READ: Trump’s full exclusive interview with The Hill

President Trump discussed a new rape allegation, the Supreme Court and 2020 Democratic front-runner Joe Biden in a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with The Hill at the White House on Monday.

You can read a transcript of his remarks below.

Transcript has been lightly edited for clarity, and off-the-record portions have been excluded.

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THE HILL: Mister President, thank you so much for joining Hill TV, we really appreciate it.


THE HILL: Mister President, new developments on Iran. You said that all options are on the table. Do you believe right now that you have the co- authority to strike Iran without Congress?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I do. I do believe that. But, we’ve been keeping Congress abreast of what we’re doing Saagar, and I think it’s, something they appreciate. We had a lot of folks over the other day as you know, told ‘em what was happening, what was going on. We were pretty close to maybe making the decision to strike and then I decided not to do it. Nobody went out by the way, I was gonna make that decision by a certain time and I decided not to do it because it wasn’t really proportional. And , no but I like, I like the idea of keeping Congress abreast, but I wouldn’t have to do that.

THE HILL: Sure. Nancy Pelosi actually said you must have Congressional approval. So you disagree with her on that?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I disagree. I think most people seem to disagree, but I do like keeping them, they have ideas that intelligent people, they’ll come up with some thoughts. I actually learned a couple of things , the other day when we had our meeting with Congress which were, I think helpful to me, but , I do like keeping them abreast, but I don’t have to do it legally.

Sure. Mister President, you said that initially, that you didn’t have the death toll. So how and when did you get the death toll appraisal for before you were going to go forward with the strike? Because there’s some confusion on the timeline.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Sure. Well this is a process that was going on all day and maybe even the day before as to what we were gonna do, what targets. And we had certain targets picked out by a certain time. And I was gonna make a decision some time at the end of the day and I said, “Come see me at the end of the day.” And at the end of the day they came in and they told me at, what they wanted to do. I said, “How many people would die?” Because again, they knocked down a drone with nobody in it. It’s not… you know.

THE HILL: So to be clear sir, they didn’t tell you initially in the strike a hundred and fifty people would die?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, because we didn’t even know the targets initially. So the targets came in and I said, “How many people would die?” And they got back to me very quickly and they said, “It could be a hundred and fifty, it could be more than a hundred and fifty. But it could be a hundred and fifty.” I said “, that doesn’t sound good to me, I don’t think it’s fair, I don’t think it’s right.” They knocked down a drone, they should not do that. But if you think about it, we’re knocking out a hundred and fifty people, maybe more than that, so I didn’t like that.

THE HILL: Mister President, you just said that, a military strike would’ve been disproportionate for downing an unmanned drone, so why even consider military action at all?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well I think we might need military action, we’ll see what happens. Today we did very heavy sanctions, Iran is not doing well. You know, when I was , first elected we came into office, Iran was a terror, they were all over. We had anywhere from fourteen to eighteen points of confliction, they were behind every single one of them, and all of a sudden it works out that now it’s , a little bit different, now they’re having riots, they’re having inflation at forty/forty-five percent, it’s very hard for them to do what they have to do. It’s , they’re pulling back all over and that’s sh- I’m saying that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. But we put additional sanctions on today, strong sanctions, we have strong sanctions. Their oil is way, way down and they’re having difficulty and they can be a very successful nation, they can be a tremendous nation immediately, can start tomorrow. Or they can , not do so well for a long number of years, and we’ll see what happens, but I hope , I hope they agree that you know they have great potential. I say that about North Korea, they’re, the relationship is very good, no nuclear testing, we got our as you know we got our hostages back , so many things have happened there, it was when I came in, that was looking like war, President Obama thought it was gonna be war. Okay, we had no relationship before I got here with North Korea, no relationship whatsoever, nuclear testing all over the place, ballistic missile testing, that was going to be a war. And now, it doesn’t feel that way. (Mm) We’ll see what happens, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way, the relationship is good, it’s a much different thing. I can say something on Iran, if it’s, it’s what we did with Iran where they’re screaming “Death to America” as they’re signing the document. They’re signing a document it was improperly done as far as Congress is concerned. You know when you talk about a treaty, that was not properly done, Congress never did what they were supposed to do. So it was a defective document, it was a ridiculous deal, a hundred and fifty billion dollars they were getting and one point eight billion in cash. And John Kerry, who by the way has totally violated the Logan Act, if you look at what he’s done, ‘cause he talks to them all the time, John and I’m sure he says, “Don’t make a deal, don’t make a deal.” Because maybe it look, makes them look better. Probably he says, “Wait till after the election. Because if Trump loses, you’ll deal with a stiff, you’ll deal with somebody that will give you everything, just like they did.” But John Kerry said that he intends that and he thinks the money will be used for terror. I don’t know if you remember that. But they asked him the question, “With all this money that you’re giving to Iran,” this was the number one nation of terror. They said, “Do you think the money will be used for terror?” He says, “Yeah, some of it’s gonna be used for terror.” Or something to that effect. That’s unbelievable. So it was a horrible deal, and the other thing, it comes due very shortly. So they have an absolute path to nuclear weapons, they can not have a nuclear weapon, and I don’t want them supporting terrorism. You know, I don’t know if you know what’s happened, but there’s been a lot less money going out to terror from Iran, because they don’t have so much money now. So we’ll see what happens, I hope it works out. I think it will eventually work out, they can do it very quickly, they can take a long time, but they’ve got a lot of problems. And when I first came here, they were looking to take over the whole Middle East, and they would’ve done it. If I weren’t here, most likely they would’ve been able to do that.

