Trump Town Hall on The Ingraham Angle 2/20/24 Transcript

John Roberts (00:10):

… 3:00 PM on the West Coast. Thank you for watching tonight, and thank you to the panel as well. I’m John Roberts in Washington. I will see you again tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 PM for America Reports.

(00:21)
The Ingraham Angle Town Hall with former president Donald Trump from Greenville, South Carolina.

Laura Ingraham (00:27):

Hello, everyone. I’m Laura Ingraham, and this is the Ingraham Angle. Welcome to Greenville, South Carolina. We have an amazing crowd tonight and we’re just four days out, I can’t believe it, from the South Carolina GOP primary, where 50 delegates are at stake in the march to the nomination.

(00:59)
Now, former two-term South Carolina governor Nikki Haley is poised to lose by a wide margin, but she remained defiant earlier today. We’re going to hit all of this and more with the man of the hour. Joining me now, Donald J. Trump.

Donald J. Trump (02:08):

Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. [inaudible 00:02:09]. Thank you.

(02:08)
Hi, Laura. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. This is a nice crowd.

Laura Ingraham (02:08):

Welcome, sir.

Donald J. Trump (02:08):

Thank you.

Laura Ingraham (02:09):

It’s always good to see you. It’s been a while, been a couple of years since we’ve done a big event with you like this.

Donald J. Trump (02:13):

That’s right.

Laura Ingraham (02:14):

And just in time for your appearance today, there’s a new Suffolk poll out, just now a few days before the big primary. And among those very likely to vote, you are up over Nikki Haley by close to a two-to-one margin-

Donald J. Trump (02:29):

Wow.

Laura Ingraham (02:29):

… 63 to 35.

Donald J. Trump (02:34):

Thank you.

Laura Ingraham (02:34):

Yet today, she refused to step aside and said this.

Nikki Haley (02:40):

Many of the same politicians who now publicly embrace Trump privately dread him. They know what a disaster he’s been and will continue to be for our party. Some people used to say I was running because I really wanted to be vice president. I think I’ve pretty well settled that question that question.

Laura Ingraham (03:03):

Has she settled that question?

Donald J. Trump (03:05):

Well, I settled it about three months ago. And look, she’s not working. She’s here. She’s down by 30, 35 points, and everybody knows her. You’re not supposed to lose your home state. Shouldn’t happen anyway. And she’s losing it bigly, big. I said bigly and bigly.

Laura Ingraham (03:27):

We love it.

Donald J. Trump (03:30):

She losing it bigly. But we’re going to really do a job, I think, that as you know, when we went to Iowa, we got the biggest margin in the history of the caucus. The biggest. That’s a long time. We-

Laura Ingraham (03:41):

Why do you think she’s staying in the race?

Donald J. Trump (03:44):

I don’t think she knows how to get out, actually. I really don’t. She did terribly in New Hampshire. Well, the only vote she got was from [inaudible 00:03:53].

Laura Ingraham (03:52):

But she has a lot of money behind her. What do they think they’re going to accomplish?

Donald J. Trump (03:54):

Well, they’re trying to hurt me because of the general election. So the Democrats are giving her money and she’s playing into the game. And I think she just can’t get herself to get out. She’s doing poorly in the polls. Look, if she was doing well, I’d understand it. But she’s doing very poorly. She lost in record numbers in Iowa, record numbers in New Hampshire. Nevada, no name beat her. A no name. We had no name.

Laura Ingraham (04:18):

Well, she and Biden have almost, in a way, some would say team up together. And there, Biden’s people to say, “Look, if you’re going to complain about age, Trump’s age, Trump’s demeanor, Trump makes mistakes, forgets names,” she’s trying to equate Biden’s decline, which is fairly obvious, with you for being 77.

Donald J. Trump (04:38):

Well, he’s declined, and there’s no question about it, but he was always semi-declined if you go back 25 years. No, but he was not one of the smarter people. He’s tried to be president many times, four times at least that they know of. And all of a sudden, when he’s most diminished, this is when he hit and he did it.

(04:56)
But if you look at me, I feel, and I really mean this, and I would tell you, and I think you’d tell me, too, because we’ve known each other a long time, if I felt diminished, okay, let’s use a nice term, if I felt diminished or declined any way, I think I’d know it. And I think I’d say, “I’m not running.”

(05:14)
Somebody should talk to him. But if he runs, he runs. I heard you say that he’s very persistent, and he probably is. I think most people-

Laura Ingraham (05:23):

Stubborn.

Donald J. Trump (05:24):

I think that most people that run would be stubborn or persistent and just not want to give up the ghost. But we have a nation to run. We have a nation that has to survive. We have nuclear weapons and the likes of which, and you don’t even want to know about it, the most powerful weapons in the history of the world, so powerful that you don’t even want to talk about them.

(05:45)
And we have him negotiating for us. And in his best years, he couldn’t have negotiated. Well, now he has no clue what’s happening. And I know Putin very well, and I know President Xi of China. I know him all. Kim Jong Un, I know very well. I did a great job with him. I was-

Laura Ingraham (05:58):

Do you think they’d prefer him to remain as president because they believe that they can dominate the global situation much easier with him in office?

Donald J. Trump (06:09):

Well, they want him very badly to be president. I’m sure a lot of money’s being spent between Russia and China. No question with China. Russia, too.

(06:21)
Look, Ukraine would’ve never happened. I know Putin so well, and it was the apple of his eye. Ukraine was the apple of his eye. I said, “Don’t ever do it.”

Laura Ingraham (06:29):

We’re going to get-

Donald J. Trump (06:30):

It would’ve never happened, by the way. Would have never happened.

Laura Ingraham (06:32):

We’re going to get into that in a minute. But back to Biden and his current state, whatever you want to call it, will you challenge him to regular debates-

Donald J. Trump (06:41):

Yeah.

