FOX NEWS: President Trump, in an extensive interview Friday on “Fox & Friends,” tore into what he termed dirty politicians behind the Russia probe a day after transcripts were released showing that top Obama officials said they knew of no direct evidence of collusion involving the Trump campaign. (transcript via FOX News)
STEVE DOOCY, FOX & FRIENDS HOST: The President of the United States is going to be joining us right now on the line. Mr. President, good morning to you. AINSLEY EARHARDT, FOX & FRIENDS HOST: Good morning. DONALD TRUMP; PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (via the telephone): Hi, Steve. DOOCY: It’s good to have you, sir. TRUMP: Thank you. DOOCY: All right, so it was jaw-dropping announcement that the Department of Justice dropped the case against Michael Flynn. You’ve been talking about a Russia hoax for years. Is this proof you were right? TRUMP: Well, absolutely. I think most people knew it. Really most people knew from the beginning, and they knew it was just a total hoax. It was a made up story, a disgrace to our nation. Made it impossible for us to deal with other countries, including Russia because of what they were doing. You can’t deal like that. You have — you can have relationships. You can have trade. You can have peace. You don’t have to fight wars, and they made it a very, very dangerous situation, and I’ve been able to maneuver it, but it’s — it was a very dangerous situation what they did. These are dirty politicians and dirty cops and some horrible people. And hopefully they’re going to pay a big price some day in the not too distant future. BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX & FRIENDS HOST: Well, it seems as though not only are people not contrite about this, it seems like Adam Schiff and company have gone out of their way to say William Barr is to blame because he’s just doing your dirty work, that he lied under oath, and he got what he deserved. What’s your answer to that? TRUMP: So Schiff is a crooked politician, crooked as can be, and probably one of the worst I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen some beauties. A liar, he’s a terrible person. He’s terrible for our country. He shouldn’t be even allowed, and it’s only because of immunity that they’re given when they’re in the halls of Congress, Brian. He made a speech on the impeachment hoax where he quoted me. He went about quoting me, talking about quid pro quos eight times — eight times. Think of it, eight times. And there was none to call. Was a perfect call. You look at the Republicans, 198 to nothing in the House and you look at the — in the Senate, 52.5 to a half, and I’m telling you it was a disgrace. He got up and he made a phone call. I said where did that come from? He was purporting to say and relate to Congress my conversation, but it was a lie. It was a total lie. And then when they read it that’s why I had to release it. I released the conversation for the world to see. I got the President of Ukraine and said do you mind? And he said, no. You go ahead and do it. And by the way, he said we did absolutely nothing wrong and there was no pressure. And this guy got up there and he lied and lied. And I said, wow, we can sue him for fraud. And then they said, no, sir. Because he did it in the halls of Congress he’s got immunity from prosecution. KILMEADE: Got you. TRUMP: He’s a very, very dirty, crooked politician, and he’s shielded by immunity, but he’ll go down. Guys like that end up going down. They’re crooked and bad. EARHARDT: Mr. President, when you read these transcripts — the 53 transcripts that were released yesterday and you read what James Clapper said and you — and you compare that to what he said all over the media for the past few years saying that you colluded with Russia, but what he told — (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: Yes. EARHARDT: — the House Intel Committee under oath is this. This is from July 17, 2017. I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting, conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election. For four years you have been fighting this. Was it worth it, and what’s your reaction to what Clapper said? TRUMP: Well, I understand Clapper. He gets a couple of bucks from CNN, and Jeff Zucker and that group of — that den of thieves over there, they tell him at CNN and MSDNC, they tell him exactly what to say. They say this is what you’re going to say or we’re not — we don’t want you on the show. You have people over there. You have people that go over there, and if they want to say good about Trump, they can’t get hired. They said, well, what are you going to do? Well, I have great things to say. Look at Congressman Duffy. Look at different people that go. They go there and they’re never on the air because they say good, but they clamp them down. It’s very interesting, but you take a look at Clapper where he — you’d watch him and I’d say where does he get this? I have nothing to do with Russia. I didn’t make a phone call for years and years to Russia nor did I receive any. They even checked phone messages. I didn’t receive one. I didn’t make one. These are really crooked people. So Clapper goes on and I say where did he get that information. Now, he’d say whatever he wanted to say on CNN or MS, but in his case it’s CNN I guess primarily. Say whatever he wanted to say or what Zucker and these guys told him to say. It’s a disgrace. Then he’s under oath where he goes to jail if he lies. He says, no. I had no evidence. No. There’s no evidence about Trump. I saw that two days ago or yesterday. There’s no evidence whatsoever. So here’s a guy that’s purely lying, but you have to understand there’s a big difference when he’s under oath, under criminal prosecution. Now, he’s lied under oath already. We caught him cold lying on other things, but he chose to rather than take a chance in going to prison, what he tried to do is — he’ll go on the air. If he did that testimony and the following day went on CNN, he would say just like, oh yes, massive relationship between Trump and Russia. There is none. None. That phone call — there’s no relationship that I have with Russia, and it’s a very, very sad thing for our country. That’s why Schiff — Shifty Schiff, that’s why he didn’t want to release any of those documents. And there’s more to come from what I understand and they’re going to be far greater than what you’ve seen so far, and what you’ve seen so far is incredible especially as it relates to President Obama because if anyone thinks that he and Sleepy Joe Biden didn’t know what was going on, they have another thing coming. DOOCY: Well, you know, Mr. President, we have asked you in the past how