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Donald Trump Interview with Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, and Ainsley Earhardt of "Fox and Friends"

December 02, 2021

KILMEADE: All right. Let's bring in the former president of the United States. Number 45. Will he be number 47? But first things first, congratulations on your brand new book, Mr. President.

TRUMP: Well, thank you very much, Brian. Thank you.

DOOCY: Good morning.

KILMEADE: What went into it? What was your approach here? Just to bring back those four years to life through photographs?

TRUMP: Well, we had a great years and I've been watching what's happening and a lot of people, they were remorseful and they were like, "Can we do something?" And it's really pictures of a lot of great things with the military, with so many of the things we've done. And I think it's sort of a happy book. We bring in some negativity what's happening now, but frankly, it's really a happy book and it's a book largely of beautiful pictures, of events that took place, and some of the things we've done.

DOOCY: Sure. And we're going to talk more about the book a little later on, by the way you pre order right now at Mr. President, your administration came up yesterday. Our White House correspondent asked Jen Psaki about something that Joe Biden said about you during the campaign and during one of the debates and she turned it around. Anyway, it's a great question and listen to the answer as well. Here's yesterday at the White House.

VIDEO TAPE OF PETER DOOCY: In 2020, when roughly 220,000 Americans had already died of COVID, Joe Biden said about Trump, "Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America." Is that still the standard? Now that more Americans have died under President Biden than President Trump?

VIDEO TAPE OF WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JEN PSAKI: And the former president was people inject bleach. He apparently reportedly didn't even share with people, he was going to interact with, that he had tested positive for COVID himself. He continued to provide a forum for misinformation. This president has made the vaccine widely available. He's relied on the advice of his health and medical experts, and he is trying to be a part of solving this crisis, getting the pandemic under control. And I think there's a pretty stark difference between their approaches.

DOOCY: So Mr. President, when Joe Biden said, during the debate with you, that 220,000 Americans had died on your watch, you should not be president the United States. Now more people have actually died-

KILMEADE: 770,000.

DOOCY: During the Joe Biden administration.

TRUMP: Well, he's done a terrible job, just like he did with the H1N1. He's done just an absolutely terrible job, getting it out and getting people to take it. People just don't want to take it. And the vaccines, I have to be very proud of the vaccines. We did it in less than nine months. People said it to take five years to 12 years and probably wouldn't work. They work incredibly well. Some people don't want to take them and that's their freedom and that's what we have to do, but people don't want to take them because they don't trust Biden, they don't trust the administration. We had none of that. Everybody was fighting to take them and we were doing great. We were doing really great on distribution. We also bought billions of dollars worth before we knew it was going to be successful, which saved us one year. So many things we did right, and what they're doing is very sad when you look at what's happening. But more people died during year than last year by a very substantial margin, and sadly, this year is not up.

DOOCY: Well, Mr. President, why wouldn't people trust the vaccines? They were developed during your administration.

TRUMP: Well, a couple of things. Number one, they did a pause on Johnson & Johnson, which really sent shocks through, over six people that didn't die by the way, but six people, and for that millions and millions of shots given, and they did the pause with Johnson & Johnson, that was very bad. And they just haven't been able to sell it. People are not trusting this administration. And if you remember when during the debate, I think she said, and he said, "Oh, if it's Trump, I won't take the vaccine. I won't take the vaccine." And then as soon as he got elected, he tried to claim that he did it, but he forgot that he got a shot during my administration, he got a shot. But there was just a great distrust of what they were saying and what they were doing, and I think that's the problem. And that's why they're trying to set up mandates and really hurting things with the economy, with the mandates, in addition to other things.

EARHARDT: Well, Fauci kept changing what we were supposed to be doing. And then when you look at Afghanistan, you talk to military families and they say, "We don't trust this administration. We put our kids lives in the president's hand and look what he did. He pulled out and left so many Americans behind enemy lines." Many of them are still there. When you look at the border, people don't trust what he's doing down there, because you'll hear Dr. Fauci saying, "You need to wear your mask. You need to get vaccinated." But yet they're letting so many people flow over the Southern border and Peter Doocy, he had a busy day yesterday. He was also at the press conference with Dr. Fauci, and he pressed him on that issue. Listen to this, Mr. President,

VIDEO TAPE OF PETER DOOCY: Dr. Fauci, as you advise the president about the possibility of new testing requirements for people coming into this country, does that include everybody?

