- President Trump blasted the FBI and his Democratic rivals, said he learned a lot from Richard Nixon, and claimed that the economy will bounce back in a wide-ranging 52-minute interview on “Fox & Friends.”
- Much of Trump’s remarks were focused on denouncing officials at the FBI and in Congress, who he criticised as “crooks” and “dirty cops” for their handling of the Russia investigations.
- The day before, the Department of Justice dropped its criminal case against Gen. Michael Flynn, a former Trump official who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the Russia probe.
- “Those jobs will all be back, and they will be back very soon,” Trump said of the estimated 20.5 million jobs lost in April, which brought the unemployment rate to 14.7%. “And next year, we’re going to have a phenomenal year.”
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President Donald Trump slammed the FBI, said he learned a lot from Richard Nixon, and claimed the economy will rebound from the COVID-19 crisis in a freewheeling 52-minute interview on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” In the middle of the interview, the Bureau of Labour Statistics released the worst monthly jobs report in history.
Below are the topics Trump addressed during the nearly hour-long conversation.
- Trump blasted the Federal Bureau of Investigation, former FBI Director James Comey, and members of the House Intelligence Committee as “crooks” and “dirty cops” for the handling of their investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian-linked officials.
- “I should have fired everybody,” Trump said. “They’re all a bunch of crooks and they got caught.”
- The day before the interview, the Department of Justice dropped its criminal case into Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Adviser, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
Trump falsely claimed that FBI Director Christopher Wray was “appointed” by former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and suggested that Wray could be fired soon. “It’s disappointing, he was recommended by Chris [Christie],” Trump said of Wray. “Look, the jury’s still out with regard to that.”
- He added: “I would be absolutely entitled – in theory, I’m chief law enforcement officer, in theory. But I want [Attorney General] Bill Barr to handle it.”
- Trump called House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff “a crooked politician, crooked as I’ve ever seen,” adding that he even considered suing Schiff over his role in the Russia investigations but was advised against it.
- Trump criticised the media and former President Barack Obama and his Vice President Joe Biden, now the presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee. “It’s a den of thieves over there, at CNN and MSDNC,” Trump said, referring to MSNBC. “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.”
- He also criticised his former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who Trump has lambasted for recusing himself from overseeing the FBI’s Russia probe. “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,” Trump said.
- Trump mused that he “learned a lot from Richard Nixon: don’t fire people. I learned a lot. I study history,” adding, “Of course, there’s one big difference. Number one, he may have been guilty. I wasn’t guilty, I did nothing wrong and there are no tapes in my case.” Former President Richard Nixon famously resigned from office over the Watergate scandal, and kept recordings of his conversations in the White House.
- On the topic of his Democratic opponent, Trump joked that he would give Biden a rapid COVID-19 testing device, saying, “I want him to get out of the basement,” of his Delaware home.
- Trump only briefly addressed the coronavirus crisis, saying that the death toll will likely increase to “100,000, a hundred and ten.” As of Friday, there are over 75,000 reported deaths from COVID-19 in the United States.
For at least the third time in his presidency, Trump broke a federal rule that bars executive branch employees from discussing the monthly unemployment report until an hour after its release. “Those jobs will all be back, and they will be back very soon,” Trump said of the estimated 20.5 million jobs lost in April. “And next year, we’re going to have a phenomenal year. People are ready to go, and safely.”
- “It’s fully expected, there’s no surprise, everybody knows that,” Trump said of the economic damage. “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.”
- Ahead of Mother’s Day on May 10, Trump said of his own mother, “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.”