President Trump weighs in on the 2020 DNC, Joe Biden’s mental fitness, mail-in voting and much more in an interview with FOX News host Sean Hannity. Transcript below.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Joining us live tonight, just back from Scranton, Pennsylvania, from the White House, the president of the United States, President Donald Trump. Mr. President, thank you for being with us. DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hi, Sean. Those are two very familiar voices to me, and two great voices. HANNITY: I agree on all points. So, we had Lawrence Jones. He was in Scranton today. We will roll the tape. But, literally — and this is happening everywhere you go. Scranton, you’re right. He hasn’t been there in decades and decades, but he always claims his roots are in Scranton. But yet fracking, high-paying, career jobs, energy sector, gone, based on getting us off fossil fuel. This is the oil, gas, coal industry, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, West Virginia. And I can go on. The impact would be devastating to the economy. And, again, we would be dependent on other countries for the lifeblood of the world’s economy. That’s — wow. TRUMP: Well, it’s true. And they are now telling — and everybody is very proud of us. We’re energy independent. Biden is — and it’s not Biden. I don’t think Biden knows what it even represents, but Bernie and everybody else — and Biden has totally accepted it — they’re anti-fracking. They’re anti-everything. They’re anti-fossil fuel. And our nation would go into a massive depression if that ever happened. And when you talk about Pennsylvania and Ohio and Texas, by the way, and Oklahoma, they’re anti-fracking. They don’t want to do any fracking. And they can end it very quickly, and they will. HANNITY: You — have you watched much of the Democratic Convention this week? TRUMP: I have watched some, not that much, but I have watched some. A lot of hate. HANNITY: There’s a lot — there’s a lot of talk about you there. TRUMP: Yes, I would say so. HANNITY: And I noticed they’re not talking about their socialism. And their stated plans, you know what they are. The New Green Deal, Biden is playing — pledging trillions. Kamala, well, she was the co-sponsor in the U.S. Senate. Kamala has talked about executive orders to take away whatever guns I guess she deems necessary. We know she’s talking about no private health insurance options. She co-sponsored Medicare for all. I don’t know anybody in the media that is even pointing it out. There’s like zero vetting. I bet you wish you got that treatment. TRUMP: Well, it’s socialized medicine. That’s what they’re really — socialized health care. They’re talking about something that’s so expensive the country can’t afford it. And even if it could, it’s no good. It’s no good. It’s socialized medicine. You’re not going to have your doctor. You’re not going to have your plan, which you didn’t have when Obama promised you. And 28 different times, he said that. So, no, they’re talking about exactly that. And it’s a ridiculous situation. They’re also not talking about law enforcement and our great police. They’re not talking about that. They don’t want to talk about it. And they see Portland. And you see New York, with a 358 percent increase in crime, some number that’s just crazy. And you see what’s going on in Chicago. But look at Portland. They’re anarchists. They don’t want to talk about police, because it’s a losing subject for them. They want to defund the police. And they want to — they want to abolish police. I mean, they’re actually trying to do it in Seattle. The Democrat-run cities are a disaster. HANNITY: You know, Joe Biden said the police become the enemy. And then he said he would support reallocating. Kamala said she supported the $150 billion cut to the LAPD. You see New York City. You see Chicago. You see Portland. You see Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco. One thing they all have in common, Mr. President, is, they have been run by liberal Democrats for decades. TRUMP: That’s right. HANNITY: And the last time you were on this show, you said you’re begging them to help restore law and order. What’s the status? TRUMP: We could do it so quickly. Like, when you look at Portland — and I just watched the young man on the screen, on your screen. And what they did with him last — the other night was just horrible, when you look at it, horrible. And they’re just thugs. And they’re not being properly protected, because the police don’t want to do that, and because the police aren’t allowed to do their thing. They’re all good police, but they’re not allowed to do their thing. They don’t want to lose their pension, don’t want to lose their job, although their job, they’re feeling — frankly, a lot of them are