Full Transcript: Power Hour with President Trump

29 Jun 2021

CLAY: We are excited now to be joined by the very first guest on the program, the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump. Mr. President, we appreciate you joining us.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you both. Thank you both. Congratulations.

CLAY: Well, we’re excited about the opportunity to continue to fight for the things that Rush cared about so much.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh, yeah.

CLAY: And you were a big part of coming on with his show and a big part of his success story.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, he was a fantastic man. And, you know, it’s incredible ’cause I didn’t really know him. Maybe met him once briefly. And when I ran for politics, still didn’t know him, and he liked what I said from the day I came down the escalator and he was right there at the beginning, and then I got to know him. And when you get to know him, you get to love him. And he was great. He was. What a voice. What a voice.

BUCK: President Trump, Buck here.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Hi, Buck.

BUCK: When you gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom so many of us just got chills. That was really one of the great moments, I thought, of your presidency in terms of recognizing somebody who had had such an impact on the country. We want to know what you think about what’s going on right now. How do you view this Biden administration now that we’re months into it?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, it’s catastrophic, if you look at the border, if you look at the way other countries are treating us. They treat us like dirt. Even Europe, of course, when I say “even,” Europe was always bad. Europe treats us so bad economically and even militarily, if you look at NATO. I got $430 billion by being strong on the NATO. They weren’t paying their bills.

They weren’t paying. Germany was at 1%. They’re supposed to be at 2%, and 2% is very low. So we were defending them and getting — excuse me, I hate to use the language but it’s very descriptive — getting screwed on trade. You know, I’d say, “How many…?” I said, “Angela, how many Chevrolets right now are being sold in Munich?” And (laughs) she looks at me and smiles.

You know, in the meantime we take the Mercedes and we take their cars and we sell ’em like hotcakes, right? So, no. It was a one-way street, both on trade and on the military. You know, NATO, they just weren’t paying their bills. And then they make a deal with Russia where they’re paying billions and billions of dollars for energy coming from Russia with the pipeline.

So, they have the energy pouring in, they’re paying billions of dollars, and we defend them. So I said to them, I said, “Listen. You’re giving all this money to a country and then we’re supposed to defend you from that country. What’s this all about?” And they just look, and they sort of smile. And I had it largely changed. It was changing rapidly. But, you know, a big thing was NATO: $430 billion. Think of that. That’s some number. We did a great job.

CLAY: We’re talking to President Donald Trump, 45 himself. You got criticized to the Nth degree for every press conference you did. Media talked about the 25th Amendment. You got Joe Biden now traveling around trying to negotiate deals, and I’m sure you’ve watched some of his press conferences. Do you feel like he’s going to be able to finish his term? Do you think Kamala Harris might end up president before we even get to 2024?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, I have to be fair. I don’t think I got criticized. I think they thought certain things, but they didn’t think he was a dummy, meaning your friend Trump. They never said that, and the 25th… You know, I did something that I noticed a lot of people are recommending. I took a test, a cognitive test — which they say is pretty tough — and I aced the test. And they put it out, and I never heard…

It was actually a great thing, I did it. And it was risky ’cause if you do badly it gets reported, okay? You know, there are numerous doctors watching, and it’s at a certain hospital that’s very public. So, if you do badly… But I did it, and I did it very well — I did, I think, perfectly — and a lot of people are suggesting that he do that. He would not pass it. He would not do well on it.

But a lot of people are suggesting that he do that. And look. I watch and you watch and we see the same things and you don’t want to talk about it. But the rest of the world, if they don’t respect your president, you have a problem. And they had a lot respect for our country six months ago and before.

They had a lot of respect. You wouldn’t have seen missiles flying all over the place into Israel. You wouldn’t have seen even China talking the way they spoke to our people, our representatives in Alaska. They never spoke to us that way.

BUCK: We’re speaking with former president Donald J. Trump here on the show, for anyone who’s joining us as we’re going. President Trump, Buck here. I just want to know, we had Kamala just barely beat you to the border. Now, she’s the border czar. You’re not the border czar right now. We want to know how you think the border situation is unfolding. Is it the worst it’s ever been? Is that fair to say?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: In history, absolutely. You know, they were saying it’s the worst in 20 years. I say (laughing), “What are you talking about, 20 years? It’s by far the worst in history,” and seven months ago, it was the best in history. It was the best we’ve ever had. That included drugs. That included human trafficking where we had it very strongly stopped.

You know, you’re never gonna make it perfect. It’s a big, long border. But we had it stopped. The wall. We built, you know, almost 500 miles of it and this guy stopped the final little portion of it, and, “You can’t do that!” And now they want to build it, I understand.

