en-fr  Excerpts from Trump’s Interview with The Times
Excerpts from Trump’s Interview with The Times.

By The New York Times, December 28, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/28/us/politics/trump-interview-excerpts.html?_r=0.

(Note: MvR - for an explanation of the US acronyms, see the Discussion).

President Trump spoke on Thursday with a reporter from The New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt. The interview took place in the Grill Room of his golf club in West Palm Beach, Fla., whose noise made some portions at times hard to hear.

The following are excerpts from that conversation, transcribed by The Times. They have been lightly edited for content and clarity, and omit several off-the-record comments and asides.

The interview started with a discussion of an interview Mr. Schmidt conducted with Mr. Trump in July, when Mr. Trump said he would not have appointed Jeff Sessions as attorney general had he known that Mr. Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

DONALD J. TRUMP: I thought it was a terrible thing he did. [Inaudible.] I thought it was certainly unnecessary, I thought it was a terrible thing. But I think it’s all worked out because frankly there is absolutely no collusion, that’s been proven by every Democrat is saying it.

MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT: You’re O.K. with me recording, right?

TRUMP: Yeah. Virtually every Democrat has said there is no collusion. There is no collusion. And even these committees that have been set up. If you look at what’s going on — and in fact, what it’s done is, it’s really angered the base and made the base stronger. My base is stronger than it’s ever been. Great congressmen, in particular, some of the congressmen have been unbelievable in pointing out what a witch hunt the whole thing is. So, I think it’s been proven that there is no collusion.

And by the way, I didn’t deal with Russia. I won because I was a better candidate by a lot. I won because I campaigned properly and she didn’t. She campaigned for the popular vote. I campaigned for the Electoral College. And you know, it is a totally different thing, Mike. You know the Electoral College, it’s like a track star. If you’re going to run the 100-yard dash, you work out differently than if you’re going to run the 1,000 meters or the mile.

And it’s different. It’s in golf. If you have a tournament and you have match play or stroke play, you prepare differently, believe it or not. It’s different. Match play is very different than stroke play. And you prepare. So, I went to Maine five times, I went to [inaudible], the genius of the Electoral College is that you go to places you might not go to.

And that’s exactly what [inaudible]. Otherwise, I would have gone to New York, California, Texas and Florida.

SCHMIDT: You would have run completely differently.

TRUMP: It would have been a whole different thing. The genius is that the popular vote is a much different form of campaigning. Hillary never understood that.

SCHMIDT: What’s your expectation on Mueller? When do you — TRUMP: I have no expectation. I can only tell you that there is absolutely no collusion. Everybody knows it. And you know who knows it better than anybody? The Democrats. They walk around blinking at each other.
SCHMIDT: But when do you think he’ll be done in regards to you — TRUMP: I don’t know.

SCHMIDT: But does that bother you?

TRUMP: No, it doesn’t bother me because I hope that he’s going to be fair. I think that he’s going to be fair. And based on that [inaudible]. There’s been no collusion. But I think he’s going to be fair. And if he’s fair — because everybody knows the answer already, Michael. I want you to treat me fairly. O.K.?

SCHMIDT: Believe me. This is — TRUMP: Everybody knows the answer already. There was no collusion. None whatsoever.

TRUMP: Maybe I’ll just say a little bit of a [inaudible]. I’ve always found Paul Manafort to be a very nice man. And I found him to be an honorable person. Paul only worked for me for a few months. Paul worked for Ronald Reagan. His firm worked for John McCain, worked for Bob Dole, worked for many Republicans for far longer than he worked for me. And you’re talking about what Paul was many years ago before I ever heard of him. He worked for me for — what was it, three and a half months?

SCHMIDT: A very short period of time.

TRUMP: Three and a half months. [Inaudible] So, that’s that. Let’s just say — I think that Bob Mueller will be fair, and everybody knows that there was no collusion. I saw Dianne Feinstein the other day on television saying there is no collusion. She’s the head of the committee. The Republicans, in terms of the House committees, they come out, they’re so angry because there is no collusion. So, I actually think that it’s turning out — I actually think it’s turning to the Democrats because there was collusion on behalf of the Democrats. There was collusion with the Russians and the Democrats. A lot of collusion.

SCHMIDT: Dossier?

TRUMP: Starting with the dossier. But going into so many other elements. And Podesta’s firm.
_________ SCHMIDT: That’s true. But in terms of, the lawyers said it would be done by, your guys said, it would be done by Thanksgiving, it would be done by Christmas. What are they telling you now? What are they telling you?

TRUMP: [Inaudible.] There was tremendous collusion on behalf of the Russians and the Democrats. There was no collusion with respect to my campaign. I think I’ll be treated fairly. Timing wise, I can’t tell you. I just don’t know. But I think we’ll be treated fairly.
SCHMIDT: But you’re not worked up about the timing?

TRUMP: Well, I think it’s bad for the country. The only thing that bothers me about timing, I think it’s a very bad thing for the country. Because it makes the country look bad, it makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position. So, the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.

But there is tremendous collusion with the Russians and with the Democratic Party. Including all of the stuff with the — and then whatever happened to the Pakistani guy, that had the two, you know, whatever happened to this Pakistani guy who worked with the D.N.C.?

Whatever happened to them? With the two servers that they broke up into a million pieces? Whatever happened to him? That was a big story. Now all of sudden [inaudible]. So, I know The New York Times is going to — because those are real stories. Whatever happened to the Hillary Clinton deleted 33,000 emails after she got [inaudible] — which you guys wrote, but then you dropped — was that you?

SCHMIDT: You control the Justice Department. Should they reopen that email investigation?

TRUMP: What I’ve done is, I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter.

TRUMP: For purposes of the Justice Department, I watched Alan Dershowitz the other day, who by the way, says I, says this is a ridiculous — SCHMIDT: He’s been very good to you.

TRUMP: He’s been amazing. And he’s a liberal Democrat. I don’t know him. He’s a liberal Democrat. I watched Alan Dershowitz the other day, he said, No. 1, there is no collusion, No. 2, collusion is not a crime, but even if it was a crime, there was no collusion. And he said that very strongly. He said there was no collusion. And he has studied this thing very closely. I’ve seen him a number of times. There is no collusion, and even if there was, it’s not a crime. But there’s no collusion. I don’t even say [inaudible]. I don’t even go that far.

TRUMP: So, for the purposes of what’s going on with this phony Russian deal, which, by the way, you’ve heard me say it, is only an excuse for losing an election that they should have won, because it’s very hard for a Republican to win the Electoral College. O.K.? You start off with New York, California and Illinois against you. That means you have to run the East Coast, which I did, and everything else. Which I did and then won Wisconsin and Michigan. [Inaudible.] So, the Democrats. … [Inaudible.] … They thought there was no way for a Republican, not me, a Republican, to win the Electoral College. Well, they’re [inaudible]. They made the Russian story up as a hoax, as a ruse, as an excuse for losing an election that in theory Democrats should always win with the Electoral College. The Electoral College is so much better suited to the Democrats [inaudible]. But it didn’t work out that way. And I will tell you they cannot believe that this became a story.

SCHMIDT: So, they had to do this to come after you, to undercut you?

TRUMP: No, no, they thought it would be a one-day story, an excuse, and it just kept going and going and going. It’s too bad Jeff recused himself. I like Jeff, but it’s too bad he recused himself. I thought. … Many people will tell you that something is [inaudible].

SCHMIDT: Do you think Holder was more loyal to. … TRUMP: I don’t want to get into loyalty, but I will tell you that, I will say this: Holder protected President Obama. Totally protected him. When you look at the I.R.S. scandal, when you look at the guns for whatever, when you look at all of the tremendous, ah, real problems they had, not made-up problems like Russian collusion, these were real problems. When you look at the things that they did, and Holder protected the president. And I have great respect for that, I’ll be honest, I have great respect for that.

SCHMIDT: Tell me about what you were saying that the Democrats. … [Inaudible.] … Tell me about the Democrats on the tax bill, which you were telling me about. Explain that to me, I thought that was interesting.

TRUMP: So. … We started taxes. And we don’t hear from the Democrats. You know, we hear bullshit from the Democrats. Like Joe Manchin. Joe’s a nice guy.

SCHMIDT: He is a very nice guy.

