President Donald Trump spoke with Brian Kilmeade about why he is upset at Fox News, pulling troops out of Afghanistan, the impact of China tariffs on American farmers, telling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to look at the USMCA as a bipartisan deal, Lawrence O’Donnell saying he obtained loans from Deutsche Bank with Russian oligarchs as co-signers being fake news and Hurricane Dorian heading to Florida.
Watch the full interview here:
BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX ANCHOR: Hi everybody, Brian Kilmeade. “The Brian Kilmeade Show” is back. It is our privilege to bring in the President of the United States from the White House.
Mr. President, how are you today?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hi, Brian.
KILMEADE: Thanks for doing this. I appreciate it.
TRUMP: Well, thank you very much.
KILMEADE: The focus everybody is looking at right now is this Hurricane Dorian. It missed Puerto Rico —
KILMEADE: — heading to Florida. You have an acting FEMA director and a good friend, but a brand new governor. Are you concerned about Florida being ready for the hit?
TRUMP: No, they’re going to be totally ready, and Puerto Rico was totally ready. FEMA and all of the first responders did an incredible job with Puerto Rico, then we got lucky, it took a different course. We got really lucky, but we were ready in Puerto Rico and we’re very ready also in Florida, and we have a great governor there.
He’s incredible, doing an incredible job; very popular too. Became — he won the election, and he’s really become even more popular. He’s doing a really fantastic job — Ron DeSantis — and he’s all set. He called me up last night. I called him up, and we were talking and unfortunately the bad news is it looks like it’s going to be making a turn into Florida.
It looks — I don’t know with certainty, but according to the folks over at weather, they seem to think it’s going to be making a pretty decisive turn into Florida.
KILMEADE: Well, we’ll keep an eye on that and of course that’s going to matter. And one thing about Florida, they’re used to these situations. They’ve had to deal with it way too much and you have properties there, so you’re familiar with it as well.
TRUMP: That’s right.
KILMEADE: I’m looking now — I’m looking now at the market. It’s up almost 300 points this morning. So they’re feeling good about what’s going on and a lot of focus on China in particular.
KILMEADE: I know that that’s your focus too and I’m looking at what they’re doing and not doing with fentanyl. I look at the way they’re stealing our intellectual property. They’re building up a military seemingly just to fight ours. I’m wondering, Mr. President, how long can you call President Xi a friend when they seem to act like this while backing off a deal that you had virtually done a couple of months ago?
TRUMP: Well let’s see what the end product is. I think that’s what you have to judge it by, we’re going to see what the end product is. I will say that for 25 years China has been ripping off the United States. You know that. I talked about it a long time ago.
KILMEADE: You did.
TRUMP: That’s one of the reasons I’m probably here as president. I’m in the White House. And they’ve been ripping us off for billions and billions of dollars like babies. Obama was ripped worse than anybody, Bush and everyone — Clinton. Nobody did anything about it, and I am. I’m doing what had to be done. I mean I’m doing there. I’m doing North Korea. I was given a lot of bad —
TRUMP: — bad hands and I’m taking them and I’m going to win with them — have a way to win with every one of them, but we’re dealing with China. They really want to make a deal and the reason they want to make a deal is they lost millions and millions of jobs. They’re losing thousands of companies that are leaving China. Their chain is being broken and we’ll see what happens, but I will tell you I think — I think they want to make a deal. I sort of think they have to make a deal and we’ll see what happens.
KILMEADE: But also on top of that, Mr. President, they’re very aware of our political system. They know your base is — a lot of it is in the Midwest. A lot of them are blue collar — a lot of them are farmers and they’re targeting those people seemingly to hurt you, which hurts the country.
TRUMP: Yes. China plays a vicious game. They’ve targeted our farmers and I’ve made up for it by — for two years now, $12 billion they did previously then they did $16. I asked Sonny Perdue, our head of agriculture is doing a fantastic job, what was the number they spent in their biggest year.
