Jun 3, 2020

Donald Trump Radio Interview Transcript: Admits Going to Bunker During Protests, But Was for an ‘Inspection’

Donald Trump Radio Interview on Protests
RevBlogTranscriptsDonald Trump TranscriptsDonald Trump Radio Interview Transcript: Admits Going to Bunker During Protests, But Was for an ‘Inspection’

Donald Trump did a radio interview on Brian Kilmeade’s Fox News radio show June 3, where he spoke about the protests and said he only went to his White House bunker for a “tiny” period of time to inspect it.

 

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Brian Kilmeade: (00:00)
Here’s the President of the United States. Mr. President, thanks so much for joining us from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

President Donald Trump: (00:06)
Well, thank you very much, and congratulations on 10 years on radio. Wow, that’s pretty good. I remember when you were one day on radio. It’s been a long time, but that’s great job. You’re doing a great job, Brian.

Brian Kilmeade: (00:18)
You were hosting… Thanks, so much, Mr. President. You were hosting The Apprentice back then. You were number one-

President Donald Trump: (00:23)
That’s right.

Brian Kilmeade: (00:23)
… in the ratings when we started-

President Donald Trump: (00:24)
That’s right.

Brian Kilmeade: (00:25)
… and I 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 not going to work here. They’re not trained to handle unrest. Do you agree with that?

President Donald Trump: (00:39)
No. Not at all. 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 a somewhat sarcastically, but the safest place on earth to… and Minnesota was really, really having a hard time, and we took care of it. The governor is a nice man, and he was 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.

President Donald Trump: (01:18)
You have a liberal mayor that, frankly, was having a lot of trouble, and you have a very liberal mayor in New York too. Do 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 the ones keeping everybody locked up in their apartments and their homes for too long a period of time, so it’s very interesting how that changes, but no, the National Guard, we could 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.

Brian Kilmeade: (01:52)
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?

President Donald Trump: (02:05)
Well, you may, but you still had a lot of people, and they’re violent people in many cases. You have protesters, but you also have anarchists and looters. A lot of people that are bad people. 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.

President Donald Trump: (02:41)
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 jokingly said, a little bit jokingly maybe, it’s one of the safest places on earth. We had no problem all last night. We had substantial dominant force, and 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.

Brian Kilmeade: (03:11)
Sunday wasn’t the case. We had Leland Vittert reporting no problem. It got dark, a huge problem. He was attacked. 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 was like for you and your family?

President Donald Trump: (03:27)
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 was during the night. This problem, these problems are during the night, not during the day. I go down, I’ve gone down two or three times all for inspection. 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. I read about it like a big thing.

President Donald Trump: (04:06)
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 troops.

Brian Kilmeade: (04:38)
Mr. President, I remember 9/11 that President Bush wanted to land back at Washington. They wouldn’t let him. They said, “It’s too dangerous.” Finally got it back there. Sometimes the Secret Service even tells the president, “I can’t do this.” You 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?

President Donald Trump: (04:59)
Nope. 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.” I’ve been down, let’s see, that would 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 a inspecting factor.

President Donald Trump: (05:28)
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 protesters, 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.

Brian Kilmeade: (05:51)
Mr. President, you gave a speech in the Rose Garden, got a thumbs up for 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 walk 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 appear to St. John’s Church, which was boarded up and you held up a Bible. Reverend James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of a book on that church says, “The church is not a photo op, that religion is not a political tool, and God is not a play thing.” He’s among some religious leaders who were very critical of that visit. What’s your response?

President Donald Trump: (06:33)
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. It’s only the other side that didn’t like it, the opposition party as the expression goes. They burned down the church the day before. I heard how nice and wonderful the protesters were over there.

President Donald Trump: (06:53)
Really? Then why did they burn down the church today 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. Madison was your president. He was number six, I believe. Madison was your president, and he was the first president to enter and go to that church.

President Donald Trump: (07:14)
Now, when I said go to the church, I didn’t know protesters or not. Nobody tells me that. They say, “Yes, sir, we’ll go to the church.” 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.

President Donald Trump: (07:31)
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 it was all fake news. There’s so much fake news. Most news is fake. They’re corrupt, and they’re fake, the lamestream media. 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.

President Donald Trump: (07:58)
Now, when I went, I didn’t say, “Oh, move them out.” I didn’t know who was there. I figured I was going to walk over the church very nearby. 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, a big part of the basement was burning. It’s very lucky that church didn’t burn down. That’s a very important church, so I haven’t heard-

Brian Kilmeade: (08:26)
I agree with you. What was the-

President Donald Trump: (08:27)
I haven’t heard what you told me.

Brian Kilmeade: (08:28)
Mr. President, was the original intent to go inside and see the damage, and did you notice it was boarded up when you got there?

