President Trump to C&B: “Our Country Is Going to Hell”

29 Jul 2022

CLAY: Welcome in Clay Travis, Buck Sexton show. We are out at Bedminster golf course. I played it yesterday with the man who is sitting next to us and has turned this into an absolutely illustrious place. In a little over an hour, shotgun start with the LIV golf tour. President Trump, first of all, thanks for having Buck and I out here. Second, what did you think of your performance on the course? How was Bryson DeChambeau? How was Dustin Johnson? How do you break down the field here as we’re a little over an hour ’til it’s underway?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, those two are great. I mean, anybody here is really good. They went and they pick in the cream of the crop and it’s very interesting. But you have a lot of great players. I see Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter and just a lot of big names. It’s incredible what they’ve done in a very short period of time. I think Dustin was a very big one because, if you look over the last probably 12 to 15 years, Dustin Johnson, I think he’s won every year since he’s out, close to setting a record, right, for the winning each year. That’s very tough when you include injury and everything else, that’s tough. But that was big. But it’s very hot. You see how the fans are all over the place. And, you know, there’s controversy — and controversy sometimes brings that, not good or bad, but there is controversy. Perhaps there shouldn’t be.

CLAY: I don’t think there should be when Joe Biden’s showing up doing fist pounds in Saudi Arabia.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: (chuckles) I don’t know, yeah. Isn’t that amazing?

CLAY: I don’t know how you can’t have golf in America.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, it’s amazing, but actually a lot of money goes to charity. A lot of money goes to a lot of good causes. And if you look at Saudi Arabia, the job that they’ve done, they’re invested in probably half the (companies) in this country. So, I guess that means all of them, they shouldn’t be doing it, right? So they put a tremendous amount of money into this tournament, but this whole concept of what they’re doing.

And I think they’ll be very successful. I mean, they have unlimited funds, and they have — you know, thanks to Biden, to a certain extent, and a lot of people, ’cause oil has never been so expensive as, really, it is right now. And that’s not a good thing. But it’s good for Saudi Arabia and it’s good for other countries. But they’ve really put their heart into this. They love the concept of it. They love charity. They do. They give a lot of money to charity. And it seems to be working very well.

BUCK: Mr. President, obviously the news yesterday about a recession, a lot of us were expecting it. I’m sure you were expecting it.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

BUCK: Pretty clear that’s where it was heading. I’m sure you’ve also seen the White House try to say that recession doesn’t mean recession, that things are better than people realize. Two things. One, is this even worse than you thought it would be at this phase under the current leadership? And then, what would you start to do to turn things around?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

BUCK: I mean, you know, if the president’s listening to this, what would you say?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: So, we had the greatest economic machine in history, and then we got hit from the covid. It came in from China. It came from the Wuhan labs, as I’ve been saying right from the beginning, but it came right in, and we got hit and we did it again, and we actually ended up with a higher stock market than before. But we had the greatest economic machine ever. We were energy independent, and we were just about being energy dominant. We would have been bigger than Saudi Arabia and Russia put together. And you could add other countries in there too.

We were bigger than anyone, and we would have been double the size. We did something that nobody thought was possible — and we had $1.87… Don’t forget you can’t really go on January 20th. You have to go before that. You have to go Election Day. But we had $1.87 gasoline, everything was going perfectly, and then we had an election where a lot of things were done very, very improperly. And they’re being found out right now, as we speak — I mean, literally as we speak — and now we have a country that’s a totally different country. We’re not respected by anybody. We’re being laughed at and scorned. We have gasoline that’s now at $5. We’re gonna be $150 a barrel. I had it down to less than $30 a barrel, actually. For a period of time I had it down to nothing (laughing), they were so… (laughing) energetic —

CLAY: It was negative there for a while.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, no. For a period of time, if you… This was no good for Wall Street ’cause you had to take the oil with you, okay. So they’re not into that. They’re into trading paper. But if you took a barrel of oil, they would give you $37. So, you’d walk away with a barrel of oil plus $37. That’s what we had. Now, I had to do something about that because the oil companies wouldn’t have lasted. But we had it at about… Probably 40 is a perfect… They could make some money and the gasoline would be inexpensive, and I filled up the national reserves, the Strategic Reserves, 75 million barrels.