And it was approximately $16 billion and out of the much more billions of dollars that we’re receiving. You know, we’re getting in tens of billions of dollars from China. We never got $0.10 from China in tariffs and they’re — we’re really — it’s being paid thus far by their devaluations and by them putting cash into the market because they don’t want prices to go up.
TRUMP: And you take a look. You know, it’s been covered incorrectly like almost every other story about me is covered and what I did was I gave the farmers $12 billion the previous year, $16 billion this year to make up because the farmers have been targeted. That’s how vicious they play the game. They actually target because they know that the farmers like Trump and Trump loves the farmers actually. I love what they do. They’re incredible people. They don’t want any subsidies. They don’t want handouts but they also know —
TRUMP: — something has to be done with China and they’re with me all the way.
KILMEADE: And the — and the country that gives you facial recognition and wants to fine you and give you — take points out for smoking in a no-smoking zone, are we expected to believe that they can’t control the fentanyl leaving their country, going to Mexico and going across our border? So that’s a direct — also a direct attack.
TRUMP: Well, that’s part of my deal, Brian. And yes, it’s part of my deal and I said to President Xi, who’s a very strong leader, got a lot of strength, and I said you got to get rid of this fentanyl and I’m a little surprised they haven’t done more.
They have done — by the way, it is better. They made little moves but they didn’t make the moves that they said. And much of it comes out — you can almost say almost all of it comes out of China.
TRUMP: And that’s a big part of our trade deal. The fentanyl is a part of our trade deal, whether people like it or not, that’s the way it is. And we’re doing well. We’ll see what happens.
And we just made a tremendous deal with Japan and hopefully it’ll be signed over the next three, four weeks, a tremendous trade deal, incredible for ecommerce but really incredible for farmers and ranchers. And it’s a very big — one of the largest deals —
TRUMP: — made. And that’s done. We’ve done the deal with South Korea. We’ve done a lot of deals. And the biggest one is China. But China’s — they’ve been taking a lot of money out of our country for a long time. It’s hard for them to get used to the fact that it can’t be that way. I mean, we just can’t —
TRUMP: — let that continue on.
KILMEADE: Do you have talks scheduled next week with China?
TRUMP: I have talks scheduled. There is a talk scheduled for today at a different level. And yes, they’ve been talking and the fake news tried to say we weren’t talking last week and then the Vice-Premier of China said no, no, we have been talking. He spoke to people and he’s the Vice-Premier.
TRUMP: So, we have been talking. We continue to talk. Look, this is having a tremendous impact on China. I don’t know if it’s having an impact on us. I don’t think so. I mean, other than —
KILMEADE: Pat Toomey says it is.
TRUMP: — we’re getting richer.
KILMEADE: Pat Toomey, who I know you respect, Republican from Pennsylvania says, “There’s no question the trade uncertainty is contributing to the slowdown in our economy.” Is he right?
TRUMP: So what does Pat Toomey want me to do? Does he want me to say, let me put my hands up China, continue to rip us off? Just continue. Tell Pat. I like Pat. Tell Pat. Continue to rip us off. Let me give up right now, China, even though we’re winning. Let me give up right now.
You continue to take out $400, $500, $600 billion out of our hide. Continue to steal our intellectual property. Continue to do all of the other horrible things you’ve been doing to us for 30 years. You continue and I’m going to — for Pat Toomey and some others that want to give up, I’m going to — I promise I’m going to —
TRUMP: — give up. There’s nothing you can do but tariffs in terms of — and I’m doing other things also by the way, but other than the primary thing is tariffs. It’s having a devastating effect and they’re coming to the table and we’ll see whether or not they make a deal. But when —
TRUMP: — Pat Toomey says, oh, I don’t like that, that only means one thing. That means raise your hands and get used to paying $500 billion a year to China plus —
KILMEADE: I hear you.
TRUMP: — plus, plus.
KILMEADE: All right. So let’s talk about the USMCA, a deal you cut and we need Congress to pass. And a lot of Democrats say it’s almost there. And some in moderate districts said — are support — pressuring the Democratic leadership to pass, come this fall.