leaving, because they are just — it’s a shame, what’s happened. You know, we were just supported by New York City’s finest. We — Pat Lynch came over and gave us the endorsement of the New York police, and — which is a great honor for me, because they’re phenomenal. But they’re not allowed to do their job. And we have the endorsements in Ohio and Texas and Pennsylvania and Florida. We just got the sheriffs, all of the sheriffs in Florida, at a ceremony. And I don’t know. I can’t imagine they’re ever going to endorse anybody who’s going to endorse Biden, because they really have a very unsafe policy for our country. And you talk about suburbia. You know, we’re all saying about suburban women. The fact is, they’re going to really want to support me, because we’re for law and order. We’re for safety and security. And Biden is not. It’s just incredible. They have talked him into things that nobody would have thought possible. And he’s not in a position to fight back. HANNITY: Did you see the Seattle police chief, when she said she had to resign? This is after she had said, if rioting begins, telling business, we can’t help, because the training that we have had to disperse crowds, they have taken those — those non-lethal tools away from us. Then she finally resigned. If I was running any other city, I would hire her tomorrow. But she resigned, because she can’t do her job, and she can’t protect her officers. And they — she had to let them go, good people that protect and serve their community and put their lives on the line every day. Have we forgotten the 9/11 cops going up when everyone was coming down? Do we forget those cops when Steve Scalise we shot, an open ball field with a pistol against a rifle? TRUMP: Right. HANNITY: These are heroes. TRUMP: Well, they don’t want the police to use pepper spray or tear gas, which is, frankly… HANNITY: Non-lethal. TRUMP: … not so nice, but it’s very standard for crowd control. If you don’t use it, you can’t protect. You saw where all of the police associations got together. And they said, in Wisconsin, we’re not going to be able to do this. And, frankly, it didn’t matter, because Biden didn’t want to leave his home state. He never leaves his home state. He hasn’t answered a question since July 17 and — July 17 or 27. I mean, for a long time, he hasn’t answered a reporter’s question. And he hasn’t answered a real question from before that. So, I don’t know what’s going on. Something is going on. And I assume we will be able to find out sooner, rather than later, I hope. But something is going on. It’s very strange. HANNITY: Let me — let me ask you. Earlier this week, you called Joe Biden a Trojan horse for socialism, a puppet of — a puppet of left-wing extremists, trying to erase our borders, eliminate our police, indoctrinate our children, vilify our heroes, and take away our energy. That raises a question that the media and Democrats brought up about Ronald Reagan in 1984 and John McCain in 2008. That is, do you see Joe Biden — you’re the president. In your estimation, I think — I look at him from four years ago. He seems frail to me, weak to me. I have been very outspoken about it. But your job is the toughest job, from my position, in the world. Do you see somebody that has the strength, the stamina, the mental alertness, the mental acuity for that job? TRUMP: Well, you know, I don’t want to get into that. Pretty obvious what’s going on. I will say this. When you deal with President Xi of China, which I do all the time, and with President Putin, and with President Erdogan, and you’re dealing with all of these people, Kim Jong-un — of course, Obama never spoke to him. I said, did you ever speak to him before going to war? He said, I never spoke to him. So, you know, you’re dealing with these people. I can tell you one thing, they’re very sharp. They’re at the top of their game. And if you’re not at the top of your game, it’s not going to be a pretty picture. It’s like chess masters, and if you’re not a great chess master, you’re going to have a problem. And that we don’t think he is. So, I don’t know. You know, one thing you left off your list, that was, he wants to takeaway, they will take away without question your Second Amendment. That’s like, without question. I’ve been fighting that successfully, very successfully. It’s not going anywhere with me here and we have some good people. Kevin McCarthy is great. And we really have some great people fighting for us. But the Second Amendment is gone. You can forget about the Second Amendment if we lose this election, and your taxes will be doubled, tripled, and quadrupled. Your jobs will be gone. I mean, you’re going to have a depression if that happens. And it’s the biggest headwind. You know, we just set a new record in the stock market. And believe it