The interview — such as it was — allowed Trump to give voice to his various grievances and celebrate his alleged successes, all without a word of contradiction from the Fox hosts.
I went through the transcript and picked out the, er, best lines. They’re below.
1. “Really most people knew from the beginning, and they knew it was just a total hoax. It was a made-up story, a disgrace to our nation.”
The intelligence community, special counsel Robert Mueller and the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committeeall concluded that Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 election to help Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. Or, yeah, a “hoax” and a “made-up story.” And away we go!
2. “These are dirty politicians and dirty cops and some horrible people.”
The President of the United States, ladies and gentlemen!
4. “I got the President of Ukraine and said, ‘Do you mind?’ And he said, ‘No. You go ahead and do it.'”
“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.” — Donald Trump to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
5. “They tried to take down the president of the United States, a sitting, duly elected president of the United States before I even won.”
6. “Rick Grenell is doing a fantastic job, an absolutely fantastic job as our number one person on intelligence. And he has been incredible. It’s too bad the people that were sitting before him, I won’t use names, didn’t do anything. They didn’t do a thing.”
To translate Trump here: Past directors of national intelligence didn’t do exactly what he wanted them to do. Grenell, the current DNI, does.
7. “You look at Mueller, that was purely corrupt. And can you imagine with all the corruption having to do with Mueller.”
9. “If it were a Republican, if it were reversed, if that were a Republican president or that were a — let’s say me, that would be the ultimate example but if that were a Republican president I believe he and Biden, sleepy Joe, was involved in this all also very much.”
10. “And other people around President Obama were totally involved. And you’ll see more and more things come out I think because like I know how it works.”
To be clear on what Trump is alleging here: There was a broad-scale conspiracy by President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other top officials in their administration to undermine his presidency before it even began. How? Why? “Because like I know how it works.”
11. “He’s dumb as a rock and he’s a sick guy. There’s something wrong with him.”
The President of the United States on former FBI Director James Comey. Totally normal stuff!
12. “You know, I told Bill Barr you had — look, I would be absolutely entitled in theory the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in theory, but I said, you know what? I want Bill Barr to handle it.”
I think what Trump is saying here is that he could have overseen the investigation into how the FBI conducted the Russia probe because he is, in his own words, the “Chief Law Enforcement Officer.” In theory, of course.
13. “If this were a Republican and if this were — 25 people would be in jail for 50 years. They would be in jail for 50 years and it would have happened two years ago because everybody knew this was a hoax.”
Well, he is the “Chief Law Enforcement Officer.” In theory.
14. “Sean — you look at Sean Hannity, what he’s done. I mean, he should get the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes.”