THE HILL: Two questions for you sir. First off, you mentioned, you mentioned Kim Jong-un and the North Korean Deal, he sent you a letter recently, can you tell us a little bit about what’s in that letter?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well it was a very nice letter, and it was actually a happy birthday letter if you want to know the truth, it was my birthday. And he sent me a beautiful letter , happy birthday, which was nice. Very nice.

THE HILL: And you sent him one as well, right?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I sent him a thank you letter, yeah I then sent him a note.

THE HILL: And then the final question on the DNC, the DNC says the Democratic debates, they think they’re gonna get better ratings in the first two nights then in the tw- in the 2016 debate in which you appear. How do you think the American people are gonna react to those and what are you gonna be reacting to?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I-I really don’t know. I know we had very high ratings, we had the highest ratings in the history of that world. And , from all the way at the beginning, from the Republican debates as you know, you covered them we had very big ratings and I don’t know. I mean it, it could be that there’s curiosity to see how bad, it’s a disaster going on over there, so we’ll see…

THE HILL: Well Joe, Joe Biden’s going into this debate as a front runner. Do you think that this debate is his to lose?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, I think he can only go down, I don’t think he’s going up. He’s, he does that, he doesn’t have, look, there’s something different, he’s a different person than he was four or five years ago, and he wasn’t so hot four or five years ago. And how he doesn’t get President Obama to endorse him, there has to be some reason why he’s not endorsing him. He was the Vice President, they seemed to have gotten along, and how President Obama’s not endorsing him is rather , a big secret. If you want to know, if you know the answer, please let me know, because I think it’s very ba- and then he goes and lies and says, “I asked the President not to endorse me.” Give me a break. He said, he asked the president because he’s embarrassed by the fact that Obama’s not endorsing him, so he goes out and says, I asked President Obama not to endorse me. Well he was trying to get the endorsement, so it could be that President Obama knows something. But there is something going on in that brain of his.

THE HILL: Well, what do you mean when you say—I’ve heard you say this a couple times that something’s different about him, but what exactly are you talking about?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think he’s off, he’s, he’s different. I mean we’ve all known him a long time. I don’t know him, but I’ve seen him for a long time, and frankly he looks different, he sounds different, and he thinks different. Other than that, I hope he does very well.

THE HILL: And then what, what are you gonna be looking for in that debate?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’m looking for nothing in that debate. , I guess it’s really a big race to who can give away the most and who can raise taxes the most. One of the big things I see, look I gave the biggest tax cut in the history of our country, one of their big things is to eliminate the tax cut and raise everybody’s taxes. I said, “I don’t think that’s gonna play too well.” And our country’s doing well, we could have, we’re online or on, in fact, they just announced it I guess yesterday; if June just sort of finishes just a little bit just okay, it’s one of the best June’s in eighty years. I think the best June in eighty years in many categories. And it’s definitely the best June in fifty, just think of that, June is the best and you know they talk about tariff’s, we’re taking in billions and billions of dollars from China and others, and yet we’re having the best month June, in eighty years. So a lot of people are starting to say I’m right. , Mexico has been , really working hard on the border, the numbers are way down, you saw that.