Laura Ingraham (06:41):

… regardless of the concern about the moderators? I know that’s always annoying. But I’ll be happy to moderate one, by the way. Would you challenge him? Come on, Joe, you can do it. Will you challenge him to a debate regularly on focus-specific topics?

Donald J. Trump (06:58):

Yeah.

Laura Ingraham (06:58):

In other words, so it’s not a wide-ranging, just one debate on foreign policy.

Donald J. Trump (07:02):

Well, I’ll do it right now on your show. I’ll challenge him right now. And we can do you. You can do anybody you want. I will take anybody from CNN, which is doing very poorly in the ratings, by the way, as you probably know. I’ll take anybody because I think you have an obligation in this case. You really have an obligation to debate. When it came to the Republicans, I was up by 40, 50, 60 points, like being up on her. I think a poll just came out. I’m at 91 and she’s at seven. And would you debate? You want to be smart. You don’t have to waste your time doing certain debating.

Laura Ingraham (07:36):

But that would be instructive-

Donald J. Trump (07:36):

No, no.

Laura Ingraham (07:37):

… to see you versus Biden on any given topic,

Donald J. Trump (07:40):

Regardless of poll numbers. I’m way up on him now in the polls. And frankly, I think we have an obligation. When you have the final Republican, the final Democrat, you have the two people, you have to debate regardless of polls.

Laura Ingraham (07:51):

How many debates would you commit to?

Donald J. Trump (07:52):

As many as necessary. I would like to do it starting now. I don’t think he’s going to debate, though. I really don’t think so. We had a debate where he, at the end of the debate, he admitted I was right about almost everything, but in particular on energy. Do you remember? I said, “I feel like Perry Mason, the way you just collapsed.” And he admitted everything about energy. And that’s what actually happened, and that’s why your energy costs went up three and four times. We had $1.87 and he was up to $5, $6, $7.

(08:23)
And that’s going to happen immediately after the election. Let’s not even talk about if he wins. We can’t allow it to win. We’re not going to have a country left. You’ll have energy costs and this whole concept of all electric, everybody having an electric vehicle. They don’t go far. People don’t want that. They want everything. They may want electric, but they also want other choices. I pair-

Laura Ingraham (08:43):

Do you believe the push to control gas stoves, how far you could drive by forcing people into electric vehicles-

Donald J. Trump (08:51):

It’s terrible.

Laura Ingraham (08:51):

… all the new edicts that they really want to push out, what’s really behind that? Do you believe there’s a bigger agenda to control movement, control people’s freedom of movement?

Donald J. Trump (09:03):

Well, a lot of people say that. I’m not sure. I just think they maybe are just mixed up or confused. They come out with faucets where no water comes out. If you go and buy a home, and they know what I mean, the showers, you stand under a shower and there’s no water coming, and you end up standing there five times longer.

Laura Ingraham (09:21):

But they want that.

Donald J. Trump (09:22):

Well, they’re doing everything.

Laura Ingraham (09:22):

They want the dishwasher to be changed. All of that is part of the agenda.

Donald J. Trump (09:26):

So in Ohio, you have a great company that came to me, the dishwasher company, one of the biggest and finest companies, but they were going out of business. They said, “We’re not allowed to use water.” And they also had a problem with South Korea was making washing machines, dishwashers, and other things and dumping them into our country. I put tariffs on them, 50% tariffs. And I saved that company. Now, it’s a thriving company.

(09:49)
But what’s happening between other countries coming in free, you can’t go into those countries, but they can come into us. We can go into China and pay a $100 tariff on a car. They used to come in here. Now, I put a 27.5% tariff on cars coming in from-

Laura Ingraham (10:07):

That’s the only reason their EVs are not swamping the United States.

Donald J. Trump (10:09):

Oh, we would be dead.

Laura Ingraham (10:09):

They’re all over Mexico right now. The EV market is being cornered by China around the globe.

Donald J. Trump (10:14):

Right. We would be dead if I didn’t put that tariff on. I was going to raise it to 50%. It’s 27.5. Otherwise, everybody would be dealing… Not even a car they liked, but they’d be dumping them into our country.

(10:26)
So what’s happening now is China’s going to Mexico and building massive automobile plants, and they think they’re going to come in and just sell those cars from Mexico without a tariff into our country.

Laura Ingraham (10:39):

Will that happen under Biden if he actually won a second term? Do you think your tariffs would be pulled off?

Donald J. Trump (10:46):

Well, he can’t do it now because it’s so much money we’re taking in. We took in 450 billion dollars with my tariffs from China. Not one other president took in 10 cents. If I didn’t do what I did with tariffs to China, I don’t even think we’d be sitting here right now. It was so

Laura Ingraham (11:03):

But he left a lot of them in place. He hasn’t removed those.

Donald J. Trump (11:05):

Well, he can’t because-

Laura Ingraham (11:05):

Do you think a second term-

Donald J. Trump (11:06):

… economically, he can’t be because his whole budget-

Laura Ingraham (11:07):

But in a second term, would he-

Donald J. Trump (11:09):

I think he’d remove them.

Laura Ingraham (11:10):

What do you think Hunter Biden did or promised or winked about to get that money that he got? He’s obviously not a financial whiz.

Donald J. Trump (11:18):

Well, for many, many locations, from Ukraine, it was crazy, because he was on the board. He was paid $183,000 a month. He got three million dollars up front, according to what I read. According to-

Laura Ingraham (11:29):

But they say Joe Biden, there’s no evidence that Joe Biden received any financial benefit personally. And to that, you say?

Donald J. Trump (11:36):

Well, he’s got a lot of houses all over the place and he is never been paid more than about $179,000, I guess is the top.

(11:44)
Look, he’s gotten a lot of money. Hunter’s gotten a lot of money. Hunter gets millions of dollars just for sitting on a board, an energy board, and he admits he knows nothing about energy.

