Why? Perhaps the interview with Dobbs can offer some insight. Here, in order, was what Dobbs said to Trump over one stretch of the interview, according to a Fox News transcript.
- You’re also one of the most loved and respected — in history. And how does that feel? How — where is Donald Trump today, as you are just now beginning your presidency?
- Without question —
- Yes. And —
- Well — I — you — you are a, if I may say, everything as advertised as you ran for president. And appreciate everything you’re doing. Thanks so much.
Over the course of the interview, during which Dobbs was quoted by Fox 68 times, Dobbs said “right” in response to the president 16 times. A quarter of his responses. Not the hardest-hitting stuff.
To be fair, there have been interviews in which Fox hosts have held Trump’s feet to the fire. (See Tucker Carlson’s interview from March.) More often, though, Trump is not playing softball so much as teeball — see the two interviews he has done with Sean Hannity.
As in: See them below. We’ve taken official Fox transcripts and stripped out Trump’s replies. Skim through to get a sense of the exchanges Trump has had with interviews from the Fox News family. To make that skimming easier, we’ve color-coded the replies. Yellow responses are those we think were critical or challenging to Trump; baby-blue ones are those that agreed with or praised him. We didn’t even color-code the teeball questions. We trust you’ll recognize those without a prompt.
These are in chronological order, so it ends with that Dobbs interview this week. It ends, in other words, with “Mr. President, thank you.”
KEY: positive/agreeing, critical/challenging
Sean Hannity (Fox News), Jan. 26
What a week this has been.
Well that’s what I wanted; first I got some time to talk with you earlier in the week in the Oval Office. And the thing that really stood out to me is you seem to be enjoying yourself and very focused on all the promises you made in the campaign. Is it your intention to keep every promise?
Let’s talk a little bit about the Executive Orders on Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen and 120 ban that goes to the promise of extreme vetting.
Would it be gambling if (inaudible) at some point when there is a procedure in place, if you can ascertain whether or not somebody’s been radicalized or not, or if radical groups actually trained some of their soldiers to say the right things to get in. But if you capture, positively ascertain they’re safe, and find out what’s in their heart, does that mean no go? Does that mean you won’t gamble?
In all areas?
You do not need Congress now as it relates to building a wall. And you said in an interview last night that you plan to do this expeditiously.
That’s about 700 mile[s] of fencing, other measures as well. Do you think you’ll need more than that? Will you have to go to Congress to get their support for–?
You’re talking about a real wall, impenetrable.
Let me talk about a big decision you’re going to make next week. You’ve announced on Thursday you will make your Supreme Court choice–
Announcement. Two questions on that. One, will it be from the list that you gave out during the campaign?
Will it be an originalist?
Have you made your decision?
Chuck Schumer, others threatening, we’ve never had a Supreme Court Justice filibustered. But there’s a chance that might happen.
Would you want Mitch McConnell to use the nuclear option–
There are people–
Leaking in Washington? That’s a shock.
Let me ask you, I don’t remember you saying this in the campaign, and I was on the road with you quite a bit. We did a lot of the town halls together. They are now talking about a 10 percent reduction in spending, in other words eliminating baseline budgeting, a 20 percent reduction in the government workforce. How important is a balanced budget to you and were you surprised Republicans before you got here raised the debt ceiling $9.7 trillion?
I heard you got the price down quite a bit already.
But you do want that 10 percent short of the military?
One of the worst ways it seems to spend money is going through the Washington bureaucracy. Every congressman has their pet project. There’s been talk about infrastructure; anywhere the Democrats want a trillion dollars.
I think you talked about $137 billion to start. Is that something you want to pay as you go? Is that something you’d rather–?
Yeah, by the way, I hear a helicopter out there in the background. You took great pride in meeting with Carrier, saving jobs. Meeting with Ford, savings jobs. You’ve met with union people–
$7 billion, by the way.
But is, you want to get rid of 75 percent of regulation.
Paul Ryan said 20 percent corporate tax rate, you want a 15 percent–
Right. The media, a little bit of a contentious start, if you will, with them. They want to, I’ve seen now, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, they’ve used the word liar to describe you. As it relates if you’re talking about crowd size–
But they also colluded against you in a campaign–
And my question to you is–
I said journalism’s dead, so we agree.
Martin Luther King’s bust?
I know. You know when you do well.
So then, here’s my question. Between Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, I think you reach 50 million people. So, if we know now through WikiLeaks, some of these networks were colluding with Hillary’s campaign to defeat you. I’ve seen major newspapers to cable networks that use the word liar. And my question to you is: Does that make you want to rethink entirely how this administration will deal with the media?
But I don’t remember them treating Barack Obama this way.
Obamacare. The Republicans, they’re meeting in Philly and you are going to see them, but they had an artificial deadline — they set the deadline for tomorrow.
They don’t think they’re going to make that. You want at the same time repeal and replace. I know there are nine separate plans out there. What is crucial for you to have in that plan to —
It went up $5,400 when it was supposed to be down $2,500 a year. Let me move on.
You can’t even buy a catastrophic plan.
Could you do it in four years?
You’ve mentioned the forgotten man a lot both during the campaign —
— and woman. And in your inaugural speech. And you mentioned it last night. I gave you statistics, the very first interview I did with you, 95 million Americans out of the labor force, nearly 50 million in poverty, 44 million Americans on food stamps.
