President Trump is in my neck of the woods for a rally for JD Vance and the whole Ohio team. I would not be surprised if Oz also shows up since we border Pennsylvania. You can read the transcript or listen to the audio video.
HH: I’m joined by the former President of the United States, Donald Trump right now. Good morning, Mr. President. How are you?
DT: There will be no lack of crowd. I can tell you that on Saturday night. There never is
. HH: Well, you’re in Youngstown. You’re at an auditorium named for Sam Covelli who went to Warren JFK. You’re going to be talking about Tim Ryan, who is another alumni of Warren JFK, and you’re talking with me, a third alumni of Warren JFK, and we can all tell you you’re in the heart of Trump country in Youngstown.
DT: That’s Trump country. That’s great country. And we’re going to start doing the fields now, because I guess the arena holds seven or eight thousand, and we filled them up very quickly. We have televisions, big sets, out on the back of the arena for people if they can’t get in, but we like those fields, because you can have unlimited numbers of people. But this is a beautiful place, and we, now because of the weather, we can now start opening up the fields, which is great. We’ve never had rallies like this. I mean, I’ve had the greatest rallies, but we’ve never had the kind of enthusiasm that we have right now, Hugh. It’s been incredible.
HH: Well, you’re going up against Ohio State. I hope you at least pay homage to the Buckeyes in your opening remarks, Mr. President.
DT: Yeah, well, I guess, are they playing Toledo?
HH: They’re playing Toledo Rockets, yeah. It’s going to be over by about 7:15.
DT: Okay, well, it should be okay. Yeah, it should be okay, and we are going up against them, and that’s fine. I think we’ll do very well, even against Ohio State. Don’t forget, I’m the one that got that football season started.
HH: Yes, you were. DT: You would not have Ohio State football that first year. I got it started a year earlier, and maybe even earlier than that. Who knows? But maybe people will…
HH: Buckeyes won’t forget. You’re in Jim Tressel’s town as well.
DT: No, I don’t think they’ll forget. I got that done for the people of Ohio. HH: Now let’s talk about Election 2022. DT: Okay.
HH: The GOP wants to talk about inflation, crime, the border, education, and China. I want to talk about inflation and China mostly. Democrats want to talk about abortion and about you. So I want to make some news at the beginning of this. Do you feel like the Department of Justice is trying to indict you, Mr. President?
DT: Well, there’s no reason that they can, other than if they’re just sick and deranged, which is always possible, because I did absolutely, you’ve seen the legal papers, absolutely nothing wrong. And there’s no reason that they can do that. And I’ll tell you what, I would have said there’s no way they can raid a house, either, because you know, it’s 4th Amendment stuff. And what they did is terrible. And I don’t think the people are going to stand for it. If you noticed, the poll numbers are the highest they’ve ever been.
The people are not going to stand for this stuff. They’ve weaponized the Department of Justice and FBI. And you know, I don’t know how big you’ve covered it, but I can tell you the biggest story would be, especially if it were, was reversed, that Danchenko was paid right after 2017, right after we were, so I’m sitting in the Oval Office, and the FBI paid, hired Danchenko to do all sorts of very terrible things. Now when you think of that story, that’s incredible, Danchenko being the Russian. So it was them, Hugh, with the Russians, not me.
HH: Well, the Russia Russia Russia story is over. They are attempting, I think, to indict people for plans to select alternative electors on 1/6. Have you received a target letter, Mr. President?
DT: No, I haven’t at all. And frankly, when you look at alternate slates, that’s been done for decades and decades, many, many years. Alternative slates are actually common. I wasn’t involved with alternate slates, but I can tell you many people have been for many, many years doing alternate slates. In fact, your friend, Tucker Carlson, did a story on it last night, how it’s been a standard way of, you know, working elections.
HH: Have you…I’m going to be on with Bret Baier tonight.
DT: Yes. HH: I want to make sure I get two more questions asked. The first one is have you been asked to appear before the Grand Jury?
DT: No, I have not. HH: And then the last one, Mr. Patel said he witnessed you giving verbal orders to declassify the papers that ended up at Mar-A-Lago. Do you remember making those orders?
DT: That’s correct, and not only that, I think it was other people also were there. But I have the absolute right to declassify, absolute. A president has that absolute right, and a lot of people aren’t even challenging that anymore.
HH: So the last question is I don’t think they’re going to stop until they indict you, Donald Trump. Will you run for president anyway even if you’re indicted?