or not, the biggest headwind, it would have been much higher. But the biggest headwind — and that’s during the pandemic, which I hope is nearing the final turn. But the biggest single headwind is if he got in. If they didn’t think, if we were just like last time, we won it and it went up like a rocket ship right after the election. The same thing would happen now. So, those 401ks will go up 25 percent, 30 percent, 40 percent, but they will go down 40 percent or 50 percent if he gets in. All of this stuff that you’re talking about is going to kill our country and kill the economy. HANNITY: Housing starts. The — I — honestly, from my perspective, I didn’t think after the shutdown that jobs would come back as quickly as they came back. I was surprised when we got the May numbers. TRUMP: Right, record setting. HANNITY: And then the June numbers. But housing starts, consumer confidence, all the indications. What are you seeing for this third quarter? TRUMP: I think we’re going to have a third quarter, a great fourth quarter, but we’re going to have an incredible next year. And you look at — you know, you’re talking about the employment numbers and you look at the numbers that just came for the quarter, and they’re record-setting, over 9 million jobs. And that’s really with a minimum of stimulus, because as you know, the Democrats don’t want to approve stimulus for people. So, people, all they want to do is get bail out money for their governors who have done so badly in states like New York and Illinois. He’s done a traditional job in Illinois. Pritzker is terrible. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. And, you know, they are having a hard time in California, as you know, although he’s treated me very nicely, therefore I’m going to treat him very nicely. But, you know, they are having a hard time. But they want bail out money in other Democrat-run states also. Republicans are doing very well. Republican states are doing great. You look at what’s happening, they’re doing great. But these Democrats — and this is long-term. This isn’t just over the last few years. This is for many, many years. And they want — they think they can use COVID-19 or they could use the China plague as we call it to get bail out money. And, you know, we don’t want to do that. HANNITY: Barack Obama said you — last night, you have shown no interest in putting in the work. And he’s been acting like, you know, remember, they go low and we go high and all that stuff. I didn’t see particular the high in his speech or Michelle Obama’s speech. Your reaction to both of their speeches? And one thing you said that interested me is you believe that they paved the way for you to be elected. TRUMP: No, without them, I would never — you know, when I talk about them, I’m talking about without Biden and Obama, I wouldn’t be president. I wouldn’t have run. They were so bad. People don’t remember the hatred and division. There was tremendous division, probably a little more quiet, but it was tremendous hatred and division that we had for eight years. And, you know, people don’t like to talk about that, but you remember it well. He was a terrible president. He was a very divisive person, a very divisive president. We had the slowest recovery in the history of our country from 1929, let’s say, I guess they say, from 1929, the Great Depression, this was the slowest recovery we’ve ever had under him. And then when I got in, it was a rocket ship. We gained. And now, incredibly, the stock market is — I mean, Nasdaq is actually higher than it was at any time and the rest of it looks like it’s going to be higher, just almost the same. And who would have thought that’s possible? This is while we’re going through this problem caused by China. HANNITY: You know, let me — let me ask you, you said about the election, the only way they could win is a rigged election. This whole issue of mail-in balloting, the Heritage Foundation — I have it here in front of me — the sampling fraud cases across the country. What they found is 1,088 proven instances of voter fraud, and that includes 949 criminal convictions. They had a Philadelphia fraud case that has expanded. A West Virginia mail carrier nabbed in a mail-in ballot scheme. California voter fraud exposed what they call a Skid Row scheme. Illinois let non-citizens register to vote in a blunder there. Alabama, absentee ballots fraud in 2019. A pay-to-vote scheme exposed in New Jersey. A Wisconsin county supervisor admitted to ballot fraud. Absentee ballot thief in Florida. The wife of a mayoral candidate nabbed in New Mexico. Indiana cop convicted of voter fraud to help his father win the race. Double voting in Arizona — 1,088 proven cases of voter fraud, 949 criminal convictions, sir. TRUMP: Well, it’s a disaster and it’s going to be, no