I say it every night.
One day, you asked, what are all those numbers you give. But explain, by getting rid of regulation, energy independence, jobs that will be created, a 15 percent — from the highest corporate tax rate to the lowest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world and repatriating trillions. How does that help and impact those people I talk about all the time?
And trade deals. You got rid of TPP. You want all bilateral trade agreements —
But you want bilateral?
One of the problems we have is evil in our time.
Winston Churchill dealt with evil in his time. Roosevelt dealt with evil in his time. My father fought in World War II.
That’s true. This is different.
Waterboarding black sites came up in your interview last night. And I was thinking, if I had an opportunity to speak with David Muir, I’d say, okay, two guys go into your house, they kidnap your child, one guy gets away with your child, you tackle the other guy, that guy knows where your child is, would you don’t waterboard that guy?
That’s why it was legal.
Well, we actually know it works. I interviewed — there were only three people that America waterboarded. One of whom was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. That led us to the courier who led us to bin Laden. And I know because I talked to the guy that was running the program at the time.
I want to ask you about —
None. Not one.
We both lost friends that day.
I would ask David Muir, if they kidnapped your kid and you have one of the kidnappers, what would you do to get the location of your child?
It’s over at that point.
I spoke to the guy that ran the program and saw the waterboarding of those three people. Let me ask you this. I will go through these very quickly, the countries that you’re going to be doing with now. Israel, one of our closest partners. Prime Minister Netanyahu is coming. One of the big issues is the embassy, Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. How important is it to repair this relationship and what about that move of that embassy?
It’s repaired already.
Within five minutes?
And you’re holding back the money — the last-minute money that President Obama gave to the Palestinians.
Where do you stand on the embassy from Tel Aviv to —
How about — I know you spoke to Gen. el-Sisi, did you ever see the speech that he gave on radical Islam?
And do you believe he could —
Do you trust the Saudis? Over the years, I would argue they’ve been very duplicitous.
Have you talked to Vladimir Putin yet? So much came up about this. Have you had discussions with him?
How about the leaders of China?
And I know you spoke to the leaders in India. What about Pakistan?
Let me ask this. I think is important. I actually agree with you wholeheartedly about the Iranian deal.
We paid them ransom.
Let me ask you about the power of the pardon, which is absolute for a president. One night, I know you were watching my show, and I had the mother of the sailor who is spending a year in jail because he took six pictures for his own use in a submarine and you were comparing it. Would that be something early on, you would consider?
Did you get the story of Clint Lorance, another guy, got 30 years. He was doing his job, protecting his team in Afghanistan.
When you saw the Women’s March this week and then you hear Madonna say, I thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House, imagine if I said that when Barack Obama was here.
Last question, and then we’re going to — you will take us to the Oval Office, which is nice. You were very passionate last night about Chicago and about the violence. In the course of Barack Obama’s presidency, 4,000 people died, murdered, and another however-many-thousand more shot. You might go in and help fix it if they can’t fix it.
It’s a war zone.
So let me — it’s inauguration night. You gave your speech.
You go to the balls, you come back, and you’re in the White House, in the residence with Melania. And by the way that’s Marine One right there.
And so my question is, what’d you think? What are you thinking?
What a beautiful helicopter.
I have known you for years, and on a personal level, whenever I have ever talked to you, it’s either 11 p.m., 12 midnight, 1 a.m. or 5 or 6 a.m. You’re a workaholic.
You get bored on vacations?
You’re busy now.
Hard on your family? (inaudible) met your son. Your 10-year-old.
What a wonderful, smart, charming kid. And then they attack him, that’s got to hurt you and Melania.
And he’s a great kid.
I know him. I know — yes.
I know you talked a little bit about this, the nuclear codes. How long was that meeting? How in depth was it?
And that’s what you said about Putin, if we can get a long, we’ll get along.
It’s going to be harder — right. In many cases it’s going to be harder when — I’ve always said there’s a clash of culture… As it relates to you know countries that practice Sharia. By the way we’re in the Oval Office.
By the way—
Get a shot of these.
It was a pretty rough campaign.
When you first walk in this office everyday and you think of it—
I’ve got one question about the desk, and you have Ivanka and Jared have young kids, are we going to see one of the kids maybe crawling through there?
Why did you pick that desk?
You were very impressed with your phones too.
We need to.
I assume you’re going to be putting, there’s a picture of your father—
That wasn’t there yesterday.
I did notice that.
And I really — why did you choose the rug of Reagan? You could have also designed your own.
In your lifetime, who was the president that maybe you admire the most?
I was surprised — my last question for you. I was surprised last night. I was watching your interview and you were holding up the letter that Barack Obama had let — had left you.
Seemed like a lengthy letter.
And you seemed to have a personal rapport with him and you were right, this was a really, really incredibly vicious campaign.
He doesn’t talk to me.
I can’t figure out why, yeah.
Helpful to you?
Very, very last question.
Has this whole experience changed you in ways — in any way that you can think of?
Mr. President, good to see you.
Thank you for your time, you’ve been very generous.
Bill O’Reilly (Fox News), Feb. 5
So another big week for the Trump administration. Judge Gorsuch, that roll out went very smoothly I think.