DT: Well, I can’t imagine being indicted. I’ve done nothing wrong. Look, if you look, you know it better than anybody. You’ve covered it well. Impeachment hoax number one, I beat it. It was a total scam. Impeachment hoax number two, a total scam. I beat it. Russia, Russia, Russia, I beat it. The Mueller report, I beat it, because I did nothing wrong. Now, it’s turning out that they did wrong. Now, it’s turning out that Russia, Russia, Russia was about them. They’re the ones that dealt with Russia, not me.
It’s all been one giant scam. And on top of that, let’s face it, I was a great president. We did more than, between the biggest tax cuts, rebuilding our military, the biggest regulation cuts in history, the greatest job numbers in history by far.
Laura Ingraham the other night, I know, had a program where she said that the income to families was greater under me than it was with Obama, Bush and Biden put together. So I mean, and you look at, you know, you just look at the numbers. Look at the kind of numbers we produced. And even after we went through the plague, the gift from China, the plague, I got it back on track and the stock market was higher than it was even before the plague, just before the plague came in. So it’s, you know…
HH: Now Mr. President, you know the old saying… DT: We’ve had an amazing, we had an amazing four years.
HH: You know the old saying. A prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich if they want to. I’m just asking if there is such a prosecutor and they indict you, would that deter you from running for president again?
DT: I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it. And as you know, if a thing like that happened, I would have no prohibition against running. You know that. You’ve already stated that.
HH: I do. That’s what I wanted people to understand. That would not take you out of the arena. DT: It would not. But I think if it happened, I think you’d have problems in this country the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen before. I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it.
HH: What kind of problems, Mr. President?
DT: I think they’d have big problems, big problems. I just don’t think they’d stand for it. They will not, they will not sit still and stand for this ultimate of hoaxes. We went through phony impeachments. We went through phony Mueller reports that came out with no collusion. We came, everything that they’ve done to try and stop progress. And on top of that, I did more than virtually any president.
You take a look, with the biggest tax cuts, with the rebuilding of our military, with all of the things we’ve done. I don’t think the people of this country would stand for it, especially since they know, especially since they know I’m totally innocent.
HH: You know that the legacy media will say you’re attempting to incite violence with that statement. How do you respond to what will inevitably…
DT: That’s not, that’s not inciting. I’m just saying what my opinion is. I don’t think the people of this country would stand for it.
HH: Now I want to go to China, which you just mentioned. You’re a real estate guy first and forever. DT: Right. HH: Have you looked at the Chinese real estate market? Do you think it’s going to collapse?
DT: Well, it could very well collapse. China’s not doing very well right now. One of the reasons is because I put on tariffs the likes of which nobody’s ever seen before. Not one president took in ten cents of tariffs or of taxes or of anything. No money ever came from China to the U.S. What I did is I put on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of tariffs coming into the United States.
They pay tariffs. And Biden, as much as he wants to do it for his friends who pays his son and him a fortune, Biden is finding a hard time taking those tariffs off. So much money is coming in, and if they took it off, we’d lose our steel industry almost immediately, and we’d lose a lot. So because of what I’ve done, they’re having a hard time. And China would love to get those tariffs taken off. That, I can tell you. They didn’t do it.
HH: If the real estate market begins to crumble in China, as it is already beginning to crumble, it’s in Ellis’ Items this morning, the news items by John Ellis… DT: Right. HH: And I just think it’s a very dire situation. Will it impact the United States real estate market, do you think?
DT: It could, and it could also make it better. It could also make it better. People are going to invest in the United States. If we’re smart, it’ll make it better. People will want to be in the United States. We cannot let China continue to rip off…you know, when I came in, they were doing $536 billion dollars’ worth of deficits with China. And I turned things around and those tariffs have been a godsend. And it’s really, I mean, it saved our steel industry.
Our steel, you could speak to anybody in the steel industry. They’ll tell you Trump saved us. We wouldn’t have a steel plant open if I didn’t put 25 and 50% tariffs on all the steel coming in from China where they were dumping it in order to destroy our steel industry. They were dumping it so that our steel industry would be destroyed. It wouldn’t be able to compete. And when I did those tariffs, we saved our entire steel industry, and now they’re doing well, actually.
HH: Now let me turn to J.D. Vance and your endorsements. The BBC, the BBC of all people, has a story out this morning that says over the past several months, candidates endorsed by Mr. Trump have pocketed victories across the country, winning 92% of the time. That’s the BBC. DT: Yeah. HH: That’s a pretty good record.