THE HILL: Do you see, or do you think they’re doing a good enough job?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think they’re doing, so far they’re doing a good job and hopefully they’re gonna do even a better job, but the numbers are way down. They’ve been trying to get this for forty-five years from Mexico, and I got it. I got it in one day and I want to thank Mexico, and so far they’re doing a good job. Yeah, you seen the numbers, they’re way down.

THE HILL: Yeah. Well one last question on the Supreme Court. Will you put forward a nominee , between now and the election if there’s an opening on the Supreme Court?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Would I do that? Of course. You have any recommendation?

THE HILL: Well you have a big long list, right?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I do, have a good list. I have a good list already chosen, I have a beautiful list of great, very talented people. , absolutely.

THE HILL: How do you square that with Merrick Garland?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, I have a lot of respect for Judge Garland by the way, I have to tell you that. I, I know people that know him , I’ll tell you who told me incredible things about him, is Justice, now Justice Kavanaugh. Because they served together. I said, “Tell me,” I’m revealing a little bit, that’s okay. I said, “Tell me, what kind of a guy is Judge Garland?” He said, “He’s an incredible guy, Liberal, brilliant, and a great guy.” That was Judge Kavanaugh said that, now, now Justice Kavanaugh. And I was impressed. I’ve known many people that know, I-I know a lot of people that know Judge Garland and I will tell you um, I’ve heard incredible things about him.

THE HILL: Well they’re telling us we have to go in for the print section Mister President, so we appreciate it.

[00:11:06] PRESIDENT TRUMP: Okay, thank you.

{mossecondads}THE HILL: Thank you sir.


THE HILL: Just to follow up real quickly on the Supreme Court question. So you wouldn’t see any hypocrisy in putting forward a nominee before the presidential election given what happened to Merrick Garland?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, if we can get him, you know if we can get him approved. They couldn’t get him approved.

THE HILL: Oh, we have another question.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: That’s their problem, because they didn’t have the Senate. If they had the Senate, they would’ve done it. It depends. I mean we have the Senate; we have a great Senate, we have great people. , if we could get him approved, I would definitely do it. No, I’d do it a lot sooner than that. I’d do it if there three days left, I’d put, put somebody up hoping that I could get them done in three days, okay?

THE HILL: Sir, we wanted to also ask you, the first ever hearing on reparations was actually this week, for slavery. Do you think the Federal Government should pursue reparations for descendants of slaves?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well I don’t see it happening, I think it’s a very unusual thing. I th- you have a lot of..a lot of, it’s a very interesting, you know it’s been a very interesting debate. I don’t see it happening, no.

THE HILL: So the FBI Director disagreed—he’s with disagreed with the Attorney General over spying, he said there was no spying on your campaign. What’s your confidence right now in the FBI Director?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we’ll see how it turns out. I mean I, I disagree with him on that. I think a lot of people are disagreeing, you may even disagree with him on that, but, no I would disagree with him on that, respectfully.

THE HILL: I want to turn to immigration Mister President, so Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has accused you of presiding over concentration camps, the centers that are holding the Central Americans. What are your feelings about the, the conditions in those camps that have been on the news?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well they’re better than, much better than Obama. Obama built many of these , cells as he calls them, as they call them. Remember the big, the big deal where they showed the cells all over and they said, Donald Trump, and they showed young children in the cells and Donald Trump built these cells? It turned out they were built in 2014 when Obama was president. No the conditions are much better than they were under President Obama. But because our economy is so good, you know we have the lowest unemployment rate that we’ve had in fifty-one years. We have the lowest unemployment rate for Black, for Hispanic, for Asian, for women, but we have the lowest rate that we’ve had in, in you know many generations and what’s happening, and it wasn’t that way when I came in by the way, in fact the country was ready to tube, we were gonna have a big problem. And what did it were the regulations and other things. Also I think maybe the cheerleading did it, you know President Obama wasn’t a cheerleader, he was saying you can’t get manufacturing jobs, you need a magic wand. He wasn’t a positive cheerleader.