Alright. But the refugee deal, not so much.
You wouldn’t do anything differently if you had to do it over again?
I mean some of your people didn’t really know what the order was?
Let’s talk about Iran. Your assessment; do you think we’re on a collision course, we being the United States, with that country?
The nuclear you’re talking about?
Possible you tear it up?
So it’s possible –
Sanctions, that’s how you’re going to start with them?
But you’re moving a carrier right?
So you’re not real bullish on Iran at this point?
You talked to Putin last week, you had a busy week last week.
Do you respect Putin?
Do you? Why?
But he’s a killer though. Putin’s a killer.
I don’t know of any government leaders that are killers.
Mistakes are different than–
Let’s talk about Mexico. There was a report you talked to President Nieto and you told him, this was the report I want to know if it’s true or not, that if his army couldn’t handle the drug cartels that U.S. Army soldiers would, did you say that?
Got a problem.
At this point do you consider Mexico a corrupt country? Because this stuff has been going on for decades.
Have you figured out what kind of a tariff you’re going to levy on Mexico to pay for the wall?
Yeah you intimidated them – they’re afraid of you.
Oh come on, they’re afraid of you. You know these companies.
They want to do what’s right?
Why didn’t they do what was right in the past? They’re afraid of you.
Let’s turn [to] domestic policy. I just spent the week in California. As you know they are now voting on whether they should become a sanctuary state. So California and the USA are on a collision course. How do you see it?
So defunding is your weapon of choice–
Is there any validity to the criticism of you, that you say things you can’t back up factually and as the President if you say for example that there are 3 million illegal aliens who voted and then you don’t have the data to back it up. Some people are going to say, that’s irresponsible for a president to say that. Is there any validity to it?
I know, but you have to have data to back that up.
— you think you will be proven correct in that state?
The data already shows that 3 million illegals voted.
Well that’s good. Let’s get to the bottom of it. Now 2017, can Americans expect a tax cut?
Can Americans in 2017 expect a new health-care plan rolled out by the Trump administration this year?
All right, last question, you get four hours of sleep or some crazy thing like that, when your head hits the pillow, do you ever say to yourself, I can’t believe I’m here. I cannot believe that I am the president of the United States, when I wasn’t a politician. I didn’t start out this way. That wasn’t my life goal. Does that ever come into your mind?
Football. how do you see this game?
They’re all taking gas…
So you’re rooting for the Patriots?
Sure, now Fox Sports is demanding I ask you to make a prediction.
You have to.
By how many points?
Alright, so that’s your good presidential prediction.
Mr. President, thanks very much for taking the time.
Tucker Carlson (Fox News), March 15
Mr. President, thanks for joining us.
So last night, your tax return from 2005, the first two pages, appeared, and the reporter who got it, he said in his mailbox, said that the front of it is stamped client copy, and he suggested that it did not come from the IRS, but that it was leaked to him potentially by someone in the White House, wasn’t it?
So it showed that you paid about a little less than 25 percent federal taxes on your income that year, which was more than a lot of people, but it’s still less than the 40 percent that wage earners, people do investments, would be paying. Is it fair to have a tax system — I know you’re doing tax reform soon — where wage earners pay twice the tax that investors do?
But you want to start — and you can imagine a system where I think federal top is a little less than 40 percent. Obviously taxes at the top on capital are 20, but you’d like to see them at parity?
So you said, in a subsequent bill — let’s talk about this bill. So it’s been seven years since Obamacare passed, and Republicans have said the whole time, we’re going to get rid of it, and we’re going to give you something better. Are you satisfied with the bill we’re now looking at that Paul Ryan is pushing is the best the Republicans could do after seven years of thinking about it?
This bill has, as one of its centerpieces, a tax cut for investors that would primarily benefit people making over $250,000 a year. Already done pretty well in the past 10 years, as you know. A Bloomberg analysis showed that counties that voted for you, middle-class and working-class counties, would do far less well under this bill than the counties that voted for Hillary, the more affluent counties.
It seems like —
— maybe this isn’t consistent with the message of the last election.
Are you confident that Paul Ryan — I mean, doesn’t seem like you agree on economics or foreign policy or social policy. Are you confident that you share enough in common that he can — he’s on board with your interests?
So on March 4, 6:35 in the morning, you’re down in Florida, and you tweet, the former administration wiretapped me, surveilled me, at Trump Tower during the last election. How did you find out? You said, I just found out. How did you learn that?
So, 51,000 people retweeted that. So a lot of people thought that was plausible, they believe you, you’re the president — you’re in charge of the agencies. Every intelligence agency reports to you. Why not immediately go to them and gather evidence to support that?
Why not wait to tweet about it until you can prove it? Don’t you devalue your words when you can’t provide evidence?
Right, but you’re the president. You have the ability to gather all the evidence you want.
Do you talk to anyone before you tweet? And is there anyone in the White House who can say to you, Mr. President, please don’t tweet that, who you would listen to?
But then they say to you, but you’re — I mean, as you know, the response — look, so you had this big speech to the joint session on Tuesday. You had great press all week, bipartisan, and then you let off this tweet, and immediately, people say —
You can’t back up what you say.
