Just before 8 a.m. ET Friday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted this: “Wow, the highest rated (by far) morning show, @foxandfriends, is on the Front Lawn of the White House. Maybe I’ll have to take an unannounced trip down to see them?”
And take a trip down to see them he did! Trump strolled out of the White House and over to the North Lawn to chat with “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy for the better part of 30 minutes.
The interview did not disappoint. Trump, egged on by the cooperative Doocy, sounded off on the inspector general’s report on the 2016 election, how attentive North Koreans are to Kim Jong Un and, well, lots and lots of other stuff.
Here are the 49 lines you need to see.
1. “I was mugged by the media.”
And away we go! (Trump is talking about reporters who tried to ask him questions as he walked to the Fox set on the North Lawn.)
2. “I would bet if you took a poll in the FBI I would win that poll by more than anybody’s won a poll.”
Speechless. And we’re only on Trump’s second quote!
3. “You look at what happened. They were plotting against my election.”
“They” were not. That’s according to the IG report released on Thursday afternoon that makes very clear that mistakes made by then-FBI Director Jim Comey and other within the bureau were not motivated by political bias. Even the texts by FBI agent Peter Strzok suggesting he would do something to ensure Trump lost appear to have been just words with no tangible actions behind them, according to the IG report.
4. “They were actually plotting against my election.”
5. “I’m actually proud because I beat [the] Clinton dynasty. I beat [the] Bush dynasty. Now I guess, hopefully I’m in the process of beating very dishonest intelligence because, what they did was incredible.”
A few things: 1) This is Trump’s intelligence community, right? He is the President. 2) Not everything is a battle for victory between two combatants 3) Equating campaign victories with battles against your own intelligence community is, um, odd.
6. “The end result was wrong. There was total bias.”
What’s remarkable about this quote – in which Trump dismisses the IG report’s finding that there was no political bias influencing the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton – is that he later insists that the same IG report totally exonerates him in the special counsel probe. But, how can it be totally wrong and totally right….[head explodes]
7. “It was interesting, it was a pretty good report.”
WAIT. You JUST said it was “wrong.” Also, relatedly: Chances Trump read the full 568-page report? Is 0% an option?
8. “You read so much about China, you read so much about other countries, we have the great brain power right in this country, I’m proud to say. You’re certainly a member of that group.”
Steve Doocy = “great brain power”
9. “There is no trade war. There is no trade war.”
When you say it twice, it makes it twice as true.
10. “We left. We hugged, we kissed.”
Donald Trump on his departure from the G7 conference. Totally normal description of a summit of world leaders. Nothing odd at all. Nope.
11. “We have 21 televisions or some ridiculous number.”
Trump is referring here to the massive number of televisions he has on Air Force One. Also, relatedly: “I don’t get to watch much television. Primarily because of documents. I’m reading documents. A lot.” – Donald Trump
12. “We’re hugging. We’re saying goodbye. Everybody is happy.”
This sounds exactly like my college graduation!
13. “I have great friendships.”
14. “If you notice when I came over they were all saying about separating families. That is a Democrat bill. That is Democrats wanting to do that.”
It is not. The issue is that, back in the spring, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the administration would adopt a zero-tolerance policy for people trying to enter the country illegally. They would refer each and every one for prosecution. While it has always been against the law to enter the country illegally, the decision to prosecute was usually left up to the prosecutor. No longer.
15. “I certainly wouldn’t sign the more moderate [bill]. I need a bill that gives this country tremendous border security. I have to have that. We have to have the wall.”
And with one single remark, Trump brings the entire carefully-constructed Republican compromise on immigration to a crashing halt. The so-called “moderate” bill was Speaker Paul Ryan’s attempt to end a discharge petition by moderates within the conference to force a wide-open debate – and a series of votes – on immigration policy. Trump, apparently, is uninterested in that compromise bill. Good times.
16. “13 angry Democrats, there are 13, I call them 13 angry Democrats and others worked for Obama for eight years. You have no Republicans.”
Trump regularly uses this short-hand to describe special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. What he gets wrong is that Mueller himself is a Republican who was appointed FBI director by Republican President George W. Bush. And that Rod Rosenstein, the man who named Mueller as special counsel, is a Republican who was chosen for his current job by the Trump administration.
17.” It is very unfair situation but the IG report totally exonerates.”
To be clear: The IG report is about how the FBI conducted itself during the 2016 campaign – especially in regard to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. In no way, shape or form does the IG report “exonerate” Trump in the Mueller probe, which is focused on Russian meddling and the possibility of collusion and obstruction.
18. “The head investigator is saying we have to stop Trump from becoming president. Well, Trump became president. We have the best economy today we’ve ever had.”
As always, these are actual sentences in the exact order Trump said them. So, from Peter Strzok saying he would stop Trump from being president to how great the economy is doping – in just three sentences!
19. “I would like to talk but it seems to be very biased.”
Trump has been publicly vacillating as to whether he will sit down for an interview with Mueller for months now. His evidence that the Mueller probe is “very biased’ appears to be that Strzok was once a part of it. But, Strzok was removed last summer by Mueller once his text messages with FBI lawyer Lisa Page came to light. So, if Mueller wasn’t biased then, why is he biased now?
20. “I have the greatest supporters in the world. By the way they’re the smartest, they’re the hardest working, they pay taxes.”