THE HILL: So you see yourself as a cheerleader?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, I do. I think as President, you should be a cheerleader for your country, in addition to u- many other things. , but no I think , it’s just we have a country that’s doing really, really well, and it’s great.

THE HILL: Just one quick follow up on the detention centers. There was a Justice Department lawyer who went into court and said these migrants really don’t have a right to even a toothpaste or soap. Do you agree with that? Do you think they should be getting those kinds of amenities when they’re in detention?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I’d like to see them, and I understand why they would because from a strictly legal standpoint but, but certainly we’re, we’re taking care of people far better than President Obama did, far better. And, and remember this…

THE HILL: Do you think they should have the toiletries?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I said this on one of the interviews recently, remember this um, when I came in, I took over Obama’s policy. It was a policy of separation. I’m the one that put them together. So when I came in, cells were built, that was the two-thousand fourteen year, that was a pretty famous year, ’cause I was just being, I was being hit hard for two, three days. And then somebody said no wait you know, some- one of Obama’s peoples said, “Wait a minute, I built them. We built them for the Obama Administration,” and that was the end of it. They didn’t wanna talk about that one anymore. , but I think that um, I, I think it’s a disgrace where people are bringing up; you know, you’re talking about children, children are being used. They’re being used in many cases as slaves. They’re being , bid out to the highest bidder, and we’re talking about the cartels. And it’s a horrible thing happening to children. And if the Democrats were willing to change loopholes and change asylum, we could end it immediately. So I’ve had to go Mexico, and they gave us something that they were never willing to give us. Now you know, I understand why they did it, but they did it nevertheless, and they’re doing a very, very good job. They have six thousand soldiers on their southern border. And it’s been reported that some of the cartel people and the people that , they call ’em coyotes and all sorts of bad names, but , they’re telling people, “Don’t come in, don’t come in, we’ll never get you through anymore. We’ll never get you through.” Mexico has six thousand people on their southern border. And , we are now loosening up a little bit by the fact that you don’t have the same inflow. I, I don’t know if you’re hearing it but it’s, it’s a lot less inflow. , and, but if, if the Democrats would agree on the loopholes, and if they’d agree on asylum, we would have, we would have a great border.

THE HILL: Well to that question…

PRESIDENT TRUMP: And, and by the way, we’ve built a lot of wall. You’re seeing the; did you like my Tweet the other… Did you…

THE HILL: Yeah, we saw the video.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, I mean did you see how; I mean we’re building a lot. Got a lot wall under construction. And it’s not easy when they don’t wanna give you; you know, I’m bringing it from all over.

THE HILL: So you delayed these deportation, these mass raids by two weeks.


THE HILL: What do you need to see from Congress for those to be called off?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: So I was called by some very good people that are Dem-, that happen to be Democrat, and they asked me if I’d delay it. I said, “But listen, we are just kidding ourselves unless you’re gonna change the loophole provisions and unless you’re gonna change , asylum. And if we can work on that, fine.” And we may not get there. We probably won’t. It’s incredible. I actually think the Democrats are viewing it as a good issue. I think it’s a horrible issue. I think it’s you know, just a terrible issue for them because people don’t wanna have open borders. I mean you look at my Hispanic numbers, they’ve been great, and because the Hispanics understand the border better than anybody else. And they don’t want criminals coming in, and they don’t wanna lose their jobs, and both those things will happen, you know.