They want to build it and they’re having a hard time with the contractors ’cause the contractors say, “Well, you told us to stop. So give us five times more money than we would have gotten had we just completed it.” So it was — and, you know, the reason that frankly it took 2-1/2 years is because I had to win all these court cases.

We won, I think, 11 court cases to build it, many of them brought on by Congress. So, you know, we had the best border we’d ever had, as you know. I mean, you just look at those numbers. We had the best border we ever had, and we now have by far, by far the worst border. And giving up “stay in Mexico” is catastrophic. Catch-and-release!

Giving that up… You know, you catch the people… They can be murderers, they could be anything. You catch ’em, you take their name and you release ’em into our country never to be seen again. They’re supposed to come back. But they never do come back. They’re supposed to come back for a trial. But they never come back.

CLAY: I know you started your rallies. You just had one in Ohio.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

CLAY: How much of a challenge is it for you to have to sit and watch on the sidelines now in some way, and when do you think you need to make a decision if you are going to run in 2024? Do you have a calendar out in front of you —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No.

CLAY: — where you look at the primary season and everything else? What’s the deadline in your mind to make a decision? I know it’s still out there a ways —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right.

CLAY: — but do you have a date in mind?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Okay. Well, your first part, it’s not a challenge per se, but it’s sad to watch, because we were… I thought I was gonna win easily. We did win easily. You look at what’s happening now in Georgia. You take a look at Arizona; we’ll see what happens with that. Those numbers are gonna be coming out soon. And others are looks at it.

Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, they’re all looking. I think they’ll look at Michigan ’cause what happened in Detroit was horrendous, I mean, horrendous. And the elections were all very, very close. I think was 40,000 for the whole country. And what they did was disgraceful. So I think that’s all coming out. It’s coming out soon. It’s coming out now.

And the reason we had so many people… People say anywhere from 25 to 42,000. The haters say 25. The people that like say 42. You know, there’s always a big difference. But we had… I think we did have more than 42,000 people, and that was on quick notice, and the reason is they love the job that we did.

I mean, you guys love the job that we did. But they loved the job we did on the border. They loved the job we did with China and the tariffs. Did you notice he hasn’t taken the tariffs off yet? You know why? Because they’re taking in tens of billions of dollars. We saved our steel.

Our steel industry was going to be totally abandoned and closed. We wouldn’t have had a steel plant in the country. You know, I put 25% tariffs on all of the dumped steel coming in from China. And I’ll tell you, the people that love me the most are the steel companies and the steelworkers because we saved it, and aluminum.

But we saved it. And you need steel. Steel is not something… You need steel for the military, okay? You’re not gonna say, “Gee, we’ll have our tanks built in China,” right? That’s just what we need. So I saved it, and people — and, by the way, many other industries too. USMCA.

We got that done, as opposed to NAFTA, which was the worst the trade deal in history. I mean, it was so in… You know, when they made that deal, there was a huge error made, and everyone knew it was an error. And it was made on the first day. They realized it on the second day that they made an absolute error. It was a pure error; everyone knew it. They never changed it — an error totally to our disadvantage, they never changed it.

BUCK: President Trump, can we ask you about your thinking, ’cause so many of the people listening right now — and honestly just the whole country is curious. Just tell us about your thinking when it comes to 2024 and what your calculations are at this point as to whether you are going to run again.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: So I’m watching. And again, it’s a frightening thing to see when you’re looking at the border, when you’re looking at trade, when you’re looking at all — and when you look at inflation. You know, when I left, gasoline was less than $2, and our industry was flourishing.

So you had the combination of inexpensive — it was $1.87, and now it’s gonna go through… It’s already through the roof. It’s, what, 3-1/2 dollars? But it’s gonna be a number that… I think a number that you have never seen before. In fact, I got it so low that we had to adjust. (chuckles) It was… You remember it was dropping.

We were energy independent. We got it down to zero. You remember that day, right? We got it down. We had to get it up a little bit ’cause, you know, we do have an energy industry and oil and gas industry. But, no, we had tremendous… So you look at that. Look at the cost of lumber: $70,000 more to build one house for lumber.

And, you know, we had lumber very, very low. Canada took advantage of us on lumber, and we did that when we did the trade detail. We took a great thing. But then these guys come in and they put environmental restrictions on all our forest so you can’t get trees. We’re forced to go to Canada, and lumber’s gone through the roof — and for other reasons.