high this thing went, and you said at that point, you know, I think you know what I think but I’m not going to talk about it right now. I want to talk a little bit about Sally Yates. Sally Yates was the Deputy Attorney General for the United States of America, and she was in a meeting with officials in the Oval Office, and she was going to tell Barack Obama, then president — this was before your — this was before your inauguration, and I believe it was on January 5, 2017. She was going to tell him about the call between General Flynn and the Russian Ambassador, Mr. Kislyak, but before she could tell him she actually heard the President of the United States tell her about the phone call, which means he knew about it before you were inaugurated. We now learned from the transcript this is an exchange with Mike Turner who’s a Republican from Ohio. A t that meeting, it was discussed that Mr. Clapper had informed the president and the administration of the issue of the Flynn-Kislyak. You don’t recall? And Sally Yates said this is where I get a little uncomfortable because the president was there and the instructions that we got from his White House. So she heard from Barack Obama about that particular phone call with Mr. Flynn and Mr. Kislyak and wanted to know from her what they should do about it. So that brings up a big question. He obviously knew. Have you thought about calling him up and finding out what he know or what — calling Joe Biden up and asking him what he knew? TRUMP: No. I’d rather have it come out in papers. Why would I call them up? They tried to take down the President of the United States, a sitting, duly elected President of the United States before I even won. I mean, this was going on. This was the fake dossier that was totally fake, and I got a little lucky because they couldn’t get the newspapers. The only thing I respect about the fake news media, of which there is much, not all — I know some fine people that are journalists also — but largely it’s fake news. It’s a horrible thing. It’s a one-sided, very hard (ph). It’s the Democrats. I’m running against the news media and the Democrats. It’s a party, and a candidate that’s incompetent. That’s what — they have a bad candidate, but they are a big power. A big, big, crooked power. Very dishonest power. And I will tell you the only thing we’re going to find out about that is we’re going to find it out through papers. I understand thousands of other papers are being released right now. Rick Grenell is doing a fantastic job, an absolutely fantastic job as our number one person on intelligence. And he has been incredible. It’s too bad the people that were sitting before him, I won’t use names, didn’t do anything. They didn’t do a thing. It was like they just sat there. They sat in office. Hello. Goodbye. That would be a meeting. Hello. Goodbye. But Rick Grenell has done a fantastic job. And we — this country owes a lot to him and they owe a lot to Attorney General Barr. And then after it’s all done — and you have to understand this wasn’t — Attorney General Barr, he took one of the most respected law enforcement officers in the country a U.S. attorney highly respected, gave him the Flynn case and said tell us what to do. This man went and for a long time investigated the whole case. He came back with this recommendation. He was a special they call him now council but maybe prosecutor’s a more appropriate word at least as it pertained to me. So, he came back and he said this is an innocent man. This wasn’t even Bill Barr. Bill Barr gave it to somebody who’s a very, very strong, powerful, honorable, honest man. And this is what he came back with, nothing to do with it. He came back with this. He’s the opposite of Robert Mueller because you look at Mueller that was purely corrupt. And can you imagine with all the corruption having to do with Mueller. They said no collusion — DOOCY: Hey, Mr. President– TRUMP: — on behalf of Trump. Think of that. No collusion. DOOCY: Mr. President, what you described just a moment ago we’ve heard certain people say if that was true, what you just said a moment ago, that the previous administration tried to undo your presidency, that would — that is the biggest political scandal of all time. TRUMP: It is. If it were a Republican, if it were reversed, if that were a Republican president or that were a — let’s say me, that would be the ultimate example but if that were a Republican president I believe he and Biden, sleepy Joe, was involved in this all also very much. And other people around President Obama were totally involved. And you’ll see more and more things come out I think because like I know how it works. You don’t have Clapper and Brennan who sleaze and a guy like Comey who’s a sick man. KILMEADE: Right. TRUMP: I mean Comey’s a sick man. He played it so cute with Hilary. He was trying to play it cute. He was trying to help her. And ultimately he might’ve hurt her. He was trying to help her so much that he might’ve ended up hurting her. And he’s just a stupid guy. KILMEADE: Well — TRUMP: He’s dumb as a rock and he’s a sick guy. There’s something wrong with him. But it’s all coming out and I love to watch it step by step day by day thousands and thousands — KILMEADE: Right. TRUMP: — of pages. But look at — look at what you just told me with Clapper. No, I didn’t see anything wrong. And yet he’ll go on television the next day and say how I was very guilty of collusion with Russia. KILMEADE: And a Russian asset. Right. So, Mr. President– TRUMP: I’m with a Russian asset. KILMEADE: — a couple of questions. TRUMP: Yes, I work for Russia. By the way, there’s been no president and you can ask Putin about it — KILMEADE: Right. TRUMP: — or anybody else that’s been tougher on Russia than I have between the oil and the pipeline and all of the military that we’ve — we’ve rebuilt our military. This is not what they love to hear. $1.5 trillion we have a brand new gorgeous military with new equipment, new planes and new missiles. I took it over. We had nothing. We were depleted and we were — KILMEADE: And you walked away from the missile treaty too as well. TRUMP: Walked away. KILMEADE: Real quick — TRUMP: Well, we’ll negotiate a new one. But we walked away because they — KILMEADE: Yes. TRUMP: — didn’t honor it and he understands that. But — KILMEADE: Right. TRUMP: — there’s nobody that’s been tougher– KILMEADE: Yes, you didn’t know it. TRUMP: — in history. KILMEADE: He was cheating on it and you called him out on it. They were cheating on it — TRUMP: That’s right. KILMEADE: — and you called them on it. So, Mr. President, first thank– TRUMP: He should’ve been called out by President Obama. KILMEADE: Right. Yes, we appreciate