Former President Trump joined Brian for a wide ranging interview in which he criticized Israel’s lack of preparedness for the horrific attack by the terrorist group Hamas on Saturday, October 7th. The former president also weighed in on the GOP House Speaker race, saying it would be difficult for either Rep. Jim Jordan or Rep. Steve Scalise to secure the votes necessary to replace Kevin McCarthy.
Brian Kilmeade: Joining me now, the 45th president United States, who wants to be the 47th president, Donald Trump. Thanks, Mr. President.
Donald Trump: Hello, Brian.
Brian Kilmeade: So, first off, on the quick moving events now, we know over in Israel that 22 Americans have been killed. At least 17 are thought to be missing and may be held as hostages in Gaza. Mr. President, if you were president right now, how would you get them back? How would Hamas pay the price? Or do you sit behind Israel?
Donald Trump: Well, Brian, I have to preface it by saying that it would have never happened. Zero chance, just like Ukraine would have never happened with Russia. This would have never happened. We had Iran in a very weakened state and we were sanctioning everybody and fighting with everybody. You can’t do business. And China wasn’t buying oil. Nobody was buying oil. And Iran was a very poor country at that point. And now they’re very rich country because of Biden, because for the last three years they’ve made a fortune. And the $6 billion is a lot, but it’s peanuts compared to the $100 billion a year they make on oil. And they’re very rich. They were a very poor country and now they’re a very rich country and they’re the ones leading this whole situation. And you have a big problem on your hands. And Israel has a problem like they never imagined. This could have never happened under the Trump administration.
Brian Kilmeade: But having said that, you had great relations. You still do have great relations with Prime Minister Netanyahu. He’s put together a coalition government. They’re all on the same page, mobilized 300,000 men they’ve asked for and gotten our support, additional munitions. But right now, Mr. President, if you were in control, if you were in the Oval Office, what would you do to get our get our people back? What would you do for retribution for the 22 dead?
Donald Trump: You are going to have to be and I have to preface this by saying I don’t like telling you exactly what I would do, because if I do, you’re basically doing exactly what Biden does. He was saying we don’t want to be attacked from the north, meaning through Hezbollah of Hezbollah. They don’t want to be attacked from the north. That would be terrible because that’s the vulnerable point. And I say, why are they saying all of these things? And guess what happens? That was yesterday and today they were attacked by Hezbollah from the north. It’s just incredible. So we don’t want to be stupid people and tell. But I will say that this is all being caused by Iran. Iran is making a fortune. As I told you, they went for not making money with their oil to make it a fortune. China wasn’t buying. Nobody was buying. I said, if you do any business with Iran during this period of time, we would have had a deal with Iran, Right? Then one week after I won the presidency, if that horrible day didn’t take place, that horrible result, that was disgraceful. A disgrace to say it’ll go down in infamy. When you look at what’s happened to our country since then.
Brian Kilmeade: But I know you never paid under your administration. You guys never paid ransom.
Donald Trump: Through, right? It’s all coming through Iran. And Obama wants to he doesn’t want to talk about it. He doesn’t want to mention he doesn’t even mention them in his statements. It’s all coming through Iran.
Brian Kilmeade: Well, you mean President Biden. So but right now.
Donald Trump: I also mean Obama. What do you mean? You know Obama and Biden. But Obama is Biden’s boss. Guess you didn’t really know that.
Brian Kilmeade: Do you believe it? You believe President Obama.
Donald Trump: In the past? I don’t think I don’t think Biden knows what’s happening, to be honest with you. I think Obama is calling these shots and he’s always felt this way about Iran. There’s no question about that. No, I think Obama and Obama’s people certainly are calling the shots, not Biden.
Brian Kilmeade: So. So you do have a dispute, your gut tells you, but you don’t have any proof that President Obama is calling the shots.