Do you think it’s okay to make — the counterargument, even from people who support you, who say look, I support Donald Trump, I believe what he believes, and I want him to succeed badly, but if the president says something that cannot be proved or is demonstrably untrue, he devalues his own currency.
Does it ever go through any kind of mediator —
Do you show your staff and —
Last question. European nationalism, obviously, is flowering, and a lot of it is about immigration and culture. Do you think it’s possible to move a large Muslim population into the West and successfully integrate them into Western culture? Have you seen that anywhere?
Could we do it here?
Mr. President, thanks.
Martha MacCallum (Fox News), April 28
Well, you made a pretty good effort to get a lot of things done in the past few days.
You are a registered Democrat for a long time, now Republican president of the United States, and people say, “Well, President Trump is not an ideologue, he is a pragmatist.” How would you describe your political philosophy?
Like what, how would you change them?
You don’t have to do that anymore.
You really try to make a lot of moves to shrink the size of government, to shrink the size of the bureaucracy. But people say why not be concerned about the deficit? Why allow it to balloon with this tax reform deal and why not touch entitlements because unless you do that, you’re not really ever going to take a bite out of the spending.
Four buy one?
In terms of legislation you’re going to see everywhere on Saturday that there was no major legislation passed in the first hundred days. You have the Republican Congress —
You are right and we have looked at the list. I should’ve been more specific about —
— having about health-care reform —
— tax reform —
— immigration reform? Okay.
But my question for you is about — is about Congress because when you were running you said I’m going to do great deals with Congress, I’m going to have great relationships on Capitol Hill. Are you disappointed with how the Republicans have handled these big issues? Health care went down the first time.
And there was some suggestion it might happen today but now it’s not going to happen.
I hear you, but, you know —
But I want to know about the leadership on this, because after the first health-care bill did not pass you said I have complete confidence in Paul Ryan. Do you still have complete confidence that he can get these moderates on board with the House Freedom Caucus, because you’ve got to get everybody upon the raft?
So they’re going to get it done.
And the timeframe?
Next week? Okay.
And a lot of people said they had all these years to put these bills together, these plans together, and they —
Maybe they didn’t know that you were going to win, so they weren’t ready.
So what — what do you say to the members of Congress who say well, you know, the president’s approval numbers are in the high 40s.
I’m not necessarily going to, you know, bend to his will because on tax reform and on health care, I might lose my own election at home that you don’t have the numbers to make it —
— important for them to come along with you?
Well, that story is not — is not going anywhere as you know. I mean, that story has a lot of, sort of, avenues to it and the most recent one comes back to Mike Flynn who — when he left when here signed you said that he was treated horribly and that you felt badly about that. Given what we now are seeing on the payments from Turkey and Russia, would you stand by that comment?
I want to move on to a couple of other quick things because I know we’re short on time. The huge cut that small businesses would see would also be enjoyed by hedge funds and also by real estate companies. Is that going to make it tougher for you to get that big cut through for the past through past companies in your tax reform?
But your critics are going to say, “Well, real estate companies like President Trump’s company will benefit along with that middle cut,” so is there — is it going to make it harder for you to get that big cut in the middle, the 39 takes to 50?
We’ll eliminate those and then —
So your life pretty much changed completely after Election Day, how would you say the presidency has changed you?
Do you ever think will may be one term would be enough of this kind of life?
Personal question for you, you’re going back to New York.
I’m surprised that you haven’t been back to New York yet since you became president.
Yes, we were around the corner, we know.
We’re looking forward to having your — the first lady and your son will be here soon?
Mr. President, thank you very much.
Good to be with you.
Ainsley Earhardt (Fox News), June 23
Big news today, you didn’t — you said you didn’t tape James Comey. Do you want to explain that? Why did you want him to believe that you possibly did that?
It was a smart way to make sure he stayed honest in those hearings.
Robert Mueller do you think he should recuse himself? He is friends with James Comey. He has hired attorneys that were part of Hillary Clinton’s foundation and given money to both President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Should he recuse himself?
Pete Hegseth (Fox News), Sep. 25
You have certainly started a national conversation this week, Mr. President, on the NFL. You say the NFL situation is a very important situation. Your critics say it’s been a distraction, but you say it’s critical. And you talk about words like patriotism and citizenship. Why is this such an important issue for you?
What prompted that in Alabama? Why did you step out?
Mr. President, we’re here in Indiana. You’re going to launch your tax reform plan in front of this crowd. Who is your tax plan intended to help?
Are there any rates or brackets that are non-negotiable?
Mr. President, the health-care bill this week didn’t — went down in the Senate. What about this plan makes you feel confident that it won’t meet the same fate?
Do you still have confidence in Mitch McConnell?
Do you feel like when you start negotiating with Democrats, do you feel like you can trust Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi?
You’ve been discussing a new deal?
Sean Hannity (Fox News), Oct. 11
How are you, Mr. President?
It’s my second interview since you’ve been president. You guys want to start with good news? Do you want some good news?
You don’t get a lot of good news in the media.
The markets up 25 percent since you were — won. You tweeted this out but nobody in the media brings it up. So I said, you know what, I’m going to bring it up tonight. $5.2 trillion in wealth created. We have the lowest unemployment rate in 16 years.
You came back to Pennsylvania. I know you’ve been in Wisconsin and Michigan and Ohio and North Carolina because a lot of people still need opportunity and jobs.