We got 75 million barrels of oil during that period of time. We paid almost nothing for it. We were never so good as that period, and then it’s just been, just been blown. The whole thing has been blown. Now I think the borders… Obviously, it started with the borders, but I think it really started in terms of the psychology of how bad we are is the way they withdrew from Afghanistan, giving the Taliban 70 — I mean, $85 billion worth of equipment. You know, all brand-new — mostly brand-new — trucks, 70,000 trucks.

What used parking lot…? Take the biggest one in the world; they don’t have 70,000 of anything, let alone 70,000 armor-plated trucks and cars and everything else, the best stuff in the world. The goggles? You know, now they can fight at night because we gave them better than we have because they’re the new models, right? All right out of the box. And 700,000 rifles and guns — and 700,000, they’re actually one of the largest arms dealers. I heard they’re the second-largest arms dealer in the world now because they’re selling much of that equipment and then we had the planes and the tanks and everything else that we gave them.

Not even conceivable we took our military out first. We had 13 dead soldiers and many really badly injured during that whole situation, and we left American hostages behind. To this day, there are American hostages. I think there’s never been a time like that, and I believe that that’s when Putin… There was no way that Putin was going into Ukraine with me. That I can say. In fact, even people that are opposed to Trump… I was watching sleepy eyes Chuck Todd a couple of months ago.

He said… He was interviewing the secretary of state and saying, “Well, how come this didn’t happen when Trump was here? For four years, it didn’t happen; it was never even thought to happen,” right? Nobody even thought it was… I think when he saw what happened in Afghanistan, he said, “This is my chance.” It would have never happened. And I think you’re gonna have a problem with China, too, because China is seeing the weakness. And now you have Pelosi. You know, she always has to stick her fingers into things.

CLAY: Do you think she should go to Taiwan?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I think she shouldn’t have started it, for one thing, and now they’re sort of in a bad position because if she doesn’t go, it looks weak, and, if she does go, it looks stupid so you can look either stupid or you could look weak.

CLAY: (laughing)

BUCK: Would you have made, by the way, the offer for Brittney Griner and Viktor Bout that Russia has put forward where they’ll trade this arms dealers — 25 years for arms dealing all over the world — for the WNBA player and also, I believe, a former Marine is being held there?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: She went in there loaded up with drugs into a hostile territory where they’re very vigilant about drugs. They don’t like drugs. And she got caught. And now we’re supposed to get her out — and she makes, you know, a lot of money, I guess. We’re supposed to get her out for an absolute killer and one of the biggest arms dealers in the world. Killed many Americans. Killed many people.

And he’s gonna get a free card, and we’re gonna get her. She knew you don’t go in there loaded up with drugs, and she admitted it. I assume she admitted it without too much force because it is what it is, and it certainly doesn’t seem like a very good trade, does it? He’s absolutely one of the worst in the world, and he’s gonna be given his freedom because a potentially spoiled person goes into Russia loaded up with drugs.

BUCK: And what did you think of Zelensky doing a Vogue cover shoot with his wife recently? Did you see some of the photos?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I haven’t seen that, but that’s, you know, probably not the greatest thing. (chuckles) No, I would say it’s not the greatest thing. Look, that should have — it would have — never happened. We wouldn’t have had even negotiated something. You know, somebody said, “Well, what would you do?” I said we wouldn’t have had to do anything. He wouldn’t have done it with me. He wouldn’t have done it. At a minimum, they should have made a deal.

They could have given up Crimea. They could have done something with NATO, “Okay, we’re not gonna join NATO,” and you’d have a country, because I believe Putin wanted to make a deal. And now I don’t think he wants to make a deal. I think it’s much tougher to make a deal. He’s blowing up the whole place. I mean, he’ll take over the whole place. And it’s very, very sad to watch what happened with Ukraine. Very, very sad. I think if they did a cover shoot… Is that true? I haven’t seen the cover shoot.

BUCK: Yeah, extensive, video, everything, still shots. It really… A lot of people said in the middle of a war it feels like a strange move.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No. Doesn’t sound very good. No. They have to make a deal. They have to make a deal before everything is gonna be over. You have hundreds of thousands of people that are dead now and maimed — some are maimed.