But lumber’s gone just terrible what’s happened, and so many other things. Now, inflation is a disaster, okay? It gets very ugly, and you saw that during the Carter years. I think prime rate went to 21%, and a lot of other bad things happened. That was a bad, bad moment for this country, and that was caused by inflation, and the inflation that we have in this country now is…

If you take a look at cost of goods, but just look at oil, what’s going on with that. Look at gasoline, the cost of gasoline. Look at what’s happening. It’s not possible! We were energy independent. We were totally energy independent just a few months ago. We’re not anymore. The leases are being canceled. They make it impossible to drill. And I said this during the debates, and nobody wanted to believe it. Far worse! It’s actually far worse than anybody thought.

BUCK: President Trump?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: And watch your guns. Watch your Second Amendment. Watch all of those things ’cause that’s gonna be next. And they run through Mitch McConnell like he’s a baby. He’s hopeless and he can’t stop anything. But they run through. I watched the Republican senators, many of them total RINOs. And they walk into the White House every time to work on the infrastructure bill, and they walk out; they get nothing. They get nothing, and they keep walking in. You know, the same people, some of them. And it’s sort of pathetic to watch, actually.

CLAY: You know, one of the biggest people who need help right now with you out of office is your old friends at CNN.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

CLAY: I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but their ratings have declined by 75% since you left office.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Mmm-hmm. Yeah.

CLAY: Do you feel like Jake Tapper’s maybe missing you pretty big right now, Don Lemon, that crew?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, it’s probably the only good thing about me not being in office, I guess. (chuckles)

CLAY: Yeah.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: But, no, he went down big, and I just saw some numbers. I guess they’re down 78/79%. Whoever heard of numbers like that, down? They’re all down, by the way. I must tell you. You know, they’re all down, every one. I see your friend Chris Wallace is way down. So that’s a different one. But “MSDNC” is way down. I mean, numbers that probably they never thought they’d see. But it’s boring. It’s boring.

BUCK: That’s right.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t watch much anymore. I used to watch all the time. I don’t watch anymore. Now, of course, I watch Sean and I watch Laura and I watch (chuckles) certain people but, you know, I don’t watch much.

BUCK: President Trump, I actually wanted to ask you about that —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, go ahead.

BUCK: — because last night Tucker Carlson said very clearly and openly that he believes that he might have been targeted — his communications — by the NSA under the Biden administration. You had people in your campaign who were targeted by the deep state, as we know, and then there were —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I was targeted. Yeah, me. How about me?

BUCK: Yeah. (chuckles)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Do you remember when I said…? Hey, Buck, do you remember? You and I talked about this in the Oval Office? Do you remember I said that? I put out a tweet at that time. Now I put out press releases, and it means the same thing. But I put out a tweet, said, “I understand that I was targeted and that they were spying on my campaign.” Do you remember that?

BUCK: Yes.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: And all hell broke out. I thought it was just… To me it was like (chuckles), “Ho-hum,” the tweet. And I get a call like four seconds later, “Sir, did you just say? ” Because the lines of every one I’ve ever done, I’ve never had a response like that. Maybe covfefe.

BUCK: What was your thought when you heard that Tucker Carlson —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Maybe. I think maybe covfefe. Covfefe, maybe.

BUCK: (laughing) Covfefe.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Other than that.

BUCK: What was your thought when you heard Tucker Carlson say that he thinks he’s being spied on?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think it’s true. It’s totally unbelievable. If you look at the whole thing with what’s gone on and what’s going on right now, no, I think it’s true. They’re trying to suppress the vote. They’re trying to suppress going into elections to find voter fraud. They want those people suppressed. They don’t want anything to do with that because the election was totally fraudulent.

So the people that are investigating the election — and there are a lot of them all over the country now. The people that are — and finding things that you see come out now, you see it’s coming out now. But wait ’til you see when the results come out, they don’t want anything to do… In fact, when they talk about silencing, “Let’s silence everybody,” the thing they want to silence?

They don’t want people looking into the election because they’ve been caught. Election was fake. And those states, those so-called states that we lost, we won. And we won ’em big. We won ’em big. And that stuff is starting to come out now, and that’s the thing they don’t want. That’s what they really want silenced.

BUCK: Are you still thinking about building your own platform —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes.

BUCK: — where you won’t have to worry about left-wing censorship?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: You can’t be censored by Amazon and by Google and by Apple and by all these. You know, that’s the problem. You saw what happened with Parler — or “parlay,” as they sometimes call it. But you take a look at what happened to Parler and others. They get shut down as soon as somebody puts something that’s somewhat controversial.