Have you had conversations with Democratic leadership to get this thing to a vote in the House and Senate?
TRUMP: Yes. The U.S., and it’s Mexico and Canada, USMCA, is a very popular deal. The farmers love it. The unions like it. And so much better than NAFTA, which is one of the worst deals ever made by this country.
I mean it just cleaned out our country. They cleaned our clock. We lost 60,000 businesses and a lot of them went to Mexico and Canada and other places —
KILMEADE: Mr. President, Republicans always liked NAFTA and Democrats didn’t, so you’re singing their song. Do they — are they afraid to give you a win? Is that the only reason why this wouldn’t go up for a vote?
TRUMP: Well, I’m a Republican and I hated NAFTA from day one. From the day —
KILMEADE: I know.
TRUMP: I don’t know if you remember Ross Perot —
KILMEADE: I do.
TRUMP: — saying it had that suck-in (ph) feeling. And he meant by that the money and the factories and the jobs are going to be sucked out of our country and that’s what NAFTA did.
You have to see Mexico. They have a car — you know, they sold — they took — and I happen to like them right now, because they’ve been great on the border. They have 27,000 soldiers on our border because the Democrats will not do anything about asylum and loopholes. But I’ll tell you what, Mexico took 30 percent of our automobile business during NAFTA and it’s a disgrace.
So, the new deal is much different than NAFTA, and it’s a great deal for us. And it’s great for everybody. And it has very strong support. Hopefully Nancy Pelosi will put it up for a vote, it means a lot of jobs. But even the unions like it. The unions like it, manufacturers like it, the farmers are in love with it. Got to be approved.
TRUMP: I mean, the only reason you wouldn’t do it is for politics, and maybe they won’t do it because they think it will be good. I view it as a bipartisan deal and I told Nancy Pelosi, look at it as a bipartisan deal, not as a Trump deal. Look at it as a bipartisan deal.
KILMEADE: And maybe they’ll do it and she has not indicated to you they will, but there are some people who feel as though this come up. So, can you imagine if something actually got passed in 2019?
TRUMP: Well, this will be an incredible shot.
TRUMP: This deal is —
KILMEADE: For farmers at home (ph) —
TRUMP: You know, in terms of dollars, this is as big as China, in some ways it’s bigger. It’s a tremendous deal. In some ways it’s bigger. You know, what we do at the border that we have with Mexico is the biggest in the world economically, by far the biggest in the world, actually, not even close, in terms of commerce from an economic standpoint.
TRUMP: It’s the biggest border in the world and we — we’re going to straighten it out.
KILMEADE: Got you.
TRUMP: And the other thing it really does is it keeps our companies in the United States. It’s just going to make — it makes it prohibitive to keep moving around to other countries and firing everybody.
KILMEADE: Mr. President, one of the great things at Fox, you meet a lot of military people and they’re really hardened by, when you took over, you got aggressive in Afghanistan.
KILMEADE: And you said — what you — you said last week was also reassuring to some when you said, Afghanistan is the Harvard University for terrorists. And now we understand a deal — we don’t know what it looks like, and the ninth round is two days away, possibly, with Afghanistan and saying the Taliban will guarantee no Al-Qaeda ISIS and therefore we could pull out.
And a lot of people’s concern is, our national security would be in the Taliban’s hands and they have no interest in cracking down on our number one or number two enemy, ISIS and Al-Qaeda. Are you pledging to keep a presence in the area, while maybe —
TRUMP: Oh yes, you have to keep a presence. Look, for some reason, and I don’t even know if anybody really knows why, it’s a confluence, lots of countries sort of hit that tip, hit that spot, but — and this — it’s also very rough mountainous terrain where you can hide and for whatever reason, a lot of terrorists — that’s where they were trained for the World Trade Center, in Afghanistan.
KILMEADE: Of course.
