President Donald Trump called in to the Brian Kilmeade Show for an exclusive interview. Listen to the whole, unedited interview below.
BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX RADIO HOST: Here’s the President of the United States. Mr. President, thanks for so much for joining us from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, thank you very much and congratulations on 10 years on radio, wow, that’s pretty good.
TRUMP: I remember when you were one day on radio, all right, it’s been a long time. But, that’s a great job. You’re doing a great job, Brian.
KILMEADE: You were hosting — thanks so much, Mr. President. You were hosting “The Apprentice” back then. You were number one on the ratings when we started.
TRUMP: That’s right. That’s right.
KILMEADE: And now you got the number one job in the country. I just was curious, the place you used to live, where the Mayor — Mayor de Blasio, the National Guard is — is not going to work here. They’re not trained to handle unrest. Do you agree with that?
TRUMP: No. Not at all. This — if you look at what happened in Minnesota, they were getting decimated, and after three days of watching it, I demanded that the National Guard be utilized, and in one day it was over.
In fact, they got there at a certain time in the late afternoon and by the time they finished it was — I always say, somewhat sarcastically, but the safest place on earth. And Minnesota was really — really having a hard time, and we took care of it.
And the Governor’s a nice man, and he was, you know, not using enough and he was — you saw the police were running in Minneapolis and they were running away from their precinct, which is something I’ve never seen before. You have a liberal mayor that frankly was having a lot of trouble, and you have a liberal — a very liberal mayor in New York too.
And you notice that all of these places that have problems are not run by Republicans, they’re run by liberal Democrats. So, there is something into that philosophy, and yet, they’re also they ones keeping everybody locked up in their apartments and their homes for a long — too long a period of time. So, it’s very interesting how that changes.
But, no, the National Guard, we can solve that problem in New York. And, in fact, if they don’t get their act straightened out, I will solve it, I’ll solve it fast.
KILMEADE: Last night was one of the best nights in day eight, especially in New York. We didn’t see the riots, we saw the protests, even though it wasn’t perfect, do you think we’ve turned the corner according to the reports you get?
TRUMP: Well you may, but you still have a lot of people, and they are violent people in many cases. You have protesters, but you also have anarchists and looters and a lot of people that are bad. You know, bad people, OK? A lot of bad people.
We have a lot of proof and information and proof, you’ll be seeing it in time to come, where they’re delivering rocks and stones to certain locations and dumping them so they have — that’s their ammunition and that hurts people very badly, including National Guard people or even military people.
But Washington is in great shape. We called out the National Guard after the first night, which was a little bit rougher, but then after that we called up and we have — I — I jokingly said, a little bit jokingly, maybe, it’s one of the safest places on earth.
And we had no problem at all last night. We had substantial dominant force and it — we have to have a dominant force. Maybe it doesn’t sound good to say it, but you have to have a dominant force. We need law and order.
KILMEADE: Sunday it wasn’t the case. We had our own Leland Vittert reporting, no problem, it got dark, huge problem, he was attacked. And then the reports were they were so worried they brought you downstairs in the White House to a bunker. What could you tell me Sunday night — Sunday night was like for you and your family?
TRUMP: Well, it was a false report. I wasn’t down — I went down during the day, and I was there for a tiny little short period of time, and it was much more for an inspection, there was no problem during the day. The problem, I saw Leland got whacked pretty good, but that we during the night.
And this problem — these problems are during the night, not during the day. And I go down — I’ve gone down two or three times, all for inspection, and you go there. Someday you may need it, but you go there and I went down. I looked at it. It was during the day. It was not a problem, and I read about it like a big thing. There was never a problem. We never had a problem.
Nobody ever came close to giving us a problem. The Secret Service does an unbelievable job of maintaining control in the White House, and beyond the Secret Service we have a lot of other great people out there, including the DC Police and then, of course, on top of that after I saw the one evening, which was a little rough and it was certainly a rough on Leland, I think more so than anybody else. We brought in the — we brought in the troops.