TRUMP: But he talks. But he doesn’t do anything. He doesn’t do. “Hey, let’s get together, let’s do bipartisan.” I say, “Good, let’s go.” Then you don’t hear from him again. I like Joe. You know, it’s like he’s the great centrist. But he’s really not a centrist. And I think the people of West Virginia will see that. He not a centrist. … I’m the one that saved coal. I’m the one that created jobs. You know West Virginia is doing fantastically now.

SCHMIDT: It’s a big. … It’s a very popular place for you.

TRUMP: It’s the biggest turnaround. West Virginia, their average, their G.D.P. is the biggest turnaround after Texas. Texas [inaudible]. … The second percentage gain in G.D.P. [Inaudible.] And I won that state by 43 points against crooked Hillary Clinton. And I’ll tell you, I think Joe, ah. … I think there’s a lot of talk. … A lot of talk. I think we have four or five senators that [inaudible]. Just so you understand, Alabama. … I wasn’t for him. I was for Strange.

SCHMIDT: Do you think he should stop the recount? You know he said that they’re. … He was protesting the election today. Moore.

TRUMP: Well, I. … Look. … Let him do whatever he wants to do. I was for Strange, and I brought Strange up 20 points. Just so you understand. When I endorsed him, he was in fifth place? He went way up. Almost 20 points. But he fell a little short. But I knew what I was doing. Because I thought that. … If you look at my rhetoric, I said the problem with Roy Moore is that he will lose the election. I called it. But as the head of the party, I have a choice: Do I endorse him or not? I don’t know. Um … SCHMIDT: Was it a mistake?

TRUMP: And by the way, when I endorsed him, he went up. It was a much closer race.

SCHMIDT: Was it a mistake to endorse him?

TRUMP: I feel that I have to endorse Republicans as the head of the party. So, I endorsed him. It became a much closer race because of my endorsement. People don’t say that. They say, Oh, Donald Trump lost. I didn’t lose, I brought him up a lot. He was not the candidate that I thought was going to win. If you look at my statements, you’ve seen them, I said, “Look, I’m for Luther Strange because I like him, but I’m also for Luther Strange because he’s going to win the election.” There wouldn’t have been an election. He would have won by 25 points.

SCHMIDT: He would have won big?

TRUMP: The problem with Roy Moore, and I said this, is that he’s going to lose the election. I hope you can straighten that out. Luther Strange was brought way up after my endorsement and he almost won. But. … Almost won. … He lost by 7 points, 7 or 8 points. And he was way behind. Because of two things, you know, what happened. … [Inaudible.] … But I never thought Roy was going to win the election, but I felt. … I never thought he was going to win the election, but I felt. … And I said that very clearly. … And I wish you would cover that, because frankly, I said, if Luther doesn’t win, Roy is going to lose the election. I always felt Roy was going to lose the election. But I endorsed him because I feel it’s my obligation as the head of the Republican Party to endorse him. And you see how tight it was even to get a popular. … In Republican circles, to get a very popular tax cut approved, actually reform. Two votes. Now we have one vote, all right?

O.K., let’s get onto your final question, your other question. Had the Democrats come through. … SCHMIDT: Tell me about that, yeah.

TRUMP: Had they asked, “Let’s do a bipartisan,” Michael, I would have done bipartisan. I would absolutely have done bipartisan.

SCHMIDT: But they didn’t. … They didn’t … TRUMP: And if I did bipartisan, I would have done something with SALT [the state and local tax deduction]. With that being said, you look back, Ronald Reagan wanted to take deductibility away from states. Ronald Reagan, years ago, and he couldn’t do it. Because New York had a very powerful group of people. Which they don’t have today. Today, they don’t have the same representatives. You know, in those days they had Lew Rudin and me. … I fought like hell for that. They had a lot of very good guys. Lew Rudin was very effective. He worked hard for New York. And we had some very good senators. … You know, we had a lot of people who fought very hard against, let’s call it SALT. Had they come to me and said, look, we’ll do this, this, this, we’ll do [inaudible]. I could have done something with SALT. Or made it less severe. But they were very ineffective. They were very, very ineffective. You understand what I mean. Had they come to me for a bipartisan tax bill, I would have gone to Mitch, and I would have gone to the other Republicans, and we could have worked something out bipartisan. And that could’ve been either a change to SALT or knockout of SALT.

But, just so you understand, Ronald Reagan wanted to take deductibility away and he was unable to do it. Ronald Reagan wanted to have ANWR approved 40 years ago and he was unable to do it. Think of that. And the individual mandate is the most unpopular thing in Obamacare, and I got rid of it. You know, we gained with the individual. … You know the individual mandate, Michael, means you take money and you give it to the government for the privilege of not having to pay more money to have health insurance you don’t want. There are people who had very good health insurance that now are paying not to have health insurance. That’s what the individual mandate. … They’re not going to have to pay anymore. So, when people think that will be unpopular. … It’s going to be very popular. It’s going to be very popular.

Now, in my opinion, they should come to me on infrastructure. They should come to me, which they have come to me, on DACA. We are working. … We’re trying to something about it. And they should definitely come to me on health care. Because we can do bipartisan health care. We can do bipartisan infrastructure. And we can do bipartisan DACA.

SCHMIDT: What are you willing to do on infrastructure? How far are you willing to go? How much money?

TRUMP: I actually think we can get as many Democrat votes as we have Republican. Republicans want to see infrastructure. Michael, we have spent, as of about a month ago, $7 trillion in the Middle East. And the Middle East is worse than it was 17 years ago. … [Inaudible.] $7 trillion. And if you want $12 to fix up a road or a highway, you can’t get it. I want to do a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill, at least. We want to fix our roads, our highways, our bridges, which are in bad shape. And you know some of them are actually, they’re x-ed out, they have, you know, possibilities of collapse under bad circumstances. And in 10 years they will collapse. So, I want a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. I think it can be bipartisan. I believe we can do health care in a bipartisan way, because now we’ve essentially gutted and ended Obamacare.

[Cross talk.]

SCHMIDT: But what’s the goal? What’s the goal?

TRUMP: Wait, wait, let me just tell you. … Also, beyond the individual mandate, but also [inaudible] associations. You understand what the associations are. … [Cross talk.]

TRUMP: So now I have associations, I have private insurance companies coming and will sell private health care plans to people through associations. That’s gonna be millions and millions of people. People have no idea how big that is. And by the way, and for that, we’ve ended across state lines. So, we have competition. You know for that I’m allowed to [inaudible] state lines. So that’s all done.

Now I’ve ended the individual mandate. And the other thing I wish you’d tell people. So, when I do this, and we’ve got health care, you know, McCain did his vote. … But what we have. I had a hundred congressmen that said no and I was able to talk them into it. They’re great people.

Two things: No. 1, I have unbelievably great relationships with 97 percent of the Republican congressmen and senators. I love them and they love me. That’s No. 1. And No. 2, I know more about the big bills. … [Inaudible.] … Than any president that’s ever been in office. Whether it’s health care and taxes. Especially taxes. And if I didn’t, I couldn’t have persuaded a hundred. … You ask Mark Meadows [inaudible]. … I couldn’t have persuaded a hundred congressmen to go along with the bill. The first bill, you know, that was ultimately, shockingly rejected.

I’ll tell you something [inaudible]. … Put me on the defense, I was a great student and all this stuff. Oh, he doesn’t know the details, these are sick people.

So, the taxes. … [Inaudible.] … The tax cut will be, the tax bill, prediction, will be far bigger than anyone imagines. Expensing will be perhaps the greatest of all provisions. Where you can do something, you can buy something. … Piece of equipment. … You can do lots of different things, and you can write it off and expense it in one year. That will be one of the great stimuli in history. You watch. That’ll be one of the big. … People don’t even talk about expensing, what’s the word “expensing.” [Inaudible.] One-year expensing. Watch the money coming back into the country, it’ll be more money than people anticipate.

But Michael, I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest C.P.A. I know the details of health care better than most, better than most. And if I didn’t, I couldn’t have talked all these people into doing ultimately only to be rejected.

Now here’s the good news. We’ve created associations, millions of people are joining associations. Millions. That were formerly in Obamacare or didn’t have insurance. Or didn’t have health care. Millions of people. That’s gonna be a big bill, you watch. It could be as high as 50 percent of the people. You watch. So that’s a big thing. And the individual mandate. So now you have associations, and people don’t even talk about the associations. That could be half the people are going to be joining up. … With private [inaudible]. So now you have associations and the individual mandate.

I believe that because of the individual mandate and the associations, the Democrats will and certainly should come to me and see if they can do a really great health care plan for the remaining people. [Inaudible.]