President Donald Trump: (08:35)
No, they told me it was boarded up, and I said, “That’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 to, but it was boarded up. The whole building was just about boarded up, but I would have been able to go in, but there’s no reason for it. It 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. I mean, take a look at Franklin Graham, so respected, and so many others. Take a look at Robert Jeffress. These are all people you know. They thought it was a great-

Brian Kilmeade: (09:14)
I hear you.

President Donald Trump: (09:14)
… symbol, and I thought it was a great symbol, but the fake news makes everything look bad, no matter what you do. 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.

President Donald Trump: (09:34)
We tested number 16 million yesterday, 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 16 million. We have incredible testing now. We’ve done a great job, but we don’t get credit for it, but hopefully, the people understand.

Brian Kilmeade: (09:52)
You have a pandemic and a national unrest, two unprecedented things, I would argue, in my lifetime, and probably yours. But the big picture, I thought we’d 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% of the country thinks that was out of bounds. The knee on the neck killed him. I’m one of them. [inaudible 00:10:20] can’t see-

President Donald Trump: (10:21)
[crosstalk 00:10:21]-

Brian Kilmeade: (10:21)
… [inaudible 00:10:21] the trial comes out, but this is the one stat I want to bring you to. I’m going to ask you if you can attack this. According to a Axios-Ipsos poll, 70% of white Americans say they trust the local police. Only 36% of African Americans do. How do you attack that problem? How do you change things?

President Donald Trump: (10:40)
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, in polls and everything, especially I’ve been… 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 have the best numbers for African American on employment and unemployment in history, best home ownership, best everything. We had the best numbers in everything, not only African-American, but the African American numbers were great.

Brian Kilmeade: (11:10)
But how do you handle the law enforcement part of this?

President Donald Trump: (11:12)
Well, I think you have to-

Brian Kilmeade: (11:12)
How do you handle the law enforcement part of this?

President Donald Trump: (11:13)
… get better than what they’ve been doing. I mean, obviously, that was a terrible thing. I’ve spoken about it numerous times in various speeches. It’s interesting. I spoke about it when we launched a very successful rocket, a tremendous program that culminated on that day, and now, obviously, it goes on from there, but I then made a speech, and it was a speech about the rocket, and I devoted at 25% of the speech, probably, to what happened, or more, to what happened with respect to George, George Floyd, and it was… Then you… Listen to this. “He doesn’t talk about George Floyd.”

President Donald Trump: (11:49)
The rocket went off. I then 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. With the media, basically, no matter what you do, it’s never going to be good enough, but the people understand it, and that’s one of the beauties to social media. I mean, I would love-

Brian Kilmeade: (12:13)
So-

President Donald Trump: (12:13)
… 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.

Brian Kilmeade: (12:26)
Right.

President Donald Trump: (12:26)
But we have to get-

Brian Kilmeade: (12:27)
Also-

President Donald Trump: (12:27)
… the word out.

Brian Kilmeade: (12:27)
[crosstalk 00:12:27]-

President Donald Trump: (12:27)
Look, we have to… Brian, we have get the police departments, everybody has to do better, has to do better. This is a longterm problem. This didn’t happen today. This happened, I mean… A guy like Sleepy Joe Biden was in there for 43 years. Then 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. 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 a mask on, I think, even though there was nobody anywhere near him, which is interesting, but-

Brian Kilmeade: (12:59)
Well-

President Donald Trump: (12:59)
… he made a statement about what he should do. I said, “He’s been there for 43 years. He was vice president for eight years. He didn’t do a thing.” His crime bill was a-

Brian Kilmeade: (13:06)
I’ll tell you what-

President Donald Trump: (13:06)
… disaster.

Brian Kilmeade: (13:08)
Right. I will tell you what 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 played our country, not use them for political gain. I assume that he says, “You are doing all those things.”

President Donald Trump: (13:28)
Well, you see, he was written… That speech was there. 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. There was nobody worse than Biden.

President Donald Trump: (13:54)
Now, he’s not the same Biden. He’s about half, maybe less, but the fact is that he doesn’t say that. 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. They want to take your guns away, except now more people bought guns in the last three, four days than they have it a-

Brian Kilmeade: (14:18)
[crosstalk 00:14:18]-

President Donald Trump: (14:18)
… long time because when they look-

Brian Kilmeade: (14:19)
But Mr. President-

President Donald Trump: (14:19)
… out on the streets-

Brian Kilmeade: (14:22)
Right. I know. I saw it in my own neighborhood. They were wrapped around the building buying guns all last night as protesters were actually in suburbs-

President Donald Trump: (14:28)
Well, they want-

Brian Kilmeade: (14:28)
… last night.

President Donald Trump: (14:28)
… security, and they want-

Brian Kilmeade: (14:28)
But-

President Donald Trump: (14:30)
… safety. That’s right, and the-

Brian Kilmeade: (14:32)
But Mr. President-

President Donald Trump: (14:32)
… Democrats want to take the guns away.