KILMEADE: So Mr. President, I remember in 9/11 that President Bush wanted to land back at Washington. They wouldn’t let him. They said it’s too dangerous. Finally got him back there. Sometimes the Secret Service even tells the president, I can’t do this. So you’re telling me, Mr. President, they didn’t say to you, you have to go downstairs. My responsibility’s your welfare. They didn’t limit you at all in the House?
TRUMP: No. They didn’t tell me that at all, but they said it would be a good time to go down. Take a look because maybe sometime you’re going to need it. And I’ve been down, let’s see, that’ll be number two. Two and a half sort of because I’ve done different things, but two and a half, but I looked.
I was down for a very, very short period of time. Very, very short period of time. I can’t tell you who went with me, but a whole group of people went with me. As an inspecting factor, I was back up. And Brian, it was during the day. It wasn’t during the night. I think they reported during the night. During the night maybe someday it makes sense. During the day you have tremendous numbers of people. We didn’t even have protestors, or if they did it was a small crowd.
There’s so much fake news going around, Brian. You have no idea. Maybe you do actually have an idea.
KILMEADE: Mr. President, you gave a speech in the Rose Garden. Got a thumbs up from a lot of people, especially your supporters, and then you said I’m going to go to a very important place. And they quickly cleared out Lafayette Park, and you walked through with many of your staff, from Kayleigh McEnany, to the Secretary of Defense who said he didn’t know where he was going at the time. And you appeared at St. John’s Church, which was boarded up and you held up a Bible.
The Reverend James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of a book on that church says the church is not a photo op. Their religion is not a political tool, and God is not a plaything. He is among some religious leaders who were very critical of that visit. What’s your response?
TRUMP: Well my response is simple. Most religious leaders loved it. I heard Franklin Graham this morning thought it was great. I heard many other people think it was great. And it’s only the other side that didn’t like it. You know, the opposing — the opposition party as the expression goes. They burned down the church the day before. I heard how nice and wonderful the protestors were over there. Really?
Then why did they burn down the church the day before? They burned down a big section of it. Fortunately they were able to catch it in time. This is a church built at a similar time as the White House, and Madison was your first — was your president. He was number six I believe, and Madison was your president, and he was the first president to enter and go to that church.
Now, when I said go to the church, I didn’t know protestors or not. Nobody tells me that. They say, yes, sir. We’ll go to the church. So we walked over to the church. It was very fast. I think it was very symbolic. I did hold up a Bible. I think that’s a good thing, not a bad thing, and many religious leaders loved it.
As to if you read Mollie Hemingway, who I know you’re a fan of and I’m a big fan of, she wrote a piece that was all fake news. There’s so much fake news. Most news is fake. They’re corrupt and they’re fake. The lame stream media.
TRUMP: And if you read the story and if you read what Mollie Hemingway said, who’s a real reporter, a great journalist, you’ll see that that story was fake. They didn’t use tear gas. They didn’t use — they moved them out. Now when I went, I didn’t say move them out. I didn’t know who was there. I figured I was going to walk over to the church very nearby.
TRUMP: So if you read the Mollie Hemingway piece you’ll get the real story. But most religious leaders loved it. Why wouldn’t they love it? I’m standing in front of a church that went through trauma — to put it mildly.
I mean the whole basement — the big part of the basement was burning. It’s lucky — it’s very lucky that church didn’t burn down. That’s a very important church.
KILMEADE: I agree with you.
TRUMP: So I haven’t heard what you told me.
KILMEADE: Mr. President, was the original intent to go inside and find and see the damage? And did you notice it was boarded up when you got there?
TRUMP: No, I — they told me it was boarded up. And I said it’s all right. We’ll stand by the church. We won’t go inside. It had received a very bad burning. I would have been able to go inside if I wanted, but it was boarded up.
The whole building was just about boarded up. But I would have been able to go in. But there was no reason for it. There was smoke — a lot of smoke and a lot of damage actually — a lot of damage.
But it was confined to one area. The fire itself was confined to one area. But, Brian, the church leaders loved that I went there with a Bible.