SCHMIDT: And you think you can do it?

TRUMP: Well, we’re perfectly set up to do it. See, it was hard for them to do it as long as the individual mandate existed. But now that the individual mandate is officially killed, people have no idea how big a deal that was. It’s the most unpopular part of Obamacare. But now, Obamacare is essentially. … You know, you saw this. … It’s basically dead over a period of time.

SCHMIDT: Yeah.

TRUMP: But the Democrats should come to a bipartisan bill. And we can fix it. We can fix it. We can make a great health care plan. Not Obamacare, which was a bad plan. We can make a great health care plan through bipartisanship. We can do a great infrastructure plan through bipartisanship. And we can do on immigration, and DACA in particular, we can do something that’s terrific through bipartisanship.

SCHMIDT: It sounds like you’re tacking to the center in a way you didn’t before.

TRUMP: No, I’m not being centered. I’m just being practical. No, I don’t think I’m changing. Look, I wouldn’t do a DACA plan without a wall. Because we need it. We see the drugs pouring into the country, we need the wall.

SCHMIDT: So, you’re not moving. You’re saying I’m more likely to do deals, but I’m not moving.

TRUMP: I’m always moving. I’m moving in both directions. We have to get rid of chainlike immigration, we have to get rid of the chain. The chain is the last guy that killed. … [Talking with guests.] … The last guy that killed the eight people. … [Inaudible.] … So badly wounded people. … Twenty-two people came in through chain migration. Chain migration and the lottery system. They have a lottery in these countries.

They take the worst people in the country, they put ‘em into the lottery, then they have a handful of bad, worse ones, and they put them out. ‘Oh, these are the people the United States. …” … We’re gonna get rid of the lottery, and by the way, the Democrats agree with me on that. On chain migration, they pretty much agree with me.

[Cross talk with guests.]

CHRISTOPHER RUDDY, the president and chief executive of Newsmax: Canada, U.K., Australia. … All do best and brightest. … TRUMP: Yeah, they have a merit system, we’ll eventually go to a merit-based system. When we bring people in. … That No. 1, don’t need our resources and No. 2, have great capabilities.

SCHMIDT: Do you think I’m wrong to think next year could be the year of you being a real deal maker, in a way you maybe weren’t in the past year?

TRUMP: I was. I make deals with the Republicans. I had nobody to make a deal with the Democrats. The Democrats could have made a much better tax deal for Democrats if they came to see us, but they didn’t come. They never thought I’d be able to get this over the line. And especially when McCain, when John McCain left and went to Arizona, they thought they had it made.

SCHMIDT: Explain your North Korea tweet to me today.

TRUMP: Which one?

SCHMIDT: You said about the oil, that China. … [Cross talk.]

SCHMIDT: What’s going on there. Tell me about that.

TRUMP: Yeah, China. … China’s been. … I like very much President Xi. He treated me better than anybody’s ever been treated in the history of China. You know that. The presentations. … One of the great two days of anybody’s life and memory having to do with China. He’s a friend of mine, he likes me, I like him, we have a great chemistry together. He’s [inaudible] of the United States. …[Inaudible.] China’s hurting us very badly on trade, but I have been soft on China because the only thing more important to me than trade is war. O.K.?

[Cross talk with guests.]

SCHMIDT: Can you finish your thought on North Korea. What’s going on with China?

TRUMP: I’m disappointed. You know that they found oil going into. … SCHMIDT: But how recently?

TRUMP: It was very recently. In fact, I hate to say, it was reported this morning, and it was reported on Fox. Oil is going into North Korea. That wasn’t my deal!

SCHMIDT: What was the deal?

TRUMP: My deal was that, we’ve got to treat them rough. They’re a nuclear menace so we have to be very tough.

RUDDY: Mr. President, was that a picture from recent or was that months ago? I don’t know. … TRUMP: Oil is going into North Korea, I know. Oil is going into North Korea. So, I’m not happy about it.

SCHMIDT: So, what are you going to do?

TRUMP: We’ll see. That I can’t tell you, Michael. But we’ll see. I can tell you one thing: This is a problem that should have been handled for the last 25 years. This is a problem, North Korea. That should have been handled for 25, 30 years, not by me. This should have been handled long before me. Long before this guy has whatever he has.

SCHMIDT: Do you think we’ve been too soft on China on North Korea?

TRUMP: No, look, I like China, and I like him a lot. But, as you know, when I campaigned, I was very tough on China in terms of trade. They made — last year, we had a trade deficit with China of $350 billion, minimum. That doesn’t include the theft of intellectual property, O.K., which is another $300 billion. So, China — and you know, somebody said, oh, currency manipulation. If they’re helping me with North Korea, I can look at trade a little bit differently, at least for a period of time. And that’s what I’ve been doing. But when oil is going in, I’m not happy about that. I think I expressed that in probably [inaudible].

TRUMP, as aides walk by: And, by the way, it’s not a tweet. It’s social media, and it gets out in the world, and the reason I do well is that I can be treated unfairly and very dishonestly by CNN, and, you know, I have — what do have now, John, 158 million, including Facebook, including Twitter, including Instagram, including every form, I have a 158 million people. Reporting just this morning, they said 158 million. So, if they a do a story that’s false, I can do something — otherwise, Andy, otherwise you just sort of walk around saying what can I do? What, am I going to have a press conference every time somebody, every time Michael writes something wrong?
So, China on trade has ripped off this country more than any other element of the world in history has ripped off anything. But I can be different if they’re helping us with North Korea. If they don’t help us with North Korea, then I do what I’ve always said I want to do. China can help us much more, and they have to help us much more. And they have to help us much more. We have a nuclear menace out there, which is no good for China, and it’s not good for Russia. It’s no good for anybody. Does that make sense?

SCHMIDT: Yeah, yeah, it makes a lot of sense.

TRUMP: The only thing that supersedes trade to me — because I’m the big trade guy, I got elected to a certain extent on trade. You see, I’m renegotiating Nafta, or I’ll terminate it. If I don’t make the right deal, I’ll terminate Nafta in two seconds. But we’re doing pretty good. You know, it’s easier to renegotiate it if we make it a fair deal because Nafta was a terrible deal for us. We lost $71 billion a year with Mexico, can you believe it? $17 billion with Canada — Canada says we broke even. But they don’t include lumber and they don’t include oil. Oh, that’s not. … [Inaudible,] … My friend Justin he says, “No, no, we break even.” I said, ‘Yeah, but you’re not including oil, and you’re not including lumber.” When you do, you lose $17 billion, and with the other one, we’re losing $71 billion. So, the only thing that supersedes trade to me is war. If we can solve the North Korea problem. China cannot. … SCHMIDT: You still think there’s a diplomatic solution?

TRUMP: China has a tremendous power over North Korea. Far greater than anyone knows.

SCHMIDT: Why haven’t they stood up?

TRUMP: I hope they do, but as of this moment, they haven’t. They could be much stronger.

SCHMIDT: But why not?

TRUMP: China can solve the North Korea problem, and they’re helping us, and they’re even helping us a lot, but they’re not helping us enough.