Donald Trump: Oh, it’s my gut. But my guess I’ve been right about everything. So, you know, it’s good they have an expression out there. Trump’s been right about everything. You take a look at, go down the list. We’ve been right about everything.
Brian Kilmeade: So you know how involved the Middle East is, Right.
Donald Trump: About all of the people pouring into our country, right about Ukraine. We’re right about everything.
Brian Kilmeade: So what do we do? What do we do about getting our people back?
Donald Trump: There are a lot of a lot of people who a lot of people from Obama in the administration that circle, the Oval Office desk, the Resolute desk. And it’s one of those things. But whether it’s whether that’s the case or it’s Biden, we are in a mess right now, a mess that should have never happened.
Brian Kilmeade: I understand that. But if this is dropped in your lap, what’s the best course of action, knowing that Israel is fully mobilized as a nation? Robert O’Brien told me Saturday night. First thing I would do is get our best hostage negotiators over there from the FBI to the military. And that was before we knew Americans were involved. What could we do to make sure those Americans are out? Okay.
Donald Trump: Well, I think that’s a big step, but I think that’s a step that’s very late right now. It’s very late when you see what they’re doing to people, when you see what’s taking place over there, you have to be very hard in Iran. I don’t want to tell you what I’m doing, what I would do with Iran, but it’s very simple what I do. But you get this is all about Iran. Iran is leading this. Iran is wealthy. They just got $6 billion from an incompetent president. Iran is very, very wealthy right now. And top of the tremendous amount of money they’ve made in a short period of time, three years. Remember, under the Trump administration, they couldn’t have prosecuted this war because they didn’t have the money. We would have made it. We would have made a deal with them and they would have been just fine. They would have been everybody would have been happy. But what they’ve done now is through weakness is they made a fortune on oil and they’ve got another relatively peanuts compared to the oil money, but they’ve got $6 billion for hostages, which, by the way, is going to set a terrible precedent for our country. A terrible precedent because I didn’t pay any money. You know, we got 58 hostages, as you call them, but we got 58 hostages that we never paid a dime for any of them, because once you do, you create a situation that’s going to be absolutely terrible. Think of it. They got $6 billion for five hostages. It was five and five. And then they paid they get $6 billion. And the precedent that set, Brian, is terrible by doing that.
Brian Kilmeade: So I want you to hear what the crown prince. Yeah, the Abraham Accords are perhaps the greatest achievement of the Trump administration in just four years where these Arab nations, longtime enemies of Israel, recognize them, begin relations with them, and and and and recognize Israel as a nation. Next up was seemed to be the crown prince. Here’s what he said to Brett. Happens if Iran gets a nuke.
Mohammed Bin Salman: The world cannot see the hot Oshima. If the world see 100,000 people, did that mean you are in a war with the rest of the world? So to use this effort to reach a nuclear weapon because. You can’t use it if you use it. You got to have a big fight with the rest of the world. If they get one, will you? If they get one, we have to get one. For security reason for balancing power out in the Middle East. But we don’t want to see that. [00:06:52][23.4]
Brian Kilmeade: So if if they get.
Donald Trump: One as they get one, he’s going to get one. And that’s true. And, you know, he made a statement and that’s the way he feels in the Middle East. And you can you can kiss that deal goodbye with Israel and Saudi Arabia. You can kiss that deal goodbye. That’s going to be gone now for a long time. We would have had that. We would have had Saudi Arabia signed a long time ago. They would have been signed up along with the other countries that already signed the Abraham Accords. But you can kiss that deal goodbye. They can negotiate now. It would be impossible under the circumstances to make a deal with Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Brian Kilmeade: If I put you back in the Oval Office right at this moment, you, Benjamin Netanyahu. Benjamin Netanyahu knows that he’s got to take action and he’s about to go into Gaza. Is his fight our fight under any circumstances? Do we have American troops in there?
