Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mr. Trump Speaks, Sort Of

7/19/2017 Interview excerpts

On health care:

Obama worked so hard. They had 60 in the Senate. They had big majorities and had the White House. I mean, ended up giving away the state of Nebraska. They owned the state of Nebraska. Right. Gave it away.

So pre-existing conditions are a tough deal. Because you are basically saying from the moment the insurance, you’re 21 years old, you start working and you’re paying $12 a year for insurance, and by the time you’re 70, you get a nice plan. [Seems to think health insurance is the same as life insurance.]

I said it from the beginning. No. 1, you know, a lot of the papers were saying — actually, these guys couldn’t believe it, how much I know about it. I know a lot about health care.

It’s a mess. One of the things you get out of this, you get major tax cuts, and reform. And if you add what the people are going to save in the middle income brackets, if you add that to what they’re saving with health care, this is like a windfall for the country, for the people. [Note: Middle-class would get an average tax cut of $280. The top .1% would get a tax cut of $250,000.]

His trip to Poland:

So I go to Poland and make a speech. Enemies of mine in the media, enemies of mine are saying it was the greatest speech ever made on foreign soil by a president.

[On 7/25 he talked about his 7/24 speech at the Boy Scouts Jamboree. "I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful.” The Boy Scouts denied the quote. They did issue a statement in which they apologized for Trump's speech.]

On President Emmanuel Macron of France and his Paris trip:

He’s a great guy. Smart. Strong. Loves holding my hand...People don’t realize he loves holding my hand. And that’s good, as far as that goes.

...the Bastille Day parade was — now that was a super-duper — O.K. I mean, that was very much more than normal...You know, it was two hours, and the parade ended. It didn’t go a whole day. They didn’t go crazy. You don’t want to leave, but you have to. Or you want to leave, really.

On Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany:

I have a very good relationship with Merkel....She actually called me, and she said, um, “You know, I think we get along very well.”

On Napoleon:

We toured the museum, we went to Napoleon’s tomb...Well, Napoleon finished a little bit bad...He did so many things even beyond [designing Paris]. And his one problem is he didn’t go to Russia that night because he had extracurricular activities, and they froze to death.

On regulations and bills signed:

...for the time in office, five months and couple of weeks, I think I’ve done more than anyone else...I heard that Harry Truman was first, and then we beat him...I’ve given the farmers back their farms. I’ve given the builders back their land to build houses and to build other things.

The energy stuff is going really well.

People can’t get loans to buy a pizza parlor, to buy a — you know, I saw out on the trail — people say, "Mr. Trump, we’ve dealt with banks, my own bank, and they can’t loan me anymore."...[The banks] because of statutory [garbled], they can’t loan to that kind of a business.

Was asked about dinner with Vladimir Putin:

So, that dinner was a very long time planned dinner. And what it was was an evening at the opera. It was a final night goodbye from Germany and from Chancellor Merkel. It was her dinner. It was, you know, everybody knew about it. It was well-known.

...everybody walked in to see the opera. Then the opera ended. Then we walked into a big room where they had dinner...quite a few people. I would say you have 20 times two, so you had 40, and then you probably had another 10 or 15 had some others also.

[Melania] was sitting next to Putin...toward dessert I went down just to say hello to Melania, and while I was there I said hello to Putin...Just talked about — things. Actually, it was very interesting, we talked about adoption...which is interesting because it was a part of the conversation that Don [Jr., Mr. Trump’s son] had in that meeting. As I’ve said — most other people, you know, when they call up and say, “By the way, we have information on your opponent,” I think most politicians — I was just with a lot of people [lunch with Senators], they said [inaudible], “Who wouldn’t have taken a meeting like that?”

Asked about the email and the phrase “is part of Russia and its government’s support of Mr. Trump.”:

Well, Hillary did the reset....Hillary Clinton was dying to get back with Russia. She did the uranium deal, which is a horrible thing...and got a lot of money.

[Hillary] was opposed to sanctions, strongly opposed to sanctions on Russia.