you joining us, by the way. TRUMP: Thank you. KILMEADE: Couple of things, in the big picture why did it take a judge to release these documents and where was the FBI Director Chris Wray? Why did he not put this out? It doesn’t reflect badly on him. It’s cleaning up the FBI. TRUMP: Well, a lot of things are going to be told over the next couple of weeks and let’s see what happens. He was appointed by Rod Rosenstein. And a lot of things are coming out. You’ll see a lot of things coming out. And it’s disappointing — KILMEADE: And recommended by Chris Christie, right? TRUMP: It’s disappointing. He was recommended by Chris but he was appointed by — he was really recommended by Rod Rosenstein and Chris said fine, let’s see what happens with him. Look, the jury’s still out with regard to that. But it would have been a lot easier if he came out rather than skirting and going through — you know, 19 different ways except through the FBI. So let’s see, and let’s see what he get at (ph). You know, I told Bill Barr you had — look, I would be absolutely entitled in theory the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in theory, but I said, you know what? I want Bill Barr to handle it. I want nothing to do. Let’s see. He’s done an unbelievable job. Bill Barr is a man of unbelievable credibility and courage. And he’s going to go down in the history books. KILMEADE: If Bill Barr was — (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: But if this were — Brian? Brian? KILMEADE: Yes? TRUMP: Brian, if this were a Republican and if this were — 25 people would be in jail for 50 years. They would be in jail for 50 years and it would have happened two years ago because everybody knew this was a hoax. I called it the Russian hoax, and Russia, Russia, Russia. And some of the people in your network — (CROSSTALK) KILMEADE: Right. TRUMP: — in all fairness, they got it right. Sean — you look at Sean Hannity, what he’s done. I mean, he should get the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes. And Laura Ingraham — (CROSSTALK) KILMEADE: Right. TRUMP: — and in all fairness, Tucker. Tucker would do the Russia, Russia, Russia bit and laugh about it every night for two years. And your show, I mean, look. Your show has been not exactly a believer in the hoax, but you look over to the other side, CNN which is a very dishonest group. These people are just purely sick, and MSDNC and it’s — they’re doing everything. And now they’re very embarrassed. They don’t know what to do because they’ve been caught. KILMEADE: Well, just a quick follow up. When you — if Bill Barr was your first Attorney General, would there have been a Mueller probe and a Russia hoax? TRUMP: No, there wouldn’t be. He would have stopped it immediately. He would — he saw it immediately. He would have seen it immediately. Jeff Sessions was a disaster. He — I made him — I didn’t want to make him attorney general, but he was the first senator to endorse me, so I felt a little bit of an obligation. He came to see me four times just begging me to be attorney general. He wasn’t, you know, to me equipped to be attorney general, but he just wanted it, wanted it, wanted it. He was from a state that I love — Alabama. You know, I won Alabama by a tremendous margin. He wanted it, and I said, all right, Jeff. You know, he was a smaller version of that in Alabama for a little while. He was a very average guy I find out, but if he goes in, he was so bad at his nomination proceedings, I should have gotten rid of him there, but every time the word Russia, he knew — he knew less about Russia than I did. He knew nothing about Russia, but they got him in a — standing on a line with Kislyak who’s the ambassador. Well, Kislyak had dinner with Nancy Pelosi and Schumer. All these guys, they all — everybody in Washington knew Kislyak. She had dinner with him many, many times, and Jeff — Jeff was just very weak and very sad, and when the name Russia was mentioned, just the word Russia, he immediately instead of being a man and saying this is a hoax, he recused himself and had a deputy named Rod Rosenstein, who probably I mean, just you’ll see things coming out, but I learned a lot from Richard Nixon. Don’t fire people. I learned a lot. I study history, and the firing of everybody I should have in one way, but I’m glad I didn’t because look at the way it turned out. They’re all a bunch of crooks and they got caught. But I learned a lot by watching Richard Nixon. Of course, there was one difference — one big difference. Number one, he may have been guilty, and number two, he had tapes all over the place. I wasn’t guilty. I did nothing wrong, and there are no tapes, but I wish there were tapes in my case. But learn a lot from Richard Nixon and you don’t do that. The one person I did a very good thing in firing was the dirty cop, Comey, and when I fired him, the whole thing blew up. They were ratting on each other. They were going crazy. It was like throwing a rock at a hornets’ nest. Had I not fired him, I probably wouldn’t be speaking to you right now other than maybe I’d be talking to you about the private sector because I’d be in the private sector had I not — because this was a takeover. This was the takedown of a duly elected President of the United States. When I fired Comey because he was dishonest and he lied in front of Congress and other things, when I fired Comey you know what hit the fan, and it was big. It was big. It was a monster, and those guys — (CROSSTALK) DOOCY: I remember. TRUMP: — when McCabe, who’s a bad guy, all of these guys started going after each other. That’s when we found all of the emails and the texts where you had the two lovers, Strzok and Page, talking about how the insurance policy that if she doesn’t win essentially we have an insurance policy, meaning if she doesn’t win — that’s what we went through — that we’ll take him out. We’ll take him out anyway. Even though they had nothing, we’ll take him out. These were crooked guys. These were crooked people, and it’s very exciting. I mean, because I kept talking about — you know, it’s one of the achievements. I said one of the things is we have to take out and expose and take out the deep state. That’s been one of the things. You know, drain the swamp. I had no idea the swamp was like this. I figured the swamp was, you know, just sort of a mess and some people, but I had no idea they were this deep and this bad, and there’s still plenty of others in there — (CROSSTALK) KILMEADE: Right. TRUMP: — but we are draining the swamp like nobody’s ever drained the swamp. And I’m going to put it down. When it’s all over when I someday leave office and hopefully we have another 4.5 years, but when I someday