Buckle up, folks. This is going to be a wild ride. The Daily Caller is more of a right-wing propaganda organ than an honest to goodness journalistic institution, and the questions in this interview with President Trump were almost all leading questions designed to get him to repeat right-wing agitprop. They tried to get him to take shots at Nike, the new movie about Neil Armstrong and the Mueller investigation—among other hot-button topics.
While The Daily Caller’s clear bias is on display in this transcript, they actually did a journalistic service to the country. All too often, these softball interviews on friendly turf get Trump to say something self-destructive—like when he outright admitted to committing a felony to Fox & Friends—and while nothing to that staggering degree occurred here, we did get some interesting insights into the ball of mush that is our president’s brain.
1. Trump Opens the Interview By Throwing His Son Under the Bus
“And the one [endorsement] I didn’t get was [Foster] Friess, I was asked to do that, by my son Don, and I did it but I did it — I was asked the morning of — and by the time I did it I guess 70 percent, almost 70 percent of the vote was already cast. So, I don’t consider that to be, maybe I’ll take a quarter of a loss on that one. But I think it’s 48 and a quarter, it’s 48-1 which is pretty good, right? Pretty good.”
2. This Question about Kaepernick and Nike Is an Illuminating Insight into How Trump’s Brain Works
I think it’s a terrible message. I have Nike is a tenant of mine. They pay me a lot of rent. But I think it’s a terrible, horrible message that they’re sending. And the purpose of them doing it, you know, maybe there is a reason for them doing it. But I think as far as sending a message, I think it’s a terrible message and a message that shouldn’t be sent. There’s no reason for it.
3. Trump’s Trepidation to Slam Nike Is Directly Related to the Fact that they “Pay [Him] A Lot of Rent”
That’s up to them. It really is, that’s up to them. I don’t want to get into the world of boycotts. Same thing with Nike. I wouldn’t say you don’t buy Nike because of the Colin Kaepernick. I mean, look, as much as I disagree, as an example, with the Colin Kaepernick endorsement, in another way, I wouldn’t have done it. In another way, it is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people may think you shouldn’t do. So you know, I personally am on a different side of it, you guys are probably too, I’m on a different side of it.
4. This Is a Shockingly Honest Answer to a Question About Trump’s Critiques of “Military Protection” of Other Countries
THE DAILY CALLER: “Do you feel alone in that view? Do you feel like you have support inside the administration?”
Amazingly alone. Amazingly. A lot of generals don’t understand it, a lot of people don’t understand it. Amazingly alone. But I’ve gotten many converts over the last period of a year. But I started off amazingly alone. Once you say it three or four times people start to say ‘wow he’s right about that.’ I mean, I could go country after country, but I won’t embarrass them. But immensely wealthy countries, where they’re paying a fraction of what it’s costing us to protect them. And without us they wouldn’t even be there.
5. More Weird Honesty, As The Daily Caller Asks for an Example of Trump Converting People to His View Above
They actually, no, but you’ll be seeing things come out. I’ll talk to you. They actually can’t believe they’ve gotten away with it for so long. I had one guy say ‘we knew you were going to be asking.’ Like they can’t believe it took so long. These are really wealthy — there are actually many of them. But these are really wealthy, really successful. They spend very little, I’ll give you an example, is NATO. So we’re paying anywhere from 70-90 percent the cost of NATO to guard Europe. OK? Against Russia. We’re spending — you know, mostly against Russia. So, we’re spending 70-90 percent. Now a lot of people think, ‘oh it’s great for us.’ It’s great for Europe. OK? It’s not great for us. It’s great for Europe. And that’s OK. But they got to pay their share.
6. You Can Almost Hear Trump’s Lawyers’ Heads Explode When He Says His Campaign Was Under FISA Surveillance
Well, we’re looking at it very seriously right now because the things that have gone on are so bad, so bad. I mean they were surveilling my campaign. If that happened on the other foot, they would’ve considered that treasonous. They would’ve considered that spying at the highest level. Can you imagine if we were doing that to Obama instead of Obama and his people doing that to us? Everybody would’ve been in jail for the next 500 years. OK? Can you believe it, where they paid this guy millions of dollars, it turned out? If you look at all of the things that are happening.