VIDEO TAPE OF DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: The answer is yes, and everybody who's coming into the country needs to get a test with in 24 hours of getting on the plane to come here.

VIDEO TAPE OF PETER DOOCY: Well, what about people who don't take a plane and just these border crossers coming in in huge numbers?

VIDEO TAPE OF DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: But that's a different issue. You don't have the capability, as you know of somebody getting on a plane, getting checked, looking at a passport, we don't have that there.

VIDEO TAPE OF PETER DOOCY: Is there something to do to test these people somewhere else?

VIDEO TAPE OF DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: No. There is testing at the border under certain circumstances, as you know.

DOOCY: Yeah. But not by the federal government.

EARHARDT: Mr. President, your reaction?

TRUMP: It is a disaster. We have millions of people flowing across, and we're not only talking about the China virus or COVID, whatever you want to call it. We're talking about many other diseases coming over the border that are far worse, coming over the border. And nobody is being tested, nobody is being checked. Prisons of other countries are being dumped into our country. We're like a dumping ground. We had the strongest border in the history of our country. The wall was largely built, it could have been finished in three weeks and they decided not to finish the openings, it's just some openings.

We did an incredible job, 500 miles of wall. And this is why that, coupled with other things gave us the greatest numbers we've ever had, the most successful it's ever been. We take people in, but take them in legally. Now, one other thing that's pouring in right now that nobody even mentioned are drugs. Drugs are coming in at a rate of seven times greater than when I was doing it, and our numbers were going way down. We were having the lowest drug numbers, and if you look at the numbers of people that are coming in now, we're millions and millions of people every couple of months, we're look at a 12, 13, 14, maybe even 15 million people a year, and none of those people are tested.

KILMEADE: So it seems to me that the Remain in Mexico program that was widely ridiculed by the current president of the United States, now according to the courts, has to be reimplemented and officially goes back into production, Remain in Mexico starts again. But-

DOOCY: Your policy.

KILMEADE: Your policy is back in, I think starting today. What's your reaction to that?

TRUMP: Well, they should have never ended it. If Joe Biden would've come in and just gone to the beach, he would've been successful in many ways, because all of this stuff, the border was the best that ever was and getting better, drugs coming in was getting at a level that we've never seen before, meaning-

KILMEADE: Is there a sense of gratification, Mr. President? [crosstalk] Is there a sense of gratification for you personally, that a policy that he ridiculed, the courts are making input back in?

TRUMP: No, because I want to see good for the country, Brian. It's so important to me, I want to see good for the country. There's no gratification. What they're doing is destroying our country. Our country is being destroyed before your very eyes, and I've never seen anything like it. The withdrawal from Afghanistan, I got us there. We were down to 2,500 troops, the Taliban respected us. Abdul, I dealt with him a lot, he respected us. We were going to take the people out. We were going to take some Afghans out, we were going to take our equipment out. We left $85 billion worth of equipment, it's unthinkable, and they had a parade last week showing off all the equipment they took. It was like a surrender. There's never been a lower point in the history of our country. And don't think that China and Russia and North Korea and Iran weren't watching, because that was the greatest embarrassment in the history of our country, in my opinion.

DOOCY: If you're just joining us-

KILMEADE: And almost everybody's opinion.

DOOCY: If you're just joining us, we're speaking to Donald Trump, former president of the United States, about news of the day. We're going to talk about his new book that comes out in a couple of days in a moment. Mr. President, we all know that there's a supply chain bottleneck and Joe Biden yesterday essentially said, doesn't matter if you're naughty or nice this year, there are going to be problems, but he did say one person and only one person can promise whether or not you're going to get your stuff. Listen to this.

TRUMP: If you watch the news recently, you might think the shelves in all our stores are empty across the country. That parents won't be able to get presents for their children this holiday season, but here's the deal: for the vast majority of the country, that's not what's happening. I've also spoken with the CEOs of UPS and FedEx, which are on track to deliver more packages than ever. Now, I can't promise that every person will get every gift they want on time, only Santa Claus can keep that promise.

