President Trump on Wednesday sat for an interview with Fox & Friend’s show host Ainsley Earhardt. The interview aired on Thursday morning.
Clips via Twitter
Her first questions are “How are you?” and “How’s the family?”
He answers, “she’s great,” he adds, “she goes through a lot with all this publicity,” to which Earhardt asked “how do you handle that? He says “I’ve always had controversy in my life, and I’ve always succeeded. I’ve always won.” He then goes on to say that the country is doing, “better than it ever has.” In the clip toward the end he takes jabs at the media saying that the media only likes to cover the “nonsense.”
Before the interview aired President Trump posted to twitter at 1:10 a.m. eastern time
Asked about Michael Cohen
She asks about his “relationship” with Michael Cohen.
He replies, “He was a lawyer for me for, one of many, they always say, the lawyer and they like to add “the fixer,” well I don’t know if he was a fixer,” he adds, “I don’t know where that term came from.”
In January 2017 The Wall Street Journal reported that in an interview, Michael Cohen said, “I am the fix-it guy. Anything that he needs to be done, any issues that concern him, I handle.”
President Trump continues and tells Earhardt, “he did small deals for me. It turned out he wasn’t a good lawyer, frankly.”
Earhardt asks about the payments made to both Stephanie Clifford aka Stormy Daniels, and Karen McDougal, “did you direct him to make the payments?”
He replies, “he made the deals and by the way he plead to two counts, that aren’t a crime, which nobody understands. I’ve watched a number of shows, sometimes you get some pretty good information by watching shows. Those two counts aren’t even a crime they weren’t campaign finance.”
Michael Cohen’s plea deal and criminal information can be found @ law fare blog count seven and eight are the two “campaign finance,” charges that according to the document as pictured below carry a maximum of five years imprisonment.
President Trump goes on to say when asked if he knew about the payments, he said, “later on I knew, later on.”
As The News Blender reported Cohen via his attorney Lanny Davis, released an audio recording, that Cohen secretly recorded of a conversation that took place between he and then-candidate Trump had regarding among other things, setting up a company in order to “make a payment.”
The Washington Post reported last night a fact check of President Trump’s statements regarding the payments to both women, the title of the fact check article is, “Not just misleading. Not merely false. A lie.”
President Trump adds that “you have to understand what he did, they weren’t taken out of campaign finance, that’s a big thing, that’s a much bigger thing, did they come out of the campaign. They didn’t come out of the campaign. They came from me. And I tweeted about it.” he continues, “I don’t know if you know, but I tweeted about the payments.”
He says that his first question when he “heard about it,” was “did they come from the campaign, because that could be a little dicey and they didn’t come out of the campaign.” President Trump again states, “that’s not a crime.”
He then mentions President Obama’s campaign violation which was covered @ The News Blender on Wednesday. He explains that it was because Obama had a different Attorney General and says that “they viewed it a lot differently.”
President Trump concludes by saying, “Almost everybody that runs for office has campaign violations,” he adds again that what Cohen plead to wasn’t a crime.
Earnhardt asks, “why is he doing this?” and President Trump replies, “because he made a great deal.” he adds Cohen only worked for him, “you could say, part-time.”
She asks if “they aren’t even illegal why would he use that information?”
President Trump says, “he makes a better deal when he uses me, like everybody else.”
The President goes on to say, “one of the reasons I respect Paul Manafort so much, he went through that whole trial.”
He seems to veer here and says, “flipping they call it,” adding for thirty-forty years, “I’ve been watching flippers, everything is wonderful and then they get ten years in jail, and the flip, on whoever the next highest one is or as high as you can. It almost ought be outlawed it’s not fair.”
He then adds, “if someone defrauded a bank and he’s gonna get ten years or twenty years in jail, but if you can say something bad about Donald Trump, and you’ll go down to two years or three years, which is the deal he made, in all fairness to him, most people are going to do it,” he then says again that “it’s called flipping and it ought be illegal.”
He then says that the flipper can “make-up stories,” he continues, “they just make-up lies,” he concludes the clip by saying, “it’s not a fair thing.”
