On Monday night, former President Donald Trump sat down with Fox News’ Sean Hannity for his first on-camera interview since leaving the White House in January.
I use the word “interview” lightly here because what Hannity did in his capacity as a “journalist” was something short of asking tough questions of a public figure. It was more like having a few beers with an old friend who you were hoping might help you get a job one day.
I went through the transcript — you’re welcome in advance! — and pulled out the best(?) lines. They’re below.
1. “Well, we’re seeing a lot of people. We’re seeing a lot of good Republicans and a lot of good Americans, in some cases, great Americans. And we are working very hard.”
What was the question from Hannity that elicited this response? “You were working as hard as you did when you were in the White House, except you play a little golf more, that you’re keeping an insane schedule, seven days a week. You really don’t stop.” And away we go!
2. “You get impeached for doing nothing wrong. Then you get a second impeachment for doing nothing wrong.”
The first impeachment was because Trump asked a foreign power to investigate the son of a political rival and hinted that the country owed him that because of all the aid America provided. The second was because Trump egged on a crowd that went on to stage a violent insurrection at the US Capitol that left five people dead. So, yeah, “nothing wrong.”
3. “And I think we’re — you’re going to see something that will start to take place in ’22 and will culminate in ’24.”
Well, this sure sounds like Trump is running again, no?
4. “But I had an instance where on a slippery, slippery ramp, piece of steel, very steep and very long, no railings, no nothing, and it was pouring at West Point. And the last thing I want to do is go down because when Gerald Ford went down, it was not good.”
So we’re back on the ramp thing now?
5. “Well, Air Force One is a very big plane. And usually, what they try and do is shield the wind. You know, when they park it you can turn it in angles and so you don’t ever have too much. I’ve never seen too much wind.”
6. “Nobody was tougher on Russia. And frankly, getting along with Vladimir Putin is a good thing. And I got along with him very well.”
“Trump sides with Putin over US intelligence” — July 16, 2018
7. “So now something’s going on with Taiwan. Something maybe is going on with Ukraine. This never was a big subject when I was president.”
8. “I have a great relationship with a certain man that’s got great power over North Korea.”
Who could it be? This game is fun!
9. “The Russian hoax was very, very bad for the relationship that we would have with Russia.”
So, uh, it wasn’t a hoax. Like, at all.
10. “The wall, getting the wall built and the wall we — we’re up to almost 500 miles and completing it was very easy.”
Know what wasn’t easy? Getting Mexico to pay for it. Which they didn’t.
11. “The wall is imperative. All of the things that go with the wall, the technology that goes into the wall and with the wall is so imperative.”
So, if I am reading this right, the wall — I think — is imperative?
12. “One other thing, they’re sending us not their best people. They are sending us people that, in many cases, not in all cases, are murderers, drug dealers, human traffickers, and really bad — rapists, really bad people.”
Yes, Trump really said this about Mexico.
And yes, it is almost exactly what he said in his announcement speech for president in 2015, which went like this: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” This time around, Trump didn’t add the “good people” part, though.
13. “Very simple, more liberty, more freedom, of belief in the Constitution, lower taxes, less bureaucracy, constitutionalists on the bench. You want secure borders, legal immigration, energy independence. You believe in law and order, safety and security for every American. Simple stuff. School choice.”
This word salad is Trump’s answer to what the “Trump agenda” for the future looks like. Very reassuring!
14. “So many different things that — look, we got 75 million votes. It’s more than any sitting president in history by far.”
OK, this is the actual transition Trump made. He was talking (and talking) about the Trump agenda and then — whammo! — right into the whole thing about how many votes he got in 2020. Super normal!
15. “I don’t know if you know, Sean, usually in a second term a president gets less votes. I got 12 million more. It’s the biggest that’s ever happened in history, from 63 to 75. Never happened before. And all of these things are good.”
I, just, uh, I have no idea what to say here. I will say that I, too, like good things.
16. “And I don’t know if Joe knows what’s going on with it, because I think you have a cabal, you have a group of people that are sitting around a table just saying do this, do this, do this. They’re giving him these things to sign. It’s hard to believe.”
OK, so there is a “cabal” of people just giving a clueless President Biden “things to sign?” That IS hard to believe!
17. “We were supposed to lose 25 seats. I got involved. I called 56 different districts. And we ended up picking up 16 instead of losing 25.”
Uh, it’s not that simple.
18. “Lisa Murkowski is a disaster. I mean, she’s a total disaster.”
… said the former REPUBLICAN President of the United States.
19. “And I was making calls getting congressmen elected.”
Tell me more about these magical calls …
20. “We’ve expanded the Republican Party.”
“Quarterly Gap in Party Affiliation Largest Since 2012” — Gallup, April 7, 2021
21. “But I’m at 128 and two when I endorse people, 128 and two.”
But who’s counting?!
22. “You know, I cut taxes more than any president’s ever cut taxes.”
For the BILLIONTH time: He did not.
23. “We did a great job. We got very little credit for the great job we’ve done.”
Donald Trump on his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. Yes, really.
24. “I’ll give you a little breaking news. Pfizer is in with the FDA. And what the FDA did with Johnson & Johnson is so stupid.”
[“BREAKING NEWS” banner] “Pfizer is in with the FDA.” And, no, I have no idea what he is talking about either.
25. “I said, they want me to do a commercial, some commercial. And they do this pause.”
Trump seems to be suggesting here that “they” (the Biden administration? the FDA?) wanted him to film a commercial telling people to make sure to get the Covid-19 vaccine, but he said no because the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was paused? Or something?
26. “You know, I can be liked by everybody. But I won’t be doing a good job.”
Important note: Trump is no longer president.
27. “I think it’s very suspect is what they did with Johnson & Johnson, because the only people that are happy about that are Pfizer and Moderna. The only people that are happy about that because what they did is a terrible, terrible thing.”
Trump is suggesting — with zero evidence — that Pfizer and Moderna are somehow responsible for the pause in the J&J vaccine. Man, this conspiracy goes deeper than I even thought!
28. “I tell you that at least eight senators would have lost their race. I could name them but I don’t want to embarrass them but that includes Mitch, who is heading south.”
The idea that Mitch McConnell would have lost without Trump’s support is, candidly, laughable.
29. “And I’m very popular in Kentucky. I love Kentucky. And they love me.”
“I love lamp.” — Brick Tamland
30. “Look, almost everybody I endorse wins.”
31. “But you know what, I love doing it because I help people. And I’ve helped them more than any president with the cutting of taxes, with the regulations, with right to try.”
Trump on what he loved about the White House. You owe him, America! Bigly.
32. “And I’ve added something called Space Force. It’s going to be so powerful, so important.”
33. “I got tremendous numbers. Nobody has ever gotten the numbers I got. No sitting president has come even close. There’s more popularity now than there was the day before the election because they see how bad things are at the border.”
This is Trump’s answer to whether he is running again in 2024. I like this as his slogan for that race: “I got tremendous numbers. Nobody has ever gotten the numbers I got.” It could work!
34. “I got along great with President Putin. I liked him. He liked me. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing.”
35. “Getting along with Russia is a good thing. Getting along with these countries is a good thing, not a bad thing.”
“Russia Continues Interfering in Election to Try to Help Trump, U.S. Intelligence Says” — September 2, 2020.
Yeah, this feels like a good place to end.