The 35 most astounding lines from Donald Trump's Jeanine Pirro interview

President Donald T...

Posted: Jan 15, 2019 3:55 PM
Updated: Jan 15, 2019 3:55 PM

President Donald Trump spent his Saturday night holed up in the White House, calling into Jeanine Pirro's show on Fox News.

This is all totally normal stuff!

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I went through Trump's answers to Pirro's, um, polite questions. The best lines from the President are below.

1. "So, we have a humanitarian crisis, to put it mildly. People are trying to get in by the tens of thousands."

Trump -- and his administration -- have repeatedly tried to amp up the idea of thousands of people (including criminals) streaming over the border. The Washington Post's Fact Checker debunked lots of their most common claims.

And away we go!

2. "But there's another big one forming."

Trump is talking about a caravan that is set to begin its journey from Honduras on Tuesday. Remember that many people in these caravans have no intention of making it to the United States. These caravans have been used in the past largely to draw attention to people's plights in their native countries.

3. "I'd rather see the Democrats come back from their vacation and act."

Trump is referring to a delegation of 30 House members who traveled to Puerto Rico for an event organized by the political arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Worth noting: Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the main negotiator for House Democrats, was not on the trip.

4. "I was willing to do something and we're asking for $5.6 billion, which is way less than what other presidents have been talking about."

It's not at all clear to me who Trump is referring to here. No past president has said we need to build a wall along our southern border. Trump's pledge to do so is what made him stand out in the 2016 GOP field.

5. "If you look at so many other things that I've done -- we're going well with a lot of -- you know, we're doing well with China. We're doing well with North Korea. We're doing -- you know, I was left a very tough hand."

I'd like to submit this as evidence to prove my Donald-Trump's-public-remarks-are-just-one-long-stream-of-consciousness case, your honor.

6. "Well, I haven't actually left the White House in months."

He has. Lots of times. Hell, he was in McAllen, Texas, two days before he said this.

7. "And in all fairness, I'm doing a lot of other work."

Yeah, I mean, fair is fair.

8. "But basically, I've been here for many months in the White House."

Again, no.

9. "And we got very little credit. Like even you -- you just said they won, we won the Senate. We actually picked up additional seats."

Trump's victim complex is strongly on display. The reason Republicans won Senate seats is because Democrats had to defend 26 states including 10 where Trump in 2016. It was a dream map for Republicans. That they only won two seats -- there were five states Trump won by double digits where Democratic incumbents were running -- is the real story.

10. "I have to say a lot of the people that aren't getting their checks are letting us know we don't care, you've got to solve the crisis at the border."

Serious question: How does Trump know this? Are federal workers emailing him somehow? Is he running into them while walking around Washington? Or possibly, is he just, you know, saying it?

11. "I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked. I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written. And if you read the article, you'd see that they found absolutely nothing."

This was Trump's response to Pirro's question of whether he was now (or had ever) been working for the Russians. Not exactly a definitive answer! (Later, Trump said on Monday, "I never worked for Russia.")

12. "It's called 'The failing New York Times' for a reason, they've gotten me wrong for three years."

"All my life I've had very few stories, but I've had some on the front page of The New York Times. Now I think I average about three or four a day, right? And of the three or four they're all negative, no matter what I do they're negative, but you know what? That's OK, I still love the paper." -- Donald Trump, September 2018

13. "If you ask the folks in Russia, I've been tougher on Russia than anybody else, any other -- probably any other president period, but certainly the last three or four presidents, modern-day presidents."


14."And 'The New York Times' is a disaster as a paper."

See No. 12. Also, this.

15. "I would, I don't with care. I mean, I had a conversation like every president does. You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries."

Pirro asks Trump here whether he would be willing to "release the conversation that you had with President Putin in Helsinki." Here's the thing: He can't do that because, per The Washington Post, "there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump's face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years."

16. "I'm not keeping anything under wraps, I couldn't care less."

"President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former US officials said." Ahem.

17. "These people make it up. 'Washington Post,' that's basically the lobbyist for Amazon. You know, he uses that -- Bezos has got bigger problems than anybody right now. But Bezos uses that as his lobbyist, OK, as far as I'm concerned."