No, you have to have your own cloud or you have to have your own means of getting it out, because as soon as you get big or powerful or you start saying anything that’s somewhat conservative, they will censor you, and they will take off, which is what they did with Parler, which was a very sad day, I thought.

CLAY: We’re talking to Donald Trump. President, you got criticized for many things, but one of the things you got most vociferously criticized for was saying that you thought covid had come from a Chinese lab.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

CLAY: Now all of a sudden, everybody is circling back and saying, “Oh, maybe this did happen,” but all of these different tech platforms disallowed the conversation and debate to actually take place.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right.

CLAY: Are you still as confident now as you were last year when you made those allegations that covid came from a Chinese lab? And what should the consequences be for China for the lies that they spread about where covid came from and allowing this to spread around the world as opposed to being transparent with everybody from the get-go?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Probably more confident. And, you know, I felt very confident last time, but I would say even more now in retrospect. Because a lot of the phony things that they were saying about, you know, it came from here, it came from a thousand miles away, from a bat colony a thousand miles away. Much of that has really been disproven. And I would say more confident. And it was amazing ’cause that was another one.

You know, I talk about when I said, “They’re spying on my campaign,” the place went nuts. When I said that it came from the lab in Wuhan, people went crazy. Now, it could be… It’s probably that I said it. In other words, if somebody else… I said hydroxychloroquine and people went crazy. If I would have said, “Do not under any circumstances take hydroxychloroquine,” probably they would have said, “Oh, that’s terrible. Let’s take it,” right?

CLAY: (laughing)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: You know, it’s one of those things. So they like to go had to explain, ’cause they think it’s good politically. I actually don’t. But now almost all of those things, maybe all of them I’ve been proven correct on. I think they have now a list of 18 different items. It was 10 two or three weeks ago, but they found other ones.

You know, they just go against — and no matter what you do, they want to go against. These people, I don’t believe they love our country. I’ll be honest with you. But with the lab and Wuhan — and, frankly, even if you didn’t or weren’t sure, why would they be so vociferous? You remember, they went crazy when I said that, and they tried to…

Now they’re all saying that I was right. But they’ve said that about a lot of things. Almost all of the things that I said, I was right. When I said that terrorists caused such-and-such an attack — and I said it early, like about two seconds after the attack, right? They’d said, “This is terrible.” Well, I’m 18-0 on those attacks, you know.

It’s like, they would take a little bit longer. In many cases, they wouldn’t want to say it. And in many cases, they didn’t say it. But they do have a tendency. And I guess they think it’s good politics. You know, I don’t see why it’s good politics. As far as China is concerned, they should pay us reparations. They should pay us for the damage that they’ve caused. And, frankly, the damage they’ve caused to the world.

Now, they don’t have enough money to do that. They don’t have nearly enough money to pay for the damages. But they should pay us $10 trillion. They should pay the world a lot. But, you know, we took a tremendous hit. And because of what we did and because I came up with the vaccine in nine months instead of…

I did it in less than nine months. It was supposed to be… Buck, you knew this. It was supposed to be five years, three years, but it will never happen. By that time every would have been dead. This would have been… If I didn’t do that, this would have been another Spanish flu of 1917 where perhaps a hundred million people died.

BUCK: President Trump, can I ask, ’cause Los Angeles County is reinstituting — this just today — indoor mask mandates. It seems like there are still people, and they are overwhelmingly your most vocal critics — so it’s interesting there’s a crossover there — who really want to take us back into lockdowns and what some of us call Fauci-ism.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

BUCK: Are you worried that that’s where we’re heading, and is there a part of you that wishes that you had fired Dr. Fauci when you could have?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I did the opposite of what he said every time. So if you really look, you know, he was talking about doing different things. He didn’t want to close… (chuckling) Actually, I was more severe than him in certain things. I closed it to China very early in January if you remember.

And three months later he was saying that was a mistake, and now he said I saved tens of thousands of lives, which I did. I also closed it to Europe. I saw what was going on in Europe, so I closed it to Europe. Now, with all of that being said, you know, he came in; he said, “No masks.” He didn’t want anybody to wear masks. And now he’s a “radical masker,” as I call them.

Radical masker. That’s what he is. I mean, I saw… It was sort of interesting. During Biden’s State of the Union address, which people compared to FDR… I was a big fan of FDR’s speeches. (chuckles) I don’t necessarily agree with what he said, but his delivery was very good. They compared Biden’s speech to FDR. And I said, “Oh, he’s gonna get killed tonight. This is really bad. Oh, this is really terrible.”