matter how you look at it. They are sending out 51 million ballots to people that didn’t ask for them. Now, absentee ballots are great. I used one for Florida. And a lot of people use absentee — a lot of people in Florida use them. But that’s when you go through a process. You ask for it, they send it to you, and it’s very secure. There is nothing like going to the voter’s booth, by the way, but — it’s — and we should have voter ID, which the Democrats don’t want for obvious reasons, with your picture on it. But absentee is good. But they want to send what’s called mail-in, universal mail-in ballots. Fifty-one million ballots sent to who knows who? I mean, you know, where are they going? This is going to be the greatest scam in history. This will be the most fraudulent election in history. Fifty-one million ballots being sent to people. Many of them will have been dead. Many of them will get more than one. But it’s going to be a really horrible thing. It’s just a horrible, horrible thing. And it’s impossible to police. You had Carolyn Maloney, a congresswoman who’s not a very good one, on the East Side of Manhattan. I mean, that thing was so messed up for weeks and weeks, and they just declared her a winner, but they have no idea where the votes are, where the ballots are. It’s gone. New Jersey, a disaster, it’s been a disaster in New Jersey, a horrible disaster. And Virginia has been — and we’re talking about things that just took place, and small elections relatively. But now, they are talking about sending 51 million ballots out to anybody that — you know, nobody knows who’s going to get them. HANNITY: Yeah. TRUMP: It’s a horrible thing. It’s a fraudulent election. Everybody knows it. You don’t even have to know politics to know it — 51 million ballots are going to indiscriminately sent out to people that didn’t even ask for them, people that say, hey, I just got a ballot. That’s great. Let me vote. And it’s a — it’s a terrible thing. They’re trying to steal the election. HANNITY: Dr. Fauci said it would be safe with social distancing and masks for people to vote in person. This is the DNC convention week. Well, I have been on Fox now 25 years. I always go to the DNC and RNC conventions. If I was at that DNC convention, every year including your last election, I had to have a picture ID to get in the building. I was checked every night. I was probably double checked — but I’m kidding — to get in the building. My question to you then is, are you going to have poll watchers? Are you going to have an ability to monitor, to avoid fraud and cross check whether or not these are registered voters? Whether or not there’s been identification to know that it’s a real vote from a real American? TRUMP: We’re going to have everything. We’re going to have sheriffs and we’re going to have law enforcement and we’re going to have hopefully, U.S. attorneys, and we’re going to have everybody, and attorney generals. But it’s very hard. I mean, you have some of these states sending them out like Nevada where they don’t even have to check the signatures so anybody can sign it. New Jersey just sent it where the governor, as I understand, has just signed an executive order, didn’t even go through the legislature to get it done. And nobody has ever heard of anything like this. So, they’re going to be sending out 51 million ballots to people they have no idea why it’s coming, who it’s going to. Unfortunately, they may have a very good idea the people sending them. They may send them to all Democrat areas and not to Republican areas, as an example. It could be the other way too, but I doubt it. HANNITY: Yeah. TRUMP: So, it’s a very — it’s a very serious problem. And, you know, the other thing, a lot of times, you don’t even have to send it back until after the election. So, on November 3rd, the evening, like we used to sit at home and hearing, “Trump won the election, what a great thing”. And you saw how happy Hillary’s people were. They were thrilled when I won. You saw that. That’s one of the all-time classic — HANNITY: I do remember. I got an emergency call. Call into Fox now. Yeah. TRUMP: Do you remember during the debate — the debate when she — do you remember during the debate when she asked me very strongly, well, will you support the decision of the voters? And I’m looking at her and she didn’t support it. She still doesn’t get it. She’s walking around saying, what happened? HANNITY: Well, is it true, Kayleigh McEnany, your press secretary, said that your administration just offered $10 million for the U.S. Postal Service before the Democrats went on recess and they turned it down? Remember, they… TRUMP: Well, there is no trouble with the Postal Service. The Postal Service is going to do a good job. You know, it’s not the Postal Service. It’s what happens to