leave office, I’m going to put this down as one of our greatest achievements because we’re cleaning it up. We’re cleaning up Justice Department. We’re cleaning up the FBI, and I love these people. I love the FBI. These are great — if you did a poll there, I’d do very well in the FBI, but the top was crooked. They were dirty cops. KILMEADE: Got you. EARHARDT: Yes. It’s just — it’s amazing when you read these transcripts some of the information that’s coming out. And for the sake of the FBI and their reputation, I do hope that people are held accountable if it is proven that these — there are bad apples. Let’s talk about coronavirus. What is your response? What’s the status of our country right now? TRUMP: So our country is getting back to work. We’re opening up. We understand it now and you can never fully under the invisible enemy. It’s a much smarter enemy than the enemy than the enemy that I had that we just discussed. Much, much smarter than those characters. That’s a bunch of — you know, those are people that are not in the same league. This is a very brilliant enemy and it happens to be invisible. And I think we’re doing really, really well. We have a ventilator system of production that’s been incredible. Now we’re giving ventilators to other countries. We have many, many countries that are asking us for ventilators, and when I started we had not — essentially we had no ventilators. I just learned that yesterday we did 300,000 tests in one day. That’s our record, and we’re over eight million tests. The next country is Germany with 2.5 million tests. And are tests are the best tests. They’re calling up. We have tests that are the absolute best tests. And so, it’s been incredible. Now, with all of that being said, it’s very tough. It should never have happened. It should have been stopped at the source by China. I did a very early — a very, very early stoppage of Chinese people coming in when I saw what was going on. And many people — (CROSSTALK) KILMEADE: Right. TRUMP: — you know, Nancy Pelosi a month later was saying let’s go to Chinatown and dance in the streets because she wanted people, you know, and in understand that. KILMEADE: The one thing I — (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: Nobody thought it would be like this — (CROSSTALK) KILMEADE: Yes. TRUMP: — but I was very early. KILMEADE: The one — (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: And I saved hundreds of thousands of lives. And Anthony Fauci admitted that. KILMEADE: The one thing I did notice, Mr. President, I noticed you and the Secretary of State have been gradually turning up the heat on China, especially Mr. Secretary of State Pompeo, to the point where their state-run media called you both evil. Do you — where is this relationship going as they poisoned 180 countries, they lied about how this started, they still haven’t told — let us get in there. Having said all that, where do you want the end game to be with China being there’s so much intermingling of the economies and the world economy? How does this end up? TRUMP: So it’s 184 countries and growing fast, OK? Most people don’t even know there are that many countries, but it’s 184 and it’s growing. It’s — I spoke with Prime Minister Abe of Japan. They’re beside themselves their so — you know, it’s they thought they had it beat and then it just hit them very, very hard. They’re going through a lot, Japan, but every country’s going — almost every — Moscow, you look at what’s going on in Russia. It’s a terrible situation. So all over the world it’s going like this. They’ve done a terrible thing. I don’t believe it was done on purpose, but it was done through probably incompetence. It probably got out and they didn’t know how to talk about it. We wanted to go in and help them. They didn’t want us to go in. The World Health Organization, as you know, we pay them almost $500 million a year. I’m going to be making an announcement on that soon because they are like a puppet for China. They’re a puppet for China. Everything China does is OK. They get $38 million from China. They get — (CROSSTALK) KILMEADE: Right. TRUMP: — $450 million from us. For many years we’ve been paying so much more than anybody else. DOOCY: Yes, indeed. TRUMP: And I blame that on our politicians. I mean, to be honest with you our politicians probably could have exerted a lot of force and we would have had — but we don’t, you know, because we don’t do that because we have people that are maybe shouldn’t be in those positions where I’m sitting right now if you want to know the truth because what the world — (CROSSTALK) DOOCY: OK. TRUMP: — what World Health got away with is unbelievable, but they’re a pipe organ for China, so I’m going to make a decision very soon on — you know, I held back all funds. We held back almost $500 million from them, and I’ll make a decision, but think of it. We’re paying $450 million and China’s paying $38 million, and yet China tells them what to do. How does that work? DOOCY: There you go. Mr. President, I know that the COVID tragedy has impacted tens of thousands of families across the United States and so many people have died. And it actually struck close to home there at the White House when one of your personal valets tested positively. And I know now everybody’s being tested every day. You’re being tested every day. And we get that. But I have a question, have you ever been tested for the antibody which would show whether or not you have already had it? TRUMP: No, I haven’t. But we’re getting that and we’re leading in that too. We’re leading in everything. We’re leading in that too. And I will do that. And who knows, some people had it and they didn’t even they had it. Who knows? DOOCY: Yes. TRUMP: But we are going to be — the antibody test, that’s made tremendous progress. At some point, probably soon I will be. I’ve been tested a number of times. And that new machine that we developed and we just — it just came out over the last two months the Abbott laboratory’s machine is great because it’s a five minute d– KILMEADE: Right. TRUMP: — very accurate test and yet it’s five minutes. No, I do. I get tested a lot. That’s for sure. KILMEADE: I bet. So, you’ve got the Abbott rapid testing machine there at the White House which was d– TRUMP: Right. KILMEADE: — very helpful. Meantime, your presumptive opponent in the 2020 race Joe Biden, he’s in his basement right now. They don’t have any plans for him to leave I understand to do any press availabilities before August. But they might presumably if they had perhaps rapid testing. If the Biden campaign needed rapid testing would you make sure that they got it? TRUMP: Yes, 100 percent. I’d love to see him get out