After setting up a meeting with the NYTimes and then canceling on the meeting (after his Chief of Staff lied to him in order to trick him into canceling), Donald Trump had his sit-down with the executive editors of the newspaper today. Several of the NYTimes reporters tweeted Trump’s responses as he was giving them. You can read it all here, but here’s a quick summary of the highlights:
"I'd rather do the popular vote," Trump says. "I think we'd do as well or better." Says he was "never a fan of the electoral college."— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 22, 2016
I think this is something that 1.8 million more Hillary voters than Trump voters can agree upon.
On the Alt-Right:
Trump: “I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group.” (1/2)— Mike Grynbaum (@grynbaum) November 22, 2016
Trump: "It’s not a group I want to energize, and if they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why.” (2/2)— Mike Grynbaum (@grynbaum) November 22, 2016
On Stephen Bannon:
Trump on Bannon: "I think it's very hard on him. I think he's having a hard time with it. Because it's not him."— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 22, 2016
Awwww. Poor racist man gets his feelings hurt. Reminder: This is a quote from Stephen Bannon:
“That’s why there are some unintended consequences of the women’s liberation movement. That, in fact, the women that would lead this country would be pro-family, they would have husbands, they would love their children. They wouldn’t be a bunch of dykes that came from the Seven Sisters schools up in New England. That drives the left insane and that’s why they hate these women.”
On Bannon:"If I thought he was a racist or alt-right or any of the things, the terms we could use, I wouldn't even think about hiring him."— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 22, 2016
Just like he wouldn’t hire Jeff Sessions, right?
Trump is asked about concerns from minority groups about Breitbart News’s coverage under Steve Bannon. His reply: pic.twitter.com/FBqCGwQpBr— Mike Grynbaum (@grynbaum) November 22, 2016
Trump: "Breitbart is just a publication."— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 22, 2016
Right, it’s just a publication.
The problem with interviews being conducted via Twitter is that we can’t tell if he’s winking or not.
On prosecuting Hillary:
“I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t. She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways."— Mike Grynbaum (@grynbaum) November 22, 2016
Trump is pressed if he has definitively ruled out prosecuting Hillary Clinton. “It’s just not something that I feel very strongly about."— Mike Grynbaum (@grynbaum) November 22, 2016
He doesn’t actually have the power to prosecute Hillary Clinton and Hillary DID NOTHING WRONG, but uh, good for him?
That last tweet was Trump making clear he doesn't favor prosecution. Added people could argue the Clinton Foundation has done "good work."— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 22, 2016
He spent six months railing against the Clinton Foundation and now he says that it does “good work.”
On his conflicts of interests:
Trump on his businesses/conflict q's: "The law's totally on my side, the president can't have a conflict of interest."— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 22, 2016
This is both true and COMPLETELY NOT TRUE. Ethically, it’s f*cked. Legally, it depends. Anything he receives from a foreign government that can in anyway seen as enriching him or looks like a “gift,” is unconstitutional. But no: The conflict of interest laws do not technically apply to the President and Vice President. The law is somewhat unsettled, because there’s never been a reason to apply it.
Conflicts of interest? Trump says: “If it were up to some people, I would never, ever see my daughter Ivanka again."— Mike Grynbaum (@grynbaum) November 22, 2016
Give me a break, Donny.
What about selling your company? “That’s a really hard thing to do, because I have real estate."— Mike Grynbaum (@grynbaum) November 22, 2016
Meanwhile, this is just plain terrifying.
"In theory I could run my business perfectly and then run the country perfectly. There's never been a case like this,"he says of his tangles— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 22, 2016
Trump says "in theory" he could continue signing checks at his company, but he is "phasing that out now" and giving to his kids.— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 22, 2016
It’s called a kleptocracy.
Trump savages Rs who didn't back him, said he told Ayotte "no thank u" on a Cabinet post, Heck fell "like a lead balloon" & he wasn't sorry— Julie Davis (@juliehdavis) November 22, 2016
This is exactly what I was talking about yesterday. He is going to torch any Republican who doesn’t fully support him.
On the Middle East:
“I would love to be the one who made peace with Israel and the Palestinians, that would be such a great achievement."— Mike Grynbaum (@grynbaum) November 22, 2016
Trump: Jared Kushner could help make peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.— Elisabeth Bumiller (@BumillerNYT) November 22, 2016
Generations of the smartest people on the planet haven’t been able to pull it off, so maybe Jared Kushner could? (Actually, if Kushner does pull off the impossible, I’d actually be OK with that. I’m not going to look a gift Middle Eastern peace in the mouth).