Donald Trump: We have to protect Israel. They’ve been, you know, apart really a part of this country, the fabric of what we sense where we have to protect Israel. There’s no choice. And do we have to do it? He has been hurt very badly because of what’s happened here. He was not prepared. He was not prepared. And Israel was not prepared. And under Trump, they wouldn’t have had it be prepared. Look at what we did for them. And we did that alone. We didn’t do that with Israel. And you know what I’m talking about. We did that totally alone, not with Israel. And but they were not prepared. They were very poorly. [00:08:22][35.7]
Brian Kilmeade: Was the prime minister.
Donald Trump: Described their intelligence would have been able to pick this up. Thousands of people were involved. Thousands of people knew about it and they let this slip by. That was not a good thing for him or for anybody.
Brian Kilmeade: Do you think American intelligence should have been able to help on that, or is that solely in American intelligence?
Donald Trump: But we don’t have much intelligence in our country anymore. You look at our intelligence people, they usually they were the ones that said the laptop from hell was from Russia. Okay. 51 intelligence said it turned out to be a lie. I think that and I’ve said this for a long time, our so-called intelligence is highly has been highly overrated. It could be great again, but it has been highly overrated. Our intelligence should have known about it, and Israel’s intelligence definitely should have known about.
Brian Kilmeade: Have you talked to the prime minister yet?
Donald Trump: I don’t want to say about, you know, who I’ve talked to, but I was very disappointed that a thing like this could happen. And now they’re getting hit very hard by the North. And I’m really shocked that the Obama administration can be out there saying, I hope they don’t attack from the north. Why are they doing that? How stupid a statement. That’s like you asking me what I do. I don’t want to tell you what I do exactly. I know exactly what I do. But you know, you just can’t say that As much as I respect you, Brian, and I do respect you a lot, and I appreciate you’ve been very nice to me over the last year, which is really come a long way. But, you know, you just don’t want to give away your chess game, right?
Brian Kilmeade: Understood.
Donald Trump: So I will say this. It all starts with Iran. Everything that we’re talking about, every single death, everything that you’ve seen, it starts and ends with Iran.
Brian Kilmeade: And I know you do want to give away strategy.
Donald Trump: But I mentioned Iran and one of the statements.
Brian Kilmeade: His policy was totally opposite of yours when it came to Iran. He looked as he looked at Saudi Arabia as the problem and Iran to get back into the nuclear deal. That was his plan.
Donald Trump: Well, you’re right. He had the exact opposite. I call it April Fool’s Day, because you can’t. It’s like, you know, you say something like, Who would like Open Borders? It’s April Fool’s Day. Open borders? Who wants no voter I.D.? It’s April Fool’s Day. They want no voter I.D. because they want to cheat in elections. I mean, they want no voter I.D.. White bread. Why don’t they want voter I.D. and not the Democrats? It’s the people. You know, I think 84% of them said, no, we want voter I.D. but the leaders want no voter I.D. They want high taxes. They want all electric cars, which is going to drive the price up. And they don’t go far enough. You know, it’s all these things. They want the opposite, almost the opposite of every single thing that’s good for our country. And you have to wonder about that. But, you know, it’s it’s very sad. I look at what’s happening and I look at the weakness. This is largely because they never they don’t respect the United States anymore. They don’t respect our president and they don’t respect the United States. They would have never done this with me. And they didn’t. Right. And they did.
Brian Kilmeade: I just want to bring you to something else just to get your comments. Black Lives Matter has a chapter that basically tweeted out mocking, supporting the Palestinians, Hamas and mocking the Israelis, showing a paraglider. We have Harvard University not there, not their provosts, not their leaders, but their students, 30 students. The different student unions come out in favor of the Palestinians. Long Beach State, Columbia, NYU Law Review. What is your take on all these people who look at this and think the problem is Israel?