You’re really here. You’re going to be talking at length about your economic plan.
Let’s talk about it.
Let’s go through it. So — and this is important. I mean, how many — there’s no two accountants that can give you the same liability to the government if you give them the same information. That’s how complicated the tax code is. You want to drop seven brackets to three?
You said — you said the corporate rate….
… which is so important, you said 20 percent is your max.
The top 10 percent pays 70 percent of the tax bill. The bottom 50 percent pay 2 [percent] of the total income tax rate.
Why is the — there are multinational corporations that have parked trillions of dollars in countries that offer them better tax relief. You’re trying to incentive those trillions to come back here with a lower repatriation rate. How low will that be? And how much do you think you can bring back into the United States? And what does it mean?
You’re never going to bring it back.
One of the things some people have brought up, like our —
Every time I turn — tune in to anybody else in the media except Fox, they all have tax cuts for the wealthy.
Now the rate for some people, go — goes down. But if you live in a state like New York, or Illinois, and New Jersey, or California you won’t be able to deduct your local or state income tax. In other words, if you elect [politicians] that want to raise taxes, you’re going to pay the penalty. So that’s not really true that this is a tax cut for the wealthy, as they’re portraying it. What is your answer to that?
No income tax.
But you also — a big part of it, you’ve already done. And that is, you’ve ended a lot of the Obama era regulations, especially in industries like energy and coal. —
There seems to be — you have a very strong commitment. You just recently went forward with Anwar. You’ve put in place opportunities for the coal mining industry, like fracking. We do have an opportunity to be energy independent. And there seems to be millions of high-paying career jobs for people available. If that decision is made, how big a part is that for the economic recovery?
This isn’t a bad area, is it?
You also won there. You also won Pennsylvania, right? Is he going to win Pennsylvania in 2020, too?
The biggest obstacle, before you arrived here, I had an opportunity to interview a lot of people in this great crowd. And I asked them basically three different questions. What they thought of you. Overwhelmingly, there’s a lot of support for you here. Congress — when I asked them about — what was your answer on Congress?
What was your answer on the media?
We saw what happened with health care and John McCain. This economic plan sounds a lot to me like what Reagan did and that created 20 million new jobs and revenues doubled. This is important for your agenda.
How do you get this through the Senate, which has not had a good record in the last 10 months?
Do you agree with that, fake news?
This is important. In 1974, there was…
Truckers would benefit.
So with some people, you saw and heard Bob Corker. Jon McCain wasn’t there, even though I can run…
So that’s got to be frustrating and disappointing.
You think you can get it done by the end of the year?
I think they’ll be higher tonight. I’m just guessing.
Barack Obama was the first president in history that never hit 3 percent GDP growth of a single year in his presidency, which I think speaks volumes.
Of the treasury.
A lot of people — I was surprised, watching all last year with Colin Kaepernick. The guy praised a murdering thug dictator.
He had socks that depicted cops as pigs. And other issues, he actually donated to a charity that actually supported a cop killer. And then we saw the NFL. And you took it on, it appears, based on the letter that Roger Goodell put out yesterday, that Donald Trump initiated a debate over standing for the flag and our anthem and those that fought, bled and died and looks like you won.
One second. I’ve got to take a water break.
There’s no air conditioner.
This was important to you.
Obviously, the people of the country are with you. Hundreds of thousands of people fought, bled — hundreds of thousands died fighting under that flag.
When you look at the Obama years, Chicago. One city, his adopted home town, 3,900 people were murdered. In the last six years of Obama’s presidency, 18,000 shootings. I don’t think he mentioned it but three or four times.
And disproportionately, his economic policies hurt black Americans, Hispanic Americans more. How will your policies help minorities that are still struggling?
We watched a lot of high profile incidents during the Obama years. Ferguson, Trayvon Martin down in Florida, Freddie Gray — he called the — he said the Cambridge police acted stupidly. It seems every two or four years and I’ve been now 30 years in radio, I just started my 23rd year at FOX that every two or four years — thank you — is that every two to four years the Democrats will play the race card and I resent it as a Conservative. Because they’ll say oh their policies they’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic and meanwhile their policies haven’t helped the minority communities in America. Is there a way from the Federal government’s perspective that you can bring economic opportunity…
There was a lot of coverage of our phrase they would report in the media — cryptic phrase “the calm before the storm.” It seemed related to Rocket Man — his term — Kim Jong-un, in terms of him having ICBM capability, nuclear capability, firing missiles over Japan, our ally, threatening Guam, and potentially maybe being able to reach the United States, continental United States, with a nuclear weapon. At some point, this is going to come to a head. What was the calm before the storm?
Is it fair to say, if he keeps firing missiles, that’s going to end?
You don’t want to telegraph.
When you said —
The calm before the storm — you’re not going to talk about that either?
Iran, it was interesting. It was interesting. Bill Clinton, when he made the deal with Kim Jong-un’s father, Kim Jong-il, he actually said that this is a good deal for the American people. It was not. It seems the same mistake was made with President Obama and the Iranian deal. There’s reports you will decertify this – -you can also pull out of it. John [Bolton] is suggesting you just pull out completely. Why decertify, and not just scrap it?
Or do both?
Do you know what you’ll do?
