In a new interview, President Donald Trump outlined the challenge of his presidency in stark terms as the best chance the nation has to break the stranglehold of powerful insiders on the business of government.
During the interview (transcript here), journalist Sharyl Atkisson brought up recent actions by acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grennell to make public information about the early days of the investigations into the Trump presidential campaign by America’s intelligence community.
“Richard Grenell is a superstar. He had guts, he had the courage to do what he did. We have another superstar going in as you know, John Ratcliffe. He just got approved yesterday and he’ll be taking over as of Tuesday,” Trump said.
“Richard Grenell has done one of the best jobs I’ve ever seen. I mean, in a short period of time, he exposed them as being corrupt. Look, they were trying to do a takedown of the president of the United States illegally. It’s all illegal. Now, I don’t know what happens. We hope [Attorney General] Bill Barr is going to be as good as we think because Bill, he’s a great gentleman, a great man. He’s got to hopefully use that information and do what’s right. And he’ll do what’s right.
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“Bill Barr will do what’s right, but what Richard Grenell has done for this country is incredible,” Trump said.
In the interview, Trump disparaged former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“Jeff Sessions put people in place that were a disaster,” Trump said. “They took over. They’ve always had the Department of Justice, but they kept it under Jeff Sessions. And the whole thing, the Russian thing is a total hoax. Think of it. They spent 40, 45 million dollars investigating. We took two and a half years. They found nothing. No collusion.”
Trump then focused on the big picture.
“When you look at what Richard Grenell has done in eight weeks, these people didn’t do anything for two and a half years. They should have been exposing this. So I’m very disappointed in certain people. And some people have done a phenomenal job, but what am I doing? I’m fighting the deep state. I’m fighting the swamp. And I said I was doing it. And I’m exposing the swamp. I think if it keeps going the way I’m going, and Ratcliffe is fantastic,” he said.
“If it keeps going the way it’s going, I have a chance to break the deep state. It’s a vicious group of people. It’s very bad for our country. And that’s never happened before,” Trump said.
He then referred to Atkisson’s own battles with the “deep state” that occurred when she was targeted by the Justice Department during the Obama administration.
“You happen to be a victim of the deep state. I hate to tell you, whether you know it or not, but they’ve treated you horribly over the years. And so have they treated many other people,” Trump said.
Trump said that insiders who wanted Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to win the election have never stopped their attacks on him.
“They never thought I was going to win, and then I won. And then they tried to get me out. That was the insurance policy. She’s going to win, but just in case she doesn’t win we have an insurance policy. And now I beat them on the insurance policy, and now they’re being exposed,” he said.
“Tremendous things have happened. They forged documents. We caught them. They had people that had forged documents. I would like to see it move much faster. I’ll be honest with you. To me, I don’t need any more information. I know, and I purposely stayed out of it. Other than I appoint people. I purposely stayed out of it,” he said.
“But I’ll tell you what, what they’ve done, if this were President Obama, if this were a Democrat instead of a Republican, people would have been in jail for two years, many people would have been in jail for two years already with a 50-year term. OK? 50 years, but we caught them. Now, hopefully Bill Barr is going to do something about it. And you know what? Other things are going to come out too. And a lot of other things are going to come out, but you don’t even need other things. What they’ve done is so corrupt, they’ve tried to take down a duly elected president of the United States, happens to be in this case, me, but we can never allow it to happen again,” he said.
During the interview, Trump was asked about the strongest feature possessed by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“Well, I would have said experience, but he doesn’t really have experience because I don’t think he remembers what he did yesterday. So how is that experience? He’s been there for a long time. He was never known as a smart person,” Trump said.
He was then asked to discuss the weakness of his likely adversary.
“He’s got many. I can talk about weak points all day long. First of all, he’s not mentally sharp enough to be president. He’s got China and he’s got all these countries,” Trump said, referring to Biden’s past with the Asian power and his son Hunter’s dealings with Chinese officials.
Later, he added, “China doesn’t want me to win, but Biden doesn’t know, I mean, he doesn’t know he’s alive.”
Trump then noted that Biden is little more than a figurehead.
“Think about it. I’m against somebody that can’t answer simple questions. I’ve never seen anything like it, but here’s what I am against. I’m against a very powerful party, the Democrats, and they can take this glass of water and say, ‘that’s your candidate.’
“I’m against a very powerful and very corrupt party. It’s a very corrupt party, the Democrats, and we caught them, but I’m against a very powerful party. And I’m against the real obstructionist, which is the media because the media is corrupt in this country,” he said.