TRUMP: You know, we’re going to keep a presence there. We’re reducing that presence very substantially and we’re going to always have a presence and we’re going to have high intelligence, and I will put this word out, and I’ve already said it, but if they ever did anything from Afghanistan, we will come back with a force like they’ve never seen before. They will —
KILMEADE: So, we have — we have 8,000 —
TRUMP: — like you wouldn’t believe if they do that. And I don’t see that happening. Don’t forget, there are other places in the world where things can happen, too.
TRUMP: And we can’t control every place, but we will leave it. Happens to be a very — it’s an amazing area for terrorism. It’s just — I call it the Harvard University of terror. That’s where they —
KILMEADE: Mr. President, the Congress is saying, can you keep 8,000 — they want the 8,600 there. Right now they say there’s four — you would know better, obviously, there’s 14 of our guys, 8,000 of NATO.
TRUMP: Yes, that’s right.
KILMEADE: What is the threshold that you will tell Khalilzad, who is doing your negotiating, that we’re going to have, because Taliban thinks we’re going down to zero, and you’re saying right now we’re not.
TRUMP: No, we’re going down to 8,600 and then we make a determination from there as to what happens. We’ll make a determination, but we’re going down to 8,600, we’re bringing it down. We have it very well controlled. You know, we’re not fighting a war over there, we’re just policeman over there. We could win that war so fast — if I wanted to kill 10 million people, Brian, which I don’t. I’m not looking to kill a big portion of that country. I’m not looking to do that.
TRUMP: I don’t want to do that —
KILMEADE: But in your mind — you remember, you were on with us when President Obama pulled everybody out of Iraq and then we got ISIS and you were very critical. I feel — do you feel as though if you did the same thing in Afghanistan you’d be doing the same thing he did?
TRUMP: Well I’m not doing that. He pulled everybody out very quickly and by the way, I’m not so sure — look, we should have never been in Iraq. I’ve said that from day one and I was a civilian and it was covered but it was — you know, I was a civilian so who cares, right?
But I said from day one, we should not go to Iraq. It was a tremendous mistake. It turned out to be a mistake because they didn’t have weapons of mass destruction. We went there for weapons of mass destruction, which it turned out they didn’t have. OK? He was talking about it but he didn’t have them. And it was a horrible thing.
And then in Afghanistan, I mean people went to Afghanistan from other countries, one in particular, frankly. And they went to Afghanistan where they were trained and then they did the World Trade Center attack but I believe all except the one was trained in Afghanistan, so we have to watch Afghanistan.
But we’re bringing it down to — if the deal happens. I don’t know that it’s going to happen. I mean it’s getting close but if it happens — who knows if it’s going to happen. You know my attitude of those things, Brian.
TRUMP: I do deals. That’s what I do for a living.
KILMEADE: You’re not going to telegraph it.
TRUMP: It’s worked out very well.
KILMEADE: Yes, you’re not going to telegraph it. And I’m just concerned, the Taliban Five that was let out for Bowe Bergdahl —
KILMEADE: — they are evidently part of the Taliban contingent that we’re dealing with — actually talking peace with, which is mindboggling.
TRUMP: Well the whole Bowe Bergdahl thing was a disgrace. He left. We may have lost as many as six people going out and looking for him. He deserted, as far as I was concerned, and then they got some judge in the military that gave him, I guess, the softest sentence anybody can even think about and it’s a disgrace what’s going on.
TRUMP: And then you have some of these people — look, some are — some are not a good situation but they’re very rough on some of the military people that frankly love our country and they went overboard and they went too far in some cases but the Bowe Bergdahl deal was a disgrace, what happened to him. He deserted; he left. People were probably killed, and it could have been as many as six, trying to find him and then he gets a slap on the wrist. It was a disgrace, in my opinion.
KILMEADE: So Mr. President, there was a big story yesterday and we see the video of the new wall going up with the bollard fencing —
KILMEADE: — and the word went out and the story came out that you told your people, put the wall up and if you get sued, don’t worry about it, I’ll pardon you. And then everyone’s —
TRUMP: Yes, fake news. More fake news, just like Lawrence O’Donnell had — listen, Lawrence O’Donnell said the Russians guaranteed a loan for me and it was — look, this guy and almost all of them have been lying for years about me. Lying, saying also — as an example, I built an unbelievable company, unbelievable.