Laura Ingraham (11:54):

Why do you think Joe Biden was able to raise 42 million dollars in January? He’s just headed out to California. He’ll be at the home of Haim Saban. You know him-

Donald J. Trump (12:02):

Yeah, Haim.

Laura Ingraham (12:03):

… as a big pro-Israel benefactor, a multi-billionaire. Why are the billionaires rallying to Joe Biden?

Donald J. Trump (12:09):

Well, look, they like me, too. They made more money with me than they ever made before.

Laura Ingraham (12:13):

They did. So why are they rallying with Biden?

Donald J. Trump (12:14):

But that was in a positive… I’ll tell you, the ones that I love are the ones that pay me on average $61, and I’m raising millions and millions of dollars. Sixty-one dollars, and some of them do it every single month. That’s the way. Because they’re globalists and they want to just take over this country. They’re globalists. They represent China. They have a lot of money in China. China’s very smart. They have all of these guys locked up. And if you go to China, they want you to build a car plant. If you build cars, if you make cars, they don’t want you to build cars here. They want you to make cars, but they want you to make them in China. They don’t want you to make them here. There’s so much money that is tied up in China and some of these other countries. Everybody mentions

Donald J. Trump (13:00):

China. The European Union is a disaster. I said to Angela Merkel before she left, before she destroyed Germany, and she did a bad number in Germany, I will tell you. And I liked her. Maybe that’s why, because I’m for here. I’m for here, and they’re for their country. And they are for their country, and I don’t blame her for being, but I said, “Angela, how many Chevrolets do we have in the middle of Munich?” She said, “Why, I don’t believe any.” I said, “That’s right, Angela. That’s not fair. We’re going to change it.” Because they have Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, they have all of BMW.

Laura Ingraham (13:31):

They protect their industries.

Donald J. Trump (13:33):

They protect it. And they protect it from farm products, they protect it from everything. It’s so unfair. I had that all changed around, all good. And then these guys come in and they destroy our country again, but there’s no greater destruction than what’s happening at our border where they’re letting millions and millions of people-

Laura Ingraham (13:51):

We’re going to get into that. We’re going to get into that next block. So up next, the issue at the top of the mind as former President Trump just said, the border and what illegal immigration is doing to the country that we love. More with Donald Trump from Greenville, South Carolina after this.

Speaker 1 (14:07):

Laura, look at all these people waiting outside. It is 7:54 in the morning, but this young woman got here at what time?

Speaker 7 (14:29):

4:30.

Speaker 1 (14:30):

4: 30. Why’d you come so early?

Speaker 7 (14:32):

Because I wanted to be in the front and see President Trump.

Speaker 1 (14:35):

What do you want to hear from him today?

Speaker 7 (14:37):

I want to hear all that he has planned for the country when he becomes president.

Speaker 1 (14:42):

Great, and then what issues are most important to you guys?

Speaker 2 (14:45):

The border.

Speaker 1 (14:46):

The border?

Speaker 3 (14:46):

Yes.

Speaker 1 (14:47):

Got it. What about everybody over here?

Speaker 4 (14:49):

Oh, definitely the border.

Speaker 5 (14:50):

The border. And a voter ID.

Speaker 4 (14:55):

Voter fraud.

Speaker 6 (14:57):

Economy. Economy.

Laura Ingraham (14:59):

Welcome back to Greenville, South Carolina where folks have been waiting since very, very early this morning to see former President Donald Trump. Now, Mr. President, one of the issues, questions we’ve been hearing from voters here is how do you plan to deport the millions of people? I mean, it’s probably 12, 13 million people under Biden alone that have come here and how will it work?

Donald J. Trump (15:23):

Okay, it’s going to work that we get the bad ones out first. They’re coming in from prisons. They’re coming in from jails and mental institutions, [inaudible 00:15:30].

Laura Ingraham (15:30):

How will you find them?

Donald J. Trump (15:31):

We’re going to find them through local police? Look, the local police, they’re so phenomenal. I love them. They love me. I think I have 97% support. They know everything. They know the first names, they know everything, and it’s a new category. I don’t know if you’ve heard this, but I came up with this one, migrant crime. There’s crime, there’s violent crime, there’s migrant crime. We have a new category of crime. It’s called migrate crime, and it’s going to be worse than any other form of crime. You look at New York City, what’s going on where they attack police. They want to fight police officers. Our criminals don’t even do that so much. Okay? I’ve never seen… They’re having fistfights with the police officers in the middle of the street and we have to do something about it. These are tough people. Don’t forget, they’re not sending their finest. I know all the leaders of the South American-

Laura Ingraham (16:18):

Well, they really hate you when you said that in 2015. You said they’re sending-

Donald J. Trump (16:21):

It doesn’t matter. Yeah.

Laura Ingraham (16:23):

And now all these years later.

Donald J. Trump (16:24):

Everything turned out to be right.

Laura Ingraham (16:25):

Well, CBC is telling us that-

Donald J. Trump (16:28):

Unfortunately. Unfortunately.

Laura Ingraham (16:32):

Customs and Border Patrol announced yesterday that just in three days, 452 Chinese nationals have been apprehended by border patrol and Mr. President, 20,000 Chinese have entered since October.

Donald J. Trump (16:48):

Yep.

Laura Ingraham (16:48):

Okay. Does this concern you more than other immigrant groups?

Donald J. Trump (16:55):

Probably it would because it’s China and maybe what are they building? An army in between. It was 29,000 people in the last… Think of that, 29,000 people, and most of those people were young, male, fighting age. Okay, so-

Laura Ingraham (17:09):

What’s going on?

Donald J. Trump (17:10):

Look, you want to give the benefit of the doubt, but China was number one, and you look at Yemen now, they’re coming in, we’re bombing. Here we go again with this guy bombing everything. Bombing everything, gets no respect. He bombs and bombs. They’re bombing Yemen.