of the basement so he can speak because he’s locked in a basement somewhere and he — every time he talks it’s like a good thing. And we just got very good polling today I guess you probably saw, very good polling. And I just don’t understand why he’s not — well, I do understand. I don’t want him to come out. I would give them the test immediately. We would have it to them today. Nobody’s ever asked me for the test. I mean if somebody asked I would make sure that one of the Abbott’s — their incredible machine and not a large machine but an unbelievably complex machine in terms of what it does. Really amazing, it’s a great laboratory. And we would have them a machine or two today if they needed it. EARHARDT: Mr. President, you had a great line weeks ago that you want to make sure that the cure is not worse than the pandemic itself. And if you hear stories — TRUMP: Right. EARHARDT: — about Shelley Luther down in Texas who was locked up, thrown in prison for — or in jail for — and fined a lot of money. People came out of the woodworks to support her. Lots of money raised on her — what is it called when you — GoFundMe — DOOCY: GoFundMe. EARHARDT: — page. Exactly. Thank you. And then Sean Hannity last night interviewed her and said he’s going to give a donation to her and she was full of emotion there. And then you’ve got this sheriff out in California who’s saying I’m not going to arrest people or fine people if they don’t — if they open up their businesses because he said I don’t want to criminalize people who are just trying to work. Here’s Shelly Luther if you missed it on Hannity last night. TRUMP: OK. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SHELLEY LUTHER, SALON OWNER: I just woke up one day and I said I have to open. My stylists are calling me; they’re not making their mortgage. I was at — right now I still am not caught up. I’m two months behind on my mortgage. And my stylists were telling me that they wanted to — what do you think if I go underground and go to people’s houses. And I just said that’s not a good idea because we can’t control the environment there. We don’t know if it’s been disinfected or anything like that. And I just decided I would open to create a safe place for the stylists and to make sure that I wasn’t the reason they weren’t making money. (END VIDEO CLIP) EARHARDT: Mr. President, what was your reaction when that judge threw her in jail for seven days? TRUMP: I thought it was terrible. I thought he was a terrible judge. The governor agreed with me because the governor and the attorney general, they have a great Attorney General Paxton in Texas. But the governor was with me yesterday, Greg Abbott, he’s a fantastic governor. He was incensed. He couldn’t believe it. And she’s an incredible representative for a large group of people that want to do the same thing. They want to get back to work. These people want to get back to work. We know they’ve — everybody’s done what they have done and you can only do that so long. That causes death also. If you look at all of the problems that people have with drugs and suicide and they lose their jobs and anxiety and all of the things that are caused by that, that’s a big problem too. People don’t realize that. And I will tell you, you look at some cases, some people think they’re doing it for politics. Here we go again. But they think they’re doing it because it will hurt me the longer it takes to — to hurt me in the election, the longer it takes to open up and I can see some of that. Because some of these people are being unrealistic — they’re being ridiculous. I’ve looked at a couple of states that are being absolutely ridiculous. But ultimately, the people are forcing it. I see what’s going on and Gavin Newsom’s been very generous to me in his statements and I appreciate it but I think they can move a little quicker in California, to be honest. I think the people are forcing it. The people are going to force it. Now, not in all cases, in some cases you have to keep it going longer. But we’ve learned things in the last two months. We’ve learned a lot of things about it and we may have fires and we’re going to put the fires out. We may have, I say, embers, but we also may have some fires and some reasonably big ones; but we’ll put them out. We’ve learned a lot about this scourge, this disease and — but you can’t just — we can’t close our country for two years. I have — I had one doctor says, well, we could keep it two to three years, that would be wonderful. You wouldn’t have a country. Your country would break and we’re going to have a fantastic next year. We will have a record or almost record next year. We’re going to have a transition in the third quarter. It’s happening already. You can see it. And there’s spirit now — there’s a lot of spirit. Because we have over 30 states that are back or very strongly coming back and that’s going to be a lot higher soon. There’s a transition that is taking place so the third quarter is going to be a transition. Fourth quarter — I think — is going to be very good. And I think next year we’re going to have one of the best years we’ve ever had. If you don’t have somebody getting in and gumming up the works and doubling and tripling your taxes like Sleepy Joe wants to do. He has no idea what he is doing. EARHARDT: Yes, let me just ask you a quick follow up. Looking in front of us, our paper, our water bottles, our pencils, our phones delivered on a truck, and you tweeted about American truckers being price gouged. What are you going to do about that? TRUMP: Oh they are price gouged. In fact, they were in front of the White House. We had — must have been — looked a thousand of trucks, they were honking and honking — and then — and I actually sent representatives out. It was very funny. They were honking all day and they’re great people. They’re people that like me. They like Trump. They’ve got Trump all over their trucks and I sent my people out. All they want is to be — they’re like the farmers — all they want is to be treated fairly and we’re going to treat them fairly. You know what they’re asking is almost nothing in many cases. So I sent my people out to see them. I even brought out some red hats for them, right. I said USA Strong. DOOCEY: Got you. TRUMP: I kept it not so political, but USA Strong. But, you know, they’re great people. They’re great, great people and they’re successful. They have these big beautiful trucks and they want them made in the USA, the trucks. KILMEADE: Right. TRUMP: They want them made in the USA, they’re incredible. And they’re not asking for much. They want to be treated fairly. So, we’re handling the truckers. We’re going to take care of them. KILMEADE: Right. So