DOOCY: Okay, so he makes a joke out of it at the end, but it's a real crisis. If you were present of the United States, and clearly the administration did not plan adequately as the demand returned after COVID and the pandemic, and we're creeping back toward normal times. But Mr. President, what would you do to fix the supply chain crisis?

TRUMP: Well, first of all, it would've never happened. Nobody ever mentioned those words, supply chains, they were never brought up. We had perfect supply chains. We had the greatest economy in history. We then had the China virus, we fixed it, we did a great job with it. And between not only that, the ventilators, all of the different things that we did, stocking up all of the states, which by the way, all of the cupboards were bare, and that includes the United States government. There was nothing there, we did a hell of a job. We've got no credit for it, but maybe someday we will. But we would've never had a supply chain problem, but one of the causes is the mandates because a lot of people aren't working because of forced mandates. That's one of the very big causes.

Another thing that's going to be a big problem, and it's a problem like nobody seen before, we were energy independent. We didn't need ships all over the place, clogging up the waters coming in from Saudi Arabia, Russia and other places. We were the biggest in the world. We went to the biggest in the world. Within one year, we would've been bigger than Saudi Arabia and Russia combined with real energy, and it's called liquid gold under our feet. We have an advantage that other countries like China don't have. So many different things, but the mandates had a lot to do with the supply chain problem.

EARHARDT: Something that's also frustrating for Americans is the amount of crime that has gone up in our country and the way that our men and women in blue are being treated. The Fraternal Order of Police, they have had enough. They tweeted this out yesterday. They said, "Enough is enough. More officers have been shot and killed this year than any other year. And there is one more month left, 314 officers shot 58 officers killed by gunfire, ambush attacks on officers up 126% from 2020. Pray for America's law enforcement." Mr. President, this doesn't include the Utah officer that was killed that we're all praying for, and another officer that was shot and is trying to recover right now. What is your reaction into that tweet?

TRUMP: Well, when you look at San Francisco and you look at 100 kids or people running into a store together, and the cops are standing out there, not allowed to do their job, they're not allowed to do their job. And you allow a thing like that to happen. We have a country has no law enforcement, has no law and order. Our police are great, they're not allowed to do their job. And they're now being hit. People aren't even afraid. They go and shoot police, they don't respect them. The people of our country love our police and they do respect them, but they're not allowed to do their job. If you allowed them to do their job, that would stop and crime would stop, but they're not allowed. You look at what's going on in New York, you look at what's going on in Chicago and look at what's happening in San Francisco.

And it's happening in many other cities that they don't want to report about. The media outside of you people and a few others, the media isn't reporting this problem. But where you have hoarded of people running in, kids mostly, running in and stealing, robbing stores where drug chains are closing all their stores in different cities because they can't keep them open. We just don't have law enforcement. We're not allowed to have law enforcement. I'll tell you what, our country is being destroyed. It should never be allowed to happen. The police have to be given their power back. They have to stop the crime. They can do it and they want to do it, but they're not allowed to do it.

KILMEADE: Ms. President, you referenced this a little bit earlier, and that's China. We know that they launched this virus unintentionally, perhaps, who knows. They won't tell us. This killed 750,000 Americans and millions around the globe. We know they just disappeared their leading tennis player because she accused a former official of sexual assault. The WTA is pulling out all the tournaments there. There's a growing push to boycott the China Olympics, who by the way, also have rounded up their Muslims into concentration camps and are torturing them as well as harvesting their organs, while doing the over fights in Taiwan, threatening their neighbors. Is this the time to say we are not going to go to the winter Olympics?

TRUMP: And by the way, before I answer that, none of this happened with us. They didn't send bombers over the middle of Taiwan. He knew not to do that. Had a very good relationship with President Xi. He knew very well, you can't send bombers over Taiwan. None of that stuff happened. And they'll wait until after the Olympics and they'll do something with Taiwan. They no longer respect us. They watched Afghanistan. They watched our generals not knowing what they were doing. They saw all of that and they're watching very closely. They'll be doing things, Russia will be doing things, and maybe even North Korea will be doing things, because they're watching our country. We are psychologically weak. I built a great military. We had jet fighters that were 40 and 50 years old. We have knew everything, we're in such great shape, but you still have to have the brain power to know how to use it. And they watched that withdrawal, and by the way, the withdrawal, get out. 21 years, but you get out with dignity and strength. And we were going to get out with dignity and strength.