Laura Ingraham (17:22):

They’re bombing us.

Donald J. Trump (17:22):

And we have a lot of Yemenis are coming into our country. We have people coming in from everywhere. They’re coming in from the Congo. They interviewed some people last night. “Where are you from?” “Congo.” “Where did you live?” “Prison.” They’re emptying out their prisons into-

Laura Ingraham (17:38):

What’s the first thing you will do if you become president again on the border? I know that’s going to be your first act.

Donald J. Trump (17:43):

There’s two things I’m going to do. Number one is drill, baby drill, and the other thing equal, equal, is we’re going to… Look, I had the safest border in the history of our country. Recorded history, because I can’t tell you about a thousand years ago, but recorded history of the border by far. We had it down pat between guys like Tom Holman and Brandon Judd and unbelievable people that you have on your show. We had it great. All Biden had to do is stay at the beach. He goes to the beach. Somebody said he looks great in a bathing suit, so he goes to the beach. If he went to the beach and didn’t do it, but he canceled everything. Remain in Mexico, catch and release. We have catch and release, but we had release in Mexico.

Laura Ingraham (18:23):

Why were you against the House… Against the Senate border deal, the bipartisan border?

Donald J. Trump (18:28):

Well, they allow 5,000 people a week, but a lot of people took it as 5,000 people a day. They said 5,000 people a week, and you read it and it says 5,000 people a day. Number one, that, but it also made it much better for the opposing side.

Laura Ingraham (18:43):

It regularized, managed the crisis, didn’t solve.

Donald J. Trump (18:45):

You couldn’t manage it, it was so complex. You’re talking about, first of all, if you want to close the border, you’re president. I didn’t have any legislation, I had people opposed to me very strongly, including Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi. That was a little triumvirate and what I did after a year, I said, you know what, these people… I took the money out. We built 571 miles of border wall and that’s what made our border so good. We did another thing. I got 28,000 soldiers from Mexico. I sent to the president of Mexico, who I really like a lot, I think he’s a terrific guy. He’s a socialist, but a terrific guy, and he’s fantastic actually in a lot of ways. I said, “We need 28,000 soldiers to guard our border.” He said, “You got to be kidding me.”

Laura Ingraham (19:26):

Well Biden says-

Donald J. Trump (19:26):

I ended up getting, free of charge, 28,000. We had the safest border we’ve ever had. Now, we have the most unsafe, we have the worst border in the history of the world. There’s never been a border of any country anywhere in the world that’s been left.

Laura Ingraham (19:41):

Biden has announced… Well, they’ve hinted that he’s going to come out with a border executive order on the border to clamp down on illegal immigration before the State of the Union message. I thought he said he didn’t have the executive authority.

Donald J. Trump (19:54):

So I do believe that he’s baked in. I don’t think he can ever even come close, unless people are really stupid, which they’re not. The public is much smarter than the politicians. He’s not going to be able to change. He’s not going to be able to change it. He’s destroyed our country. This guy is destroying our country.

Laura Ingraham (20:12):

Speaking of that, how are you going to make sure that mail-in ballots and voter fraud, which we heard from a lot of people in line, was an issue front and center. They’re very concerned about mail-in voting, so forget the past. What are you going to do to make sure we don’t have problems going forward?

Donald J. Trump (20:27):

If you have mail-in voting, you automatically have fraud. If you have-

Laura Ingraham (20:36):

Okay, well, there’s mail-in voting in Florida and you won huge.

Donald J. Trump (20:36):

That’s right. If you have it, you’re going to have fraud-

Laura Ingraham (20:37):

But you won.

Donald J. Trump (20:38):

Because you don’t have any… When you go into a voting place, like you go into one in a properly run state, they look at you, they give you… You have voter ID. You give all sorts of identification. I mean, it would be very hard to cheat in a mass scale. When you send out millions like California, I think they send out 36 million ballots. They don’t have a voting booth in the whole place and then millions of ballots come back. Nobody knows where they’re coming from.

Laura Ingraham (21:04):

Right. But what are you going to do about it?

Donald J. Trump (21:06):

The way you win is by swamping them. The way you win is by swamping them. You got to have… And we’re going to swamp… I’ll tell you what, I did great in the first election. I did much better in the second.

Laura Ingraham (21:17):

We have have interesting news coming out of New York, by the way, the New York poll that just came out, which we’re going to get to, but Mr. President, Kelly is in the audience and has a question about foreign aid. Kelly?

Kelly (21:27):

How you doing, Mr. President?

Donald J. Trump (21:28):

Hi Kelly.

Kelly (21:29):

One of the many great things you did in your first term was put America first. One of the many, many great things you did. That isn’t the case in the last few years, which is evident with the unnecessary billions of dollars in foreign aid we have given specifically to Ukraine. So what is going to be the solution to fix all of that spending?

Donald J. Trump (21:45):

Thank you very much, Kelly. I appreciate it. I like that question. I like this guy, I can tell. But he’s a man of common sense. I’m a man of common sense. They say, you’re conservative, you’re liberal, you’re this, you’re that. No, we’re people of common sense. We need borders. We don’t want to give foreign aid to countries that hate us. I mean, we’re giving foreign aid to countries that hate us. If you look at the numbers in terms of the billions and even trillions of dollars that we give to foreign aid, of foreign aid, and yet we don’t protect our own border, we don’t protect our own military. We have the greatest… I knocked out ISIS. Everyone said it would take four years. It took me three months to knock out, totally decimate ISIS. We took out Soleimani, we took out al-Baghdadi. We did a job like nobody’s ever done.

Laura Ingraham (22:31):

So you wouldn’t be in favor of giving $60 billion more for Ukraine because they said without that money, Ukraine will definitely lose the war, which would then empower Vladimir Putin and endanger our allies.

Donald J. Trump (22:45):

I guess the thing that bothers me most, it would’ve never happened if I were president. It would have never happened.