BUCK: You know Putin. When do you think he’d stop? When he gets the whole country? When he takes half of Ukraine? What do you think he wants to do?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I think he’d rather have the whole country. I mean, now that he started. I don’t think he ever intended to start. I think that was a great negotiation. He went, he put troops on the board, and I think it was a great negotiation. I said, “Well, he’s a good negotiator.” I never thought he was gonna go in. He would have never… He knew that he would have been under attack, and he understood that, and I told him that, and it would have never happened, and to see what’s happened now…

And you have hundreds of thousands of people — you may have millions of people, but you have hundreds — when you have buildings like that that are blown up, those are big apartment houses. I know a lot about apartment houses. Those are big buildings and a lot of people didn’t leave. And when you look at those buildings totally burned out, those people are all dead. You lost a lot of people. That’s a deal that could have been settled. Should have never happened. But if it was going to happen, it could have been settled. And he moved 200,000 troops to the border to negotiate, and he couldn’t make a deal — and now I’m not sure you can make a deal very easily. You understand that?

BUCK: Yeah, of course.

CLAY: Joe Biden, obviously, has been a disaster almost uniformly; 75%, recent poll, of Democrats don’t even want him to run.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

CLAY: Do you think he’s going to run? Do you want to run against him? If he does run, does that make you more or less likely to get involved? Does it matter who the Democrats have running?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I beat him last time by a lot. It was a rigged and stolen election. We beat him by a lot. I’d like to certainly run against him. I guess some people would say, “You’re even better off running against Kamala,” if that’s possible. Now, that’s some combination. But I have a feeling he’s not going to. I just don’t… I don’t see it, you know? You see the same things as I do. And we all want to be respectful, we want to be nice. I can’t imagine he does it, but maybe he does.

But the one thing I have seen is, you know, he was totally protected by the press for almost two years. But over the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen very negative stories come out in the press. Stories that were unthinkable a year ago, unthinkable. They wouldn’t have happened. You know, they kept all of the Hunter stuff probably, possibly illegally. You know, we’re suing CNN, we’re gonna be suing a lot of different media outlets because they used the word “big lie,” but it turned out not to be the big lie. The proof is massive.

CLAY: How do you think, by the way, they would have treated your family —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh! Oh!

CLAY: — your son, if they had done anything like what Hunter had done —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It would have been… Well, they treat me that way anyway and we’re so clean, it’s incredible. Anything you do, it’s, “Oh, they treat…” You know, I say Republicans, with me more so… Look, I did something that nobody thought was possible and they just have gotten totally crazy. They say Trump Derangement Syndrome. And, you know, I don’t like even using the term, but they’re crazy. They’ve gone crazy. These people, they’re weaponizing the DOJ and they’re weaponizing law enforcement. When you look at the difference, it’s so incredible. And this is also against Republicans. You know, compare that with what happens to Democrats. And this is deep-seated. This has been going on for a long time, for many, many years.

BUCK: What did you think when you saw the Washington Post’s article earlier this week where they’re suggesting that Merrick Garland, the attorney general, is seriously considering and preparing a possible criminal indictment against you?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I thought it was ridiculous. I thought the story was ridiculous. I haven’t done anything wrong. In fact, the opposite. I’m the one that’s fighting for justice. I’m the one that’s fighting for the truth, so to speak, because the election… I have a right to talk about the election. Look at Stacey Abrams is still talking about her election.

BUCK: We call her the fake governor of Georgia.

CLAY: (laughing) Yeah.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, right. Hillary Clinton talks about the election all the time. Oh, the election, with Russia.

CLAY: She claims you stole it.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

CLAY: She’s been saying it for years.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, I stole the election, and then… But she’s talking about it for years. Nobody says anything. When I say, “Oh, that’s…” and I have proof. I mean, the stuff we have, you’ll see. If you read that letter that was sent to CNN, which I’m sure you guys have devoured, we have many, many pages of all of the corruption. And this is stuff — and they don’t want to talk about it. Nobody ever wants to talk about it. So the way they’re gonna talk about it is in court because what we found is just — and this is determinative stuff. You know, determinative means it is far more —

BUCK: Would have changed the trajectory.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, it’s far more than what you need. But one of the many, many things that happened is that — and they admitted this — they refused to talk about the corruption of Biden and the son, Hunter. Where’s Hunter?

BUCK: By the way, Clay and I have a long-standing bet on the air. Clay believes Hunter Biden will be indicted. I think that the system will protect him at all costs, but I’m starting to feel —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think he’ll make a very inexpensive deal, I think.

CLAY: That’s Buck’s argument.

BUCK: That’s my argument, yeah.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think they’ll do that. I think it’s hard… Look, if this stuff were with my family or if this stuff were even with your families, it would be a horrible, horrible result, and it would have been happened long ago.