Mr. President, last night we understand there was a late night phone call that your delegation and China had discussing phase one of the trade deal. As much as there has been tension with our State Department with a lot of those things you’ve said, what could you tell us about phase one? Are we breaking up or are we trying to keep that together? TRUMP: Look, I’m having a very hard time with China. I made a great trade deal months before this whole thing happened and it was kicking in, you know, a month ago and starting to kick in and starting to produce and then this happens and it sort of overrides so much. It just — I’ve been very tough in China over the years. I’ve been saying China’s been ripping us off at a level that nobody’s ever ripped us off before. And I’ve been tough on other countries too because they all did. We’ve renegotiated a deal with Japan, we’re taking in $40 billion — KILMEADE: What came out of that call, Mr. President? What came out of that call? TRUMP: — last night. Yes, there was a call and it was a call between top representatives of both and it moves along. But Brian, look, I feel differently than I did. I was the most — I was very tough with China. They have to buy $250 billion worth of product, et cetera, et cetera. OK, a lot from our farmers — 40 to 50 billion for our farmers. I was very excited. That was the first time — nobody else ever made a trade deal with China because they couldn’t do it. Because China wouldn’t do it. Because China had a one-way street — DOOCEY: Mr. President? TRUMP: — to rip the United States off. Hey, Brian, we were losing $500 — DOOCEY: Mr. President. TRUMP: — billion a year. Five hundred. And so I’m very — I’m very torn as to — I have not decided yet, if you want to know the truth. DOOCEY: All right, Mr. President. We have a FOX News Alert. The numbers just came out moments ago, the April jobs release — report has just been released. 20.5 million jobs lost last month. That is slightly lower than what was expected. The unemployment rate rising from 4.4 percent to 14.7 percent. The numbers are terrible. TRUMP: No. No, it’s fully expected. DOOCEY: But we know why. TRUMP: Yes. It’s fully expected. There’s no surprise. Everybody knows that. Somebody said, oh, look at this. Well, even the Democrats aren’t blaming me for that, but what I can do is I’ll bring it back. Look, I created with a lot of great people and with the country because our country’s warriors and now maybe more than ever because they’re going back to work and there’s — they’re warriors. We created the greatest economy in the history of the world, best we’ve ever had, best employment numbers, best stock markets, best number of jobs. In every way the best economy in the history of the world. We were blowing away China. We were blowing away everybody. We were the envy of the world and then they came in and they explained it, and they said, sir, you have to turn it off. We have to close the country. And I said, say it again. They said, sir, you have to close the country. Nobody ever heard of a thing like this but they were right because if I didn’t we would have lost two million, two and a half million, maybe more than that people, and we’ll be at 100,000, 110,000, higher — the lower level of what was projected if we did the shutdown, but still you’re talking about — I say two Yankee stadiums of people. It’s unacceptable. It’s unacceptable, but I created — as president we had the strongest economy in the history of the world, the strongest economy we’ve ever had, and we had to close it which is artificial. We artificially closed it. Those jobs will all be back, and they’ll be back very soon, and next year we’re going to have a phenomenal year. People are ready to go. We got to get it open. People — (CROSSTALK) EARHARDT: Mr. President — (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: — and safely. People are ready to go. EARHARDT: Mr. President, let’s talk about the presidential race because we’re about six months away, and last night Tara Reade had an interview. She’s the accuser accusing Joe Biden of sexual harassment, which he denies, but she said that she wants him to drop out of the race. She said I bet he won’t, but she’s calling on him to drop out. What’s your reaction? TRUMP: Well I got to see a piece of it and, you know, look. He’s got to fight that battle. I’ve had battles, too, where I’ve had false accusations many times. I think you understand that. We had one recently, a woman in Florida made an accusation and it was one tape. It was on a camera, and the judge is furious. Went to court because I’m not going to — you know, there — they made a false accusation. It went to court and proved my case 100 percent. I got lucky somebody was — (CROSSTALK) EARHARDT: So are you saying what she’s saying is false? TRUMP: — taping a meeting. I don’t know if it’s false or not. I mean, Joe’s going to have to be able to prove whatever he has to prove or she has to prove it, but that’s a battle he has to fight. I’ve had many false accusations made. I can tell you that. Many. And maybe this is a false accusation. DOOCY: Right. TRUMP: Frankly I hope it is for his sake. KILMEADE: Mr. President, last night a father and son were charged in the fatal shooting of a Georgia man, 25-year-old African-America. This has been two months ago it actually happened. A video emerged and it’s created a national wide outrage. He’s 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, a football star that was just jogging. You said during the day I’m going to learn more about it at night. Now it’s the next morning. What can you tell us about it? What’s your reaction to it? TRUMP: So I saw the tape and it’s very, very disturbing, the tape. I got to see it. It’s very disturbing. I looked at a picture of that young man. He was in a tuxedo, and in fact you put it up. And I will say that that looks like a really good, young guy. And it looks very — it’s a very disturbing situation to me, and I just — you know, my heart goes out to the parents and the family and the friends, but yet we have to take it. Law enforcement’s going to look at it and have a good governor in the state and he’s going to — a very good governor actually, and he’s going to be looking at it very strongly and he’s going to do what’s right, but it’s a heartbreaking thing. That was very rough. Rough stuff. KILMEADE: Mr. President, in the past when there’s been a black-white shooting, a lot of times things get — spiral out of control. What can you do to make sure justice is done and this doesn’t end up in a racial situation? TRUMP: Well justice getting done is the thing that solves that problem, and again it’s in the hands of the governor, and I’m sure