Laura Ingraham (22:51):

Well, it did happen, so what are you going to about it?

Donald J. Trump (22:52):

But it would’ve never happened. Putin would’ve never done it for two reasons. Number one, I said, “Don’t do it.” He would never have done it, and the other reason was oil prices were low. At $40 a barrel, it doesn’t work.

Laura Ingraham (23:05):

What would you do now?

Donald J. Trump (23:06):

At a hundred dollars a barrel, he made a fortune during this war. So what I would do is, first thing I get on the phone is with the European nations who are in for 25% of what we’re in, we’re in for over $200 billion. They’re in for $35 billion.

Laura Ingraham (23:19):

It’s been about a hundred billion so far, but it will be $160.

Donald J. Trump (23:21):

It’s a difference of $150 billion. They’ve got to start paying up. It affects them much more than it affects us. We have an ocean in between us. They don’t have that ocean in between. They have to start paying up, and you know why they haven’t paid? Because nobody asked them. Biden doesn’t call. Does Biden lie awake at night sleeping, tossing, turning? He turns for another reason, not for the reason we’re talking about, sweating, saying, “We got to get more…” We’ve got to get them to pay up because there’s $150 billion difference. I feel very bad. Remember this, you’re really up against a war machine in Russia.

(23:57)
Russia, what they do, they defeated Hitler, they defeated Napoleon. They’re a war machine. There are much bigger country. Orban, who I think is a fantastic guy. A lot of people don’t like him because he’s a little bit on the tough side. He is the Prime Minister of Hungary, and he said, and he came out very strongly. They asked him, “What’s going on? The whole world is collapsing.” He said, “If the United States elects Donald Trump, it’ll all end. Everybody was afraid of Donald Trump. It’ll all end.” And I believe that’s good.

Laura Ingraham (24:26):

Nancy, your good friend, your very good friend Nancy Pelosi was on MSNBC earlier today with your other good friends, accusing you of something, which took my breath away. Watch.

Nancy Pelosi (24:40):

What does he have on Donald Trump that he have to constantly be catering to Putin, telling Putin, “Go into these countries, NATO countries.” But I think it’s probably financial.

Laura Ingraham (24:55):

Your response. She said you’re going to abandon NATO, and Putin has something on you.

Donald J. Trump (24:59):

So I know the real Nancy Pelosi. She’s highly overrated. Let me just tell you about Nancy. I went in. It’s all soundbites. You know with them, it’s all misinformation. Everything is dis and miss, little difference, dis and misinformation. I went in, got in, and I stopped Nord Stream 2. Most people don’t know what that, that’s the Russian pipeline, the most important economic deal plus. I call it economic plus, much more than economic, ever. I stopped it. I told Germany, “You’re not having it.” I told all of Europe, “You’re not having it. Anybody that wants to have it, they’re not dealing with you.” I ended it. That’s the biggest deal ever in the history of Russia. They’re going to supply Europe with oil and gas. I ended it. Biden comes in and he vetoed what I had done. It was done. Nord Stream 2 was done and he approved it, but he ended the Keystone Pipeline, which is our pipeline, which should have been approved.

Laura Ingraham (25:54):

Yeah.

Donald J. Trump (25:55):

When people say that about Russia, and Putin would even say to me, he said, “You

Donald J. Trump (26:00):

You treat us very bad. I had sanctions on Russia that nobody’s ever put there before. In fact, Biden took them off. It’s just misinformation. Anybody that walked in and ended and remember this: Putin took land from every president of our last five except for one, me. And now he’s going for the big one. He’s going for all of Ukraine. He’s going for all of Ukraine, not just a little piece. He’s going for all, and that’s under Biden.

Laura Ingraham (26:27):

People around the world are expressing outrage over the death of Alexei Navalny, of course, in a horrific Russian prison. You posted on Truth Social about it. You said that his death made you more aware of the political circumstances here at home.

Donald J. Trump (26:39):

It’s happening here.

Laura Ingraham (26:40):

Specifically your rivals. I want to give you the chance to expand on that, because obviously your opponents have used that to say, again, pro-Putin, don’t care about human rights or freedom, the freedom movement. And so what does that mean when you said it made you more aware of your circumstances here?

Donald J. Trump (26:56):

Well, Navalny is a very sad situation and he’s very brave. He was a very brave guy because he went back, he could have stayed away. And frankly probably would have been a lot better off staying away and talking from outside of the country as opposed to having to go back in because people thought that could happen, and it did happen and it’s a horrible thing.

(27:13)
But it’s happening in our country too. We are turning into a communist country in many ways. And if you look at it, I’m the leading candidate. I never heard of being indicted before. I got indicted four times, I have eight or nine trials all because of the fact that I’m, and you know this, all because of the fact that I’m in politics. They indicted me on things that are so ridiculous. Fannie in Atlanta. All of these people-

Laura Ingraham (27:40):

We’re going to get into that in a moment. But we’re going to get into my favorite DA in a moment, but do you see yourself as a potential political prisoner in the United States? Because that’s their goal is to put you in jail behind your bars right to the rest for the rest of your life. Do you see that?

Donald J. Trump (28:00):

If I were losing in the polls, they wouldn’t even be talking about me and I wouldn’t have had any legal fees [inaudible 00:28:04]

Laura Ingraham (28:04):

If you had retired from politics would all these cases-

Donald J. Trump (28:06):

If I were out, I think, although they hate me so much, I think if I got out they’d still, “Let’s pursue this guy. We can’t stand this guy.” Look, I won an election that wasn’t supposed to be winnable. I then did much better the second time. I won’t get into it, but I did because of Fox. But I did a much better job the second time. We got millions and millions of more votes the second time. And now we’re doing much better than we did the second time and the first time almost put together.

Laura Ingraham (28:31):

Are you a potential political prisoner, sir?

