The president wanted to talk to the New York Times, so he called up their publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, and invited him to a dinner, off the record. Sulzberger, thankfully, said no, and asked for an interview with two reporters instead. Trump agreed, and we got another round of uncut nonsense from our commander in chief.
The interview between the Times and Trump covered a variety of topics, from negotiations over the border wall to 2020 presidential contenders. Most of it is tiresome, and in all likelihood lies. But there were a few interesting or entertaining moments.
Trump said negotiating over the wall was a “waste of time.” When asked how negotiations with the Senate and House were going over funding for the border wall, Trump brushed it off, saying that he will probably just take action on his own in two weeks, when the three weeks he provided has dried up. Whether that means he’ll declare a national emergency, which would allow the wall to be built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, he wouldn’t say. But that seems pretty likely.
“I think I’ve set the table very nicely,” he said. “I’ve set the table, I’ve set the stage for doing what I’m going to do.”
Trump gave Times reporters printed copies of his tweets.
Fresh from a meeting with China’s vice premier, Mr. Trump seemed relaxed and confident as he sought to make his case, distributing handouts including, at one point, printed copies of two tweets sent out in his name even as he was speaking with his visitors.
No word on which tweets they were.
Trump thinks that being the president has lost him money.
“I lost massive amounts of money doing this job,” he told the Times. “This is not the money. This one of the great losers of all time. You know, fortunately, I don’t need money. This is one of the great losers of all time. But they’ll say that somebody from some country stayed at a hotel. And I’ll say, ‘Yeah.’ But I lose, I mean, the numbers are incredible.”
Good to know that being the president isn’t the moneymaker Trump apparently expected it to be! But despite these losses, when asked if he would run again in 2020, Trump said yes. “I love this job,” he added, convincingly.
Trump thinks Kamala Harris is impressive, but has no idea how to pronounce her name.
“I would say the best opening so far would be Kamala Harris,” Trump told the Times when asked about 2020 Democratic contenders. “I would say in terms of the opening act, I would say, would be her. A better crowd, better crowd, better enthusiasm.”
He apparently pronounced her name “Kameela.”
Trump had less positive views on Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy.
“Some of the others were very flat. I do think Elizabeth Warren’s been hurt very badly with the Pocahontas trap,” he told the Times, referencing the DNA test that Warren took in an attempt to prove she has Native American ancestry. “I think she’s been hurt badly. I may be wrong, but I think that was a big part of her credibility and now all of a sudden it’s gone.”
Trump is sad about his friend Roger Stone’s treatment by the FBI.
“I’ve always liked—I like Roger, he’s a character,” Trump said. He called the FBI raid of Stone’s house “a very sad thing for this country.”
The rest of the interview is mostly a bunch of denials: denying that he communicated with Stone about obtaining information from WikiLeaks, denying that he is a target of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, denying that he had talks about the potential Trump Tower Moscow throughout his campaign (despite what his own lawyer says). Absolutely no crime-doing on the part of our president. None at all.