What they did, these countries see that. And I'll tell you what, we're in a much different position. With that being said, you hurt the athletes, you hurt a lot of people. I would not do it. Jimmy Carter tried it, it didn't work. I wouldn't do it. That's not the problem. By the way, one other thing. I took in hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes and tariffs from China. We never got 10 cents for 40 years, they never paid us anything. Hundreds of billions of dollars and businesses were starting to come back to us. China respected our country. Russia respected our country. I stopped the pipeline going to Europe, Biden approved it. But of course, he stopped the Keystone pipeline in our country, and others, he's trying to stop. Now, we have a group of people, I don't know if it's Biden, it might not be, but we have a group of people that are destroying our country and perhaps knowingly, destroying our country.

EARHARDT: But he doesn't want us to rely on fossil fuels. Do you think he's doing this on purpose so that we buy electric cars?

TRUMP: So fossil fuels are our strength. It's our advantage, and it also can fire up those big factories and those big plants. You look at what they're doing into our landscape, they're destroying our landscape, our birds, they're destroying with wind. And by the way, those turbines are all made in Germany and they're made in China.

KILMEADE: Yeah, I know.

TRUMP: And if you talk about emissions, the making of those turbines, if you really go with the emissions theory, the making is so onerous to the environment that nothing they can do will ever or save anything. And as far as cars, in order to make the batteries of those cars, the electric cars, and now you're not going to have a choice because they want to go all electric. But doing that is going to cause a lot of problems for a lot of people. They don't want to go that way. They're taking our greatest asset, it's right under our feet. We are blessed as a country with tremendous energy reserves under our feet, and they don't want us to use them.

KILMEADE: Mr. President, you were on social media and you said a lot of people were saying, "You got to cool it on social media." You said, "Well, that's the reason I got elected." Now that you're off social media, even despite January 6th and the investigation, everything that happened since, the impeachment that followed, your ratings, according to some friendly polling for you are higher than they've been. Did you overrate the impact of social media? And in retrospect, will you need it if you want to run again?

TRUMP: I think that people are seeing the great job that we did. Again, we had the greatest economy in the history of our country. We rebuilt our military, we had great military support. You look at the Hispanic support we've had, we had the best Hispanic support. I just think that people are missing us.

KILMEADE: But what about social media, [crosstalk] Mr. President? But what about social media? Did it hurt you more than help you? And now that you're off it, and you see that nothing's really changed with your numbers except actually going up, do you think that you'd ever you overemphasized social media?

TRUMP: It is strange because my numbers now are the best they've ever been. I think that's because maybe they look at the opponent and they look at what's happening to our country. Look, I think social media's important. I think we have some very bad people. I think a lot of illegal things were done with social media, you understand when they can do 417 million. If you spend more than $5,600, they put you in jail. And yet here's the guy spend $417 million and nothing happens to him.

KILMEADE: Oh on the election.

TRUMP: So, I think social media is fine if it's used properly. And I think we're going to have a platform that's going to be incredible and that's what's being developed right now.

EARHARDT: Will you change your approach?

TRUMP: It's such an interesting question. I had to move fast. A country was in bad shape, I had to move fast. Some of the niceties like, let's sit down and let's talk very calm. I had to get things going fast. China was ripping us off $500 billion a year. Europe, they sound nice, but they rip us. They're almost as bad as China. We made a new deal with Mexico. We made a new deal with Canada. We made a new deal with Japan. We were doing a lot of things and you had to move fast, and sometimes in order to do that, you can't … I can be as nice as anybody, I think I'm a nice person, but we had to move quickly. And sometimes you have to break the eggs a little bit.