Donald J. Trump (28:34):

Well, I think because of the fact that I’m doing so well, that I’m beating Biden at a level that they’ve never seen before, this is not supposed to happen. It’s much easier for a Democrat to run. Much easier than [inaudible 00:28:46]

Laura Ingraham (28:45):

We’re going to take a quick break. We have a lot more on this and on this topic and a lot more Fannie Willis and some of the other legal challenges the President faces. Stay with us.

Kevin Corke (28:58):

Update. I’m Kevin Corke, Washington. A pair of arrests have been made in the mass shooting that marred the Kansas City Chief’s Super Bowl victory rally last week. Lyndell Mays and Dominic Miller, each facing a count of second degree felony murder, two counts of armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon. Those charges coming amid the ongoing investigation into the shooting that killed one and injured at least 39 others, including 23 with gunshot wounds. Each man being held tonight on $1 million bond.

(29:27)
Meantime, the Polk County Texas Sheriff says the body of 11-year-old Audrey Cunningham has been found. A person of interest in connection to the child’s disappearance, Don Steven McDougal, is expected to be charged with her murder. Audrey had been missing since Thursday of last week when investigators say she didn’t make it to her school bus. McDougall had been a family friend and lived in a trailer behind their home.

(29:52)
I’m Kevin Corke. Now back to the Ingraham Angle.

Laura Ingraham (29:59):

Welcome back to our town hall with President Trump in Greenville, South Carolina. All right, Mr. President, the crowd’s going crazy here. But during this campaign, a huge amount of your time has been spent in court, in the courtroom in New York and so forth. Now, in this New York civil fraud case, this judge Arthur Engeron, ruled against you for almost half a billion dollars plus interest that runs every day. When I first read this, like $87,000 a day, how would you put up that kind of money? Because you have a bond to put up. Even if you appeal, you’ve got to put up escrow money. It’s a lot of …

Donald J. Trump (30:40):

It is a form of Navalny. It is a form of communism or fascism. The guy’s a nut job. I’ve known this for a long time and I’ve said it openly. No jury, no anything. Leticia James’, horrible Attorney general in New York campaigned on, ” I will get Trump. I will get Trump.” We went through a trial. It turned out we’re totally innocent on everything and he fined me $355 million plus interest and other things. 355. And what we did, in fact, my financial statements were conservative, everybody made money. There was no victim. The bank gets up and says, “We love this guy.” I mean they love-

Laura Ingraham (31:21):

You paid back the loans?

Donald J. Trump (31:22):

100%, no defaults, no anything. The bank asked me, banks lend money, that’s how they make money. They asked me, would I borrow some money. They asked me. I didn’t need the money. I had a lot of cash. And what happens is this guy ruled that I was guilty before the trial started. He didn’t even know anything about it. He ruled that a house in Florida called Mar-a-Lago is worth $18 million when it’s worth from 50 to 100 times that.

Laura Ingraham (31:46):

Would you give up one of your properties to settle this?

Donald J. Trump (31:50):

[inaudible 00:31:50] Look, I wrote this out because it was so great. I just looked at it. People call up all of your friends. The lawyers call up, they say it’s the most egregious punishment anybody’s ever seen. Tim Scott knows that. He sees it. The eighth amendment, “Excessive bail shall not be required nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.” That’s the eighth amendment. Excessive fines. I have-

Laura Ingraham (32:12):

This is a state court ruling.

Donald J. Trump (32:13):

I have a fine, I did business with a bank and insurance companies that love me. They still do business with me. They wouldn’t do business with …

Laura Ingraham (32:26):

But you have the practical, you’re a practical man. You have a practical question, which I thought about a lot last night because it’s such a huge amount of money. You have to decide whether you’re going to put up that bond in escrow –

Donald J. Trump (32:38):

I do.

Laura Ingraham (32:38):

… to appeal. Are you going to do that? And where are you going to get the money?

Donald J. Trump (32:40):

I’ll tell you what we’re going to do. Number one. Well, I have a lot of cash, but that doesn’t mean he can take it. I mean, you know what he did? I think he looked at my cash and he said, “Well, we’ll take all of his cash.” This is all coming out of the White House. This is all everything that you see, whether it’s that one or the DA [inaudible 00:32:57]

Laura Ingraham (32:57):

You think Biden is coordinating this?

Donald J. Trump (32:58):

[inaudible 00:32:59] DA’s office in Bragg’s office, he has his top people from the DOJ working in the District Attorney’s office in New York and nobody knows that. Everything is coming out, this is all election interference. They’re trying to damage me so they can win another election. They want to do a different-

Laura Ingraham (33:15):

You ever just say to yourself, “I’m done.”

Donald J. Trump (33:18):

I can’t.

Laura Ingraham (33:18):

“This is what they …” Why? A lot of people would’ve said, “I’m out.”

Donald J. Trump (33:22):

[inaudible 00:33:24]

Laura Ingraham (33:23):

Why are you staying in this?

Donald J. Trump (33:24):

I can’t because I want to make America great again. It’s not great right now. And we can do that. We can do that. We can do that, Laura. We can do it. We can get it fixed. It’s harder now. It would’ve been so much easier if we just finished off that border. Everything would’ve been so perfect. We had the border set. Everything was set to rock and roll. We had no [inaudible 00:33:47]

Laura Ingraham (33:46):

So you feel like you have an obligation to America?

Donald J. Trump (33:49):

I do.

Laura Ingraham (33:49):

Because it’s all coming in on you now.

Donald J. Trump (33:52):

If I didn’t-

Laura Ingraham (33:52):

From criminal to civil to the money.

Donald J. Trump (33:54):

If didn’t run. No, I got everything. I’ve become an expert at law. If I didn’t run, I wouldn’t have any of these lawsuits. You know that. None of them, they would’ve gone onto the next. And look, Nikki has no chance, but if she ever did, they would go after her the same way. These are vicious people. These are vicious, sick people. They’re sick. And this judge is sick. He got overturned, on this case so far, overturned by the appellate division four times already on this case.