DT: Well, the number is higher than that, if you want to know the truth. But I’m not going to get overly upset with the 92%, but the number is higher. And the endorsements are 98.6%. It’s easy to remember, because that’s a perfect temperature, I think. 98.6% of the endorsements, when I’ve made an endorsement, and I endorsed J.D. Vance as an example, and he’d done great. He’s really doing good. Herschel’s doing good. I think Dr. Oz is going good, but you know, Fetterman is totally cratering, I think. I mean, if he doesn’t crater, nobody will. If Fetterman makes it, anybody can make it, because…
HH: Yeah, Jim Bognet said you kept…
DT: You know, it’s not only, it’s not only Fetterman, it’s what he’s done. He was the mayor of a town that’s a disaster. I mean, the town is almost closed up. He’s destroyed the town. And now they want to have him destroy Pennsylvania? I don’t think he’s going to make it.
HH: Oh, I think it’s, I think Joe O’Dea’s going to win in Colorado as well. DT: I feel it.
HH: But let me talk to you about the inflation number, Mr. President. President Biden said a month ago that inflation had gone away, it was at zero. He was wrong. It was at 8.3%. Food bills went up 13.4% year over year as of Wednesday. Is that the issue of the hour? And by the way, he’s beaten you in that number. Joe Biden’s got, you know, 10% inflation in some places, 13% inflation in food. You didn’t have any inflation.
DT: I didn’t have inflation. We had better than no inflation. We had 1%. You know, inflation’s an interesting thing. The ideal number is between 1 and 2%. HH: Yes.
DT: And I said let’s keep it down, and we kept it down. And I kept energy prices down. A big factor, what happened to him were the energy policies are so stupid. And this whole new thing with electric cars where all of the material for batteries comes out of China, or China, you know, Congo, which is controlled by China.
But it all comes out of China. And when we have, we have what we have, we have a thing called gasoline. And that all comes from us. We have more than anybody else, the oil and gas. And it’s so crazy what they’re doing. They’re, I just wrote this morning, and I said something to another group. I said the single greatest gift that we’ve ever given to China will be the electric car. That will really kill us with China, because they have all the material for the batteries. We don’t have that. We don’t have that. But we do have the gasoline for the cars that people want.
And I had, I’m not against electric cars. I personally don’t like them because they don’t go long enough. They don’t go far enough. You have to stop for two hours, and that’s not going to get that much better, no matter what they do. So I think it’s insane what they’re doing. Let the market determine. If somebody wants to buy an electric car or a gasoline car, let the market determine.
HH: Now let’s turn to the border, Mr. President. Earlier this morning, two busloads of illegal immigrants were deposited on the front lawn of Vice President Harris’ home, the Naval Observatory. Of course, they can’t get it, because it’s secured. There’s a fence there. But Greg Abbott sent them there.
Yesterday, Governor DeSantis sent two planeloads of migrants to the United States without permission to Martha’s Vineyard. They’re trying to draw attention to the lie that the Vice President said last weekend when she said not once but twice the border is secure. How big of an issue is this? And how much of an issue will it be in 2024?
DT: So Democrats are all about a word. It’s called disinformation. Some people say misinformation. Pretty much the same thing, you want to define it, disinformation. They’re all about disinformation. They will look at a border where millions of people are pouring through from prisons, from everywhere. They’re emptying their prisons into the United States. We’re like a dumping ground. And they’ll say, they’ll look you in the eye and they’ll say we have a secure border.
We had a wonderful economy. We had no inflation. I mean, you had a party the other day on inflation, and they just announced the worst numbers in the market. It was the seventh worst day in the history of our country, and he’s having a party.
They’re all about disinformation. They will look you in the eye and lie to you. Well, they’re lying about the border. They’re lying about inflation. They’re lying about our country, because our country is being poisoned from within. And we’re in big trouble unless something happens, and I hope we’re going to do well in November 8. And I hope we’re going to do well in ’24.
HH: Well, on the education issue, if you’re referring to that as the poison within, the school loss of learning for children was immense over the last two years. DT: Yeah. HH: Masking is mandatory in some places. Schools, I think, are mostly open. Do you think Democrats have to pay that ticket, their policies at the local level?
Is that going to matter in Youngstown, for example, on Saturday night?
