d be involved with a Russia hoax or a Ukraine hoax, or be impeached because I made a phone call congratulating somebody that I never met to or spoke to on becoming the President of Ukraine. And all of a sudden you get impeached. And it was a perfect phone call. A letter that we actually… Fortunately, we had it transcribed, because they made up the phone call. They said it was totally different. Fortunately, or maybe I wouldn’t be talking to you right now in this capacity at least, fortunately we had it transcribed. It was transcribed, the exact call. If we didn’t, you know what Schiff said, he said it before Congress, he repeated my call. It had no bearing on what I said.

Donald Trump: (09:17)
It was a perfect phone call, and I got impeached over it. I never knew it would be so unpleasant. But nobody has done more in the last three and a half years as president, in the first three and a half years that I have. Nobody. I mean, if you look at rebuilding the military and the economy, and the best employment numbers we’ve ever had. And we’ve cut regulations to a point that’s so incredible nobody’s ever seen. If you look at the Veterans Choice and the VA Accountability, we had people in the VA that would beat up our veterans, and beat them up badly. You know, they’re infirm, they’re not well, they’re not feeling well. And then you had these animals in there that would beat them up, we couldn’t do anything about them. Now with accountability, you have to account. And we fire them, and worse, we get rid of them.

Donald Trump: (10:04)
And our vets have a 91% approval rating, the highest we’ve ever had in the VA. You don’t hear those bad stories about the VA anymore like he used to. And now they get immediate doctor attention, if they have to wait on line. I mean, but that’s so many different things. Right to try, where they can try medicines. And I mean, I can give you an example of that with the COVID. Because I was in not great shape, and we have a medicine that healed me, that fixed me. It’s a great medicine. And had I not gotten it, Rush, it would have been in line for another year probably before they brought it out. Great company, two great companies actually make it, make very similar things. But they both work equally well. And we’re going to