Because I don’t need many banks because I have a lot of cash and I have a lot of cash flow, they say, oh the banks don’t want to do business. The banks wanted to do business with me. In fact, people don’t realize — and you remember this. Deutsche Bank, if you go back 10, 12, 15 years ago when I dealt with Deutsche Bank, that was the Rolls Royce bank. That was Germany you were dealing with. That was the strongest, the biggest…
TRUMP: … that was one of the great banks of the world. Now they make it sound like, you know, because Deutsche Bank, nothing to do with me, Deutsche Bank has had a lot of problems over the last five or six years.
But when I was dealing with them, they were the Rolls Royce. They were Germany. They were the Triple-A standard and now they say, oh, he couldn’t do business with other banks. That’s a phony deal, too. Total phony stuff. And if — you know, when I do a deal —
KILMEADE: So did you have an oligarch cosign?
TRUMP: When I put up cash — hey Brian — when I put up cash to do a deal, because I don’t need a bank —
TRUMP: — they say he can’t — he had to put up cash. Well, how would I have the cash to put up? If I don’t need a bank, I just wouldn’t do the deal. So what happened is they try and demean and diminish and it’s such a disgrace. But Deutsche Bank was a — was really the — I would say just about the ultimate bank then.
Now it’s come upon hard times but has nothing to do with me. And because I don’t borrow a lot of money, they go around saying the banks didn’t want to do business with him, totally false. I could’ve had — there were so many lenders. There was —
TRUMP: — lenders all over the place. Anybody, I mean most people (INAUDIBLE).
KILMEADE: So, he said he had a single source that said an oligarch cosigned a loan. Is that true?
TRUMP: I don’t believe he had a single source. And if he does have a single source, he should sue the source because it’s made him look like — you know, it’s exposed him for being a fraud because, look, Lawrence O’Donnell has been lying about me.
If you remember, we had a big dispute in The Apprentice. He said I was never paid anything. And I said I was paid a fortune. And then the statement came out, it was released; he had to apologize, just like —
TRUMP: — he did last night. And when he apologized, he was crying because it was very embarrassing to him because we —
TRUMP: I made a big bet. I said if it wasn’t a certain amount, I’ll pay your whole year’s salary for you. And he had to apologize. And believe it or not, it was your friend in the morning, Joe Scarborough, that demanded he apologize because it was on his show. So that was —
TRUMP: — in the good old days when —
TRUMP: — Joe had good ratings.
TRUMP: He doesn’t have them so much anymore —
TRUMP: — he has bad ratings.
TRUMP: But you know — no, Lawrence O’Donnell has been saying stuff for four years. It’s just as wrong. But this was one that he was forced by NBC to apologize for and what they say is just MSNBC and CNN and all of them for the most part.
TRUMP: But they’re just really despicable people.
TRUMP: It’s horrible. It’s fake news and it’s a shame. And it’s so — Brian, it’s so bad for our country. And despite that, I win, because I have incredible people that are really smart, millions and millions and tens of millions that follow me. And the polls are phony, too.
KILMEADE: Now —
TRUMP: The polls are phony, too. I mean — and in all fairness, among my worst polls always is Fox. I have to say that. But I have the worst —
KILMEADE: Well, I know you were critical of Fox yesterday. You came out and you tweeted —
KILMEADE: — Fox News sadly promoting the Democrats through the DNC Communications Director spewing out whatever she wanted.
KILMEADE: So you were very upset —
TRUMP: No, I’m not happy with — I’m not happy with Fox. I think — people think Fox is for me. Fox is good. Look, Sean and Laura and Tucker has really been very good for, well, Tucker’s a little tricky, but that’s OK. But he’s been very good.
And many of them, you guys in the morning, Ainsley and Steve and you, you become — you were a solid — you know, I used to say you were a solid six, maybe a seven but —
TRUMP: — you’re getting much better. You’re getting great.