Donald Trump: Not believable. You wouldn’t have thought this could have happened ten or 15 years ago. Couldn’t have happened, actually. A lot of people are not happy with the leadership in Israel. A lot of people are not happy with, you know, look, Israel had the best lobby, if you want to call it a lobby, but that’s what it was of anybody in the world 15 years ago. But with AOC plus three, with all of these maniacs that are, you know, attacking it from every different angle, they’ve gone down, they’ve been diminished greatly. And you have congressmen that are support people, congressmen and women that are supporting a cause that frankly was not supportable just five years ago, if you think about it. But look at AOC. Look at the plus three. Look at what the way they talk. And then when they finally get a chance, they get on air and they’re asked to, you know, denounce what they said. They refused to do it. They don’t want to talk about it. So, you know, Israel does not have the power within the United States that it wants.
Brian Kilmeade: That would kind of.
Donald Trump: I think that’s said, by the way.
Brian Kilmeade: Rashida Tlaib came out big Palestinian flag would not comment when asked, is it okay to cut off the heads of children. They found reportedly 40 children’s with their head cut off. Is that possible, in your mind, to picture the type of humanity they would say that’s okay.
Donald Trump: I think she’s terrible. I think she’s a horrible representative of our country and frankly, should be she should be impeached for that. That’s what she should be. She should be impeached for that. That’s barbaric. You look at what they’ve done to little children, babies, babies where they cut off their heads. It’s not even believable that we’re having this conversation. But nobody’s seen anything like this. We feel very bad with the orange jumpsuits, and we took care of that situation. But now you look at what’s happening, and this is at a level that nobody’s ever seen. And what I’m hearing is that the number of deaths is actually far greater than what we are hearing having to do with Americans are also having to do with Israelis and others.
Brian Kilmeade: So the speaker, the speakers had their vote behind closed doors, look like Steve Scalise is going to get it if he gets the majority of the votes when they bring it to the floor, he’ll get it over. Jim Jordan, your reaction because I know you came out in support of Jim Jordan.
Donald Trump: Well, I like Steve. I like both of them very much. But the problem, you know, Steve is a man that is in serious trouble from the standpoint of his cancer. I mean, he’s got to get better for himself. I’m not talking about even country now. I’m saying got to get better. And this is tremendous stress. All of the things that you hear about and, you know, things that you don’t want to get involved in from the standpoint of getting. Well, Steve is going through very, very serious cancer therapy. And of course, then he had that horrible attack years ago that, you know, it was amazing that he he came back. I went to the hospital. I was with him the night it happened. I was literally with him holding his hand. And I was there the night that it happened that the doctors gave him probably a 10% chance that he made it. But there’s tremendous aftereffect there. But he’s got a very serious form of cancer. And, you know, most importantly, I want Steve to get well, I just don’t know how you can do the job when you have. That’s a serious problem.
Brian Kilmeade: Is that the only reason you endorsed Jim Jordan?
Donald Trump: And you know what it does? The sweep is they drain you of strength. Supposedly. It’s like a draining of strength. And we need tremendous strength both inside and out, because we have radical left, lunatics like Nancy Pelosi and Schiff and all these crazy people that are so bad for our country. And they’ve got to fight them off and they’ve got to fight the outside world.
Brian Kilmeade: Right. So is that the only reason, Mr. President, is that the only reason.
Donald Trump: He is really hurt by by the, you know, the amount of of everything that he’s going through?
Brian Kilmeade: Is that the only reason you pick him over is that the only reason you pick Jim Jordan is to be. Well, is that the only reason you pick Jim Jordan over Steve Scalise is health?
Donald Trump: I like Jim. I think Jim’s great. I like them both, by the way. But I think Jim is a great, tremendous fighter, a tough guy. Really liked a lot. But, you know, don’t forget, they have a vote now. They have to vote. And I think it’s going to be very hard, maybe in either case, for somebody to get you know, if you lose four votes, you can’t get it. Don’t you know, I think Steve will lose far more than four. And I think probably Jim will, too. And then you end up in one of these crazy stalemates. It’s a it’s a very interesting situation.