DOOCY: To make an omelet. Okay. So Mr. President, during your four years as President of the United States, you had at least one or two official White House photographers with you at every event. Every time you were out in public, they were snapping pictures. There are millions of images in the vault and obviously, part of the Donald Trump Presidential Archives. You've sifted through all of those. And you've put together the first book of your post presidency, it's called Our Journey Together. And this book, it's a coffee table book. It's got 300 pictures in it. I understand you wrote all of the caption. Out of the millions, how did you figure out which pictures went in and which ones did not?

TRUMP: Well, it's a great question, frankly, and it's somebody who also has had some very successful books. But we wanted to do it quickly because we wanted to give people hope. Our country is just now, there's so many people they're down, and we wanted to give, we wanted to show it. It was a beautiful time. It was unfair. Nobody was ever attacked and hit like I was, but I understood that, and I got it, and I think we also gave it back to them. But we had to do something and you're right, we have millions and millions of pictures, but we picked pictures that we thought really represented the time. And there are a lot of beautiful pictures. Even the rallies, we have pictures of these massive rallies that we have. And the rallies right now are bigger now than even before the election, which is shocking.

Normally you would think you wouldn't have anybody show up. We had in Alabama, 69,000 people. As an example, we had four rallies that I think were the biggest that we've ever had. We had a tremendous rally in Georgia. We had a tremendous rally in Iowa, unbelievable rally in Iowa, but the numbers are so big and it's really, people want hope. And that's a little bit, and maybe a lot of the reason that I did this book. I think it gives people some hope and to look into a very beautiful time. In many ways, a very beautiful time. COVID came along and we had a fix it, and then we got it going again. So we really did it twice, and now our country's being destroyed.

KILMEADE: Does it make you want to get another four years and be the 47th president? And is it true that the first lady Melania Trump, the former first lady has told you, "I'm not going back if you run again."

TRUMP: No, that's not true. That's an interesting one. More fake news. No, that's not true.

DOOCY: Fake news. All right.

TRUMP: She was a great first lady. She did a great job. She loves the people, they love her. I see how they love her. But no, I will say this. We have to fix our country. Our country is going bad. We're not going to have a country any longer if we keep doing this. When we allow other countries to empty their prisons into our country-

KILMEADE: But what about you? [crosstalk] do you want to be the 47th president? Do you think you're the only one to bring it back as the 47th president?

TRUMP: Well, if you look at the poll numbers, I am, because the poll numbers are 95% and 96% approval rating now in the Republican party, nobody's ever had that. And overall approval numbers are great. So, I'm not going by polls. I'm just saying I did it before and really did it twice. We had it at a level that has never been seen before, and then we brought it back to a level that was really good despite the China virus. And other countries, not one country has fared as well as we have, not one country.

DOOCY: Mr. President.

TRUMP: We did a good job.

DOOCY: Pardon the interruption. As we were just a moment ago, looking at those many images from the four years of your administration, and you had to struggle to find the photographs for this particular book. What was, out of curiosity, the best day as president?

TRUMP: Well, we had so much success. If you look at-

DOOCY: Narrow it down to one, if you could, because we-

TRUMP: If you look at right to try … Okay, we got the biggest tax cuts in the history of our country. That was a great day. We got the biggest regulation cuts, that was a great number of days. We did Right to Try. So Right to Try, they've been trying to get it for 47 years and I got it. That's where you can use medicine to take people that are terminally ill and allow them to see if this medicine works, and it's been incredibly successful. That wouldn't sound as big as some of the other things we've done, but that was a very big thing. Supreme Court justice as well, they're going to be making a very important ruling soon.

Let's see how that works out. But I had three, it's very unusual to have three and I got three and they're very good and let's see how that all works out because right now, they're going to be making one of their biggest decisions. And putting in almost 300 judges throughout the United States, it's almost 30% of the judges in the country. So we had a lot of big moments and I could just go on and on, but we had a lot of big moments.

EARHARDT: Mr. President, thank you so much for coming on with us. If you're interested in pre-ordering the book, it's I hope you're enjoying Florida. I know the Trump family unfortunately, is canceled in certain states and you all moved down to Florida, left New York. I hope everyone's happy and doing well. Thank you so much for joining us.

TRUMP: Thank you very much. Thank you.

DOOCY: All right. Donald Trump, former president of the United States.

Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump Interview with Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, and Ainsley Earhardt of "Fox and Friends" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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