TRUMP: I mean take a look at Franklin Graham — so respected and so many others. Take a look at Robert Jeffress — these are all people that you know. They thought it was a great symbol.
KILMEADE: I hear you.
TRUMP: And I thought it was a great symbol. But the fake news makes everything look bad. No matter what you do — like we did a great job on ventilators.
We’re giving them now to countries all over the world — we’re making them. When I started we had practically none. The — cupboards were bare. The Obama Administration left us practically nothing.
You don’t hear those stories; they don’t write about that. We tested number 16 million yesterday.
TRUMP: Much more than anybody else. You don’t hear that we’ve done well in testing. They always say well why not more and yet Germany is at 3 million — we’re at 16 million.
And we have incredible testing now. So we’ve done a great job, but we don’t get credit for it. But hopefully the people understand.
KILMEADE: So you have a pandemic and a national unrest. Two unprecedented things that I would argue in my lifetime and probably yours. But the big picture I thought we would be talking about the day after George Floyd’s tragic death, which I think you agree it seems that law enforcement — you don’t want to convict someone before they have trial. But 96 percent of the country thinks that was out of bounds — the knee on the neck killed him.
I’m one of them. Again wait (ph) to see where the trial comes out. But this is the one stat I’m going to bring you to, and I’m going to ask you if could attack this.
According to a Axios-Ipsos poll, 70 percent of white Americans say they trust the local police. Only 36 percent of African-Americans do. How do you attack that problem? How do you change things?
TRUMP: Well I think it’s a very sad problem. As you know as a Republican I’m doing very well with African-Americans and with the vote with the — in polls and everything — especially I mean I haven’t seen one very recently because you had the plague come in from China.
So that changed things up, but we had the best economy ever. We had the best numbers for African-American on employment and unemployment in history. Best homeownership — best everything. We had the best numbers in everything — not only African-American, but the African-American numbers were great.
KILMEADE: How do you handle the law enforcement part?
TRUMP: Well I think you have to get better.
KILMEADE: How do you handle the law enforcement part of this?
TRUMP: They have to get better than what they’ve been doing. I mean obviously that was a terrible thing. And I’ve spoken about it numerous times in various speeches.
And what’s interesting is I spoke about it when we launched a very successful rocket — a tremendous program that culminated on that day and obviously it goes on from there.
But I then made a speech and it was a speech about the rocket, and I devoted 25 percent of the speech probably to what happened — or more — to what happened with respect to George — George Floyd, and it was — and then you listen to this, he doesn’t talk about George Floyd. The rocket went off, I then I made a speech, and I talked about George Floyd, but they said he didn’t talk about George Floyd.
Half — maybe even almost half of the speech, but a large portion of the speech was devoted exactly to that. And so, you know, with — with the media you basically — and basically no matter what you do, it’s never going to be good enough. But the people understand it.
TRUMP: And that’s one of the beauties of social media. I mean, I would love not to even bother with social media, but I’m able to get my word out beautifully by social media fortunately. You use social media too.
KILMEADE: Right, also —
TRUMP: But we have to get the word out. Look, we have to — Brian, we have to get the police departments, everybody has to do better, has to do better. This is a long-term problem. This didn’t happen today.
This happened — I mean, a guy like Sleepy Joe Biden was in there for 43 years, and he says, I think we should do this, I saw today, he took his mask off for the first time in a while, I haven’t seen his face for a long time. And he said, I think we should do this, or I think we should do that.
And actually then he started speaking through the mask again. He feels comfortable with the mask on I think, and — even though there was nobody anywhere near him, which is interesting, but he made a statement about what he should do. I said, he’s been there for 43 years, he was vice president for 8 years, he didn’t do a thing. His crime bill was a disaster.
KILMEADE: He — I’ll tell you what exactly — right, I will tell you what he said. He said — he said, he won’t traffic in fear and division, he won’t fan the flames, he’ll seek to heal the racial wounds that have long — that have long plagued our country, not use them for political gain. And I assume that he says you are doing all those things.