Brian Kilmeade: I think Jim Jordan is.
Donald Trump: I like it very much. He likes me very much. I was there the night that he was so badly hurt. I was literally hearing that he wasn’t going to be able to make it from the doctors. They were saying that they did a great job and he did a great job. But, you know, he’s got to get well from the.
Brian Kilmeade: Cancer, I think, Jim. So that’s the only. Is that the only reason? Mr. President? Is that the only reason Is that the only reason you picked him over, Jim Jordan is this like Jim Jordan will now vote for Steve Scalise.
Donald Trump: Well, I mean, look, I’m going to enjoy I’m going to be with anybody they pick. And if Jim decides to do that, that’s going to be up to Jim. But I will certainly be with anybody that, you know, I get along with. Frankly, I get along with all of them. But, I mean, the one thing with Steve, he’s got to get well, he’s got to get well, he’s got to get strong.
Brian Kilmeade: Did not do Matt gets hurt. The party that Matt killed wrote Did Matt Gaetz hurt the party by ousting leading a march to oust Kevin McCarthy?
Donald Trump: Well, he’s he was upset that Kevin was doing a lot of the Obama work. He was working on the budget and getting something approved that we could have gotten a lot for. And the debt ceiling, everybody was hurt with that. At the same time, Kevin’s a great guy. He’s a wonderful guy. But people were hurt by that. It depends. I mean, it depends on how good the new speaker, whoever that may be, how good it does. Jimmy, maybe we’ll end up with one of the great speakers of all time, in which case that Gates did a tremendous favor. But certainly some people aren’t so happy with other people. I guess so. With a 100% match, a good guy means well with this. And let’s see how you can’t really say what’s going to happen until you find out who’s back and how good a job that person does.
Brian Kilmeade: Let’s talk politics, your political race. It looks like I looked at the Emerson poll right before I came up. You’re winning Pennsylvania by nine on the real clear average. You’re up in the in the primaries, 4916 over to Santos in New Hampshire. You’re up on Hillary 4514 in the general. You beat the president on average real clear average 4544. But Nikki Haley beat Biden by four. Do you feel as though that the governor, Haley, is now.
Donald Trump: For Biden by 11 in The Washington Post?
Brian Kilmeade: Right. They just the average of the last, let’s say, a month.
Donald Trump: Ago, but the most recent ones, the ABC Post. And that’s a pretty good poll. I guess it certainly maybe the most expensive one of all. But under that one I beat I’m up 11. They thought nine, then they said ten, then it turned out to be 11. Pick up 11 and Washington Post, ABC and I know Nikki very well. I don’t I don’t think she’s going to do the job that you have to do to run our country.
Brian Kilmeade: So I have I had her on today or yesterday. And here’s what she said about the nickname you just gave her. [00:19:19][5.3]
Nikki Haley:Yeah, I think it’s lame. He’s kind of lost his luster. I mean, it’s a it’s a lame nickname. It doesn’t even hit Birdbrain. Yeah, it doesn’t even make sense. What does that even mean? Like, he used to be cool at that. He’s not called that anymore. But look, I told my team, Let’s celebrate, because he sees the numbers we see. He knows exactly what we’re doing. We’re coming. We’re coming. Get ready.
Brian Kilmeade: What do you think.
Donald Trump: Everyone’s got coming in? Where? She’s down to me by 40 and 50 points. I’m being her in South Carolina, her state by 30 points or more. I think 35 points. We’re beating her in Iowa by almost 40 points. We’re beating her in New Hampshire by 44 points. It’s just words with these politicians. She’s getting clobbered as the sanctimonious. You know, he was not very close, but when it first started, I was winning by a lot. But now I’m winning by legendary numbers. But as much as I’m beating him by, I’m beating her by more because she’s hasn’t even caught him. It’s just words with her. I know her very well. Birdbrain means not very smart. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. A lot of people didn’t like the name too sanctimonious. A lot of people didn’t like the name Lying Ted. A lot of them didn’t. I could give you plenty of names. They didn’t like Crooked Hillary. They didn’t like that name. But we came out just fine. We did great in the election and we did even better in the second election by almost 12 million votes.