he’ll do the right thing. You know, it could be something that we didn’t see on tape. There could be a lot — you know, if you saw things went off tape and then back on tape, but it was a troubling — I mean, to anybody that watched it certainly it was a disturbing or troubling video. No question about that, but they have very good law enforcement in the state of Georgia, and I’m sure they’re going to come up with exactly what happened. It’s a sad — it’s a sad thing. Very sad thing. Hate to see that. DOOCY: Right. Mr. President, let me ask you about something that we hardly ever see anymore, and that is the U.S. Supreme Court had a unanimous decision yesterday regarding the infamous Bridgegate situation on the George Washington Bridge — (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: Right. DOOCY: — years ago that — (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: Right. DOOCY: — derailed Chris Christi’s presidential motivations. They said that they did — they closed the George Washington Bridge but they did not, the Supreme Court say, they did not commit the fraud and the conspiracy that they were accused of. You see motivation with Democrats again, don’t you? TRUMP: Oh, I do. I think it’s the same group basically. It’s the Comey group whether he is there or not the whole thing whether he was involved. I don’t even know that but it’s the Obama Justice Department. And they went after Chris Christie and they went after that group of people. And I was so happy to see it was at nine nothing. No, I actually called Chris and congratulated him. And you’re right; it destroyed his probably political career in a certain way. But I think now he can come back. That’s better than a pardon in a certain way. That’s better than a pardon, it’s better than anything you can get. We talked about it yesterday nine to nothing including some very liberal judges voting — justices voting in favor. So, I thought it was a great achievement to the sense and Chris fought that long and hard. He’s been fighting for years and so have the others. You got to give them and their lawyers a lot of credit and they won nine nothing. And it’s a little bit different than our situation but it’s still a corrupt group of prosecutors going after Republicans. And the Republicans should get tougher. I don’t understand it. They let this happen. The Republicans should get much tougher. We have a great Republican Party now, the party of Abraham Lincoln. People forget that. We have a great party that’s very — I mean when you see in Congress that I have 90 on a phony, fake, crooked, illegal impeachment. It was just a disgrace that they could do that. But that was Nancy Pelosi. There’s another terrible politician. She lost the House before because of her stupidity. She’s highly overrated, a bad woman. She doesn’t even want to go to work. She’s in California sitting in her expensive house. It’s the whole thing and in the meantime what’s happening around her house is horrible with the homeless not being taken care of, et cetera. So, she should come back. It’s time for her to come back. But that was a terrible thing where they have the most — one thing I’ll say with the Democrats, they always stick together. They’re herded up like sheep and whether it’s Pelosi or crying Chuck Schumer, they’re herded up like sheep — KILMEADE: Right. TRUMP: — and they very rarely descend. But that was a beautiful thing about what I had with the exception of Romney and at least he gave us half a vote. But with the exception of Romney we had 100 percent of the Republicans. You kind of think of it we had I guess 196 to nothing and we had three Democrats join us. 196 to nothing and 52.5 to a half, the Republicans stuck together. And they’re not known for that and I give a lot of credit to Kevin and to Mitch. But Republicans really stuck together. And everyone knew it was a hoax. It was a total hoax. KILMEADE: Right. EARHARDT: Mr. President, let’s talk about Venezuela. Did you order that — those two Special Forces — ex Special Forces soldiers to go down there who are allegedly attacking Madura? TRUMP: No. We have nothing to do with it. Ainsley, if I wanted to go into Venezuela I wouldn’t make a secret about it. I’d go in and they would do nothing about it. EARHARDT: Yes. TRUMP: There would roll over (ph) — EARHARDT: And you’ve probably send more people, right? TRUMP: I would — yes, I wouldn’t send a small little group. No, no, no. It would be called an army. EARHARDT: Will you go and get them? TRUMP: Well, I don’t know too much about it. This was a rogue group that went in there. A lot of Venezuelans, I think people from other countries also was a group of people that went in. I saw their pictures on a beach. It wasn’t led by General George Washington, obviously. This was not a good attack. I think they were caught before they ever hit land. But no, I know nothing about it. I’d say this; the government has nothing to do with it at all. And I have to find out what happened. But we don’t need — if we ever did anything with Venezuela it wouldn’t be that way, it would be slightly different. It would be called an invasion. KILMEADE: Right. Mr. President, Steve mentioned earlier to you one of your valets with the Navy, he’s close to you, they said he serves a lot of your food, tested positive. Having said that, they said to wear masks because in case you or I are positive we’re not going to give somebody else — give the virus to somebody else. TRUMP: Right. KILMEADE: Are you going to at this point, being there’s so much at stake with the Vice President and you and all your staff, are you going to ask for people who serve you food to start wearing masks, gloves — TRUMP: They’ve already started. KILMEADE: — some of the precautions that we’re doing out here? TRUMP: The answer is yes. And they’ve already started. They’ve already started. And this was a gentleman, very good guy but he was, I guess, off for three or four days. And then he was off over the weekend and off on Monday, and on Tuesday he was in the room and very virtually I don’t think any contact, but he was in the room. And then I went to get tested and I tested fine. You know, negative, I’d guess you say. Negative. And then I got tested a second time and I tested negative, so — and Mike Pence likewise because Mike would be there sometimes, you know, when he’d walk in, but he was not there for awhile, and he’s a fine, young guy, so it’s just one of those things. And this is why testing isn’t necessary. We have the best testing in the world but testing’s not necessarily the answer because they were testing them. They tested him four days before and, you know, now I guess everybody’s — (CROSSTALK) KILMEADE: You get it