TRUMP: Well you see, he was written — that speech was written, he didn’t say that, he repeated the words. That’s all. That speech was written for him because he doesn’t speak like that.
But here’s the thing, he did a crime bill that was a disaster. What he did with Clarence Thomas was a disaster, it was a disaster the way he treated Clarence Thomas. A black man, a great Justice as it turns out. But go back to those horrible days, the way he treated Clarence Thomas, they write books about it.
TRUMP: There was nobody worse than Biden. Now, he’s not the same Biden. He’s about half, maybe less, but the fact is that he doesn’t — he doesn’t say that, he — they write — he’s surrounded by — the Democrats have bad policy, in many ways they’re bad politicians, because their policy — open borders, take away everybody’s guns.
You know, they want to take your guns away, except now more people have bought guns in the last three, four days than they have in a long time, because when they look out on the streets —
KILMEADE: Right. I know, I saw it in my own neighborhood, they were wrapped around the building buying guns all last night.
KILMEADE: As protesters were actually in the suburbs last night.
TRUMP: Well they want — they want security and they want safety. That’s right. And the Democrats want to take their guns away.
KILMEADE: But, Mr. President, in three separate polls, he’s beating you by about 10 points.
TRUMP: I have — I have other polls where I’m winning, and you’ve seen them too, I guess. But, I have polls. Just like last time, I was losing to Hillary in every state, and I won every state, OK. I won Michigan, I won Wisconsin, I won places that they didn’t even think were pollable, they didn’t even want to go bother.
We have tremendous support. I’ve seen many polls — CNN — didn’t CNN just have a poll, which they didn’t want to use, where I was winning every single swing state? I think you’ve seen that.
KILMEADE: A couple — couple weeks back.
TRUMP: I had another poll yesterday — yes, two weeks back. I had another poll that — and CNN didn’t want to use it, so they used another poll where mostly Democrats were polled.
Take a look at who they’re polling, if they poll anybody, because I don’t even think they go out and poll. I think they sit at a desk and say, give this number, give that number. That’s what happened the last time, the polling was ridiculous.
Other than two or three polls, which I do use, and I’m — which I’m doing very well with, but I saw another poll where I’m winning every swing state, substantially. And why wouldn’t I?
I built one of the great — I built the greatest economy we’ve ever had. I built the greatest economy in the world, in a fairly short period of time, three and half years, then the plague came in from China, they shouldn’t have let it happen. Not right. They came in from China. In fact, I see today there’s a big article that they weren’t very transparent or forthcoming, to put it mildly, and to stall, they call it. But —
KILMEADE: To the WHO.
TRUMP: — I built this great economy and I’m building it again, Brian. By the time of election I believe the economy will be doing phenomenal numbers. Big job increases, big GDP increases, and that’ll be before the election. I also think by the end of the year we’ll have a vaccine. We’re doing very well. I just had a meeting yesterday. I think we’re going to have therapeutics, and I think we’re going to have cures. So we’re going to be in very good shape.
But, you know — and right now by the way the numbers came out today, and they were much better than anybody would have thought, and the stock market is booming. The stock market is at 26,000 — almost 26,000 right now, the Dow, and who would think that because —
KILMEADE: Actually I know — right.
TRUMP: — most people know that we’re going to have a great year next year. It’s going to be a phenomenal year. We’re going to have a very good third quarter. We’re going to have a phenomenal fourth quarter. And if I’m heading in that direction, I think it’s — I think we’re going to be very hard to beat, frankly, because Sleepy Joe —
KILMEADE: Couple of days —
TRUMP: — turned off immediately.
KILMEADE: I know you got about 100 meetings today, and I appreciate this time.
TRUMP: I do.
KILMEADE: So does our audience, but Mr. President, a couple of things. The word is you want to invite Vladimir Putting to the G7 meeting. Let’s say it’s in September. What has he done to earn back the trust of the free world? He hasn’t left the Ukraine. He hasn’t left Georgia.
KILMEADE: Creates havoc in Venezuela. He doesn’t — do you see where he deserves this respect?