Why not, right?
Yes. Plane loads.
You want out of this deal.
Let me ask you about immigration. You came up with a 70-point plan. It was fear, after you had met with Pelosi and Schumer and you were talking about DACA — one of the things I’ve always noticed is, we always get the tax increase, we never get the spending cuts, you always get the consideration on immigration, you never get the wall built. Part of it is there will be, you said, no deal on DACA, unless, of course we’re going to end chain migration, you’re going to build a wall that’s going to be see-through now, so the –
The wall will be built.
So you say (inaudible) –
— so no amnesty –
— no chain migration –
— no DACA, until you fund the wall –
I have identified, and I’ve even talked to this, I’ve never seen any one person face as much in terms of attacks as you have. You have a media that’s hostile. You have Democrats that are hostile. You have Republicans that are hostile. A lot – deep state that has been leaking on you. And one of the things that has come up almost throughout your whole presidency is this Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia obsession. Here’s my question, I interviewed Julian Assange five times. I’ve talked to him other times. He has said it’s not Russia. There was no collusion. They didn’t come — the DNC note did not come from them. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher met with him and he says he has proof positive evidence that would show the Trump campaign never colluded with Russia. He just want – is it in the best interest of the country that if he has that information that he should give it? It seems – I’m guessing here – he wants in return to be left alone. Should the country – does the country deserve to know the truth that (be how’s that)?
You’ve only taken one that’s — since you’ve been president. But I’m glad to have you.
Hey, wow. Come on. Help me out here.
Mr. President, I think — I remember one time we had an early conversation and I’m going to end the interview on this, and this is how I’ve always felt. I just — I have — you said, “Well, you know I have all these things and maybe you want to play golf on my course one day.” You said this long before — we were friends before you ever ran for office.
And then when you ran I just said I only want one thing: help our country. Let’s help the forgotten men and women. Let’s keep this country safe. And I think that’s our prayer for you and the country.
The president of the United States.
Brian Kilmeade (Fox News Radio), Oct. 17
Hey Mr. President, how are you? Great to see you.
This is radio.
Right, you look great.
But you’re looking –
— you’re TV friendly.
So, I know this is a big week. How important is getting this budget passed? To even get to the tax reform conversation, Mr. President?
On tax reform or the budget — on the budget in particular right?
I talked to Sen. Joe Manchin yesterday who really seems to enjoy your interactions. And he says if they could give me a little something, I could deliver six to eight Democrats. Number one, do you believe that? And No. 2, are you willing to negotiate?
In West Virginia?
So what Mick Mulvaney brought up to me this morning on television was no one talks about the zero percent, because they’ve — up to $24,000, you’re not going to pay any tax, that’s part of tax reform –
Also, people are focused on the corporate rate deduction, what about the small business?
So you golfed with Rand Paul over the weekend, and I think most agree, including Mark Short this morning, said that he’s going to be the greatest challenge, because he does not like to vote for budgets or tax reform. I mean, can you be friends –
— can you be friendly with someone that’s going to vote against that? Have you talked to him?
Have you tried?
So it’s going to be a big week obviously, and there’s certain things you zone in on, and every President’s got his preference, some (inaudible) foreign policy. I think you love the numbers, the budget, and the economy. But I’ve got ask you something the big picture –
So I looked at those numbers…
So are you saying when you – when they raise premiums, or raise deductibles, they’re trying to increase their profits instead of doing an honest job about giving people insurance? Are they being dishonest in going too profit-oriented?
You would know better than me.
Sen. Alexander and Sen. Murray are working on a bipartisan plan. They stopped when it looked as though Lindsey Graham and Cassidy had something going. Is this to force their hand to come up with something?
No, not so much this paper, but so much the $7 billion, “I’m not making that payment.” Does that help…
So you did it to push action?
David Axelrod said last night that you’re pulling this back and (inaudible) tearing up the Iran deal is your attempt to obliterate the Obama legacy. Is it?
I haven’t. And that’s why you handed it to me ahead of time, gave me a little bit of time to study. So some other news that broke today and you tweeted out, Congressman Marino was pulled back as drug czar. What went into that?
Big exposé on “60 Minutes.”
New HHS secretary, I was talking to Kellyanne Conway, today. It seems like you’re close. Do you want to go over any names?
You came out with Mitch McConnell yesterday and seemed on the same page and then said, “I’ll take any questions.” And, it was just a regular – it was like a press conference you’d see on a sporting event.
I know. Why is that?
One of the questions was about writing the Green Berets soldiers and ends up being a bigger story. Can I ask you what you thought about when you brought up past presidents and what they’ve done? Do you want to clarify anything?
No, I meant seeing you happy?
I think we’re fair.
Thank you. I appreciate the time you gave us and the “Brian Kilmeade Show.”
And this morning. And, thanks for having us out here.
Thank you, Mr. President. All right. So, we’re here in the Eisenhower Building and the president actually gave us my own notes for the interview, so that’s great. There he is. Thanks for listening. Keep it here. I’m Brian Kilmeade.
Maria Bartiromo (Fox Business), Oct. 20
Mr. President, thanks so much for sitting down with me today.
Here we are on the week that the Dow Jones industrial average just hit 23,000, five-and-a-third trillion [dollars] of market value created since your election. And largely, because of this anticipation and hope that your policies will get implemented. Tell us where we stand on the tax plan right now.