BUCK: We remember the emoluments clause article that they were writing about how there were foreign diplomats who were ordering cheeseburgers at the Trump hotel —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah. (laughing)

BUCK: — and so that’s a constitutional violation because maybe they were buying influence in your foreign policy. I remember those pieces. So, we have some idea of what they would do if it were a different administration now.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: You know, I turned down deals that I could have made — and, you know, frankly, I should have made. Nobody would have even said anything compared to when you look at Biden with $500,000 for a painting? How about that?

CLAY: $500,000 for a Hunter Biden painting —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: You know, I’m interviewing artists —

BUCK: (laughing)

CLAY: — is one of the craziest things ever.

BUCK: He’s very talented. (laughing)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’m supposed to do —

CLAY: He’s a very talented painter.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: So, I’m supposed to do a painting for the White House and they give me a list of really great painters, very talented people. You know, they do the presidential paintings, and we have that in the museums —

CLAY: Oh, yeah. Obama had the one where he’s like standing in front of the green? Did you see that one?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, it’s… Well, I hope he likes it. It’s —

CLAY: (laughing) That is a crazy picture.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It’s not very typical, but that’s okay. But, you know, but I’m dealing with some of these artists, and they’re unbelievably talented. And I say, “How much?” Just out of… How much? And they give me prices that’s a tiny fraction of $500,000.

CLAY: Of what Hunter Biden’s getting.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh! He gets $500,000; they get much less, okay, like a fraction of that. And I just think it’s incredible. But, you know, I could have done so many things. I could have, if I wanted to. I purposely… We didn’t do business. It’s sort of funny. If somebody came in from some foreign country and stayed at the hotel in Washington, right?

CLAY: Yeah.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: And they’d stay there, and they pay you five, 600 bucks for a night, it would be a headline: “Trump Accepts Saudi Money,” and I believe… You know, I’ve lost at least a billion, and I expected to. It’s nothing. But I’ll bet you I lost a billion, $2 billion certainly in terms of money that I could have made —

CLAY: — if you’d just run regular business and never gotten —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: If I did… If I just didn’t do it, I’ll bet it would have been anywhere from a billion to two billion. In fact, Forbes said that I’m the only president — and I consider this a great compliment ’cause it was. It said I was honest ’cause I could have made a fortune. As president, I could have made… I’m better than all of these people that are making their money, and I could have made a fortune. But I chose not to do it because it’s… I thought it was inappropriate. I could have built in Saudi Arabia. I could have built in all sorts of countries, including Russia, including any country you name.

I could have built the nicest buildings, and I would have made the greatest land deal, and I would have had them put up all the money. I could have made a fortune. I chose not to do that. And Forbes came out and said, “Well, Trump lost at least $600 million doing this,” and, you know, that’s probably… I think it’s on the low side, but, you know, like, it’s great. I have a great company. I built a great, great company. And I don’t have to do that. But think of this. They say $600 million. I say it was more. But if somebody pays for a $500 room, I’m telling you —

CLAY: (laughing)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: — the emoluments, he had dinner, he had a party, some country had a party at one of his hotels. Incredible.

BUCK: They looked at bar tab. The Trump… I remember there was a real article in the Washington Post, the Trump hotel bar tab for some party —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh, it’s incredible.

BUCK: — of foreign diplomats and they were saying, “This is a…” They said it was a violation of emoluments clause. So, they completely lost their minds.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Plus, I gave up my salary. So, I didn’t take a salary. You know, I was very surprised at that. I figured a lot of presidents didn’t take their salary. The only one they can find out for sure is George Washington.

CLAY: And he got an expense account, I think —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t know.

CLAY: — that actually went way more than what he would have made as a salary, I think.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: George Washington ,supposedly… It’s a long time ago, but everybody… You would have thought FDR, this or that. He was pretty rich.

CLAY: Yeah.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: But presidents took their salary. And, you know, it’s about $450,000 a year; so it’s not nothing, and so for four years, I didn’t take salary. Nobody ever writes that. I’ve never seen it written that I didn’t. In fact when people hear it, they’re surprised. But, no, it cost me hundreds of millions of dollars to be president and I’m so glad I did it. I expected that. But in retrospect when you look at all of these scams that go on with Hunter and, you know, not… The paintings are the least of it.

BUCK: Yeah, the millions of dollars from China —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh, China —

BUCK: — for Hunter’s “expertise” —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: China, yeah.