And then they said, “That was close to FDR.” And I said, “I can’t believe it.” But behind him was Nancy Pelosi. She had the single largest mask on that I have ever seen. I have never seen any… That practically covered her whole face. Look, I think it’s ridiculous what they’re doing. Kids have to get back to school. We have to stop. We have…

Between the immunity, natural immunity, which is the ultimate — probably the ultimate vaccine, if you want to know the truth. But between that and the vaccine that we did and did a great job with and did it in years and years ahead of schedule. The FDA does not like Donald Trump. Let me put it that way. They have never seen anything like it. They would have…

This, they would have taken much more than three years, and I don’t even think they would have even ever gotten it. But we did things that were miraculous. People call it a miracle, actually. And then, you know, I went out and did something else that people don’t talk about. I bought $12 billion worth of the vaccine before we knew it worked. We had an idea it worked, but before. And you wouldn’t have the shots ’til October of this year. So —

BUCK: No. Operation Warp Speed, President Trump, was an amazing miracle —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

BUCK: — and you deserve tremendous credit for that.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

BUCK: We actually have to take a quick pause here. We’ll see if we can convince the president to stick with us here, former president Donald J. Trump.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

BUCK: Mr. President, a great honor to have you join us. And thank you for staying with us. We have more we gotta get into.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Go ahead.

CLAY & BUCK: (laughing)

BUCK: Infrastructure, sir, something you know a heck of a lot about.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

BUCK: Where are we here with the Republicans negotiating over this? Are they getting fooled, are they getting swindled by giving this a bipartisan cover in this recent Senate announcement that they had a deal?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

BUCK: Looks like Biden was for it, then against it, then for it, then who knows. What do you make of all this with infrastructure?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, it’s the same people, and some are RINOs to the Nth degree, and they keep walking over there, and they get taken to the cleaners, and then they get used and they say that we have a deal, and then we don’t have a deal. Because when they go back to the cabal, they say, “You gotta be crazy to have made that deal.” So Biden changed the deal a couple of times.

And, you know, the Republicans are being used, the Republican senators. Now, some of the senators wouldn’t do that. I know plenty of them are great. But they seem to be… They’re used. They’re being used by the Democrats. They want to make it sound bipartisan. But there’s nothing bipartisan when you spent most of your infrastructure money on the Green New Deal stuff, and that stuff is like throwing the money out of the window. And it’s gonna cause big problems in the future.

CLAY: How frustrating is it to you, Mr. President, the 2017 tax cuts were really coming into full fruition. We had the best economy, lowest unemployment rate of all time. Now they’re trying to take those away. And also we got 9.3 million jobs out there, and people won’t take those jobs. How frustrating is the economic decision-making right now that you’re seeing?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, what they did with that payment is they made it so that nobody wants to work. And this is, you know, not what our country is all about. Some states are rejecting it, as you know — some very good states, very successful states — ’cause people can’t get anybody to go to work.

But if you look at the tax cuts, it was the biggest tax cut in the history of our country. People love it. It made people want to work, and people were doing great. African-Americans, Asian-Americans, women, everybody was set. It was number one ever in history. And they now want to end that. And you know what they’re gonna do? You’re gonna lose a lot of companies.

You will lose companies to other countries. You know, they move. They’re not very loyal, patriotic, most of them. And if they get a better tax deal in Ireland or in Europe someplace or wherever they want to go — and they will. We brought it down to a… It wasn’t the lowest, but it was low, and for a large country, it was just about getting to that point.

And we were bringing in thousands of new companies. And we were bringing in also the money that they couldn’t get in. We were bringing many billions and billions of dollars of money that was locked out of our country and it was pouring into the U.S. That’s gonna all go out with these companies that are gonna leave, and you just can’t do what they’re doing.

It’s so destructive what they’re doing. And the amazing thing is we cut the tax rate and yet we took in much more revenue, much more revenue. This place was booming. And then we got hit with covid and we did a great job with covid and we did a great job with the vaccine. But that obviously stopped it. But we created such a strong base, such a strong foundation that we’ve come back.

Now, they might kill it again if what you said is so in Los Angeles, et cetera, et cetera. Look, you know, going back to the old days of the masks and all of the things? You know, it’s an amazing fact that people that stayed in their apartments did worse than people that were outside.

In other words, people that stayed home caught covid at a higher level. It’s very strange. I don’t… Someday you’ll explain to me how that one worked ’cause, frankly, you would say that they would be on the right side of the issue. But people that stayed home did not do as well as people that went out. Sort of interesting, isn’t it?