TRUMP: We’re going to win another four years for a lot of reasons, most importantly because our country is starting to do well again and we’re being respected again. But another reason that I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes. Without me, The New York Times will indeed be not the failing New York Times, but the failed New York Times. So, they basically have to let me win. And eventually, probably six months before the election, they’ll be loving me because they’re saying, “Please, please, don’t lose Donald Trump.” O.K.
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Excerpts from Trump’s Interview with The Times.
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(Note: MvR - for an explanation of the US acronyms, see the Discussion).
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Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
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DONALD J. TRUMP: I thought it was a terrible thing he did.
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[Inaudible.]
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MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT: You’re O.K.
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with me recording, right?
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TRUMP: Yeah.
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Virtually every Democrat has said there is no collusion.
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There is no collusion.
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And even these committees that have been set up.
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My base is stronger than it’s ever been.
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So, I think it’s been proven that there is no collusion.
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And by the way, I didn’t deal with Russia.
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I won because I was a better candidate by a lot.
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I won because I campaigned properly and she didn’t.
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She campaigned for the popular vote.
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I campaigned for the Electoral College.
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And you know, it is a totally different thing, Mike.
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You know the Electoral College, it’s like a track star.
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And it’s different.
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It’s in golf.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 35
It’s different.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 36
Match play is very different than stroke play.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 37
And you prepare.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 39
And that’s exactly what [inaudible].
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 40
Otherwise, I would have gone to New York, California, Texas and Florida.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 41
SCHMIDT: You would have run completely differently.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 42
TRUMP: It would have been a whole different thing.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 43
unit 44
Hillary never understood that.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 45
SCHMIDT: What’s your expectation on Mueller?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 46
When do you — TRUMP: I have no expectation.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 47
I can only tell you that there is absolutely no collusion.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 48
Everybody knows it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 49
And you know who knows it better than anybody?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 50
The Democrats.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 51
They walk around blinking at each other.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 53
SCHMIDT: But does that bother you?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 55
I think that he’s going to be fair.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 56
And based on that [inaudible].
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 57
There’s been no collusion.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 58
But I think he’s going to be fair.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 59
unit 60
I want you to treat me fairly.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 61
O.K.?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 62
SCHMIDT: Believe me.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 63
This is — TRUMP: Everybody knows the answer already.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 64
There was no collusion.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 65
None whatsoever.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 66
TRUMP: Maybe I’ll just say a little bit of a [inaudible].
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 67
I’ve always found Paul Manafort to be a very nice man.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 68
And I found him to be an honorable person.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 69
Paul only worked for me for a few months.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 70
Paul worked for Ronald Reagan.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 73
He worked for me for — what was it, three and a half months?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 74
SCHMIDT: A very short period of time.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 75
TRUMP: Three and a half months.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 76
[Inaudible] So, that’s that.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 79
She’s the head of the committee.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 82
There was collusion with the Russians and the Democrats.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 83
A lot of collusion.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 84
SCHMIDT: Dossier?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 85
TRUMP: Starting with the dossier.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 86
But going into so many other elements.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 87
And Podesta’s firm.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 88
_________ SCHMIDT: That’s true.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 90
What are they telling you now?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 91
What are they telling you?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 92
TRUMP: [Inaudible.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 93
unit 94
There was no collusion with respect to my campaign.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 95
I think I’ll be treated fairly.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 96
Timing wise, I can’t tell you.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 97
I just don’t know.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 98
But I think we’ll be treated fairly.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 99
SCHMIDT: But you’re not worked up about the timing?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 100
TRUMP: Well, I think it’s bad for the country.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 103
So, the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 106
Whatever happened to them?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 107
With the two servers that they broke up into a million pieces?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 108
Whatever happened to him?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 109
That was a big story.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 110
Now all of sudden [inaudible].
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 111
unit 113
SCHMIDT: You control the Justice Department.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 114
Should they reopen that email investigation?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 118
TRUMP: He’s been amazing.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 119
And he’s a liberal Democrat.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 120
I don’t know him.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 121
He’s a liberal Democrat.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 122
I watched Alan Dershowitz the other day, he said, No.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 123
1, there is no collusion, No.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 125
And he said that very strongly.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 126
He said there was no collusion.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 127
And he has studied this thing very closely.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 128
I’ve seen him a number of times.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 129
There is no collusion, and even if there was, it’s not a crime.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 130
But there’s no collusion.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 131
I don’t even say [inaudible].
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 132
I don’t even go that far.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 134
O.K.?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 135
You start off with New York, California and Illinois against you.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 136
unit 137
Which I did and then won Wisconsin and Michigan.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 138
[Inaudible.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 139
So, the Democrats.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 140
… [Inaudible.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 142
Well, they’re [inaudible].
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 144
unit 145
But it didn’t work out that way.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 146
And I will tell you they cannot believe that this became a story.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 147
SCHMIDT: So, they had to do this to come after you, to undercut you?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 149
It’s too bad Jeff recused himself.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 150
I like Jeff, but it’s too bad he recused himself.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 151
I thought.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 152
… Many people will tell you that something is [inaudible].
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 153
SCHMIDT: Do you think Holder was more loyal to.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 155
Totally protected him.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 156
When you look at the I.R.S.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 158
unit 160
SCHMIDT: Tell me about what you were saying that the Democrats.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 161
… [Inaudible.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 163
Explain that to me, I thought that was interesting.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 164
TRUMP: So.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 165
… We started taxes.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 166
And we don’t hear from the Democrats.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 167
You know, we hear bullshit from the Democrats.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 168
Like Joe Manchin.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 169
Joe’s a nice guy.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 170
SCHMIDT: He is a very nice guy.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 171
TRUMP: But he talks.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 172
But he doesn’t do anything.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 173
He doesn’t do.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 175
I like Joe.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 176
You know, it’s like he’s the great centrist.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 177
But he’s really not a centrist.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 178
And I think the people of West Virginia will see that.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 179
He not a centrist.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 180
… I’m the one that saved coal.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 181
I’m the one that created jobs.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 182
You know West Virginia is doing fantastically now.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 183
SCHMIDT: It’s a big.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 184
… It’s a very popular place for you.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 185
TRUMP: It’s the biggest turnaround.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 186
West Virginia, their average, their G.D.P.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 187
is the biggest turnaround after Texas.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 188
Texas [inaudible].
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 189
… The second percentage gain in G.D.P.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 190
[Inaudible.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 191
And I won that state by 43 points against crooked Hillary Clinton.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 192
And I’ll tell you, I think Joe, ah.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 193
… I think there’s a lot of talk.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 194
… A lot of talk.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 195
I think we have four or five senators that [inaudible].
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 196
Just so you understand, Alabama.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 197
… I wasn’t for him.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 198
I was for Strange.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 199
SCHMIDT: Do you think he should stop the recount?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 200
You know he said that they’re.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 201
… He was protesting the election today.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 202
Moore.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 203
TRUMP: Well, I.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 204
… Look.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 205
… Let him do whatever he wants to do.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 206
I was for Strange, and I brought Strange up 20 points.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 207
Just so you understand.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 208
When I endorsed him, he was in fifth place?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 209
He went way up.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 210
Almost 20 points.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 211
But he fell a little short.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 212
But I knew what I was doing.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 213
Because I thought that.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 215
I called it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 216
But as the head of the party, I have a choice: Do I endorse him or not?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 217
I don’t know.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 218
Um … SCHMIDT: Was it a mistake?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 219
TRUMP: And by the way, when I endorsed him, he went up.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 220
It was a much closer race.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 221
SCHMIDT: Was it a mistake to endorse him?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 222
unit 223
So, I endorsed him.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 224
It became a much closer race because of my endorsement.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 225
People don’t say that.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 226
They say, Oh, Donald Trump lost.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 227
I didn’t lose, I brought him up a lot.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 228
He was not the candidate that I thought was going to win.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 230
He would have won by 25 points.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 231
SCHMIDT: He would have won big?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 233
I hope you can straighten that out.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 234
unit 235
But.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 236
… Almost won.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 237
… He lost by 7 points, 7 or 8 points.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 238
And he was way behind.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 239
Because of two things, you know, what happened.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 240
… [Inaudible.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 241
… But I never thought Roy was going to win the election, but I felt.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 242
… I never thought he was going to win the election, but I felt.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 243
… And I said that very clearly.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 245
I always felt Roy was going to lose the election.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 247
And you see how tight it was even to get a popular.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 249
Two votes.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 250
Now we have one vote, all right?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 251
O.K., let’s get onto your final question, your other question.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 252
Had the Democrats come through.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 253
… SCHMIDT: Tell me about that, yeah.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 255
I would absolutely have done bipartisan.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 256
SCHMIDT: But they didn’t.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 259
Ronald Reagan, years ago, and he couldn’t do it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 260
Because New York had a very powerful group of people.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 261
Which they don’t have today.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 262
Today, they don’t have the same representatives.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 263
You know, in those days they had Lew Rudin and me.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 264
… I fought like hell for that.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 265