in the afternoon. TRUMP: — being tested every day. Yes, so that’s (inaudible) — (CROSSTALK) DOOCY: Yes. You know, Mr. President, we all want — (CROSSTALK) TRUMP: — but testing only goes so far. DOOCY: We all want — pardon the interruption. Thank you, sir. You know, we all want to get back to life the way it used to be. You know, we know you’d like to have your big rallies and you would like everybody to be able to campaign the traditional style by the — at some point in the summer before the November election. There’s a little bit of good news yesterday, and that is the NFL has released a schedule. Of course, it’s all tentative. It depends on what’s going to happen. That’s a sign that we’re headed in the right direction. TRUMP: Well, it’s not even good news. It’s great news, and I hope that happens with other sports, too, and UFC is having a big fight this weekend, which has become a hot sport, and which is going to be in Florida, and that’s going to be great. I think they’re not going to have people initially. They’re going to have empty but it probably works with the bright arena right in the middle and the seats are darkened out. I think it might work for fighting. But the NFL is doing it. I think it’s a great decision. Keep the season going. It’s a shame when, you know, in 50 years from now when you look at records and you’re seeing a dead season, it’s a shame. I don’t know what basketball’s going to do. I spoke with all of the commissioners on numerous occasions, but no. We want to get sports back in our country. We have to get them back. And it’s going to happen, but the NFL took a great step, and they’re — they mean business, too. They’re going to do it. They have all sorts of contingency plans in case something happens, and they’ll move games from one location to another. They’re going to do it, and that’s a great thing they’re doing. EARHARDT: Mr. President, this Sunday is Mother’s Day. What are your plans? What are you going to do for Melania? And do you have a message for all the moms that are watching this morning? TRUMP: Well, we’ll be together. I’m going to Camp David, meeting, a big meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Camp David is this very special place that nobody ever gets to see, but it’s a great work environment, and we’re going to have meetings on different things, and our military has never looked better. It’s never been better. We’ve never had the kind of equipment that we have now. And, you know, we had planes that were 50-years-old and more. Fighter jets. Now we have the best in the world, the F-35 and the F-18 — (CROSSTALK) DOOCY: Right. TRUMP: — and, you know, what we have is incredible. The equipment and the people we have are great, but you know, they have to have equipment, and we spend $1.5 trillion. Really more than that, and we’ve totally rebuilt out military, which you have a to do. You know, I’m a very budget conscious person. It’s what you have to do. The nice thing it was all built in the USA and plenty of equipment coming. A lot of this equipment is coming. KILMEADE: Right. TRUMP: So it’s very important that we have the best military and we have the — our military has never been in condition like it is now and soon will be. EARHARDT: Do you have a message for the moms that are watching? TRUMP: Well all I can say is Happy Mother’s Day. And I had a great mom. I love my mom, and she loved me, which isn’t hard — which is I must tell you, probably not easy to do, but she was so good to me. (LAUGHTER) She was so good. I couldn’t do any wrong, which is a big problem. Maybe that’s why I ended up the way I ended up. I don’t know. I couldn’t do any wrong in her eyes, and I had a great father, too. Great guy. Very different types, but my mother was a terrific woman, and Melania’s been a great mother to Baron, I will tell you that. Baron is growing up really beautifully, and she’s been a great mother to Baron. KILMEADE: And she’s a soccer mom, I know that. TRUMP: She is. KILMEADE: Mr. President, what do you think your mom would say when she says my son is going to be President of the United States? Would she be surprised that you’re President of the United States? TRUMP: Well, I think any mother would be, right? You know, if you look statistically 350 million people and one gets it. And so, you know, anybody would be no matter how well you do with life and your earlier life, but my mother was somebody that gave me a lot of confidence and she believed in me. So she would say that she would be, but I think everybody would be. I think everybody would be. My father was the same. I mean, he was a strong guy, but he was a good man, very good human being, very good person. And he always had confidence in me. So — and in our family. I mean we have — we just had confidence and I had really, really good parents — such an advantage in life. You see so much with the single families and the children growing up without a mother or a father or whatever it may be. It’s a very tough situation for people – very, very tough situation for people. If you’re lucky and there’s a lot of luck involved, but if you’re lucky enough to have one great parent — ideally two great parents — what a tremendous advantage it is in life. It’s a tremendous thing. I miss mine — I miss my parents. DOOCEY: Indeed. Yes, so do I — miss my parents. Mr. President before you go, we just asked you questions for 50 minutes. Is there anything else you’d like to tell America before you get to work today? TRUMP: Right. Well you people are so professional you pretty much cleaned it. I think nobody wants to interview me now for the next two weeks or five weeks or whatever. That would be OK with me, by the way. But you pretty much cleaned the plate. I can’t think of anything, but I just want to say our nation — our country is going to be bigger, better and stronger than ever before. I did it once and we’re going to do it again and it’s going to happen very soon. And it’s already starting the process. EARHARDT: Well, Mr. President, thank you so much for being with us. TRUMP: And thank you. And by the way, while we’re at it, let me wish all of the mothers out there a very Happy Mother’s Day because that’ll be great. And so, I’ll give you a little bit of an early Mother’s Day — Happy Mother’s Day. EARHARDT: Yes, they are very special. Hardest job you’ll ever love, though. It’s wonderful. TRUMP: That’s probably true. EARHARDT: Such a blessing. TRUMP: Thank you very much and thank you all. Appreciate it. Thank you, Ainsley. EARHARDT: OK. We’re going to take a quick break and you’re welcome and thank you. KILMEADE: Thanks, Mr. President. EARHARDT: Let’s take a quick break and then Geraldo is on the other side of the break.