Crimea was gone during the Obama administration, and he gave, he allowed it to get away. You know, he can talk tough all he wants, in the meantime he talked tough to North Korea. And he didn’t actually. He didn’t talk tough to North Korea. You know, we have a big problem with North Korea. Big. Big, big. You look at all of the things, you look at the line in the sand. The red line in the sand in Syria. He didn’t do the shot. I did the shot.

All I know is this: When somebody calls up and they say, “We have infor—” Look what they did to me with Russia [the dossier], and it was totally phony stuff...They make up whatever they want. Just not my thing — plus, I have witnesses, because I went there with a group of people...I said, this is — honestly, it was so wrong, and they didn’t know I was just there for a very short period of time...I think [Comey] shared [the dossier] so that I would — because the other three people left, and he showed it to me...he shared it so that I would think he had it out there.

Asked "was it a political mistake to have fired [Comey], given what’s happened?":

I think I did a great thing for the American people.

I feel like it was very dishonest when he wouldn’t say what he knew he said to the public. I thought that was very honest.

Asked about what Mueller, the special counsel in the Russia investigation, can look at:

I don’t know. Nobody has contacted me about anything. Because I have done nothing wrong. A special counsel should never have been appointed in this case.

On Jeff Sessions:

How do you take a job and then recuse yourself?...It’s extremely unfair, and that’s a mild word, to the president. So he recuses himself. I then end up with a second man, who’s a deputy...Rod Rosenstein, who is from Baltimore. There are very few Republicans in Baltimore, if any.

On Comey:

He illegally leaks, and everyone thinks it is illegal, and by the way, it looks like it’s classified and all that stuff.

He said I said “hope” — “I hope you can treat Flynn good” or something like that. I didn’t say anything...But even if he did — like I said at the news conference on the, you know, Rose Garden — even if I did, that’s not — other people go a step further. I could have ended that whole thing just by saying — they say it can’t be obstruction because you can say: “It’s ended. It’s over. Period.”

...unemployment is the lowest it’s been in 16 years. The stock market is the highest it’s ever been. It’s up almost 20 percent since I took office. And we’re working hard on health care. Um, the Russian investigation — it’s not an investigation, it’s not on me — you know, they’re looking at a lot of things.

Asked again about the email:

I didn’t look into it very closely, to be honest with you...I just heard there was an email requesting a meeting or something — yeah, requesting a meeting. That they have information on Hillary Clinton, and I said — I mean, this was standard political stuff...I didn’t know anything about the meeting...It must have been a very important — must have been a very unimportant meeting, because I never even heard about it...nobody told me. I didn’t know noth—— It’s a very unimportant — sounded like a very unimportant meeting.

Asked about how three hours after that meeting, he said he was going to give a speech about Hillary Clinton’s corrupt dealings with Russia and other countries:

I made many of those speeches...I’d go after her all the time...But there was something about the book, “Clinton Cash,” came out [The book had come out a year prior.] ...I was talking about, she deleted and bleached, which nobody does because of the cost...33,000 emails...

[U]nless somebody said that she shot somebody in the back, there wasn’t much I could add to my repertoire.

But when you say that — and think about this for a second. I don’t think — you could give me a whole string of new information. I don’t think I could really have — there’s only so much. You know, you can only say many things. After that it gets boring, O.K.?

Asked about Mueller going beyond the Russia investigation, if that would be crossing a line:

I would say yeah. I would say yes. By the way, I would say, I don’t — I don’t — I mean, it’s possible there’s a condo or something, so, you know, I sell a lot of condo units, and somebody from Russia buys a condo, who knows? I don’t make money from Russia. In fact, I put out a letter saying that I don’t make — from one of the most highly respected law firms, accounting firms. I don’t have buildings in Russia. They said I own buildings in Russia. I don’t. They said I made money from Russia. I don’t. It’s not my thing. I don’t, I don’t do that. Over the years, I’ve looked at maybe doing a deal in Russia, but I never did one [other than the Miss Universe pageant].

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