BUCK: We’re speaking to former President Donald Trump, and, Mr. President, gotta ask you, who, in your mind, that’s still in office, still on the political scene, is getting it done for conservatism and is carrying forward the movement that you began, the Make America Great Again movement? Who should we be looking at right now as continuing to carry on the torch?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: So I think you have some great people in the Senate, some really great. I think Mitch is a terrible leader and doesn’t have a clue, but I think you have some great people in the Senate and people that could take over that leadership position and do really well, who wouldn’t be used. And, you know, Schumer is just playing this guy. And that’s not good.

And in the House, you know many of them. I hate to mention names because I could mention many and you’ll leave somebody out (chuckles) and you have somebody that will never speak to you again. But in the House, you know, you have guys — Jim Jordan and the whole group, Banks — and I could name so many congressmen and women that are doing a fantastic job.

I mean, you look at what happened on the impeachment hoax where they stuck together. You know, the problem with the Republicans is that they don’t stick together. Good policy, but don’t stick together. Democrats, horrible policy, but you don’t see those negative votes. You don’t have Mitt Romney out there. You don’t have little Ben Sasse.

You don’t have these people these people that are so bad for the party. If they ran today… If Ben Sasse went back to Nebraska and ran today, he’d be run out of office. Same thing with Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney would do terribly in Utah. And others. I mean, look there are others. No reason to go into all of those names. But you have some wonderful senators, and you have some really incredible people in the House.

CLAY: Talking about senators, I know a friend of yours, Mr. President, Herschel Walker —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right.

CLAY: — has been hinting that he might run for the Senate in Georgia.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right.

CLAY: Should he run? Do you think he will?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, he told me he’s going to, and I think he will. I had dinner with him a week ago. He’s a great guy. He’s a patriot, and he’s a very loyal person. He’s a very strong person. They love him in Georgia. I’ll tell you, he was the greatest running back in the history of the state, but he was, you know, one of the best in the history of the country.

I mean, in college it was nobody like him. He went to the NFL, by the way. He has great records in the NFL. He is a fantastic guy, and they love him. So I think he’d win. I think it would be very, very hard to beat Herschel. I mean, they have the ballads. (chuckles) They made ballads to Herschel. They sing ’em all the time. They still sing ’em. So I think beating him would be very tough, and I think he’s going to run.

BUCK: President Trump, what would you like to see the Republicans in Congress do so that they’re in a good place going forward? What are some of the issues, some of the main narratives that you want to see them holding up so that we can take back… I mean, we’re not gonna have a new president — at least not gonna have a Republican president — for four years here.

So we gotta focus in on the midterm election, and I know you are advising a lot of these people and working behind the scenes to help the Republican Party by actually taking back majorities. What would you want to see them do? What are the issues, and what’s the approach that they should have so that we finally get back at least one, if not both houses of Congress?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, they can’t let go of the tax cuts because you’ll lose tremendous numbers of companies and people outside of this country. They’ll be heading back to where they came from. We were bringing in tremendous dollars and tremendous companies, numbers of companies. They have to hold on to the regulation cuts.

You know, I cut regulations more than any president in history — and look, I believe in regulations. You need things for environmental and for safety and other things. But they cut regulations. We cut more regulations than any president, whether it was four years, eight years, or in one case more. Nobody came even close. And they’re starting to put the regulations back.

You know, it would take you 19, 20 years to get a highway approved. And we got it down to two years. We wanted to get it down to one year. And with that being understood, you may get rejected for safety or environmental or some other reason. But to take 20 years? I mean, I could show you highways where they’re in the process of 22/23 years, and they’ll probably be rejected somewhere.

And they not only cost more in time value, but they’ll design it in a way that it avoids areas. I mean, it’s like you’re on a Ferris wheel. So, no, we have to hold the regulation cuts. We have to continue with our military. I built the strongest military ever. You know, when I came in, the military was exhausted. It was depleted. It was tired.

And your producer was nice enough to say that somebody called up and said, “Thank you so much. Please tell the president thank you so much” for what we did at the VA. The VA was a mess for years, and we had a 92% approval rating from the people that get to use the VA, the great people that get to use the VA and that need the VA so badly.

So 92% approval rating. It was much higher than ever by many, many points; much higher than ever before. It’s always been a mess. It’s always been. Ever since I can remember, you’d see shows all the time in the evening about the problems of the VA and this happening, that happening.

You didn’t see that for years. And under my administration, our people did a fantastic job. So, you know, so many things, so many things. Stop… One other thing is stop letting other countries take advantage of the United States on trade and on military and NATO. I mean, they really take advantage.