“Welcome to Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” – Garrison Keillor
21. “I have the bikers, I have the construction workers, I have them all.”
[Looks down at checklist] “Bikers? Check. Construction workers? Check. OK, that’s all of them.”
22. “You go into the FBI and take a poll of the real FBI – not the scum on top, not Comey and that group of people that are total thieves.”
a) You already said the poll thing
b) “Scum,” seriously?
c) “Total thieves,” double seriously?
23. “I have a fantastic relationship now with North Korea.”
REMINDER: Trump spent five-ish hours total with Kim and the rest of the North Koreans who were in Singapore earlier this week for the summit. And yet: “Fantastic relationship.”:
24. “I said on the Department of Justice, I would stay uninvolved. Now I may get involved at some point if it gets worse.”
This isn’t threatening or ominous. Not at all!
25. “I did nothing wrong. There was no collusion. There was no obstruction.”
“There is no O.” – Donald Trump
26. “I tried staying uninvolved. I may not stay uninvolved.”
Yes, you said that. But always worth repeating a threat, right?
27. “That’s just the tip of the iceberg. What will happen if we go further. There was total bias, I mean total bias.”
Trump is openly flicking at conspiracy theories involving the “deep state” aligned against him. By suggesting an exhaustive, 500-plus-page report is only the “tip of the iceberg” he is signaling to his supporters that other more damaging things are still being hidden. Of course, he offers no specifics of what’s being hidden – or why.
28. “Certainly they just seemed like very criminal acts to me.”
Trump’s response to Doocy’s totally fair and balanced question about Comey that went like this: “From what you’ve seen so far, should James Comey be locked up?”
29. “I think Comey was the ringleader of this whole den of thieves. It’s a den of thieves.”
This is the FBI – or at least the top brass of the FBI – Trump is talking about. The President of the United States is saying the top FBI personnel are a “den of thieves.” This is not normal.
30. “We had good chemistry.”
Trump on Kim. Relatedly, remember that Trump said he would know whether he and Kim would get along and make a deal within the first minute of meeting the North Korean dictator. How? “Just my touch, my feel,” explained Trump. “That’s what I do.”
31. “We got along very well, good chemistry.”
The best chemistry. Like Chem 2. Or even AP Chem.
32. “I signed an agreement where we get everything, everything, but they say Trump lost because he agreed to meet.”
The agreement signed by Kim and Trump is a broad statement of intent to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. It is nothing close to a specific plan and timeline on how to accomplish that.
33. “I have a great relationship. He gave us back our hostages. I didn’t pay $1.8 billion. I paid nothing. But it was very smart that he did it.”
Ernest Hemingway could have written these sentences.
34. “He wants to do something great with this country. He wants to make his country great.”
Trump apparently gleaned that Kim wants to make North Korea great again in the 45-ish minutes they spent one-on-one in Singapore on Tuesday.
35. “[Kim] speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”
Trump later said he was joking about this – and mocked the media for not understanding. To which I say: That explanation is totally and completely plausible, Mr. President.
36. “I met a general he saluted me. I saluted him back.”
37. “I gave [Kim] credibility. It is great to get credibility.”
Who doesn’t love a little credibility?
38. “You’re having a lot of fun, right? Suppose Hillary got elected instead of Trump, you think it would be so exciting?”
This comment, from Trump to Doocy, is a reminder of how he views the presidency as the world’s greatest reality TV show. You didn’t see that North Korea swerve coming, didja Steve?
39. “I study ratings.”
“I don’t get to watch much television. Primarily because of documents. I’m reading documents. A lot.” – Donald Trump
40. “They are all saying it has nothing to do with the flag. The way we’ve been treated. Meantime they’re making $15 million a year.”
Trump is suggesting here that because black athletes are often well-compensated, they cannot protest the unjust treatment of African-Americans by the police. Um, OK.
41. “She was really nice and I have to say, and very capable.”
President Donald Trump on prison reform advocate Kim Kardashian West. 2018, everybody!
42. “I don’t know if it’s a real issue. I don’t think it’s a real issue.”
Donald Trump, the President of the United States, is suggesting that African-American football players kneeling during the national anthem is not a “real issue.”
43. “At some point, I’m sure [Sarah Sanders] will leave like everybody leaves. We’ll get somebody else.”
Sarah, you are an integral part of this White House. But, the second you leave, we will just replace you with somebody else.
44. “I thought she should have walked out instead of sitting there.”
Raise your hand if you are surprised that this would have been Trump’s reaction to Michelle Wolf’s roast of the White House (and Sanders) at the white House Correspondents Dinner. [no one raises hand][
45. “I want that air to be so perfect.”
Perfect Air is a good name for a twee-pop band.
46. “Matt Drudge is a great gentleman, who really – he’s got an ability to capture stories that people want to see”
Offered without comment.
47. “I got a lot of good kisses.”
Donald Trump on what he got for his 72nd birthday on Thursday.
48. “She, somebody said did she have a face-lift? No. Did she have this, have that?”
The President re-raises the idea that his wife had plastic surgery, which was raised by a total of 0 credible media outlets.
49. “I’m gonna work.”
Looks like Donald Trump and I will spend Father’s Day the same way!
CNN’s Marc Rod contributed to this report.