It — it could be quite historic.
That’s a big deal, that — on Sunday, exactly. Do you think you have the votes?
Yes. You soured on the health-care bipartisan plan a bit — right — from Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray?
Yes, I’m interested about that because even your supporters say, you know, he’s got fantastic policies. We want to see this through. But the bickering and the feuding actually gets in the way. So obviously the feuding with Sen. Corker — I think there’s a personal thing going on between you and Sen. McCain. Do you worry that this bickering and feuding gets in the way of your agenda?
And, you see the job creation, as well this year.
If they can’t get this tax bill done this year, should they forego Thanksgiving and Christmas? Should they be here if they don’t have a bill on your desk by Thanksgiving?
Paul Ryan did an interview this week and said you are insisting that they have a fourth bracket. It’s on your insistence that they have a fourth bracket. I know that you’re very focused on the middle class, but do you want to raise taxes on the rich with the fourth bracket?
But, see, that’s what I don’t understand, and I followed your policies really closely. The state and local income tax deduction eliminations you take that away and then you go to a fifth bracket or a fourth bracket however you want to say it and you get a higher rate for their top earners.
If the top earners pay 80 percent of the taxes why are you so afraid to cut taxes on the top earners?
Of course. This is not about —
Well Putin took his.
It’s a big deal in the corporate rate for sure.
People got used to like 1.5 percent growth for a long time.
Let me ask about your courting of the Democrats recently. I mean the reason that I brought up this other bracket is because I feel like the Republicans get bullied by the left, by this whole talking point of it’s always tax cuts for the rich.
You been —
Are you getting bullied again, are you getting bullied again?
If you get a fifth bracket, are you getting bullied?
Right, well you go back with Chuck Schumer.
You both from New York —
Is this helpful in terms of negotiations?
And that’s been your priority.
You’re better than President Bush, I mean the Federal Pages are down 30 percent under your leadership.
So there are more regulations rollback —
— See I think that’s why we’ve had a 3.1 percent GDP. Because of the regulation roll back that you did — there are some industries that are not that regulated. I’m wondering what you think about tech right now? Because you have these companies that are more powerful than ever before, they’ve got everything all the data on us. They’re selling the data. To the tech companies these more regulated?
Mr. President who do you want to see running the Fed?
Isn’t there a way that you can get Taylor and Powell in there? Because you’ve got a vice chairman opening as well, you can actually put them both in there. Is that in your thinking?
Look you had a very good victory this week in terms of the Senate vote on the budget, I know that. But you’ve had all this money going out, new money that people weren’t expected, right? You have money now going to California with the wildfires, Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida. Many have got defense you want to build up the military. You’ve said many times the present President Obama underfunded defense. Where does this money come from? And how are you going to get control longer term of the debt and deficit in this country? When is that conversation going to pick up?
Are you going to tie the infrastructure to the tax plan?
Are you gonna remove the budget caps, in terms of defense spending?
You have had tough talk on everybody.
Do you ever feel like sometimes, some of your unscripted Tweets, unscripted comments get in the way of the larger message? I have spoken with a lot of supporters of yours and while they love the policies; they say we, you know we feel like we are always defending something he said, that he really didn’t mean, to say that way. Do you think that is getting in the way of your agenda and the overall message? You need bully pulpit to tell the American people why tax reform is important
You’re right. We’re watching your Twitter feed
So you —
It’s not just the tweets, Tweeting is good. I mean having that direct relationship. It’s just tweeting on other subjects other than the message that you really want to focus on.
You definitely have an incredible connection to voters and to supporters —
The American people. Period.
It’s totally unconventional. But it works.
I have to ask you about that emotional press conference yesterday with Gen. Kelly, your chief of staff. The way he came out and talked about his son and defended you getting criticism from the Gold Star family — well, the media, really. Were you expecting that?
He spoke very well yesterday.
It’s a very tough —
The Ccongresswoman, Frederica Wilson, she said “Oh, everything he said was because he’s just trying to keep his job.”
I just want to ask you before I lose you, about the border. And you’ve said you want a legislative fix for DACA. What else do you need to see in terms of the border? What do you want overall?
And last week on this program we had Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
He commended you. He congratulated you for decertifying Iran in — what you did last week. Do you think they’re going to get Europeans to support you in terms of sanctions, in terms of not selling technology to Iran?
And on North Korea, is our policy with China just about what it does with North Korea or do we have a separate policy with China for something else?
For the first time ever
Mr. President, would you like to add anything else that I may have missed?
When we end, then where we begin and that’s taxes. You can’t tell companies what to do, right? Are you sure they’re going to get that savings in the taxes in terms of bringing that $3 trillion back and use it to hire people? Or are they going to buy back stock?
Mr. President thanks so much for joining us.
(Second part of interview begins.)
I’m so excited to be here.
It’s incredible. Ready? Okay. So Mr. President, it’s been nine months, have you changed? Have you changed being president?
You have –
I look at the federal registry, you’re absolutely right.
You’re down 30 percent. You mentioned the tax planning side. Can you give us any sense of this fifth bracket? I mean if you do a fifth a bracket, is that a million dollars, is it $2 million?
What’s the number?