BUCK: — which is apparently in freebasing and making home videos.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right. (laughing) Doing the whole thing. When you look at what happened, the stuff I was talking about was very… It would have looked very legitimate by comparison.

BUCK: Do you think we’re going into a deep recession here? How concerned are you? I mean, you’ve seen the indicators, you’ve been in the game, you know. And what they did yesterday by passing this bill with Manchin’s help, Democrats are gonna put forward this bill now, $360 billion for green energy. Raising taxes, $125 billion of extra IRS enforcement. It just means they’re gonna be auditing a whole lot more people. That sounds like it’s not gonna help, does it? Where do you think we’re going from here?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: So, did you ever see all over the place — and I’m very proud to see it; I don’t put it out — “Trump was right about everything.” I think I was right about everything. I was right about Ukraine. I was right about oil. I was… I’ve been right about everything. If you look back into your wonderful files — you have a wonderful filing system; most of it’s in your brain, but you might even remember it — I said this stuff was all going to happen. I said it was going to happen. Everything that you’re seeing right now, I said was going to happen. And you go back, so many… It’s really incredible. Sometimes you’ll have fair reporting where they’ll go back and they said, “Trump said this was going to take place.” But, yeah, I said it was gonna happen, and that’s what happened.

CLAY: Let me ask you this. Everything that’s going on — the border, you were right; crime, you were right.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

CLAY: Ukraine, you were right; may end up being right about Taiwan and what China might do.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: And it could lead to World War III, by the way.

CLAY: It could.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It could all lead to World War III. Remember that. Remember I said that too, and that’s what’s really —

BUCK: Very high stakes, obviously, yes.

CLAY: How do you not run? I know you’ve been teasing —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

CLAY: “Hey, I’m gonna make a decision at some point.” How…? Knowing what you know and seeing what you see of Joe Biden, how do you not run in 2024?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Very hard for me not to run, to be honest. And also, the polls indicate that, from the Republican standpoint, it would be easy. And I think from, like… I was up 11 points against Biden the other day. I don’t think he’s gonna run, and I don’t know why 11. You know, how can you only be up…? If you guys ran, you’d be up more than 11.

CLAY: (laughing)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: So, I don’t even understand. You’re up 11 points? I don’t understand how that could be possible. For instance, they show him at 35, or they show him at 39 or they show him at 41. And I say, 41’s a lot. How…? Who is the 41%? Where are these people? Where do they live?

CLAY: That’s what we ask.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, no. They say, “Oh, he’s really getting killed. He’s at 41.” Now, I’m at a great number now. You know I have the best poll numbers now I’ve ever had?

CLAY: It’s true.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It’s amazing. Even at the Charlie Kirk event the other day, Turning Point, I had 79 to 19 to one and zero — and most of them had zero. But 79, that’s a lot.

BUCK: Mr. President, can we…?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes, yeah.

BUCK: I know you gotta run out to the course, you got a big day today, but we want to ask you, midterms coming up.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It is sort of interesting stuff.

BUCK: A lot of really interesting stuff. Midterms coming up —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Let’s do it.

BUCK: — and also, how does my cohost over here do from the tees? You know what I mean?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Very good. I watched him. No, I watched him swing very quietly. I didn’t want to make a big deal.

CLAY: I will accept praise. I don’t deserve it.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

BUCK: Welcome back in to the Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show. We are out here with President Trump at Bedminster where the LIV golf tournament is underway, and he’s sitting here with us right now talking about everything that is going on. Mr. President, of course thanks for staying with us. We know you’re super busy today. We got a big midterm election coming up.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right.

BUCK: We’ve been saying this is the first opportunity the American people will have for a repudiation, for a real slapdown of some of the really bad Democrat ideas that have been running amok for a while now. In this midterm election, Republicans are looking pretty good so far. How are you feeling about your endorsements, and we got a couple of really close races that are gonna be watched on the Senate side.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Mmm-hmm. Yeah.

BUCK: Georgia, for example, with Herschel Walker, Dr. Oz up in Pennsylvania. How are you seeing this field of playing going into a crucial midterm?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: So, the endorsements have been amazing, as you probably have heard, 98.2%. And there’s some controversial ones too. I mean, they’re some ones that were not expected to win and they won big like Dan Cox last week. Nobody heard of Dan. He was a respected guy, but nobody really heard of him, and going against the RINO Larry Hogan in Maryland — and, as you know, he won by 19 points. That’s a lot. And, you know, many, many things like that. I’ll be making an endorsement very shortly today sometime having to do with Michigan.