BUCK: Are you feeling a little bit like this is just almost too much to take, Mr. President, when you see that right now the White House press secretary for Biden, other prominent Democrats are trying to push the “Oh, it’s Republicans who wanted to defund the police; it’s Republicans who are opposed to law and order”? I mean, as somebody who was always supportive of the blue and stood beside them, it just feels like this is a lie beyond even the other ones they’ve told.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: So it’s like Russia, Russia, Russia. You know, the first time I heard it, they said, “Sir, do you have anything to do with Russia?” I said, “No. What’s with Russia?” That was it. You know, I didn’t think about it. Then they’d come back a couple of months later. “Sir, do you know anything about Russia?” And I said, “No.”

And then three/four times, I said, “What the hell is going on with Russia?” And it was a total fabrication, total lie by Schiff and all these lightweights. And, you know, you win that battle, you win another battle. But you’re fighting all the time instead of focusing exclusively on making our country great. And it’s a disgrace.

Now I saw the other day — it was very interesting — on the border, it’s so out of control that we had it so in control, and I saw somebody say, “Well, we think it’s Trump’s fault.” Oh. Okay. It’s my fault. We had the best border, safest border we’ve ever had in history, and we really had it down. All he had to do is go to the beach and relax.

And they’ve destroyed it when they got rid of… Think of it. I kept the people in Mexico. Now, a lot of people don’t know what that means, but it means so much. Instead of keeping ’em — and, you know, when people cross the border, these people, many of them, they’re emptying their jails. You got murderers, you got drug dealers, you have traffickers.

But, fellas, they’re emptying their jails in various countries. You know the countries I’m talking about. Where the jails are being emptied and they’re coming in caravans mixed in with lots of other people. But they’re coming in caravans and they’re taking in these killers. We took out thousands of MS-13 gang members. And now they may be coming back through the system of emptying their jails into our country. How. Stupid. Are. We?

CLAY: Mr. President, you got treated differently, there’s no doubt, than Joe Biden has been treated by the media.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

CLAY: But so did your family. Hunter Biden. I’m sure you’ve seen some of the stories coming out about Hunter Biden using racial slurs, all sorts of stuff continuing to come out about the laptop. How do you think your sons would have been treated if they had done what Hunter Biden appears to have done?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, in business what he did is just terrible. I mean, just terrible, and I was never pushing… Some phony stories came out I was never pushing ’cause I think it’s sad. Terrible. But now things about the N-word and using it on a regular basis and other things? If that were my children, first of all, they wouldn’t do it.

Second of all, I wouldn’t allow ’em to do it. But it would be bedlam in this country. Bedlam. It’s incredible. The press doesn’t even report it. They don’t want to report it, and other things. But that word in particular, where it was used frequently and, you know, and they don’t want to report it.

We don’t have a free press anymore. We don’t have free press. We have a press that’s unbelievably corrupt, and if you look at their approval rating… You know, when I ran, the approval rating of the press was very, very high. And now it’s at the lowest it’s ever been.

But it’s lower than institutions that are horrendous, that are thought of very badly. So, you know, it’s unfortunate. Well, when you say CNN is down 75 or 79%, when you see some of the shows that they have on CNN… I mean, nobody’s ever heard of numbers like that. Because that’s because they’ve lost credibility.

BUCK: You know, you have, Mr. President, just the last 24 hours there’s been this announcement from the Manhattan district attorney or New York City district attorney Cy Vance that they’re not gonna bring charges against you but they might — they’re looking at the Trump Organization.

This seems like the most obvious partisan targeting that anybody could ever dream of. Yes, you’re prominent, you’re a fighter, you’ve got resources and a legal team. But what should people know about the continued, obvious and biased harassment that you’re getting in situations like this?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I call it the continuation of the greatest and most disgusting witch hunt of all time. Look. There’s never been anything like it. From the day I came down the escalator… Now, I was not a political person, but I got things done that nobody else could have gotten done.

And that includes those big tax cuts that now they want to give away. And they shouldn’t negotiate the tax cuts, either. We got the biggest tax cut in the history of our country. It brought in more income than when they were paying much higher taxes, as I said. And all of these other things that we got, we got such benefits, you can’t give it up. If they give it up it would be terrible.

It’s not really to be negotiated — and, you know, you’re at a 50-50 level. They should be able to talk somebody. It’s very interesting. The problem is you lose a Romney or you’ll lose a Sasse — or you’ll lose, I could name, three or four of them — and you lose somebody, and that puts you at a disadvantage. But a strong leader wouldn’t lose anybody. They wouldn’t lose anybody.

