Bloomberg announced last week that he has registered as a Democrat. He has said that he will “take a look” at a potential White House bid after the midterms. In the meantime, he has committed to spending up to $100 million this year in support of Democratic House and Senate candidates, including a $20 million donation to the main Democratic Senate super PAC this month.
Trump told Regan that he is “100 percent” planning to run for reelection in 2020. He also dismissed the chances of Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing adult-film actress Stormy Daniels.
“Oh, I don’t think he’s a serious person,” Trump said of Avenatti, adding that he plans to hold both Daniels and Avenatti accountable for paying his legal fees in the actress’s recently dismissed defamation suit against him.
Trump also discussed a range of other issues in the interview, including the economy, his support among women, the Russia probe led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and the disappearance of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.
Trump claimed his performance among female voters in 2016 was “phenomenal,” citing it as “one of the reasons, probably the reason, I won, in a true sense.”
Trump won 41 percent of women in 2016. Yet on the campaign trail, he has frequently misstated that figure, falsely claiming that he won the support of 52 percent of women. (It’s unclear whether Trump’s mentions of that figure in the past were references to white women, 52 percent of whom backed him in 2016.)
On Khashoggi’s disappearance, Trump said “it depends whether or not the king or the crown prince [of Saudi Arabia] knew about it.”
“Let’s hope we hear the proper answers,” he told Regan.
Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen, was a resident of the United States.
Trump also mocked the notion that his campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election, one of the targets of Mueller’s ongoing probe.
“Do you think I called Russia? ‘I need help in Idaho.’ ‘I need help in Iowa.’ ‘Oh, let’s call Russia.’ It’s a con job,” Trump said.
He declined to say whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions will stay on in his position, saying only, “I’m not going to tell you that. We’ll see what happens.”
And Trump claimed that his administration is working harder than former president Barack Obama’s did to prevent foreign interference in U.S. elections.
“I’ve done more having to do with the new election, the election coming up, than Obama ever did on 2016, ever,” he said.
Some experts have questioned Trump’s leadership on the issue, arguing that his reluctance to acknowledge Russia’s targeting of the 2016 campaign has cast doubt on the effectiveness of his administration’s efforts.
On the economy, Trump again criticized Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell for continuing to raise interest rates.
“My biggest threat is the Fed because the Fed is raising rates too fast,” Trump said. “And it’s independent so I don’t speak to them, but I’m not happy with what he’s doing because it’s going too fast.”