They had a lot of very good guys.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 266
Lew Rudin was very effective.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 267
He worked hard for New York.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 268
And we had some very good senators.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 271
I could have done something with SALT.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 272
Or made it less severe.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 273
But they were very ineffective.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 274
They were very, very ineffective.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 275
You understand what I mean.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 277
And that could’ve been either a change to SALT or knockout of SALT.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 280
Think of that.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 282
You know, we gained with the individual.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 285
That’s what the individual mandate.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 286
… They’re not going to have to pay anymore.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 287
So, when people think that will be unpopular.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 288
… It’s going to be very popular.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 289
It’s going to be very popular.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 290
Now, in my opinion, they should come to me on infrastructure.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 291
They should come to me, which they have come to me, on DACA.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 292
We are working.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 293
… We’re trying to something about it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 294
And they should definitely come to me on health care.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 295
Because we can do bipartisan health care.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 296
We can do bipartisan infrastructure.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 297
And we can do bipartisan DACA.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 298
SCHMIDT: What are you willing to do on infrastructure?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 299
How far are you willing to go?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 300
How much money?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 302
Republicans want to see infrastructure.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 304
And the Middle East is worse than it was 17 years ago.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 305
… [Inaudible.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 306
$7 trillion.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 307
And if you want $12 to fix up a road or a highway, you can’t get it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 308
I want to do a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill, at least.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 309
unit 311
And in 10 years they will collapse.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 312
So, I want a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 313
I think it can be bipartisan.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 315
[Cross talk.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 316
SCHMIDT: But what’s the goal?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 317
What’s the goal?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 318
TRUMP: Wait, wait, let me just tell you.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 319
unit 320
You understand what the associations are.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 321
… [Cross talk.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 323
That’s gonna be millions and millions of people.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 324
People have no idea how big that is.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 325
And by the way, and for that, we’ve ended across state lines.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 326
So, we have competition.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 327
You know for that I’m allowed to [inaudible] state lines.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 328
So that’s all done.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 329
Now I’ve ended the individual mandate.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 330
And the other thing I wish you’d tell people.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 332
… But what we have.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 333
unit 334
They’re great people.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 335
Two things: No.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 337
I love them and they love me.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 338
That’s No.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 339
1.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 340
And No.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 341
2, I know more about the big bills.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 342
… [Inaudible.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 343
… Than any president that’s ever been in office.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 344
Whether it’s health care and taxes.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 345
Especially taxes.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 346
And if I didn’t, I couldn’t have persuaded a hundred.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 347
… You ask Mark Meadows [inaudible].
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 349
The first bill, you know, that was ultimately, shockingly rejected.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 350
I’ll tell you something [inaudible].
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 351
… Put me on the defense, I was a great student and all this stuff.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 352
Oh, he doesn’t know the details, these are sick people.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 353
So, the taxes.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 354
… [Inaudible.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 356
Expensing will be perhaps the greatest of all provisions.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 357
Where you can do something, you can buy something.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 358
… Piece of equipment.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 360
That will be one of the great stimuli in history.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 361
You watch.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 362
That’ll be one of the big.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 364
One-year expensing.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 366
But Michael, I know the details of taxes better than anybody.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 367
Better than the greatest C.P.A.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 368
I know the details of health care better than most, better than most.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 370
Now here’s the good news.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 371
unit 372
Millions.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 373
That were formerly in Obamacare or didn’t have insurance.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 374
Or didn’t have health care.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 375
Millions of people.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 376
That’s gonna be a big bill, you watch.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 377
It could be as high as 50 percent of the people.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 378
You watch.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 379
So that’s a big thing.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 380
And the individual mandate.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 382
That could be half the people are going to be joining up.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 383
… With private [inaudible].
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 384
So now you have associations and the individual mandate.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 386
[Inaudible.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 387
SCHMIDT: And you think you can do it?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 388
TRUMP: Well, we’re perfectly set up to do it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 389
unit 391
It’s the most unpopular part of Obamacare.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 392
But now, Obamacare is essentially.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 393
… You know, you saw this.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 394
… It’s basically dead over a period of time.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 395
SCHMIDT: Yeah.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 396
TRUMP: But the Democrats should come to a bipartisan bill.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 397
And we can fix it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 398
We can fix it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 399
We can make a great health care plan.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 400
Not Obamacare, which was a bad plan.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 401
We can make a great health care plan through bipartisanship.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 402
We can do a great infrastructure plan through bipartisanship.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 405
TRUMP: No, I’m not being centered.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 406
I’m just being practical.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 407
No, I don’t think I’m changing.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 408
Look, I wouldn’t do a DACA plan without a wall.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 409
Because we need it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 410
We see the drugs pouring into the country, we need the wall.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 411
SCHMIDT: So, you’re not moving.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 412
You’re saying I’m more likely to do deals, but I’m not moving.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 413
TRUMP: I’m always moving.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 414
I’m moving in both directions.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 415
unit 416
The chain is the last guy that killed.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 417
… [Talking with guests.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 418
… The last guy that killed the eight people.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 419
… [Inaudible.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 420
… So badly wounded people.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 421
… Twenty-two people came in through chain migration.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 422
Chain migration and the lottery system.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 423
They have a lottery in these countries.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 425
‘Oh, these are the people the United States.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 427
On chain migration, they pretty much agree with me.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 428
[Cross talk with guests.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 430
… All do best and brightest.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 432
When we bring people in.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 433
… That No.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 434
1, don’t need our resources and No.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 435
2, have great capabilities.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 437
TRUMP: I was.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 438
I make deals with the Republicans.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 439
I had nobody to make a deal with the Democrats.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 441
They never thought I’d be able to get this over the line.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 443
SCHMIDT: Explain your North Korea tweet to me today.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 444
TRUMP: Which one?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 445
SCHMIDT: You said about the oil, that China.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 446
… [Cross talk.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 447
SCHMIDT: What’s going on there.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 448
Tell me about that.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 449
TRUMP: Yeah, China.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 450
… China’s been.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 451
… I like very much President Xi.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 453
You know that.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 454
The presentations.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 457
He’s [inaudible] of the United States.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 458
…[Inaudible.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 460
O.K.?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 461
[Cross talk with guests.]
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 462
SCHMIDT: Can you finish your thought on North Korea.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 463
What’s going on with China?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 464
TRUMP: I’m disappointed.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 465
You know that they found oil going into.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 466
… SCHMIDT: But how recently?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 467
TRUMP: It was very recently.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 469
Oil is going into North Korea.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 470
That wasn’t my deal!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 471
SCHMIDT: What was the deal?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 472
TRUMP: My deal was that, we’ve got to treat them rough.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 473
They’re a nuclear menace so we have to be very tough.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 474
unit 475
I don’t know.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 476
… TRUMP: Oil is going into North Korea, I know.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 477
Oil is going into North Korea.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 478
So, I’m not happy about it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 479
SCHMIDT: So, what are you going to do?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 480
TRUMP: We’ll see.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 481
That I can’t tell you, Michael.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 482
But we’ll see.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 484
This is a problem, North Korea.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 485
That should have been handled for 25, 30 years, not by me.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 486
This should have been handled long before me.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 487
Long before this guy has whatever he has.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 488
SCHMIDT: Do you think we’ve been too soft on China on North Korea?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 489
TRUMP: No, look, I like China, and I like him a lot.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 493
So, China — and you know, somebody said, oh, currency manipulation.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 495
And that’s what I’ve been doing.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 496
But when oil is going in, I’m not happy about that.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 497
I think I expressed that in probably [inaudible].
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 498
TRUMP, as aides walk by: And, by the way, it’s not a tweet.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 500
Reporting just this morning, they said 158 million.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 504
But I can be different if they’re helping us with North Korea.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 506
China can help us much more, and they have to help us much more.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 507
And they have to help us much more.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 509
It’s no good for anybody.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 510
Does that make sense?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 511
SCHMIDT: Yeah, yeah, it makes a lot of sense.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 513
You see, I’m renegotiating Nafta, or I’ll terminate it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 514
If I don’t make the right deal, I’ll terminate Nafta in two seconds.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 515
But we’re doing pretty good.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 517
We lost $71 billion a year with Mexico, can you believe it?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 518
$17 billion with Canada — Canada says we broke even.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 519
But they don’t include lumber and they don’t include oil.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 520
Oh, that’s not.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 522
So, the only thing that supersedes trade to me is war.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 523
If we can solve the North Korea problem.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 524
China cannot.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 525
… SCHMIDT: You still think there’s a diplomatic solution?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 526
TRUMP: China has a tremendous power over North Korea.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 527
Far greater than anyone knows.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 528
SCHMIDT: Why haven’t they stood up?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 529
TRUMP: I hope they do, but as of this moment, they haven’t.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 530
They could be much stronger.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 531
SCHMIDT: But why not?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 536
So, they basically have to let me win.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None