these ballots when they are sent. Who are they being sent to? Who are these 51 million ballots being sent to? Where are they going? Who determines where they are sent to? And you are talking about massive numbers. They couldn’t Carolyn Maloney, who shouldn’t be able to accept that position, by the way. I mean, they gave — they declared her a winner over a guy that is right now looking around saying, what happened? He thought he won. They declared her a winner. They do that election over again in Manhattan. It’s a disgrace, that election. But that was mail-in votes. Now that’s one small election. That was for a congressional seat in New York. What about — you know, when you’re sending them all over the country, 51 million, it’s going to be about 51 million they estimate, and they’re going to send them to every — whoever sends those ballots is a very powerful person. And on the assumption that the person is honest, it’s still going to be fraught with error, even if somebody was going to be honest about it, because people die and then other people see it and they grab it and they sign it and they send it back. No, you’re not going to have — you can’t have it — it’s impossible to have a fair election like this. HANNITY: Let me ask you, can you give us a preview, Democratic Convention this week, one, will you be watching Joe Biden tonight? And number two… TRUMP: I will. HANNITY: … can you give… TRUMP: I’ll watch. I will. HANNITY: Can you give a… TRUMP: I mean, I’ll watch… HANNITY: I’m asking. TRUMP: But I might be watching — I watched a lot of hate last night and the… HANNITY: So far I’ve seen a lot of that too. TRUMP: … night before. TRUMP: Tremendous hate. HANNITY: What about a preview of your convention that starts Monday, can you give us some insight? TRUMP: Yes, I think we’re going to have more of it as live than what they did. I think it’s pretty boring when you do tapes. I’m going to go live and do mine live. And Michelle Obama, as you know, taped it, and obviously long before because she had no idea who the vice-presidential nominee was, didn’t get scolded for that at all. They said, oh, wasn’t that wonderful? So, I mean, she couldn’t even tape it near, you know, the date. And then she had certain numbers wrong, certain very interesting numbers were way off. And so, she taped it obviously a long time before the evening it was aired. But and then they said, wasn’t it wonderful? You know, wonderful, she had a lot of hate. She had a lot of anger. But they did because, look, they thought they would win an election and they didn’t. I’ve gotten to a point by the end of this term I’ll have appointed 300 federal judges and two Supreme Court judges. And nobody has ever done that before. And so, they’re very, very upset, very, very upset. They thought it was going to be a victory. And places like Wisconsin that they always win, the Democrats, they ended up not winning. And Michigan they ended up not winning. And Pennsylvania they ended up not winning. And North Carolina they ended up not winning. And Florida other places. It was quite an evening. HANNITY: Let me go back to — we’ve actually — our numbers, the best we can count since March, Joe Biden has answered 34 questions from the media, 34. You are up to 2,000, at least, mark in terms of answering questions. Now I think there is a lot of questions he needs to answer. But the media is letting him get away with it, number one. And the other thing is his record, eight years, the final stats are this, 13 million more Americans, food stamps, 8 million more, poverty, lowest labor participation rate since the ’70s, worst recovery since the ’40s, 51-year low in terms of new housing, and more debt than all 43 administrations before them combined. Let’s talk about how do they allow him not to answer questions like this? TRUMP: Well, he hasn’t answered a question since mid-July, is what they reported tonight. And I am just saying, you know, I am answering questions all day long. Every time I pass reporters, I’ll stop and say, go ahead, what do you want to know? I’ll go give it. And you know… HANNITY: Your best friends. TRUMP: The other thing is they’re so nice to him. I mean, these reporters are so nice, they’ll ask him the simplest questions. I’ve never seen anything like it. And some of the answers he reads off a teleprompter. That means he knows what the question is. And he reads an answer off the teleprompter. So, there is something going on. And it’s not fair to our country. HANNITY: Yes. Well, let me go to the issue of the coronavirus. And, you know, I know they have been saying — the one time that Joe was asked about it, we did a check. Every single thing that he said he would do you had already done. But he also — I think the decision, and we’ve discussed this before, 10 days after the first