CLAY: I was just gonna ask you, ’cause I know we got the Tuesday Michigan, Arizona, Missouri, you just endorsed Tudor Dixon up in Michigan. You want to make some news here with us right now?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I gave a good plug. I haven’t endorsed yet, but I may very well do it today. But I did give her a good… (laughing) True, of course. You’re very smart.

CLAY: Yeah. Hey, I’m on the boat of truth.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: (laughing) You might as well.

CLAY: You want to make any other news? You gonna endorse anybody else in these primaries?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I will. I’ll be endorsing a few more people before the election. And, you know, the elections are coming up largely on Tuesday and then next week. In Texas, we were 33-0. We had a perfect record, and I guess overall, we’re about 167-7. And that’s pretty good. And a couple of the seven were not winnable, but there are people that, I mean, they were behind, like, by massive numbers, but I knew ’em, they were nice to me. I said… I tried to talk ’em out of it but I couldn’t do that.

BUCK: That Pennsylvania Senate seat between the Democrat Fetterman, lieutenant governor there, and Dr. Oz —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

BUCK: — who everybody knows, of course, because he’s Dr. Oz, how do you think that’s gonna shape up? And if anybody who has… You know Dr. Oz. Obviously, he was your guy in that race.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Very good man.

BUCK: You have full faith he’ll be a conservative; he’ll get it done?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I had a great Pennsylvania twice, and much better the second time. I would say I did much… I did. You know, I got many millions of more votes the second time, you know, overall. But in Pennsylvania, definitely. And what happened is he was really… You know, they spent like $50 million against him in the primary, and that’s hard. You know, when you get hit by unlimited money in the primary, which is what he did, but he started to come up.

He’s very good, he’s a good politician, he’s a good man, he’s really a compassionate guy. And I think he’s gonna do well. I think he’ll do very well in places like Philadelphia, better than a Republican would normally do. I remember a few years ago they said Romney got zero in Philadelphia. Now, you know that’s not possible, but it is one they cheat. They wouldn’t even give him one vote. They say he got zero; he didn’t get any votes in this big city, which you know isn’t so. But I think Oz will… He’s a very good campaigner. He got hit — again, he got hit so hard — just day after day after day. Then he has to go against somebody else. Now, Fetterman has got a, you know, very big medical problem, and people have to see. You know, he’s not been out at all.

CLAY: They’re trying to do the Biden hide-in-the-basement campaign, effectively.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, they’re doing something. It’s gonna be very interesting. But at some point, you know, the people of Pennsylvania, they have to have a representative. So, it’s gonna be very interesting to see how Oz handles it. Then the other race that’s interesting is Herschel. Herschel is Herschel. He’s a great star, greatest star ever in Georgia. I mean, you have certainly Hank Aaron, you have Herschel, you have a few of them. But Herschel was the best football player, maybe one of the best — a couple of best — in the history of college football. And I think that when people go in there, they’re gonna press the Herschel lever. I believe that. He’s doing pretty well.

CLAY: When you watch Joe Biden speak — and I’m sure you, like us, watch him on screen —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

CLAY: He can’t read a teleprompter, seems to be struggling even to do this. You played 18 holes of golf yesterday. I don’t think Joe Biden could play 18 holes of golf, certainly not with pros —

BUCK: Mini-golf.

CLAY: Yeah, maybe mini-golf.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: He can’t hit the ball out there with me, that I can tell you.

CLAY: (laughing)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Nor could I hit it beyond the tee. (laughing)

CLAY: Yeah, right. Is it difficult to watch him, even? Even… You ran a campaign against him, but Buck and I talk about, look, we don’t want the president to be taken advantage of by Russia and to be taken advantage of by China.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It’s what’s happening.

CLAY: And he can barely control a conversation, it feels like — and you saw him you, sir. China basically slapped him down in that conversation they had the other day —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Incredible.

CLAY: — over the Taiwan situation.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Zero respect. And you know that never happened with me. I had a very good relationship, actually, and then when covid came in, I sort of gave that relationship up. It was… There was a tunnel too far, right? That was a little bit too much.

CLAY: Dr. Fauci drive you crazy?