This was an unplanned impromptu interview that Donald Trump, on holidays in Mar-o-Lago, West Palm Beach, Florida, gave to New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt. The interview was given without preparation and in the absence of White House aides, very unusual in the highly scripted interviews, traditionally given by previous US presidents.

For the non-US readers, here is a brief glossary of the acronyms and terms, commonly found in the US media:

D.N.C. Democratic National Committee
I.R.S. Internal Revenue Service, collects federal taxes for the US Treasury Department
G.D.P. Gross Domestic Product
SALT State And Local taxes — these were always fully deductible for US federal tax calculation, until the recent adoption of the new federal tax law. From 2018 on they will be capped at $10,000, which is of concern to residents of high SALT states, like California and New York.
ANWR Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, there has been an ongoing tug-of-war between Republicans who want to open the Arctic for oil and gas exploration and the Democrats who are opposed to it.
DACA Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, enacted by former president Obama in 2012 to protect the children of undocumented immigrants. DACA was rescinded in 2017 by president Trump, who wants Congress to address it.
Obamacare The US healthcare system adopted by Congress in 2009, also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Individual Mandate The requirement under the ACA that all Americans purchase health insurance. It was eliminated as part of the recently adopted new federal tax law.
C.P.A. Certified Public Accountant, the professional Americans typically rely on to help them with preparing their tax forms.
CNN Cable News Network, the popular US and International TV news channel, founded by Ted Turner in 1980 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
Nafta, more commonly NAFTA, North American Free Trade Agreement - between Canada, the USA and Mexico.

by markvanroode 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Excerpts from Trump’s Interview with The Times.

By The New York Times, December 28, 2017.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/28/us/politics/trump-interview-excerpts.html?_r=0.

(Note: MvR - for an explanation of the US acronyms, see the Discussion).

President Trump spoke on Thursday with a reporter from The New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt. The interview took place in the Grill Room of his golf club in West Palm Beach, Fla., whose noise made some portions at times hard to hear.

The following are excerpts from that conversation, transcribed by The Times. They have been lightly edited for content and clarity, and omit several off-the-record comments and asides.

The interview started with a discussion of an interview Mr. Schmidt conducted with Mr. Trump in July, when Mr. Trump said he would not have appointed Jeff Sessions as attorney general had he known that Mr. Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

DONALD J. TRUMP: I thought it was a terrible thing he did. [Inaudible.] I thought it was certainly unnecessary, I thought it was a terrible thing. But I think it’s all worked out because frankly there is absolutely no collusion, that’s been proven by every Democrat is saying it.

MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT: You’re O.K. with me recording, right?

TRUMP: Yeah. Virtually every Democrat has said there is no collusion. There is no collusion. And even these committees that have been set up. If you look at what’s going on — and in fact, what it’s done is, it’s really angered the base and made the base stronger. My base is stronger than it’s ever been. Great congressmen, in particular, some of the congressmen have been unbelievable in pointing out what a witch hunt the whole thing is. So, I think it’s been proven that there is no collusion.

And by the way, I didn’t deal with Russia. I won because I was a better candidate by a lot. I won because I campaigned properly and she didn’t. She campaigned for the popular vote. I campaigned for the Electoral College. And you know, it is a totally different thing, Mike. You know the Electoral College, it’s like a track star. If you’re going to run the 100-yard dash, you work out differently than if you’re going to run the 1,000 meters or the mile.

And it’s different. It’s in golf. If you have a tournament and you have match play or stroke play, you prepare differently, believe it or not. It’s different. Match play is very different than stroke play. And you prepare. So, I went to Maine five times, I went to [inaudible], the genius of the Electoral College is that you go to places you might not go to.

And that’s exactly what [inaudible]. Otherwise, I would have gone to New York, California, Texas and Florida.

SCHMIDT: You would have run completely differently.

TRUMP: It would have been a whole different thing. The genius is that the popular vote is a much different form of campaigning. Hillary never understood that.

SCHMIDT: What’s your expectation on Mueller? When do you —

TRUMP: I have no expectation. I can only tell you that there is absolutely no collusion. Everybody knows it. And you know who knows it better than anybody? The Democrats. They walk around blinking at each other.
SCHMIDT: But when do you think he’ll be done in regards to you —

TRUMP: I don’t know.

SCHMIDT: But does that bother you?

TRUMP: No, it doesn’t bother me because I hope that he’s going to be fair. I think that he’s going to be fair. And based on that [inaudible]. There’s been no collusion. But I think he’s going to be fair. And if he’s fair — because everybody knows the answer already, Michael. I want you to treat me fairly. O.K.?

SCHMIDT: Believe me. This is —

TRUMP: Everybody knows the answer already. There was no collusion. None whatsoever.

TRUMP: Maybe I’ll just say a little bit of a [inaudible]. I’ve always found Paul Manafort to be a very nice man. And I found him to be an honorable person. Paul only worked for me for a few months. Paul worked for Ronald Reagan. His firm worked for John McCain, worked for Bob Dole, worked for many Republicans for far longer than he worked for me. And you’re talking about what Paul was many years ago before I ever heard of him. He worked for me for — what was it, three and a half months?

SCHMIDT: A very short period of time.

TRUMP: Three and a half months. [Inaudible] So, that’s that. Let’s just say — I think that Bob Mueller will be fair, and everybody knows that there was no collusion. I saw Dianne Feinstein the other day on television saying there is no collusion. She’s the head of the committee. The Republicans, in terms of the House committees, they come out, they’re so angry because there is no collusion. So, I actually think that it’s turning out — I actually think it’s turning to the Democrats because there was collusion on behalf of the Democrats. There was collusion with the Russians and the Democrats. A lot of collusion.

SCHMIDT: Dossier?

TRUMP: Starting with the dossier. But going into so many other elements. And Podesta’s firm.
_________

SCHMIDT: That’s true. But in terms of, the lawyers said it would be done by, your guys said, it would be done by Thanksgiving, it would be done by Christmas. What are they telling you now? What are they telling you?

TRUMP: [Inaudible.] There was tremendous collusion on behalf of the Russians and the Democrats. There was no collusion with respect to my campaign. I think I’ll be treated fairly. Timing wise, I can’t tell you. I just don’t know. But I think we’ll be treated fairly.
SCHMIDT: But you’re not worked up about the timing?

TRUMP: Well, I think it’s bad for the country. The only thing that bothers me about timing, I think it’s a very bad thing for the country. Because it makes the country look bad, it makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position. So, the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.

But there is tremendous collusion with the Russians and with the Democratic Party. Including all of the stuff with the — and then whatever happened to the Pakistani guy, that had the two, you know, whatever happened to this Pakistani guy who worked with the D.N.C.?

Whatever happened to them? With the two servers that they broke up into a million pieces? Whatever happened to him? That was a big story. Now all of sudden [inaudible]. So, I know The New York Times is going to — because those are real stories. Whatever happened to the Hillary Clinton deleted 33,000 emails after she got [inaudible] — which you guys wrote, but then you dropped — was that you?

SCHMIDT: You control the Justice Department. Should they reopen that email investigation?

TRUMP: What I’ve done is, I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter.

TRUMP: For purposes of the Justice Department, I watched Alan Dershowitz the other day, who by the way, says I, says this is a ridiculous —

SCHMIDT: He’s been very good to you.

TRUMP: He’s been amazing. And he’s a liberal Democrat. I don’t know him. He’s a liberal Democrat. I watched Alan Dershowitz the other day, he said, No. 1, there is no collusion, No. 2, collusion is not a crime, but even if it was a crime, there was no collusion. And he said that very strongly. He said there was no collusion. And he has studied this thing very closely. I’ve seen him a number of times. There is no collusion, and even if there was, it’s not a crime. But there’s no collusion. I don’t even say [inaudible]. I don’t even go that far.

TRUMP: So, for the purposes of what’s going on with this phony Russian deal, which, by the way, you’ve heard me say it, is only an excuse for losing an election that they should have won, because it’s very hard for a Republican to win the Electoral College. O.K.? You start off with New York, California and Illinois against you. That means you have to run the East Coast, which I did, and everything else. Which I did and then won Wisconsin and Michigan. [Inaudible.] So, the Democrats. … [Inaudible.] … They thought there was no way for a Republican, not me, a Republican, to win the Electoral College. Well, they’re [inaudible]. They made the Russian story up as a hoax, as a ruse, as an excuse for losing an election that in theory Democrats should always win with the Electoral College. The Electoral College is so much better suited to the Democrats [inaudible]. But it didn’t work out that way. And I will tell you they cannot believe that this became a story.

SCHMIDT: So, they had to do this to come after you, to undercut you?

TRUMP: No, no, they thought it would be a one-day story, an excuse, and it just kept going and going and going. It’s too bad Jeff recused himself. I like Jeff, but it’s too bad he recused himself. I thought. … Many people will tell you that something is [inaudible].