They give out the committee chairmanships. They have a lot of power in there, and they wouldn’t lose, and they give out a lot of money because they give out the campaign contributions to a certain extent. But you can’t give up the taxes, you can’t give up the tax cuts, and you can’t give up the regulation cuts. And with my thing, it’s just a continuation of the worst, most horrible witch hunt.

And don’t forget, I got all of this stuff done at the same time I was fighting Mueller, the Mueller hoax. I was fighting impeachment hoax number 1 and impeachment hoax number 2. And I’ll tell you, the Republicans — other than a few bad ones, 10 congressmen and women. There were 10. Every one of them, I think, is being primaried, every one of them.

Same thing with the senator. You have a certain senator in Louisiana, and he uses me. He used me. I love Louisiana. I did great in Louisiana by a lot. I won all of them a lot. I know you said before about ’24. Let’s see what happens. But we did great all over. We did great in Louisiana, and this guy was using me in his commercials and everything else.

And then out of the blue, he votes to impeach. Okay. You know, he was a surprise. And, you know, Cassidy. So he walks down the street now, and they’re booing him all over the place. So, you know, we have great popularity, not because of me but because of what we’ve done, what we’ve accomplished.

Like I said, rebuilding the military: We had planes that were so old you couldn’t get parts to ’em. They’d have to go to the desert to the plane graveyard to pick up parts for fighter jets that were so old you couldn’t even fly ’em. You know, we have all brand-new stuff. We did it right: Aall built in the USA, everything built in the USA. We really had it going.

And then we had a rigged election, and we lost. Because if you look at those states, we won those states by a lot. Not by a little, but by a lot. It was a rigged election. And, you know, and now I see what’s happening with Iran. I would have had to deal with Iran within seven days after the election. They were dying to make a deal.

Now they don’t even want to talk to Biden, and he’s already taken the sanctions off! How do you take sanctions off before you negotiate? So now they don’t want to meet with him. They said we’re not gonna meet with him, and I could tell you a hundred things outside of that. But it’s too bad, but we’ll see what happens, and we’ll see what happens in terms of the future.

As you know, the polls are very strong, stronger than they’ve ever been for anybody in this position, you know. We had a 95% approval rating in the Republican Party. So we’ll see. And everybody we endorsed seems to win. You noticed that, I think, fellas.

So every single person when I go out, whether it’s in Palm Beach or New Jersey or New York, they come to see me. When we endorse ’em, they win, because people have confidence, and they saw what I was able to do. And now it’s being pulled back, and the Republicans can’t let that happen. They can’t let that happen.

CLAY: You mentioned, Mr. President… Last question. We appreciate all the time you have spent with us, our audience is absolutely loving it. You mentioned 2024. The number one question we are getting as people are listening to you talk, is, “When will Trump let us know whether he’s going to run again? Is there a date in your mind where you need to make that decision?”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, the most logical date would be right after 2022. Right? You try and win the Senate, which is hard because McConnell should have never lost the two seats, and they should have never lost the two seats in Georgia. But you want to win the Senate. You want to win the House — very, very great chance in the House.

You know, I made 56 phone calls — they’re called teleconference calls — that had thousands of people. They were supposed to lose 25 seats in the House, and they lost none. They gained 16. That’s some difference. All because of those calls, and, you know, you’d have 15, 20,000 people on some of those calls, and that would be in a district where somebody’s running for Congress.

Every single call I made they won. Every single call. It was sort of an interesting phenomena, which not easy to do, either. They take 11 minutes, and, you know, when you’re screaming into a piece-of-plastic telephone, it’s not the easiest thing to do. But that was very effective. And the same with senators. I mean, I helped a lot of senators.

I believe you’d be at 60-40 Democrats’ favor had I not campaigned for certain senators. I don’t have to tell you the states. You know the states. But there were senators that were in big trouble had I not campaigned for them. In some cases I did rallies, in some cases I did robocalls, and very importantly I did the town hall calls, where a lot of people get on from the state. But I think you’d be at 60-40. Nobody marks that down, nobody says that, but you’d be at 60-40 or maybe a couple short of that.

BUCK: Well, President Trump, we greatly appreciate everything that you’ve done and continue to do. And we hope you’ll consider the Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show a home for you going forward where you’ll be joining us and telling us what you’ve got planned. And please give regards to your family from Clay and Buck personally. We wish them and you, of course, all the best. And thanks for everything you’ve done for this country. We appreciate you giving us your time.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Congratulations, fellas. Great job. Thanks a lot.

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