THE HILL: So just to put a square on it, if the bill that you’re talking about, this loophole bill that’s been, been talked about for months doesn’t get done in two weeks…those raids just start instantly?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well , when you go to raid, (Yeah) it’s people that came in legally and then people are gonna be taken out. You know, we’re talking about people that came into the country illegally, so they came in illegally, and they’re gonna be taken legally. These are people that have been; you know, they understand they have to leave but they’re just not leaving. These are people that are marked to leave. They went through this whole crazy court, court process. It is so crazy. Look, we’re the only, or just about the only country where if you touch one inch of our ground, if your foot, one foot, not both, if one-foot hits the ground, it’s welcome to the United States. And then you take ’em and you bring ’em, and then you have a court case. You need Perry Mason, right? And you have a court case. Then you have to catch and release. But what they don’t say, and here’s the good news, everybody that’s coming in is going out. It would be nice if we could just say I’m sorry, you can’t come in, instead of take ’em to court, give ’em a number, set up a trial, or other things where they’re ruled against. But what happens is everybody that comes in, you see numbers where they’re apprehended. The Border Patrol’s doing an incredible job and ICE has done an incredible job. When they come in, they go out. People don’t understand that. It would be so much easier if we wouldn’t let ’em in, but we don’t have that. Now when we have the wall, that will largely happen because when we have the wall, it’s gonna be very hard, it’s a very powerful wall. And that’s being built rapidly. We should have four hundred miles of wall before the end of the next year. That’s a lot. In the most, four hundred

THE HILL: Four hundred out of seven hundred, right?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Four hundred out of five fifty. It’s five fifty. But we’ll have; but I also fixed, I mean I, I renovated a lot of wall. A lot of the wall was in very bad shape but structurally sound and we renovated it, and did a good job with it.

SARAH SANDERS: We have time for maybe one or two more guys.

[The President Goes Off The Record]

THE HILL: Yeah, Jerome Powell, he says that he can stay in office for four years, but do you think you have the power to remove him?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, he’s incorrect. If I wanted to, but I have no plans to anything. But, but I am disappointed. , he missed the call. , he was ; and, and most people agree with that you know, people say I was right. Virtually no inflation, and you have to understand, we’re competing against other parts of the world. And they’re manipulators. They’re, they manipulate their currency. And I don’t wanna do that, but I wanna, I wanna be treated fairly. And we have to be given a level playing field. And we’re bullying through it anyway ’cause look how our market, we’re the best market in the world. We’re doing, we’re doing the best in the world. No country is doing as well as the United States, even despite our size. We’ve never done this well. Look, when you hear the best union, you’ve heard that, best union in eighty years. Eighty years. ho kept records before that, right? You know, if you think…,So anyway, so , we’re doing well. But if he raised interest rates half, and if he didn’t do quantitative tightening, in other words, he took the money supply and he tightened. Fifty billion dollars a month, he reduced it to twenty-five. If he didn’t do those two thi-; I, I’m not saying he can raise interest rates, ’cause Obama with a very small recovery, was playing with funny money because he, he didn’t you know, he, he had you know, he had almost close to zero interest rates, right. I’ve had nine increases and I have fifty billion a month; I’ve had friends say man it’s hard you know, it’s harder to get money when you take in your fifty billion a month, that’s a lot of money. Nobody said to you; nobody thought he was gonna do that. And when I’m competing against China and Europe and lots of other places , I gotta have a you know, it, it would be nice to have a level playing field.

THE HILL: You think he’s trying to sabotage you?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No. I don’t think so. I just don’t think he , I don’t think he knows. I don’t think he understands. He doesn’t get it. And if he didn’t do that, the DOW would be up, in my opinion, just my opinion, another ten thousand points. Now, it’s already up fifty percent since the election, so hey, I won the election, and the market’s up , in some cases, more than fifty percent , since my election. And that’s with interest rate money and it’s with quantitative tightening. So if he didn’t tighten, if he just left it alone, not even to ease you know, where you pump money in. These other countries are pumping money in and lowering interest rates. So I’m competing against Europe. You saw Draghi last week where he’s pumping money in and he’s lowering interest rates. This is what I got to; and yet they’re not doing well and we are, which is a great tribute. But if he didn’t do that, because we don’t have inflation, biggest thing you have to watch is inflation, we have very watch is inflation, which is; so we have this great economy with very little inflation. If you didn’t do that, I think the DOW would have been up another ten thousand points. And I think that instead of three-point-two, we could be in the fours and maybe even in the early fives. And I’ve always said that. But I have an artificial barrier, it’s called The Fed. The Fed has been terrible , to me and despite that I’m pulling through and you know, it’s , one of those things. But we would have been, we would have been ten thousand points up and we would have been in the fours and maybe even better than that.