7. Here’s the Craziest Part of the Interview
But I had a business dispute with Mueller before that. I had a real business dispute. And he’s Comey’s best friend. And I could give you 100 pictures of him and Comey hugging and kissing each other. You know, he’s Comey’s best friend. How can you possibly have a man who is that, and then somebody from his law firm came out and said, ‘I can’t believe they picked Mueller. He hates the president. He hates the president.’ So that’s four things, that’s four, then you have the conflicts of the people — you know I call them the 17 angry Democrats, I guess they’re being lowered down now.
8. This Babbling Nonsense Is a Perfect Representation of the Dangerous Feedback Loop Between Conservative Media and the President
THE DAILY CALLER: “I want to ask you about social media companies ’cause you’ve expressed a lot of concern about censorship by social media companies to the point that you were defending CNN’s right to have a place to speak on these social media companies because you were defending the principle of it. Are you worried that these companies will interfere in the election?”
POTUS: Well, I think they already have. I mean, the true interference in the last election was that — if you look at all, virtually all of those companies are super liberal companies. They were in favor of Hillary Clinton. Now maybe I did a better job because I’m good with the Twitter and I’m good at social media, but the truth is they were all on Hillary Clinton side, and if you look at what was going on with Facebook and with Google and all of it, they were very much on her side. And that’s a real situation. When I say, though, when you start, when you start getting into it, it can also reverberate that the others, it could switch the other way some day, I don’t know, maybe someday it will. That’s why I use the CNN situation. I’d rather have CNN’s voice, as fake news as it is, I’d rather have the CNN voice, like for instance I watched this thing play out today on NBC, which I consider to be worse than CNN in a certain way. Even though I made them a lot of money with ‘The Apprentice’ — a lot of money. But I consider it to be probably worse than CNN with Harvey Weinstein and what’s going on there.
9. Trump Insinuated that the Access Hollywood Tape Was Fake
A lot of people say that what they did — OK, so I had a lawsuit prepared, I had a lawsuit that was prepared to be filed against NBC because they leaked that tape. First of all, that was done, that tape was, there are even questions about this tape, there’s many things going on. But it was also done in a dressing room — real questions about that whole process. And they gave it to the Washington Post because they couldn’t put it out there themselves ’cause they would’ve had tremendous liability so they gave it to the Washington Post to put out. OK. I had a lawyer hired to bring a suit right after the election ended. But one problem arose — I won the election. OK, and they were going to say, ‘what was your damages?’ The damages was I lost the election, but now I won the election. So what were the damages? I won the election. I was going to sue because what they did — that was done in the dressing room. You know those trailers are really luxury, beautiful, actually. That was done in a trailer. It ruined Billy Bush’s career. And that was done in a trailer secretly. That was illegal what they did.
10. Trump Suggested that Protesting Shouldn’t Be Allowed in the United States
I’m amazed that people allow the interruption to continue. You know, there are some people that just keep screaming at the same people. In the old days we used to throw them out. Today I guess they just keep screaming. I thought Sen. Hatch was good because he was very indignant at the interruptions by a woman that was up there that just kept going on and on. I don’t know why they don’t, why they don’t take care of a situation like that because it’s terrible. I think it’s embarrassing for the country to allow protesters, you don’t even know which side the protesters were on. But to allow someone to stand up and scream from the top of their lungs and nobody does anything about it is frankly — I think it’s an embarrassment. I think, well it’s really early stages, but I think the Democrats are grasping at straws, that looks like to me. It’s incredible how bipartisan everything, when you look at how the opposite, I mean, when you look at how the level of division between the two sides, it’s sort of incredible.
If you’re not registered to vote, do so now. A vote for Republicans (or a no-vote which ultimately will aid the GOP) is an endorsement of the madness above to continue unabated.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.