DT: Well, you know, the one thing that, yeah, what they do is they’ll try and talk themselves out. Like defund the police, all of a sudden, they say oh, no, we never said that. You know, they’ll look you in the eye. They’ll say we never said it. They’re actually still saying defund the police. Same thing with education. With those mandates and with all of the things that they’ve done and what they’ve done to some people, some students, young people, I think they live with it for the rest of their lives, actually. It’s a very sad, very, very sad situation. But I think a lot of these young people are going to live with this for the rest of their lives.
HH: So Mr. President, what will you tell the audience in Youngstown on Saturday night that J.D. will do differently to turn the country around, because it’s going in the wrong direction, according to three-quarters of the people.
DT: Well, it was going in the right direction, and now it’s going, and don’t forget, I ended NAFTA, the worst trade deal ever made with the USMCA. And it’s a goldmine, that deal, for us. The problem is Mexico and Canada want to change it. They want the deal changed, because they’re getting killed by it. So Mexico and Canada, which have ripped us off for many, many years with NAFTA, they want that deal changed, and they want it changed as soon as possible.
And I understand that they’re starting a negotiation. They shouldn’t change anything. That’s been an incredible thing for manufacturers for Ohio, for every place. And we’ll be talking about that. We’ll be talking about a lot of things. We made a lot of great trade deals. The reason we have things going is that we have made, with South Korea, with Japan, we’ve made some, and with China, we made an incredible trade deal with China for manufacturers, but most specifically for the farmers. The farmers are doing so much. Now, China is going to say, because they don’t respect our leadership, China’s going to say we’re not going to be living by that deal.
They’re already starting to say it, because this was a deal where they were buying billions and billions of dollars of products from our farmers, and from our manufacturers. It’s an incredible deal. And you know, it’s a deal I didn’t talk about that much, because right after making that deal, COVID came in. And once COVID came in, I sort of had it with China.
HH: Well, let’s talk about the Abraham Accords, because even the New York Times in review of the new Peter Baker/Susan Glasser book today, which is not very flattering to you, I haven’t got the book. They didn’t send it to me, so I don’t know what’s in it. I haven’t read it, but I read the review.
DT: Well, I’m not very flattering to them, either.
HH: Okay, and so I don’t know what’s in it, but I know that the New York Timers reviewer had to admit that the Abraham Accords was a great thing. So they have to give you that. I give you, I always remind people that you and Mitch McConnell got together for the Supreme Court. He held open the vacancy, you put up three great nominees, the Supreme Court has gotten things right, including the Dobbs decision.
Do you think Republicans ought to run with Dobbs with their arms around it and your Court, or away from Dobbs?
DT: Well, I think they have to get away from the people that want to see abortion even after. I mean, if you think, take a look at this governor of Virginia, the previous governor of Virginia, where he talked about killing the baby after born. You put the baby aside. I mean, this is where they’re going. They’ll kill the baby in the 9th month. The extremity of it, the extreme nature of it is so crazy. No, I think it’s, I think a lot of people are starting to starting to understand that’s extreme.
What you’re coming up with and what’s been doing has been, what they’ve done is they’ve moved it into the states. And the states are making the rules. But they’ve done that, and that’s something that for many years I believe that Ruth Bader Ginsberg always felt strongly that that was a state decision. And what they’ve done is a very proper thing, and you have to get rid of the extremists on the left.
They’re saying you can kill the baby in the 9th month. You can kill the baby after birth. You can’t have that. There’s no country that has that.
HH: Are you happy with the Supreme Court three years after you began the makeover of it?
DT: Well, I’m proud of them. I mean, they’ve done a great job. I’m also proud of the fact that we’ve got almost 300 federal judges all throughout the United States including Washington, D.C. Over 300. We have almost 300 judges, and that has a big decision. That has a tremendous impact on our country. The, you take a look at certain areas where I mean literally, Republican nominations were not represented. And now, they’re represented in large part by 50%. I could name some right now, and you can name them just as well as I can. It’s totally changed the court system.
So it’s another thing that we’ve done. But between the biggest tax cuts in history, and you notice that he’s unable to redo any of the Trump tax cuts. He’s been unable. They want to raise taxes. He’s been unable to get that.
HH: His own party won’t do that. DT: Because if they did that, if they did that, our economy would really take a shellacking.
HH: I want to close on the judges, because I keep telling people the longest-term impact of Donald Trump is what happened on the Supreme Court, but also a 50-plus Appeals Court judges and hundreds of district court judges. One of those district court judges approved your request for a special master in the papers. Now I know something about presidential papers. I actually, I know a lot about the presidential library system. Every former president has papers that should not be with them by accident.