Brian Kilmeade: (14:34)
In three separate polls, he’s beating you by about 10 points. How do you-

President Donald Trump: (14:39)
Okay, and I have-

Brian Kilmeade: (14:39)
… explain that.

President Donald Trump: (14:39)
… 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. 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 to have a poll, which they didn’t want to use, where I was winning every single swing state? I think you’ve seen that. I had-

Brian Kilmeade: (15:08)
Couple weeks back.

President Donald Trump: (15:08)
… another poll yesterday… Yeah. Two weeks back. I had another poll, 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.”

President Donald Trump: (15:25)
That’s what happened the last time. The polling was ridiculous, other than two or three polls, which I do use and which I’m doing very well with. But I saw another poll where I’m winning every swing state, substantially. Why wouldn’t I? 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 a half years. Then the plague came in from China. They shouldn’t have let it happen. Not right. It 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, the stall, they call it-

Brian Kilmeade: (16:00)
To the WHO.

President Donald Trump: (16:02)
… but 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… Right now, by the way, the numbers came out today, and they were much better than anybody would have thought. 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-

Brian Kilmeade: (16:40)
It’s gone up.

President Donald Trump: (16:44)
… people know, and 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. If I’m heading in that direction, I think we’re going to be very hard to beat, frankly, because Sleepy-

Brian Kilmeade: (16:57)
Couple of things.

President Donald Trump: (16:58)
… Joe turn-

Brian Kilmeade: (16:58)
I know-

President Donald Trump: (16:58)
… off immediately.

Brian Kilmeade: (17:00)
I know you got about a hundred meetings today, and I appreciate this time.

President Donald Trump: (17:04)
I do.

Brian Kilmeade: (17:04)
So does our audience. But Mr. President, a couple of things, the word is you want to invite Vladimir Putin 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, creates havoc in Venezuela. Do you see where he deserves this respect?

President Donald Trump: (17:23)
Yeah. Well, look, 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’ve been, it was down to zero, which would have ruined… We would’ve lost 5 million jobs, but no, it’s not a question of what’s he done. It’s a question of common sense.

President Donald Trump: (17:47)
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 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. Putin’s going to be there.”

President Donald Trump: (18:11)
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. I say, “Have him in the room. Have him in the room.” It used to be the G8 from a… and I don’t say deserving or non-deserving. I say, common sense. Get things done. I want to have a nuclear pack, just a safe nuclear because nuclear is the single biggest problem the world has. Single biggest problem, the power, and we have-

Brian Kilmeade: (18:43)
China-

President Donald Trump: (18:44)
… them, and we have more than anybody. We have more than anybody. China’s a very big problem. We did very well with China-

Brian Kilmeade: (18:50)
So-

President Donald Trump: (18:50)
… but then they sent us the plague.

Brian Kilmeade: (18:50)
Is that deal done?

President Donald Trump: (18:50)
Excuse me?

Brian Kilmeade: (18:50)
Is that deal done? Is that deal done-

President Donald Trump: (18:50)
The trade deal is done-

Brian Kilmeade: (18:50)
… [inaudible 00:18:50].

President Donald Trump: (18:50)
… but the trade deal got finished and the ink was in dry 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, a 186 countries. When you say is the trade deal done, yeah, the trade deal’s done. It was a great deal.

President Donald Trump: (19:20)
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, I’m not excited about anything with respect to China right now because of what happened. They could have sealed it. They could have closed it off.

President Donald Trump: (19:44)
I ask this. Why is it 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 it, but it didn’t go to Beijing. It didn’t go to other parts of China. What’s that all about? 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.

Brian Kilmeade: (20:07)
Lastly, I know you’ve been taking aim at Joe Scarborough and Chris Cuomo. Why put them in your cross hairs when there’s so many other huge problems out there?

President Donald Trump: (20:17)
I just do it. People hit me. I hit back. I fight. I’ve always felt that about Scarborough. A lot of people in Florida felt he got away with murder, I think, so I’ve always felt that that’s not a uncommon story if you 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 & Friends where you’re 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-

Brian Kilmeade: (20:54)
[crosstalk 00:20:54].

President Donald Trump: (20:54)
… six. Then you got to be a seven or eight, and now you’re approaching the nine territory, but those other two are great.

Brian Kilmeade: (21:01)
Thanks. I just-

President Donald Trump: (21:01)
They’re great.

Brian Kilmeade: (21:02)
Always room for improvement. That’s what a good coach does. You leave-

President Donald Trump: (21:05)
That’s right.

Brian Kilmeade: (21:05)
… room for improvement.

President Donald Trump: (21:06)
That’s right. There is. That’s true.

Brian Kilmeade: (21:08)
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 your meetings.

President Donald Trump: (21:16)
Thank you very much, Brian. You take care. Congratulations on 10 years. That’s fantastic. Thanks a lot.

Brian Kilmeade: (21:21)
Thank you, Mr. President.