BUCK: No. I usually just do the opposite of what he said. You know, he wasn’t a big factor for me because I didn’t really use him too much. I don’t know who he was, except he’s been there for like 35, 40 years.

CLAY: Right.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: So, you know, guy’s been there for 40 years, you don’t like to say, “Get out.” You assume he’s okay. But if you think of it, he wanted to keep the country open, let China pour in, and I stopped it. I didn’t do it. I didn’t do the mask thing. He was very interesting, ’cause he was totally… I remember in my office, he was totally against masks. All of a sudden, he became a radical masker, you know, so he changes. But if you look at everything he said, I did almost the opposite of about everything he said, but he’s a very big factor in this administration, and that’s been a bad thing because of the lockdowns. The lockdowns have been a disaster.

BUCK: Are you worried that some of these Democrat states — or Democrat-run states and even at the federal level as long as Biden’s in office — may try to bring back some of these policies whether it’s mandatory masking on planes or just other “covid mitigation measures” as Fauci calls them that haven’t worked?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, when we see monkeypox and these other things that they’re talking about and we see the revival of, you know, all of this nonsense about Biden — ’cause he did a very bad job with the H1N1 virus, as you know, very bad, but it was a smaller situation. But it was a horrible job. A lot of people died that really should not have. And then he was gonna come in and solve the problem. And we did a fantastic job. He took over residue also on our economy. The reason he had a good first six months, you know, it doesn’t just go away like a slice of bread.

BUCK: He said he was gonna “shut down the virus and not shut down the economy,” and it looks like Biden got that in reverse.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think he got it in reverse. But if you look, I mean, covid is all over the place. You know, there wasn’t — and I’m not even blaming him, okay? I’m not blaming. That’s just the way it is. I’m not saying, “Oh, gee.” But I looked at a map yesterday. It’s very interesting. We have an election coming up, and all of a sudden, they’re saying covid is all over the place.

CLAY: The midterm variant is certainly spreading.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: May have to go to mail-in ballots. Crooked mail-in ballots.

BUCK: There are some things we just have to ask you, Mr. President. If you’re gonna announce, when are you gonna announce? Can you tell us that?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, if I’m gonna announce, I’ll have to make a decision, is it going to be…? You know, two words: Is it before or after? And there are reasons for both. Some very good things about earlier. There’s some very good things about later. The way I look at it is if I announce early and we do well, I’ll get credit for having done well — as much as you’ll get ’cause the press won’t give you credit anyway. If I do poorly, I’ll get absolutely… It’ll be horrible. But if I announce later and we do well, I won’t get any credit.

In fact, if I announce later and we don’t do well, whether it’s before or after, they’ll blame me. In other words, if we do badly, they’ll blame me no matter what even if I had nothing to do with it. So I don’t know. I will make a decision. The one thing I can say for sure: Our country’s going to hell. I don’t think we’ve ever been so disrespected. In all of the years that this country’s been around — and it’s been a lot of years — I don’t think we’ve ever been so disrespected as a country. All they talk about…

You know, everything they do is disinformation or misinformation. Call it what you want. Disinformation, whether it’s Russia, Russia, Russia, or whether it’s, “Are we in a recession or not?” it doesn’t matter. The key is to get out of it. Because we are not doing well with employment. You know, they like to say 3.5%. But many millions of people aren’t working so therefore they don’t count those people. So it’s not 3.5. It’s a much higher number than that ’cause people aren’t working. They’re staying at home. So you can’t compare that 3.5 with my 3.3%. You just can’t compare it. People aren’t working. And they don’t have any intention of working. There’s a lot of bad things going on. So we’ll see how it all works. I’ll make a decision fairly soon. And my… I must tell you — and I think I can say this — in my mind, I’ve already made the decision.

CLAY: And as part of that decision, do you feel…? I know you’re a big sports fan. We’re here at the LIV golf event.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah. Right.

CLAY: Do you feel like a heavyweight boxer who won the fight and then the ref’s basically sitting there ringside…? You know how it happens all the time in boxing?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

CLAY: You’ve probably been to some of those fights.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh, I’ve been to many. (chuckling)

CLAY: I know you sat ringside for so many of them, where you’re watching and you say, “This guy clearly won,” and then they come out and they raise the hand of the other guy. Does it feel a little bit like that to you? And then the boxer who feels like he won says, “I gotta get back in the ring. I want to be there and make it so clear to everybody that I kicked this guy’s ass.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well it could very much be a little bit of that. If you look, hey, I got 63 million votes the first time, and I got probably much more than 75 million votes the second time. This is their count. Probably much more. Well, that’s a 12 million-vote difference. So I got 12 million votes. I was told if I got the same 63, I couldn’t lose. I got 75, maybe much more than that. We don’t even know because half of the votes… You know, the tabulations are so messy. If you look at the litigation and you look at different things, they have no idea.