THE HILL: Two more questions from me, sir. Just first on Women’s World Cup, Women World Cup is going on right now. Recent report shows the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s, they’re outearned by their male counterparts. Do you think they should be paid the same?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I think a lot of it also has to do with the economics. I mean, who draws more? Where is the money coming in? I know that when you have the great stars like Ronaldo and some of these stars, my son loves soccer and you know, some of the Messi; , you have these great stars that get paid a lot of money, but they draw hundreds of thousands of people. You have to really look , you know, season, seasonally, like, , and I think it has something to do with that. But I haven’t taken a position on that at all. I, I’d have to look at it. It’s something; actually, I don’t think I’ve been asked, but, but you do have to look at the overall economics. I mean, um, what’s the difference in the draw? I love watching women’s, I actually watched the game yesterday, I loved watching women’s soccer. They’re really talented. Fantastic.

THE HILL: One of the co-captains Megan Rapinoe and she’s refusing to put her hand over her heart during the National Anthem, she even kneeled in the past, do you think that’s appropriate?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No. No. I don’t think so. But again, I’d have to look at it, but you do have to take it you know, you do have to see; I see some of these, these crowds for , you know, soccer where, where you’re talking about numbers that are just unbelievable. And the women are doing, and the women are doing really well too, but, they could have to; but I have not taken a position on it. I haven’t actually been asked the question before I don’t think.

THE HILL: That’s why we’re here. So a hundred years from now, what do you think people are gonna remember you for?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we have to go through the , the six years or whatever it may be when , when you know, would I like to get a ride out of some of your compatriots, say go through the six, ten, fourteen, maybe eighteen years, whatever it may be.

THE HILL: You mean the Tweet?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: To which to which you saw that, right? To, to say, yeah, yeah, that drove people crazy. ‘Cause they don’t think it’s kidding you know, see, they, they actually…

THE HILL: Are you kidding though?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Of course. But it drives them crazy. anyway, but we have to go through the six years, but look, we’ve done things that nobody’s been able to do. We’ve rebuilt our military. Take a look at the VA. All of your lives, you’re young guys, but all of your life you heard about the VA, the VA, oh, it’s always a disaster. Did you ever see it running smooth like it is now? I got VA Choice. I got VA accountability. Because of accountability, we can fire all of the bad wood that worked in there. We have. We’ve got rid of all of, we had horrible, we have great people in there, but we had some horrible people, small percentage, but we got rid of them. Nobody could get VA accountability, and nobody could get VA Choice. We got VA Choice. So now instead of waiting for you know, days and weeks and months to get, see a doctor, now, they go outside, they get a doctor, we pay for the doctor, and we take care of our vets. So you know, we’ve done a great job with that. And the economy’s the best. It, it may be the greatest economy we’ve ever had. Our unemployment numbers are in in many categories, the best in the history of our country, and in all categories they’re fantastic you know, best in fifty-one years and for many groups. As we said, with African American, Hispanic. Women are doing phenomenally. You know, what’s really nice? The biggest beneficiaries are blue collar workers too. They’re the ones that are doing percentage wise the best, so you know. So we’ve done a lot of, a lot of great things. And , nobody, we left a list; do you have that list for the fellows?

Here is um, a list of some of the things. Nobody’s done it. Even VA Choice. Today you, you saw what, what, were you there today with what we did. Were you there? Did you go?

THE HILL: We saw it on a monitor, yeah.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Do you know there are those that say that’s bigger than health care um, because people, they go to a hospital, they have a little cut, they have it fixed, and they get a bill for like, three thousand dollars. Now, you’re allowed to go. They have to have listed prices, it, I mean, so many things. You have to see the doctor’s record. It’s incredible. It, it could be a game changer.

SARAH SANDERS: Absolutely.

THE HILL: Do you think you should be on Mount Rushmore, sir?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: If I answer that question yes, I will end up with such bad publicity. Well , look, I have a lot of respect; even Mount Rushmore; so for many, many years they got , they had fireworks, right? Many, many years. and Kristi, your new governor, she’s a great person. She called, she said, sir, for many years we had tremendous fireworks on the 4th of July. We don’t have it anymore. Can you do something? And I got it approved. Starting , next season, it was not easy, starting next season , Mount Rushmore will have tremendous fireworks like they had for many years. But they ended it a long time ago, but they didn’t want, but they didn’t have fireworks because of, I don’t know, I think they thought, thought the stone was gonna catch on fire. That doesn’t happen, right? There was somebody said they had. Nobody’s been able, nobody’s been able to figure out why, but it was a very strong no. And I got it approved starting next season. They’re doing some work. They’re finishing up work now. But I got it approved for next season for Kristi and for the state.