SCHMIDT: Do you think Holder was more loyal to. …

TRUMP: I don’t want to get into loyalty, but I will tell you that, I will say this: Holder protected President Obama. Totally protected him. When you look at the I.R.S. scandal, when you look at the guns for whatever, when you look at all of the tremendous, ah, real problems they had, not made-up problems like Russian collusion, these were real problems. When you look at the things that they did, and Holder protected the president. And I have great respect for that, I’ll be honest, I have great respect for that.

SCHMIDT: Tell me about what you were saying that the Democrats. … [Inaudible.] … Tell me about the Democrats on the tax bill, which you were telling me about. Explain that to me, I thought that was interesting.

TRUMP: So. … We started taxes. And we don’t hear from the Democrats. You know, we hear bullshit from the Democrats. Like Joe Manchin. Joe’s a nice guy.

SCHMIDT: He is a very nice guy.

TRUMP: But he talks. But he doesn’t do anything. He doesn’t do. “Hey, let’s get together, let’s do bipartisan.” I say, “Good, let’s go.” Then you don’t hear from him again. I like Joe. You know, it’s like he’s the great centrist. But he’s really not a centrist. And I think the people of West Virginia will see that. He not a centrist. … I’m the one that saved coal. I’m the one that created jobs. You know West Virginia is doing fantastically now.

SCHMIDT: It’s a big. … It’s a very popular place for you.

TRUMP: It’s the biggest turnaround. West Virginia, their average, their G.D.P. is the biggest turnaround after Texas. Texas [inaudible]. … The second percentage gain in G.D.P. [Inaudible.] And I won that state by 43 points against crooked Hillary Clinton. And I’ll tell you, I think Joe, ah. … I think there’s a lot of talk. … A lot of talk. I think we have four or five senators that [inaudible]. Just so you understand, Alabama. … I wasn’t for him. I was for Strange.

SCHMIDT: Do you think he should stop the recount? You know he said that they’re. … He was protesting the election today. Moore.

TRUMP: Well, I. … Look. … Let him do whatever he wants to do. I was for Strange, and I brought Strange up 20 points. Just so you understand. When I endorsed him, he was in fifth place? He went way up. Almost 20 points. But he fell a little short. But I knew what I was doing. Because I thought that. … If you look at my rhetoric, I said the problem with Roy Moore is that he will lose the election. I called it. But as the head of the party, I have a choice: Do I endorse him or not? I don’t know. Um …

SCHMIDT: Was it a mistake?

TRUMP: And by the way, when I endorsed him, he went up. It was a much closer race.

SCHMIDT: Was it a mistake to endorse him?

TRUMP: I feel that I have to endorse Republicans as the head of the party. So, I endorsed him. It became a much closer race because of my endorsement. People don’t say that. They say, Oh, Donald Trump lost. I didn’t lose, I brought him up a lot. He was not the candidate that I thought was going to win. If you look at my statements, you’ve seen them, I said, “Look, I’m for Luther Strange because I like him, but I’m also for Luther Strange because he’s going to win the election.” There wouldn’t have been an election. He would have won by 25 points.

SCHMIDT: He would have won big?

TRUMP: The problem with Roy Moore, and I said this, is that he’s going to lose the election. I hope you can straighten that out. Luther Strange was brought way up after my endorsement and he almost won. But. …
Almost won. … He lost by 7 points, 7 or 8 points. And he was way behind. Because of two things, you know, what happened. … [Inaudible.] … But I never thought Roy was going to win the election, but I felt. … I never thought he was going to win the election, but I felt. … And I said that very clearly. … And I wish you would cover that, because frankly, I said, if Luther doesn’t win, Roy is going to lose the election. I always felt Roy was going to lose the election. But I endorsed him because I feel it’s my obligation as the head of the Republican Party to endorse him. And you see how tight it was even to get a popular. … In Republican circles, to get a very popular tax cut approved, actually reform. Two votes. Now we have one vote, all right?

O.K., let’s get onto your final question, your other question. Had the Democrats come through. …

SCHMIDT: Tell me about that, yeah.

TRUMP: Had they asked, “Let’s do a bipartisan,” Michael, I would have done bipartisan. I would absolutely have done bipartisan.

SCHMIDT: But they didn’t. … They didn’t …

TRUMP: And if I did bipartisan, I would have done something with SALT [the state and local tax deduction]. With that being said, you look back, Ronald Reagan wanted to take deductibility away from states. Ronald Reagan, years ago, and he couldn’t do it. Because New York had a very powerful group of people. Which they don’t have today. Today, they don’t have the same representatives. You know, in those days they had Lew Rudin and me. … I fought like hell for that. They had a lot of very good guys. Lew Rudin was very effective. He worked hard for New York. And we had some very good senators. … You know, we had a lot of people who fought very hard against, let’s call it SALT. Had they come to me and said, look, we’ll do this, this, this, we’ll do [inaudible]. I could have done something with SALT. Or made it less severe. But they were very ineffective. They were very, very ineffective. You understand what I mean. Had they come to me for a bipartisan tax bill, I would have gone to Mitch, and I would have gone to the other Republicans, and we could have worked something out bipartisan. And that could’ve been either a change to SALT or knockout of SALT.

But, just so you understand, Ronald Reagan wanted to take deductibility away and he was unable to do it. Ronald Reagan wanted to have ANWR approved 40 years ago and he was unable to do it. Think of that. And the individual mandate is the most unpopular thing in Obamacare, and I got rid of it. You know, we gained with the individual. … You know the individual mandate, Michael, means you take money and you give it to the government for the privilege of not having to pay more money to have health insurance you don’t want. There are people who had very good health insurance that now are paying not to have health insurance. That’s what the individual mandate. … They’re not going to have to pay anymore. So, when people think that will be unpopular. … It’s going to be very popular. It’s going to be very popular.

Now, in my opinion, they should come to me on infrastructure. They should come to me, which they have come to me, on DACA. We are working. … We’re trying to something about it. And they should definitely come to me on health care. Because we can do bipartisan health care. We can do bipartisan infrastructure. And we can do bipartisan DACA.

SCHMIDT: What are you willing to do on infrastructure? How far are you willing to go? How much money?

TRUMP: I actually think we can get as many Democrat votes as we have Republican. Republicans want to see infrastructure. Michael, we have spent, as of about a month ago, $7 trillion in the Middle East. And the Middle East is worse than it was 17 years ago. … [Inaudible.] $7 trillion. And if you want $12 to fix up a road or a highway, you can’t get it. I want to do a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill, at least. We want to fix our roads, our highways, our bridges, which are in bad shape. And you know some of them are actually, they’re x-ed out, they have, you know, possibilities of collapse under bad circumstances. And in 10 years they will collapse. So, I want a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. I think it can be bipartisan. I believe we can do health care in a bipartisan way, because now we’ve essentially gutted and ended Obamacare.

[Cross talk.]

SCHMIDT: But what’s the goal? What’s the goal?

TRUMP: Wait, wait, let me just tell you. … Also, beyond the individual mandate, but also [inaudible] associations. You understand what the associations are. …

[Cross talk.]

TRUMP: So now I have associations, I have private insurance companies coming and will sell private health care plans to people through associations. That’s gonna be millions and millions of people. People have no idea how big that is. And by the way, and for that, we’ve ended across state lines. So, we have competition. You know for that I’m allowed to [inaudible] state lines. So that’s all done.

Now I’ve ended the individual mandate. And the other thing I wish you’d tell people. So, when I do this, and we’ve got health care, you know, McCain did his vote. … But what we have. I had a hundred congressmen that said no and I was able to talk them into it. They’re great people.

Two things: No. 1, I have unbelievably great relationships with 97 percent of the Republican congressmen and senators. I love them and they love me. That’s No. 1. And No. 2, I know more about the big bills. … [Inaudible.] … Than any president that’s ever been in office. Whether it’s health care and taxes. Especially taxes. And if I didn’t, I couldn’t have persuaded a hundred. … You ask Mark Meadows [inaudible]. … I couldn’t have persuaded a hundred congressmen to go along with the bill. The first bill, you know, that was ultimately, shockingly rejected.

I’ll tell you something [inaudible]. … Put me on the defense, I was a great student and all this stuff. Oh, he doesn’t know the details, these are sick people.