Categorically false. Jeff Bezos is the founder of Amazon and does own The Washington Post. But everything else Trump said above is not true. And he knows it.

18. "Think of it, I have a one-on-one meeting with Putin like I do with every other leader. I have many one-on-one -- nobody ever says anything about it. But with Putin they say, 'Oh, what did they talk about?'"

Why? Well, here's one theory: Because Russia actively sought to interfere in the 2016 election to help Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. And because lots and lots of people involved with Trump's campaign have lied about the nature and breadth of their interactions with Russians both during and after that campaign.

19. "We talked about very positive things because -- look, we are beating everybody."

OK, so Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met with only translators for two-plus hours in Helsinki and they talked about how much ass the US is kicking? If so, why would Trump go to such great lengths to ensure that the nature of their conversations stayed totally secret -- even from his own administration?

20. "But I meet with Putin, and they make a big deal. Anybody could have listened to that meeting, that meeting is up for grabs."

What? The meeting was purposely kept under very tight wraps by Trump who insisted, against the advice of some of his aides, to sit down one-on-one with Putin. I truly have no idea what Trump means here. Like, none.

21. "You know, the whole Russia thing, it's a hoax. It's a terrible hoax."

192 criminal counts, 36 people and entities charged, seven people who have pleaded guilty, four people sentenced to prison and one person convicted at trial.

22. "And everybody knows there was no collusion whatsoever. They have found no collusion, and they won't find collusion because I had nothing to do..."

Paul Manafort would like a word, Mr. President.

23. "I was obviously a good candidate. I won every debate. I won everything I did, and I won, and I won easily."

The 2016 election ended 797 days ago. The 2020 election is in 659 days.

24. "Well, I guess I have good genes..."

That's Trump's response to this "question" from Pirro: "What keeps you going? I mean, you've got such fight in you, it is unbelievable."

25. "And, you know, they say this should never happen again. Never again should this happen. And that's the story."

Who is "they?" And what should never happen again? And, no, it is not at all obvious what the answer to these questions are when reading the full transcript.

26. "We've done more than any other administration by far in the first two years."

This line gives me a chance to note that the Washington Examiner wrote a "story" in which they simply published a White House list of all the things Trump had allegedly accomplished. Capital "J" journalism there!

27. "It doesn't matter because if I'm a very honest person, frankly."

Trump made 6,420 false or misleading claims in his first 649 days in office, according to The Washington Post's Fact Checker.

28. "But he should give information maybe on his father-in-law, because that's the one that people want to look at. Because where does that money -- that's the money in the family. And I guess he didn't want to talk about his father -- he's trying to get his sentence reduced."

In which the President of the United States defames a private citizen with zero actual evidence solely because that person happens to be Michael Cohen's father-in-law.

29. "I don't know, but you'll find out, and you'll look into it because nobody knows what's going on over there."

In response to Pirro asking Trump for the name of Cohen's father-in-law (Sidebar: Wildly inappropriate) Trump responds this way. "You'll find out." Truly jaw-dropping stuff.

30. "They broke into his law firm sometime early in the morning, I guess, and they took -- this couldn't happen to anybody except you're dealing with McCabe, you're dealing with the remnants of Comey."

The FBI executed a search warrant on Cohen's home, hotel and office. They didn't break in. Again, Trump knows this.

31. "It's all -- it's a hoax. It's called the Russian hoax or witch, you know, it's a witch hunt. And it's a shame."

192 criminal counts, 36 people and entities charged, seven people who have pleaded guilty, four people sentenced to prison and one person convicted at trial.

32. "Mexico is absolutely paying for the wall."

[narrator voice] They're not.

33. "You know, to be totally honest with you -- I mean, your audience know I'm a straight shooter."

Trump made 6,420 false or misleading claims in his first 649 days in office, according to The Washington Post's Fact Checker.

34. "They're going to want something from me someday, very important, because I have to sign everything. Everything has to go through the White House."

"I have to sign everything." The President truly possesses a deep knowledge of how government works.

35. "They're going to want something from us for one of their favorite little deals. And all of a sudden, they're going to find out it's going to be very, very tough for them."

"Someday, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this justice as a gift on my daughter's wedding day." -- Don Corleone.

This feels like a very good place to end.

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