KILMEADE: But the thing that people should know about us is that — from the time you were hosting The Apprentice, if you and I disagreed, you didn’t mind. You know we disagreed. We talked about —
KILMEADE: — President Bush.
KILMEADE: We talked about different things. And it was still OK.
KILMEADE: So you don’t mind —
TRUMP: That’s true.
KILMEADE: So I don’t understand, so if Fox comes on and they’re critical of one — if somebody comes on and they’re critical of one thing about you, it never used to bother you like this.
Now yesterday I read those tweets hoping to get you on today and you’re so kind to come on, I appreciate it. And I thought to myself, what’s bothering you about it? Because our channel prides itself on diversity and getting everybody in so you don’t have to flip around.
TRUMP: Yes. So let me just —
KILMEADE: What’s changed in your mind?
TRUMP: Let me just tell you (INAUDIBLE). CNN is 100 percent, they would never — in fact they just fired Steve Cortez, a phenomenal guy. They fired Jeff, they fired — they have virtually nobody.
KILMEADE: Jeffrey Lord.
TRUMP: They have panels where they have panels that all Trump haters on. You know Jeff Zucker is just — I mean, give me a break. I could tell you stories about him, Jeff Zucker. And MSNBC, I think, is worse, OK, if you want to know the truth. I actually think they’re worse. They fight to see who’s worse.
TRUMP: But they don’t have diversity, meaning my view.
TRUMP: They never put my view on. Although, I guarantee you this, they have both, but CNN, in particular, is begging me to do an interview, and I just think it would be disloyal to my followers to — what are they going to ask me? Let them ask me (ph) —
KILMEADE: No, I don’t think you should do an interview over there either.
TRUMP: No, I think it would be very disloyal to people that are Trump fans and people that voted for me and people that are going to vote again. And by the way, I see these phony polls. We have very strong polls in house, but I see these phony polls, that’s another form of fake news. You know, it’s called suppression. They suppress their feelings, and —
KILMEADE: So, are you —
TRUMP: — and you know, it’s — it’s really (INAUDIBLE).
KILMEADE: Well yes, are you getting worried about Elizabeth Warren’s crowds?
TRUMP: So, that’s another thing. I have crowds that are many times what her crowds are. Nobody ever talks about them. Nobody wants to talk about them. With her the other day they say she had 15, if you really count them up it looked like about eight or nine, and the biggest story was her crowds.
That’s like a small crowd for me and nobody even talks about my crowds. Nobody even likes to show. Do you ever hear me when I’m at the speech, I say, show this crowd, and the cameras won’t turn around.
KILMEADE: Yes, well they do now.
TRUMP: I said, no, I want to you — you know, I’m like in a Madison Square Garden type arena —
TRUMP: — it’s packed.
KILMEADE: Mr. President —
TRUMP: I’ll go a step further. Two weeks ago in New Hampshire I was packed.
KILMEADE: And you’ve got a big one coming up in North Carolina. And Mr. President —
TRUMP: No, I’m always — I’m always full, I haven’t had an empty seat.
KILMEADE: Well, let’s —
TRUMP: But they never talk about that. But Elizabeth Warren has a crowd this big, and it’s like a big story. No, there’s a total double standard. They treat our people — now I’m president of all people, that’s number one, I want you to know that. And I love them all, but they treat certain people very, very unfairly, I have to say that.
KILMEADE: Got you. Mr. President, can’t thank you enough for the time you just gave us. I appreciate it. And I lastly, congratulations on your 10th grandchild.
TRUMP: That’s right.
KILMEADE: Your life’s not slowing down personally or professionally.
TRUMP: No, I guess not. It’s amazing.
KILMEADE: All right.
TRUMP: Ten grandchildren, if you can believe that one, that’s great. (INAUDIBLE).
KILMEADE: All right. Thanks so much, Mr. President.
TRUMP: Thank you very much. Thank you, Brian.
KILMEADE: I appreciate your time.
TRUMP: You take care of yourself.
KILMEADE: All right, you got it. The President of the United States.