So, the taxes. … [Inaudible.] … The tax cut will be, the tax bill, prediction, will be far bigger than anyone imagines. Expensing will be perhaps the greatest of all provisions. Where you can do something, you can buy something. … Piece of equipment. … You can do lots of different things, and you can write it off and expense it in one year. That will be one of the great stimuli in history. You watch. That’ll be one of the big. … People don’t even talk about expensing, what’s the word “expensing.” [Inaudible.] One-year expensing. Watch the money coming back into the country, it’ll be more money than people anticipate.

But Michael, I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest C.P.A. I know the details of health care better than most, better than most. And if I didn’t, I couldn’t have talked all these people into doing ultimately only to be rejected.

Now here’s the good news. We’ve created associations, millions of people are joining associations. Millions. That were formerly in Obamacare or didn’t have insurance. Or didn’t have health care. Millions of people. That’s gonna be a big bill, you watch. It could be as high as 50 percent of the people. You watch. So that’s a big thing. And the individual mandate. So now you have associations, and people don’t even talk about the associations. That could be half the people are going to be joining up. … With private [inaudible]. So now you have associations and the individual mandate.

I believe that because of the individual mandate and the associations, the Democrats will and certainly should come to me and see if they can do a really great health care plan for the remaining people. [Inaudible.]

SCHMIDT: And you think you can do it?

TRUMP: Well, we’re perfectly set up to do it. See, it was hard for them to do it as long as the individual mandate existed. But now that the individual mandate is officially killed, people have no idea how big a deal that was. It’s the most unpopular part of Obamacare. But now, Obamacare is essentially. … You know, you saw this. … It’s basically dead over a period of time.

SCHMIDT: Yeah.

TRUMP: But the Democrats should come to a bipartisan bill. And we can fix it. We can fix it. We can make a great health care plan. Not Obamacare, which was a bad plan. We can make a great health care plan through bipartisanship. We can do a great infrastructure plan through bipartisanship. And we can do on immigration, and DACA in particular, we can do something that’s terrific through bipartisanship.

SCHMIDT: It sounds like you’re tacking to the center in a way you didn’t before.

TRUMP: No, I’m not being centered. I’m just being practical. No, I don’t think I’m changing. Look, I wouldn’t do a DACA plan without a wall. Because we need it. We see the drugs pouring into the country, we need the wall.

SCHMIDT: So, you’re not moving. You’re saying I’m more likely to do deals, but I’m not moving.

TRUMP: I’m always moving. I’m moving in both directions. We have to get rid of chainlike immigration, we have to get rid of the chain. The chain is the last guy that killed. … [Talking with guests.] … The last guy that killed the eight people. … [Inaudible.] … So badly wounded people. … Twenty-two people came in through chain migration. Chain migration and the lottery system. They have a lottery in these countries.

They take the worst people in the country, they put ‘em into the lottery, then they have a handful of bad, worse ones, and they put them out. ‘Oh, these are the people the United States. …” … We’re gonna get rid of the lottery, and by the way, the Democrats agree with me on that. On chain migration, they pretty much agree with me.

[Cross talk with guests.]

CHRISTOPHER RUDDY, the president and chief executive of Newsmax: Canada, U.K., Australia. … All do best and brightest. …

TRUMP: Yeah, they have a merit system, we’ll eventually go to a merit-based system. When we bring people in. … That No. 1, don’t need our resources and No. 2, have great capabilities.

SCHMIDT: Do you think I’m wrong to think next year could be the year of you being a real deal maker, in a way you maybe weren’t in the past year?

TRUMP: I was. I make deals with the Republicans. I had nobody to make a deal with the Democrats. The Democrats could have made a much better tax deal for Democrats if they came to see us, but they didn’t come. They never thought I’d be able to get this over the line. And especially when McCain, when John McCain left and went to Arizona, they thought they had it made.

SCHMIDT: Explain your North Korea tweet to me today.

TRUMP: Which one?

SCHMIDT: You said about the oil, that China. …

[Cross talk.]

SCHMIDT: What’s going on there. Tell me about that.

TRUMP: Yeah, China. … China’s been. … I like very much President Xi. He treated me better than anybody’s ever been treated in the history of China. You know that. The presentations. … One of the great two days of anybody’s life and memory having to do with China. He’s a friend of mine, he likes me, I like him, we have a great chemistry together. He’s [inaudible] of the United States. …[Inaudible.] China’s hurting us very badly on trade, but I have been soft on China because the only thing more important to me than trade is war. O.K.?

[Cross talk with guests.]

SCHMIDT: Can you finish your thought on North Korea. What’s going on with China?

TRUMP: I’m disappointed. You know that they found oil going into. …

SCHMIDT: But how recently?

TRUMP: It was very recently. In fact, I hate to say, it was reported this morning, and it was reported on Fox. Oil is going into North Korea. That wasn’t my deal!

SCHMIDT: What was the deal?

TRUMP: My deal was that, we’ve got to treat them rough. They’re a nuclear menace so we have to be very tough.

RUDDY: Mr. President, was that a picture from recent or was that months ago? I don’t know. …

TRUMP: Oil is going into North Korea, I know. Oil is going into North Korea. So, I’m not happy about it.

SCHMIDT: So, what are you going to do?

TRUMP: We’ll see. That I can’t tell you, Michael. But we’ll see. I can tell you one thing: This is a problem that should have been handled for the last 25 years. This is a problem, North Korea. That should have been handled for 25, 30 years, not by me. This should have been handled long before me. Long before this guy has whatever he has.

SCHMIDT: Do you think we’ve been too soft on China on North Korea?

TRUMP: No, look, I like China, and I like him a lot. But, as you know, when I campaigned, I was very tough on China in terms of trade. They made — last year, we had a trade deficit with China of $350 billion, minimum. That doesn’t include the theft of intellectual property, O.K., which is another $300 billion. So, China — and you know, somebody said, oh, currency manipulation. If they’re helping me with North Korea, I can look at trade a little bit differently, at least for a period of time. And that’s what I’ve been doing. But when oil is going in, I’m not happy about that. I think I expressed that in probably [inaudible].

TRUMP, as aides walk by: And, by the way, it’s not a tweet. It’s social media, and it gets out in the world, and the reason I do well is that I can be treated unfairly and very dishonestly by CNN, and, you know, I have — what do have now, John, 158 million, including Facebook, including Twitter, including Instagram, including every form, I have a 158 million people. Reporting just this morning, they said 158 million. So, if they a do a story that’s false, I can do something — otherwise, Andy, otherwise you just sort of walk around saying what can I do? What, am I going to have a press conference every time somebody, every time Michael writes something wrong?
So, China on trade has ripped off this country more than any other element of the world in history has ripped off anything. But I can be different if they’re helping us with North Korea. If they don’t help us with North Korea, then I do what I’ve always said I want to do. China can help us much more, and they have to help us much more. And they have to help us much more. We have a nuclear menace out there, which is no good for China, and it’s not good for Russia. It’s no good for anybody. Does that make sense?

SCHMIDT: Yeah, yeah, it makes a lot of sense.

TRUMP: The only thing that supersedes trade to me — because I’m the big trade guy, I got elected to a certain extent on trade. You see, I’m renegotiating Nafta, or I’ll terminate it. If I don’t make the right deal, I’ll terminate Nafta in two seconds. But we’re doing pretty good. You know, it’s easier to renegotiate it if we make it a fair deal because Nafta was a terrible deal for us. We lost $71 billion a year with Mexico, can you believe it? $17 billion with Canada — Canada says we broke even. But they don’t include lumber and they don’t include oil. Oh, that’s not. … [Inaudible,] … My friend Justin he says, “No, no, we break even.” I said, ‘Yeah, but you’re not including oil, and you’re not including lumber.” When you do, you lose $17 billion, and with the other one, we’re losing $71 billion. So, the only thing that supersedes trade to me is war. If we can solve the North Korea problem. China cannot. …

SCHMIDT: You still think there’s a diplomatic solution?

TRUMP: China has a tremendous power over North Korea. Far greater than anyone knows.

SCHMIDT: Why haven’t they stood up?

TRUMP: I hope they do, but as of this moment, they haven’t. They could be much stronger.

SCHMIDT: But why not?

TRUMP: China can solve the North Korea problem, and they’re helping us, and they’re even helping us a lot, but they’re not helping us enough.

TRUMP: We’re going to win another four years for a lot of reasons, most importantly because our country is starting to do well again and we’re being respected again. But another reason that I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes. Without me, The New York Times will indeed be not the failing New York Times, but the failed New York Times. So, they basically have to let me win. And eventually, probably six months before the election, they’ll be loving me because they’re saying, “Please, please, don’t lose Donald Trump.” O.K.