Laura Ingraham (34:19):

Do you expect the Supreme Court’s going to overturn this? You’re going to have to preserve your federal claim here below. So you’re going to have to say, “We have a constitutional claim here against this excessive fine.” And so there are constitutional hurdles you’re going to have to cross. Are you going to expect the Supreme Court would interfere on a state court decision?

Donald J. Trump (34:38):

I’ve never seen such support on a decision before. Truckers, everybody, they say, “We’re not going to deal in New York.” People are leaving New York. I’ve never seen support like this. I think there’s a lot of pressure on the court system of New York to do what’s right. You borrow a small amount of money by comparison, you pay it back. The bank is in love with you. And by the way, this is a time and a lot of the audience doesn’t know, banks are doing very badly with commercial loans. They’re not getting their money back. They’re in default, everything. This was a perfect loan. I did a favor to this bank. I borrowed money. I paid it back. It was already done. Just one second. I listened to, I pay it back, and then this guy uses this. It was just a weapon. They come after me and they charge me many times the money that you’re talking about. $355 million fine for a perfect loan where the bank was happy, the insurance companies, everybody’s happy. And even he in his statement, he said, “Trump did nothing wrong.”

Laura Ingraham (35:38):

Said he didn’t have any contrition. But look, Mr. President, Shaundra in the audience has a question,

Shaundra (35:46):

Mr. President, our country is so divided right now. I know you have suffered endless attacks, no doubt. But how can you assure independent and undecided voters that your focus as President will be on improving the state of our country, and not settling those old scores?

Donald J. Trump (36:09):

It’s an interesting question, I must say. Look, I did it before. We had a great four years, especially before that very last part where COVID came in and we did a great job there. We’ve been given great marks on the economy and on the military and on foreign affairs. But never got the credit we should have gotten in that we did something amazing and the stock market was higher in the end. But just before the, I call it the China virus, because I like to be accurate, came onto our shores, we had the greatest economy in the history of the world. Even going up to the end. B

(36:43)
ut this period of time, and it was success. Successful is the word I’m using to answer your question. We had such success. In history, some of your favorite polls like McLaughlin and Fabrizio, I met them, the day before I heard the word COVID or pandemic the day before, and we were talking about the next election coming up, they said, “Sir, if Abraham Lincoln and George Washington came back from the dead, they couldn’t beat you.” We are the greatest economy ever. And the people, let’s call them on the left and far left, were calling me, “We want to get together.” I’ve never seen anything like it. I said, “Do you believe this?” Everybody was happy. African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American. And by the way-

Laura Ingraham (37:29):

We’re going to get into that because of your polls [inaudible 00:37:31]

Donald J. Trump (37:31):

And by the way, hen you look at the poll numbers today with African-American, Hispanic-American, we’re doing better than any Republicans-

Laura Ingraham (37:37):

The question about score settling, a lot of women, women voters, they don’t like the name calling, they don’t like the score settling. They love your policies and they just want Trump’s policies, maybe not so much of the other stuff. So I think that’s what the question, if you don’t mind my asking, I think that’s what she’s getting at.

Donald J. Trump (37:53):

But also you want to say, how do you get together? We’re going to get together through success. When this country, the country was at a level that we’ve never, we had the best employment numbers in history. Everything was good and this country was coming together. Then we got hit with COVID. But this country came together. I don’t care about the revenge thing. I know they usually use the word revenge. Will there be revenge? My revenge will be success.

Laura Ingraham (38:19):

All right. Robert Hur, the special prosecutor in the Biden classified documents case, I don’t know if you know this, but he’s set to testify on Capitol Hill on March 12th. What is one question you’re hoping that Republicans or someone who has some honesty up there will ask Mr. Hur, and should Biden have been charged in the classified documents case?

Donald J. Trump (38:45):

Well, nobody else has been over the years, because Hillary took a lot and Bill took a lot. Bill took them out in his socks, they call it the socks case, which you won with a very tough judge, which he won. Bush took them. Everybody. Reagan took them out. Everybody took

Donald J. Trump (39:00):

It only became a big subject when I took things out. The difference is I had what’s called the Presidential Records Act. I was allowed to do what I did. Absolutely allowed. That’s why they passed the act in 1978. They passed the Presidential Records Act. But you can only use it or be there if you’re president. Biden wasn’t president. He was vice president.

Laura Ingraham (39:22):

Why didn’t you hand them over when they were requested, though? I mean, they requested them. You could have just handed them over and probably saved yourself a lot of trouble.

Donald J. Trump (39:26):

First of all, I didn’t have to hand them over, but second of all, I would’ve done that. We were talking, and then all of a sudden they raided Mar-a-Lago. Do you remember? They said, “Could you put an extra lock on the door?” We showed them where they were. We showed them. Unlike being under a Corvette in a little garage with the door open all the time, we had these things locked. We were surrounded all the time by many Secret Service agents. We had Secret Service all over Mar-a-Lago. You couldn’t take anything out. And when you take a look, Biden didn’t have the Presidential Records Act. He’s at great jeopardy, really. But they said, “Look, he’s incompetent to go to court, but he can be president.” Figure that one. In other words, he can’t represent himself at court because he’s incompetent, but he can be president.

Laura Ingraham (40:07):

Well, what should Hur be asked? What should he be asked?

Donald J. Trump (40:10):

Well, I just think you have to ask, “Why did you do it? You didn’t have the Presidential Records Act. And how did you do it as senator?” Dick Durbin, the senator, said, “There’s no way he did that as senator.” And then when he found out, it’s pretty serious stuff.