identified case of corona in this country, which was January 21st, it’s amazing eight months later we’re in final stage human trials for a vaccine and, you know, certainly the therapeutics have advanced greatly. But the question is, he called it hysterical xenophobia and fearmongering. I don’t know, I think it’s incalculable how many people would have otherwise contracted that virus. Then the subsequent travel bans, then the first quarantine I think in 50 or 60 years. And then the largest medical mobilization, in spite of what Governor Cuomo, your friend, says. What did that one decision mean to the country, in your view? And everyone was against it. I’ve talked to people that were in the room when you made that decision. TRUMP: Well, I put a ban on people coming in from China who were heavily infected. I mean, they — it was a very — Wuhan, very, very infected area of the world. And I put a ban. And people were against that. And Dr. Fauci actually said that I saved hundreds of thousands of lives. And I also put a ban on Europe, when I looked at Italy and I looked at France and Spain, in particular. I said, wait a minute, we have to ban. So, I put a ban. So, we saved hundreds of thousands of lives. But we also saved millions of lives by closing up. We had the greatest economy in history of any country. Blowing away China, blowing away everybody. And I had to make a decision. And we closed it. We saved millions of lives, Sean. When you see the number of 170 as opposed to, let’s say, 2 million or 2.5 million lives, can you imagine if it would be that? But it would be 10, 15, or 20 times more if we didn’t close it. So, we closed it. We learned about it. We learned that the elderly we have to protect, especially the elderly that have problems with heart or diabetes or anything. And we’ve saved ultimately millions of lives by making that decision. And now we want to open up and the Democrats have to open up their states and cities and they have to open up the schools and let’s play football. HANNITY: How confident are you in this final phase? We know, for example, you have Moderna, you have AstraZeneca, you have all these great companies. And now final stage testing, 30,000 people volunteered in Nevada for this — for the vaccine. How confident are you — and maybe you have an update, where are we with that testing? And the vaccine, I’m assuming you would not mandate it, but would you get it if you thought — if the numbers come back on that 30,000, is that something you would do for yourself? TRUMP: I would. I would have no problem with it. I will tell you that we are very close. We are in the Phase 3 trials. And that’s, you know, years ahead of schedule. I mean, normally that would be years before you would be there. And we have vaccine, we have therapeutics. We are going to do very well. And I think we are going to have some very good news very quickly. They are doing fantastically. And even without that, doing great in Texas now, doing really good in Arizona, Florida. This country has done a fantastic job. We have done a fantastic job. The people have been incredible. HANNITY: Could you imagine — and Kamala Harris went after Joe Biden in that debate on the issue of race and his praise of the guy that filibustered the Civil Rights Act and was against the Voting Rights Act. TRUMP: Right. HANNITY: He partnered 12, 13 years later to stop integration. He used the term racial jungle. You know, then these other comments, going to put you all back in chains, and you ain’t black, and then these outbursts like are you a junkie, come on man. What do you make of — if you had said these things, what do you make ever these outbursts that seem pop out of nowhere? We have less than a minute. TRUMP: I think if I had said it I think I probably wouldn’t be here right now. I can tell you that. And the White House, you have a picture of it up there right now. It’s a beautiful place. It’s a great place. It’s so important, what it represents. How — the greatness it represents. But no, we need somebody that is going to do the job. We’ve brought back trade. We have incredible trade deals. We had the worst trade deals made by any country in history. And we’ve made them into great deals. We are doing well. We’re doing well. We got hit by this China plague. But other than that. I mean, we were rocking. And now we’re going to be rocking again very, very soon. HANNITY: Mr. President, it was called Operation Warp Speed. We have never broken down the sequence of a virus eight months in. We’re in final testing — Phase III testing for human trials. TRUMP: That’s right. HANNITY: Mr. President, thank you so much for your time. We will be watching the RNC. And hope you enjoy watching your opponent tonight. Thank you for your time, as always. TRUMP: Thank you very much, Sean. Thank you.