President Donald Trump Called into ‘Fox and Friends’ This Morning. Here Are the Bizarre Interview Highlights
President Donald Trump called into Fox and Friends Thursday morning to talk about a range of topics from his visit with French President Emanuel Macron (“we accomplished a lot, more than anyone knows”) to Kanye West’s tweets, to his support for YouTubers Diamond and Silk (“Diamond and Silk are warriors!”).
Trump’s Fox and Friends interview, which took place on First Lady Melania’s birthday (“I got her a beautiful card and some beautiful flowers,” Trump said), included vehement denials of any collusion with Russia and a glowing self-assessment of his time in office so far. Here also spoke about other topics, outlined below.
On the Justice Department
The president expressed displeasure with the Department of Justice.
“I’m very disappointed in my justice department,” he said. “They have a witch hunt against the president of the United States going on.”
He noted that he has chosen to remain uninvolved with the department throughout the Russia investigation, but hinted that he may eventually intervene.
“I have taken the position — and I don’t have to take this position and maybe I’ll change — that I will not be involved with the Justice Department. I’ll wait until this is over,” Trump said.
On his meeting with North Korea
Trump criticized the Obama administration and former Secretary of State John Kerry for not handling tensions with North Korea sooner.
“This should have been settled long before I came into office,” he said, calling Kerry “the worst negotiator” he’s ever seen.
But he noted that plans for his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in May are “going very well,” with “three or four dates” and “five locations” in consideration for their summit.
President Trump blamed partisan bias for the White House doctor’s decision to take himself out of the running for Veteran Affairs director. His nomination has been slowed by alleged misconduct, including liberally administering prescription drugs, creating a hostile work environment for subordinates, and being drunk on the job.
Still, the president cited his military record and positive reviews from Obama and George W. Bush, calling the accusations against him false.
“Nobody has the experience to run the VA,” he added. “He would have done a great job.”
Trump also complained that many other appointees, including judges, are held up in the approval process in Congress.
“The Democrats are obstructionists,” he said. “It’s a disgrace what’s happening.”
The president said he did watch the interview with former FBI director James Comey on CNN Wednesday night.
“His performance, by the way, was horrible,” Trump said. He blasted Comey as a criminal, calling him a “leaker and a liar.”
“He is guilty of crimes,” the president said. “I did a great thing for the American people by firing him.”
Trump questioned the accuracy of Comey’s memos about his interactions with the president and also criticized former deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe. “You look at the corruption at the top of the FBI. It’s a disgrace,” he said.
“It’s a horrible thing that’s going on and yet I’ve accomplished — with all of this going on — more than any president in the first year in our history. Even the enemies and the haters admit that,” Trump said about the special counsel investigation.
He questioned the biases of the people working on the case, noting that 13 are Democrats. He also insisted that the refusal by Democrats to turn DNC server information over to law enforcement made it more likely that Democrats were colluding with Russia.
“There’s no collusion with me and the Russians,” he said. “Nobody’s been tougher to Russia than I am. You can ask President Putin about that.”
“This doesn’t have to do with me, Michael is a businessman,” the president said. “I have nothing to do with his business.”
He emphasized the small role Cohen played in his own legal affairs.
“Just so you understand, I have many attorneys. So many attorneys you wouldn’t even believe it,” Trump said. “He represented me on this crazy Stormy Daniels deal, and from what I can see he did absolutely nothing wrong.”
Wednesday, Kanye West tweeted his support for President Trump, who then thanked him on Twitter.
“He’s got good taste,” the president said. “I have known Kanye a little bit.”
Trump pointed to low unemployment numbers for women and minorities as proof that his administration is helping communities improve their economic circumstances, saying West recognizes the progress.
Fox and Friends hosts noted that Chance the Rapper tweeted “black people don’t have to be democrats” on Wednesday. Trump responded that he thinks the number of black voters in the Republican party will increase.
On the 2018 midterms
“I think we’re going to do better than people think,” the president said.
Trump noted that the GOP won the special election in Arizona this week “where the Democrats spent a fortune.”
On “Fake News” and the 2016 Election
The president hit his favorite highlights in the interview with Fox and Friends, criticizing CNN and NBC, among others, as “fake news,” and bragging about his electoral college win.
“The electoral college is set up perfectly for the Democrats,” he said, “They should never lose the electoral college and they did.”
Trump repeated the claim that the Russia investigation is an effort by Democrats to save face after an embarrassing loss, citing the number of electoral votes he won.
On how he would grade his time in office so far
“I would give myself an A+,” Trump said. “Nobody has done what I’ve been able to do and I’ve done it despite the fact that I have a phony cloud over my head that doesn’t exist.”
He spoke about accomplishments like deregulation and the Republican tax bill, but mostly emphasized the challenges he’s faced during his first year.
“I’m fighting a battle against a horrible group of deep-seated people — drain the swamp — that are coming up with all sorts of phony charges against me and they’re not bringing up real charges against the other side,” the president said. “So we have a phony deal going on and it’s a cloud over my head. And I’ve been able to really escape that cloud, because the message now everyone knows now it’s a fix, it’s a witch hunt.”