Asked about Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department & Paul Manafort
This clip cuts off the question asked, but it still seems related to “plea deals.”
It starts out with President Trump saying, “but I’ll tell you there is someone else that made a better deal, Awan.” He goes on to say that Awan “stole money” and ” he had more information and corruption,” he then adds, “they don’t even have his computers or his servers.” He says, “they just gave him nothing.”
Imran Awan who according to the Washington Post was under investigation for eighteen months, plead guilty to, “making a false statement on a bank loan application. U.S. prosecutors said they would not recommend jail time.”
Awan worked on Capital Hill as a, “congressional technology staffer.”
The plea deal reached between the Justice department and Awan included a passage via Washington Post, “The Government has uncovered no evidence that your client violated federal law with respect to the House computer systems.”
She then asks, “double standard?”
The president pulls a face and says, “double standard. He was worse than anybody in my opinion. He got nothing he’s a democrat. The reason he got nothing is because the dems are very strong in the Justice Department.”
He then says, “I put in an Attorney General that never took control of the Justice Department, Jeff Sessions. He never took control.” He then goes on to say how well this country is doing, how “all my people,” are doing well, he then mentions that the DOJ and FBI including former FBI director James Comey, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, his “lover,” Lisa Page, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He concludes by saying, “if you took a poll in the FBI, I do very well.”
Asked if he is considering pardoning Paul Manafort, who was convicted Tuesday by a jury of his peers, on five counts tax evasion, one count failing to file a IRS tax form, and two bank fraud charges as was reported @ The News Blender President Trump says, “I have great respect for what he has done in terms of what he has gone through.”
He explains that Manafort worked for “Reagan, Dole,” he believes Manafort’s firm did work for “McCain,” he then says, “I would say what he did, some of the charges they throw against him, every consultant, every lobbyist in Washington, probably does.” He then talks about “Hillary Clinton’s person,” he then says, “look at the crimes that Clinton did,” in regards to deleting emails. He then adds, “and this Justice Department does nothing about it.”
He continues saying, “I didn’t know Manafort well, he wasn’t with the campaign long.” adding that “they got him on things not related to the campaign.” He then says, “by the way, they got Cohen on totally unrelated to the campaign. I’m not involved, I’m not charged with anything.”
She asks about firing Jeff Sessions and Rosenstein after the midterms and if President Trump is going to use “his power,” to get documents released.
He says, “at the right time I think I’m going to have to, I didn’t want to.” He adds, “there so much corruption it happened before I got here,” he goes on to blame the Obama administration. He then mentions how his campaign was under surveillance.
As The News Blender reported, President Trump’s campaign was not under surveillance, there were informants that spoke with some members of the campaign to determine what Russia’s involvement was in 2016 election interference.
She presses for an answer about firing either Sessions or Rosenstein and the President says, “Well I’ll tell you what, I wanted to stay uninvolved, but when everyone sees what’s in the Justice Department. I always put Justice now with quotes, it’s a very-very sad day, Jeff Sessions recused himself, which he shouldn’t have done or he should have told me. Even my enemies say that Jeff Sessions should have told you that he was going to recuse himself.” He adds, “then you wouldn’t have put him in.”
He says, “he took the job then he said, I’m going to recuse myself. I said what kind of a man is this.”
President Trump then explains he only gave him the job because he felt, “loyalty.”
AG Jeff Sessions has fired back in a rare statement he says in part, “While I am Attorney General, the actions of Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.” He then defends his department, “No nation has a more talented, more dedicated group of law enforcement investigators, and prosecutors than the United States.”
The full statement via tweet image.
Asked what grade he’d give himself on the job he’s doing so far as President he says, “A+”
He replies, “I don’t think any President has done what I have done in this short time. We haven’t even been two years. Biggest taxes cuts in history, soon to be two unbelievable Supreme Court Justices.” He then says, “The only thing I’m doing badly is the press doesn’t cover me fairly.” He goes on to say he thought it would be better after he won, but that, “it got worse.”
He also says in part that if he’s impeached the “market would crash,” and he doesn’t understand how you could, “impeach someone doing such a great job.”
Part one of the interview can be found here. Will post part two when it’s made available.