THE HILL: I do want to ask you real quickly about Jean Carroll because she was on television all morning repeating her allegations. Is it your position that she’s lying about what happened?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Totally lying. I don’t know anything about her. I see that I had a picture with her coat on where I was leaving and you know, with the back of my; I know nothing about this woman. I know nothing about her. She is… it’s just a terrible thing that people can make statements like that. Think of it. Any department store that’s crowded. Okay? Bergdorf Goodman’s a crowded store. And I’ve never been up that I remember ever on that floor. They sell women’s dresses on that floor. Okay? But Bergdorf Goodman is..and this is, like, twenty-five years ago, but this store is packed. It’s on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. And she made this charge up. And by the way, she’s made it up about , or she’s said it about other people too. I’m not the only one. She said it about other people. I’ll say it with great respect, number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened. Okay? I hope you can be strong. But I think it’s a crazy thing when, when people are allowed to make false accusations like that. I really do. And, and for twenty-five years she never said anything. She never said for twenty-five years. And then she said, where are the sales girls that walked, worked…where are the people on the floor? All the people there and they had nobody behind the counter, which is supposed to be right there? There was nobody working behind, the store’s packed. It’s a disgrace these false, a, a false accusation like that is a disgrace.

[The President Goes Off-The-Record]

THE HILL: Can I ask one final question, sir? Who are you gonna replace Sarah Sanders with?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Irreplaceable.

THE HILL: Are you gonna bring the White House press briefing back?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Do you think I should? So you have some of these people who became sort of semi-rich because of that and well-known.

THE HILL: Is that what bothers you?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: You know, you guys have been great. When a reporter is, is fake, there are a lot of them, fake; , some of these; we don’t even get calls in many cases, like, to confirm something. They did something, David Sanger last week about Russia that we’re; it was a totally false story. They didn’t even call us up to confirm. You know, they say, well, we call somebody you know, nobody knows. It would be nice to say ; that’s the other thing. I was thinking the other day, I was talking to somebody, you don’t ever see people making a statement. It’s always sources, four sources; they have; nineteen sources have stated; nineteen sources, right? Do you know nineteen people in the building. But it’s, it used to be that so and so had said this or so; every single thing is an anonymous source, so the condition of this and that, you never hear ever, you don’t see sources anymore because it’s fake. They, they make up stories and they put sources to it. But replacing Sarah is not gonna be easy, not gonna be easy.

THE HILL: Have anybody in mind?

SARAH SANDERS: He’ll move on. That’s for sure.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I do. I, I have , I mean, a lot of people want the job, I could say that. We have four or five people that really want it, very good people, very good names, but Sarah’s done a fantastic job. She’s a great person. She’ll be governor. She’ll be governor. She won’t talk to us anymore. She’ll be too high.

SARAH SANDERS: That would never, that would never happen.

THE HILL: That’s on the record, right? She has your formal endorsement?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: If she runs for governor, she would have my endorsement, yeah, she would have my endorsement. I mean, I don’t know that she’s gonna run, but I think she should. She probably will, but I think she should, I mean, she’s very popular. And I’m very; that’s a great state, Arkansas, very popular. I beat Hillary by what, twenty-two points. How many did…

SARAH SANDERS: At least, yeah.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh, I mean, they come from there, right? You know, so it’s, like, it’s a great state.

SARAH SANDERS: It’s her home state.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Anyway, have a good time, fellows.

Read more from The Hill:

EXCLUSIVE: Trump vehemently denies E. Jean Carroll allegation, says ‘she’s not my type’

EXCLUSIVE — Trump: I would fill Supreme Court vacancy before 2020 election

EXCLUSIVE: Trump accuses Biden of lying about Obama’s lack of endorsement

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Donald Trump Joe Biden John Kerry Kim Jong-un Merrick Garland Nancy Pelosi Sarah Sanders
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