Did you take those papers down there after declassifying them intentionally? Or did you have any idea they were there?
DT: Remember this. Remember this. Everything was declassified, number one. And if you look at the presidential, if you look at the act that was passed, it talks about what you can do, what you can’t do, how you negotiate with NARA, and then if you look at what’s running NARA, it’s radical left run, radical, radical left, and then you take a look at Hillary with her 33,000 emails that were deleted, and you take a look at Obama and others, and people say Trump’s gotten treated very, very unfairly. Very, very unfairly. You just take a look.
HH: Did anyone from Justice every call you up, you personally, and say we need to get these records back? Did they make a direct appeal to Donald Trump?
DT: No, nobody called me. And if you look at, if you look at the act that was a relatively new act, you know, compared to the age of our country, but you look at that, you negotiate, you talk, you work it out. If you don’t work it out, I think it says the president decides, but you’ll have to get that from a lawyer. But we were having very positive discussions. All of a sudden, we get raided by the FBI. We were having very, very good and positive discussions. Then, we get raided by the FBI. Nobody’s ever seen anything like it.
HH: Well, I could talk to you for hours about this, but let’s close on the election, Mr. President, which you’ll be talking about on Saturday night in Youngstown at 7pm. Inflation, crime and the border versus the Democrats wanting to talk about you and indicting you. What’s going to win?
DT: Well, I think that we’re going to have a very big victory based on the economy. I think it’s about the economy. It’s about the horrible inflation. It’s cutting people’s lifestyle. It’s cutting people’s, it’s ruining people’s lives, what’s happening. Look at their 401k’s. Their 401k’s in some cases are down 40-50%. They’re losing their money. They’re losing their money. And if it keeps going like this, they won’t have any more money. 401k’s, it’s a big thing. I’m going to talk about it, but people come up to me and they say oh, they say sir, my 401k has been decimated in the last year.
You know, we had one of the worst years in the stock market in history. I don’t know if you know that. Not only did we have one of the worst days two days ago, but we had one of the worst years in the history from the beginning of this year in the history of our country in the stock market. And people are being decimated. And I think that’s what they’re going to be talking about. If they ever did anything on indictment, I just think it would just tear this country apart. I think this country would be torn apart. We had, you take a look at the support that I have, I mean, if you go to the event, as an example, if you go to the event on Saturday night, which is going to be, you’ll see it’s packed, they’ll have thousands and thousands of people standing outside the arena.
There’s never been anything like this. In Alabama, I had 63,000 people. In Texas, I had 89,000 people. And the only thing that restricts this one is I guess it’s a 7,000-seat arena, which we don’t have to use anymore because of the fact that we have the better weather coming. But no, there’s never been, I don’t think I’ve ever, I’ve had a pretty exciting political life. I don’t think I’ve ever had it as strong as this, both in terms of rallies and in terms of support, because our country is going to hell. And two years ago, we had the strongest borders we’ve ever had by far. We had the best economy we’ve ever had. We had 164 million people working, far more than are working today. We had things that we just, people say that’s what we want to get back to. So I think we’re going to do very well.
HH: I want, I want the media to pay attention to one thing, Donald Trump, which is you’re going to be in the heart of the steel valley, which was until 2016 deep blue, always voted Democrat from the War, World War II until Donald Trump’s election with the exception of Richard Nixon in 1972. And you will have thousands of people opposite the Ohio State game. So you’re counterprogramming Ohio State, which for any other person in Youngstown would be deadly, and you’re going to have an overflow crowd. That’s a story. Do you think that’ll get covered?
T: Well, I love Ohio State, but I want the people to remember. I’m the one that got Ohio State to play that season. And remember that. You can’t ever forget it, because they don’t like talking about it, you know, the radical left. But I’m the one that got that whole season started, and that was the beginning. And because of that, we got the NFL started. So we got an extra year of football. Who knows if it would have ever started with other people? But I got it started.
HH: Well, make sure you say good things about the Browns…
DT: I think everybody did a great job with me.
HH: Say good things about Jacoby Brissett and Nick Chubb, and you’ll be fine, and the Guardians are in first place. Mr. President, thank you for joining me. It’s been a year. Keep coming back.
DT: Okay, we will. Thank you very much, Hugh. Appreciate it.
HH: Thank you, Mr. President. Bye bye.