Brian Kilmeade: Right, Mr. President, I think.
Donald Trump: We’re just fine. No, Nicki’s getting clobbered. And you know what? She hasn’t really gained anything. People like to say she gave she was in the debate and she actually stayed the same. She didn’t go up at all after the debate because people don’t like her. She wasn’t likable at all.
Brian Kilmeade: Right. I know. Lastly, RFK was in yesterday. He made an independent. He’s going to run as an independent. They say 45% approval with Republicans, 14 with Democrats. Well, he hurt you more if you get the nomination more than Joe Biden.
Donald Trump: Well, he’s the Democrat. I think it’s probably helpful of me. He’s a Democrat. He’s a Kennedy number one. You put the they get it as a Democrat. But if you look at his environmental stance, he closed up New York. He wouldn’t let pipelines go through to Massachusetts and various other places go to New York State. He was very, very tough. He was brutal on the environment. He actually destroyed Andrew Cuomo. He actually destroyed it because Andrew Cuomo wouldn’t do a thing without his approval. And New York State got left behind. The environmental stuff that he approved is just terrible. So now he’s a Democrat. I think it’s probably very good for us. I mean, who knows? I mean, you’re tell me. Well, we’ll talk about it next November.
Brian Kilmeade: I know you’ve got to run by one more question. You’re suing Christopher Steele.
Donald Trump: No doubt was thrown out of the Democrat Party. So of course, they don’t love him, but he was thrown out of the Democrat Party. But he’s a Democrat. If you look at his environmental record, it’s destructive to our country.
Brian Kilmeade: Lastly, I hear you suing Christopher Steele. Is that true?
Donald Trump: Oh, yeah. We’re suing him and doing very well. We’re in a London court and we’re doing very well. He wrote a fake dossier. It was paid for by, I guess, Hillary Clinton. And I guess if you look at the the Democratic National Committee, a real bunch of nice people, that whole thing was a fake. And it’s come out that way. And now we’re suing them. And I hear we’re making great progress. There was a story written about it yesterday.
Brian Kilmeade: That Hillary Clinton took a shot at your voters. He said they need to be to deprogrammed. How do you how do you feel about that? How do you think they feel about polls?
Donald Trump: And that was one of the reasons one of the many reasons she lost the last election. There’s nobody has to be deprogrammed. Look, we have MAGA. It means if you ask Joe Biden, if you ask if you ask Biden, what do you think? What does it mean? Maga? Do you know what it means? Define it. What does it mean? He wouldn’t know what it means. Make America great again. And we also have an America first policy. We put America before we put it against other foreign nations. Many of them were hostile to us. So we’re all about making America great again. We’re about putting America first. Our country is a nation in decline. We’re a nation that’s failing. We have millions and millions, far more than you report. Not your fault, but far more than you report or has been. I believe the number is 15 million. I believe it’s a bigger number that New York State, they came in illegally into our country from prisons, from jails, from mental institutions, from insane asylums. Right. And many terrorists and many of the same people that are trying to destroy Israel right now. They come in from the Middle East and they’re coming in and they’re young and they’re male, they’re coming in young and they are male. What is going on? Are we going to be attacked from inside also? Because I believe so. We have an open border where millions of people are flowing through. And I don’t have to convince you because I know you think it’s horrible, but what’s happening to our country are not believable.
Brian Kilmeade: Stay safe. Mr. President, it’s a very tumultuous time right now in the world. Best of luck on the campaign trail. Thanks so much for your time.
Donald Trump: Thank you. And you’re doing a great job. Keep it.
Brian Kilmeade: Up. Thank you, sir.
Donald Trump: Thank you very much.