TRUMP: Yes, well look. You know, he helped us with the oil industry, which was good for him, too. But we got it up, and now we’re going to save millions of jobs in Texas and North Dakota and other places, Oklahoma with millions of jobs. I mean, the oil now is sustainable. I mean, it was down to zero, which would have ruined — we would have lost five million jobs, but no. It’s not a question of what he’s done. It’s a question of common sense.
So we have a G7. He’s not there. Half of the meeting is devoted to Russia, and if he was there, it’d be much easier to solve. He used to be. It used to be the G8, and Obama got taken over to the cleaners. I mean, Obama had his pockets picked, and as you know Putin did something that he shouldn’t have done because he didn’t respect Obama perhaps. And Obama got upset and the United States, said we don’t want to be here if Putin’s going to be there.
The problem is many of the things that we talk about are about Putin, so we’re just sitting around wasting time because then you have to finish your meeting and somebody has to call Putin or deal with Putin on different things. And I say have him in the room. Have him in the room. It used to be the G8 from a kind — and I don’t say deserving or non-deserving. I say common sense. Get things done. I want to have a nuclear pact that’s a safe nuclear because nuclear is the single biggest problem the world has, single biggest problem —
TRUMP: — the power —
KILMEADE: China —
TRUMP: — and we have them and we have more than anybody. We have more than anybody. China’s a very big problem. And we did very well with China, but then they —
KILMEADE: So is that deal done?
TRUMP: — sent us the plague. Excuse me?
KILMEADE: Is that deal done? Is that deal done, they’re not buying soybeans —
TRUMP: The trade deal is done, but the trade deal got finished and the ink wasn’t dry when the — when the virus floated over from China and started killing everybody in the world. Not just here, in the whole world. You look at Brazil. Look at these countries. Look at what Italy went through and Spain and France and all of them. I mean, the whole world. 186 countries.
So when you say is the trade deal done, yes, the trade deal’s done. It was a great deal. China was having — before the plague, China was having the worst year they’ve had in 66 years. That’s because of me, and I’m not proud of that. I’m just saying that these presidents let China pick our pockets. And I did a great trade deal, but you know what? You know, I’m not excited about anything with respect to China right now because of what happened. They could have — they could have sealed it. They could have closed it off.
And I ask this. Why isn’t Wuhan — it came out of Wuhan. Why is it that it didn’t go to China, but it went to the rest of the world? It went to Europe. It went to the world. It went to the United States. Came out of Wuhan, but it didn’t go to Beijing.
It didn’t go to other parts of China. What’s that all about? So how come they let it go out to the world, but they didn’t let it go into China? That’s a little strange deal going on there.
KILMEADE: Lastly, I know you’ve been taking aim at Joe Scarborough and Chris Cuomo. Why put them in your crosshairs when there’s so many other huge problems out there?
TRUMP: I just do it. People hit me. I hit back. I fight. I’ve always felt that about Scarborough — I had a lot of people in Florida felt he got away with murder — I think.
So I’ve always felt that — that’s not an uncommon story — maybe you’ll look at it. So we don’t have to waste time on it, but I’ve always felt that he got away with murder. That was my feeling — a very strong feeling, and I do feel it.
As far as Chris Cuomo — no, I just report on his ratings. His ratings are terrible. Unlike your ratings at Fox and Friends where you’re doing fantastically well.
Thank you, Mr. President. I think I help you a lot, but you have three great people including you. You used to be a six then you got to be a seven or eight. And now you’re approaching the nine territory, but those other two are great.
KILMEADE: Thanks. I’m just — there’s always room for improvement. And that’s what a good coach does — you leave room for improvement.
TRUMP: They’re great. That’s right. There is. That’s true.
KILMEADE: Mr. President, it’s a critical time in America’s history. Best of luck the rest of the way. And enjoy the rest of the day and all of your meetings.
TRUMP: Thank you very much, Brian. You take care. Congratulations on 10 years. That’s fantastic. Thanks a lot.
KILMEADE: Thank you, Mr. President. I appreciate it.