I mean, they have votes where they don’t have any idea what the vote is. They really, literally… Just yesterday I read where New Jersey… Did you see that? They found massive numbers of incorrect votes in New Jersey. If you look at the Arizona totals and you look at the audits where they talk about — if you look at Detroit and you look at different places, Philadelphia — it was so off. So, I was told that if I got 63 million, I win easy, by the best pollsters. You know, McLaughlin and others, great pollsters. Obama got much less the second time, and he easily won, right? I got much more the second time. I got millions and millions of votes more, and I lost.

CLAY: Most votes ever for any sitting president.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No sitting president’s ever even come close, and I lost. It was a rigged election. It was… I hope they don’t take you off the air, but if they do, please, just delete this, because I don’t want to see you guys go off the air.

CLAY: (laughing)

BUCK: We are an unsinkable aircraft carrier of free speech.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It was a rigged and stolen election, and people know it. And they’re angry about it. They’re very angry about it. And that’s why you had January 6th. And they don’t show the crowds of January 6th. All they do is show the relatively small number of people that went down peacefully and patriotically — ’cause I told ’em, peacefully and patriotically. How good…? You know, how much better can you do than that? But it was a very small number compared to the crowd. I believe it was the biggest crowd I’ve ever spoken before. You never see pictures of that crowd. Do you notice that?

I think the numbers were astronomical. I think it was bigger than Inauguration Day. I think it was the biggest crowd I’ve spoken to. And I’ve spoken to really big crowds at the Washington Monument, you know, et cetera. And you never see those pictures. The whole thing is rigged. It’s all disinformation. Everything with them is disinformation, including our current disinformation, “We’re not in a recession,” because it’s not that important that they should… They’re fighting so hard to convince people they’re not…

If we are, we are, and let’s get out of it. I mean, don’t spend all your time trying for the words. It’s all disinformation with them, everything, and you can’t run a country like that. What they do well is elections. They cheat well in elections. That’s what they do well. If they would use that same genius for good things like getting our country back on track, we’d be… I’d actually be happy, because our country, I don’t believe, has ever been lower. We have never been lower than this.

We have never been so disrespected. We’ve never been in a situation like this. When you see Afghanistan, the way we got out of Afghanistan… You know, we didn’t lose one soldier in 18 months, fellas, not one soldier in 18 months. I spoke to Abdul, the head of the Taliban, and I let him no (chuckles), “Abdul, no soldiers. Don’t do it. Don’t do it, Abdul,” and the bottom line, for 18 months… People don’t know that. You lose people in Chicago every day. You lose people all over these Democrat-run cities all the time.

In Afghanistan, we didn’t lose one soldier for 18 months, and that’s all proven stuff. Even Biden got up and admitted it. They were angry at him. They said, “Don’t say that! That’s, you know, bad for us that you say that.” He said it. He didn’t want to say it. He just said it, going back to your previous question. But think of it. We lost… What we did with Afghanistan, we could have gotten out of there with dignity — and I was the one that got it down to a small number of soldiers. I would have kept Bagram because of China, because it’s one hour away from where they make their nuclear weapons.

We left one of the biggest military bases in the world; we gave it to China. China’s gonna take it over. I think they already have. But think of it. So, we left Bagram to them. We should have kept Bagram and gotten out. But when you get out, you take your soldiers out last. You don’t take them out first. As soon as we took our soldiers out, they had a field day with us. It is so sad to see what’s happened with our country. And that’s why you have Russia-Ukraine, and that’s why you may very well have Taiwan. And you could end up in World War III. And this would be a world war the likes of which nobody’s ever seen because the weaponry is so powerful, nuclear and other things. But the weaponry is so powerful. We’ve never been in this position. And we have a man who’s not capable — and wasn’t capable in prime time, by the way, but he’s certainly not capable now. We’re in big trouble as a country.

BUCK: President Trump, really appreciate joining us today here on Clay and Buck. Thanks so much for making the time.

CLAY: Thank you, sir.

BUCK: Great to see you, as always.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much, guys.



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