Laura Ingraham (40:22):

All right. We need to take a quick break. When we come back, I’m asking the question everyone wants to know the answer to. More with Donald Trump from Greenville, South Carolina after this. In Greenville, South Carolina, just four days ahead of the GOP primary where President Trump is trouncing Nikki Haley in the polls. You’ve seen them. I’ve seen them. But now, Mr. President, I’ve long said that Republicans should have a no state or city left behind strategy. Ronald Reagan had that strategy in 1980 and 1984. And you told Maria Bartiromo that you may campaign in the Bronx or at Madison Square Garden. When might that be happening?

Donald J. Trump (41:08):

Very soon. Look, we have nine months yet, but I’m going to see about Madison Square Garden, and we’re going to go to the South Bronx. And we’re going to go to Queens and other areas because if you look at what’s happened in New York… I’m not even blaming the mayor. I think the mayor has sort of been told to take the backseat a little bit because they came after him violently. They came after him like they were going to indict him when he started speaking up, and now he’s become quiet. These are fascists we’re dealing with. They’re terrible people. And so I’m not blaming him. I’m just saying we have 400, 500,000 migrants, illegal migrants in New York on Madison Avenue. They’re sleeping on Madison Avenue. They’re sleeping on Fifth Avenue. It’s horrible what’s going on. I think the… It’s a chance to win New York. The people are very, very [inaudible 00:42:23] more confidence in the election and in all of the way they accumulate ballots, to be honest with you, because I think we do very well in California, but not when they send out 36 or 38 million ballots.

Laura Ingraham (42:51):

But there’s real progress in New York.

Donald J. Trump (42:51):

There’s great progress.

Laura Ingraham (42:52):

I mean, this is a significant poll with no Republican advertising. Among Latinos, you’re at 41% in New York. Among African-Americans, you’re at 26%. Those are 40% increases from 2020. So with a little work in a lot of these states… New England has 12 senate seats.

Donald J. Trump (43:10):

New York.

Laura Ingraham (43:10):

I mean, I’m from Connecticut. Why is Connecticut down the tubes? Why is Illinois down the tubes? Why is California lost?

Donald J. Trump (43:15):

New York, New Jersey.

Laura Ingraham (43:17):

Right.

Donald J. Trump (43:17):

New Jersey, very strong, a great Trump state. I think we have a chance. If you win any of them, you automatically win the election. I mean, you’d win. Virginia’s another one, New Mexico. We did great in New Mexico. I think we have a really good shot there. Colorado is very interesting because of all this mess where you had this group of people trying to take somebody out of the ballot. They’re saying we’re doing very well in Colorado. I think we’re doing well everywhere, but we’re beating him nationally by a lot. In fact, right now we’re winning the popular vote by a lot.

Laura Ingraham (43:48):

When Biden ran, he pledged he was going to pick a female vice president in 2020. What qualities are you looking for in your vice presidential pick?

Donald J. Trump (43:57):

Well, always the first quality has to be somebody that you think will be a good president. Because if something should happen, you have to have somebody that’s going to be a great president. A lot of people are talking about that gentleman right over there, and he’s been so great. He’s been such a great advocate. I have to say, this is in a very positive way. Tim’s got… He has been much better for me than he was for himself. I watched this campaign, and he doesn’t like talking about himself. But boy, does he talk about Trump. I called him. I said, “Tim, you’re better for me than you were for yourself.” But he’s fantastic, and he’s a fantastic person. No, I want somebody that can be-

Laura Ingraham (44:38):

So someone who can step into the role.

Donald J. Trump (44:39):

Most importantly, you have to view that.

Laura Ingraham (44:41):

The audience has been asked who they think would be a good choice, and various names came up. One of them was of course, Vivek Ramaswamy. He’s made a big splash. Ron DeSantis, who’s making an appearance today in South Carolina, we just found out. Obviously Tim Scott. Byron Donalds. And a big presence here for Tulsi Gabbard. Very interesting. And Kristi Noem as well, I should say. Are they all on your short list?

Donald J. Trump (45:12):

They are.

Laura Ingraham (45:12):

And when can we expect that you will announce your choice?

Donald J. Trump (45:16):

The one thing that always surprises me is that the VP choice has absolutely no impact. It’s whoever the president is, it just seems, I remember when Sarah Palin was actually picked, and she did have a big up, and then they just went after her at a level that nobody’s seen. The Republicans themselves went after [inaudible 00:45:34].

Laura Ingraham (45:34):

But you’ll be a one-term president because you’ve already served, so you can only serve for one term. Although they say he’ll never leave office, I assume, that you’ll never leave. There’ll never be another election again.

Donald J. Trump (45:43):

They say, “Don’t do it. He’ll never leave. He’s never going.” Oh, these people, they are crazy.

Laura Ingraham (45:47):

So for that reason, it is important who you pick.

Donald J. Trump (45:50):

I think it’s very important. But look, first is that, as we said, it has to do with whoever is… It’s a very important position for that reason. You would like to get somebody that could help you from the voter standpoint. And honestly, all of those people are good. They’re all good. They’re all solid. And I always say, I want people with common sense because there’s so many things happening in this country that don’t make sense. Who wants an open border? Who wants high interest rates? Who wants all electric vehicles? And they’re fine, but you want to have choice. You want to go to combustion, you want to go to any hybrid. I think the hybrid are much better from that standpoint. We were talking about faucets. We’re talking about so much. It’s all based on common sense. We want a strong military. We want choice in education. We want to have things that can really make our country great again. What we’re doing with the open border is a disaster. We are destroying our country. We’re going to change that fast, and we’re going to get your energy prices down. We’ll be energy-independent.

Laura Ingraham (46:48):

Mr. President, thank so much for this.

Donald J. Trump (46:50):

Thank you.

Laura Ingraham (46:51):

We really appreciate it, for all your time. We’ll see you on the campaign trail.

Donald J. Trump (46:52):

Thank you very much.

Laura Ingraham (46:56):

That’s it for us tonight from Greenville-

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