Mr. President, thank you so much.
It’s really good to see you.
I appreciate it very much.
Thank you. I hope to come back soon.
It is gorgeous. It’s absolutely spectacular. Yes, we were talking earlier about – about the Russia thing. Let me just ask you, you – there’s a report that you are – your legal team is saying yes, do an interview with Robert Mueller. Is that what you’re going to do?
Mr. President, if there were, I think it would have leaked.
Is he going to look into it?
Mr. President, you’ve been terrific today, and you’ve given us a lot of your time, and we so appreciate it.
Thank you. Okay. Great.
Lou Dobbs (Fox Business), Oct. 25
In nine months in office, you’ve already accomplished more in the way of job creation. The move in the equities markets has been extraordinary and record setting. All of the indexes, at or near record levels. You have accomplished so much in that nine months. And yet, as you say, we need tax reform. You’re meeting resistance from within your own party. You’re meeting resistance from the Democrats. How do you move from here?
A lot of love and a lot to get done.
And — and the — and tax reform is critical because of what you have established as the standard now for economic growth under the Trump presidency, tax reform is going to be absolutely critical to driving that growth, job creation and bringing capital back, which you’ve been talking about for two years before you were elected —
So where do we go, in terms of capital repatriation for corporate America, how do you incentivize corporations to get back to America with all of that money for investment in jobs, plant equipment, research and development?
A conservative number.
And the middle class — you say this is for the middle class and small business and the pass-through rates are all very attractive. What do you expect the impact to be for working men and women, the middle class, those who aspire to be in the middle class?
Well you’re the first president to talk openly and honestly about offshoring of production, the outsourcing of jobs. Millions of jobs —
That — that have begun, under your administration, to come back to the country. The idea that made in America, buy in America, hire in America, how — how likely is it that that can actually be realized with a — with a business community that has fought those on the wrong side of those issues for a very long time?
How likely is it that there will be a resolution on NAFTA in these current negotiations? —
So as you look at the agreement that has, by the most conservative estimates, costs the United States $1 trillion over the course of — over the course of the past 23 years since its inception —
There was a —
The — when you focus first on free trade, people are like — oh, my gosh. He’s talking like an isolationist, —
A protectionist. And then they started looking at the numbers to see that we are, amongst all of our trading partners that this country is the only one who said, “You know, please, take what you want. We don’t have to have a mature, intelligent relationship with you. We don’t have to have balanced trade.” Every other major partner does precisely that.
The role of business in this country, critical, off fundamental to the — to the country’s wellbeing and its future to the creation of jobs. But business has taken such a voice in this town, in this swamp that you are the only countervailing influence to that dominance of U.S. multinationals in this country. And it’s — the country owes you a great debt on so much. But on that in particular. And I —
And you have focused from June 16th of 2015 on the relationship of our borders, our sovereignty, our economy, whether you’re looking at the opioid crisis in this country or the import of drugs that all crosses that border. You’re being pushed back against, by the leadership of the House and the Senate on the issue of funding a wall in its entirety. You have been pushed back against talking about changing all of those trade agreements, again, all the external issues that are so critical to the country’s future, your vision for this country. How in the world are we going to be able to deal with all of these issues if you — if you cannot bring the Republican party together?
Do you have a favorite yet?
You’re obviously enthused about what you’re going to get done. You’ve got to be immensely gratified at what you’ve been able to do often with a recalcitrant Congress and Senate. Going forward, there’s another wall and there’s a wall that’s just fallen between the American public, the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
They funded something called the Trump dossier which they ballyhooed for some time. We now know who paid for it. The DNC and Hillary Clinton and one, as yet, unnamed republican. Do you want to –
Do you have a suspect?
I think her word that she likes to use, it’s so serviceable about that dossier, debunked. It’s been debunked.
And, contemporaneously, suddenly the House Intelligence Committee, the House Oversight Committee are turning to the Democratic Party and talking about – not talking about but beginning the investigation of something called Collusion with the Russians.
Relationships — you were criticized for even trying to court, if you will, President Xi of China. Everyone, the so-called intelligentsia of this country’s foreign policy establishment, said you’re wasting your time, it just can’t be done. And obviously you’ve made significant progress with him and —
— written into the Constitution.
Hopefully the whole world. Anything to report to America on your conversation with President Xi?
You’re nearing a decision on who will chair the Fed.
We appreciate it.
All right. And you —
I do, and —
I think I — may I constrain myself?
Because an ad hoc adviser to the president —
I personally believe that Janet Yellen might be worth keeping.
I haven’t been utterly rejected —
And I’m saying that, by the way, not being any fan of interest rate hikes by the Fed here, and as has been discussed since December of 2015. I have to ask you in conclusion — and I really appreciate your time, as does our audience — you came into this job fighting like hell. And you are fighting like hell every day. —
I — I — that’s —
And I’ve got to ask you, I mean, you’re one of the most — I would say, by the left particularly, reviled, even hated men to ever hold your post. —
You’re also one of the most loved and respected —
In history. And how does that feel? How — where is Donald Trump today, as you are just now beginning your presidency?
Without question —
Yes. And —
Well — I — you — you are a, if I may say, everything as advertised as you ran for President. And appreciate everything you’re doing. Thanks so much.
Mr. President, thank you.