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President Trump and Pat Robertson: The Complete Interview

President Trump and Pat Robertson: The Complete Interview Read Transcript

Mr. President, I am so glad to see you.

I'm so proud of everything you're doing.

DONALD TRUMP: Thank you.

Let me ask you.

You have just gotten back from the G-20.

You were traveling around the world.

What do you see as the major problem facing the world today?

What's the major issue?

Well we have many problems.

And I was left a very, very tough meal.

I will say that.

It was a mess.

And I think we're doing very well.

But North Korea certainly is a big problem.

The; Middle East is a total mess.

Other than in five months we have

done more against ISIS than anybody

has done since the beginning.

And we're having tremendous success with that.

But I would have to say, Middle East is a tough situation.

But we're getting it straightened out.

And ultimately, we want to start investing money back

in the United States at our home.


But we have to get rid of ISIS.

We have to get rid of the terrorists,

as you know better than anybody.

And the other is North Korea.

We have somebody that is--

we will find out what he is.

We're going to find out.

He has launched intercontinental missiles.

Is there a possibility that we might

want to knock some of those down on the launch pad or right

after launch?

Well, we wouldn't want to be speaking about anything.

But we're looking at lots of different ways.

We're working with other countries, including China.

I think China would like to see this problem go away.

It's a big problem for them.

And the advantage we have is trade.

We have big trade with China.

And I have a very good relationship with President Xi,

who I like a lot.

And I think he likes me.

We were just spending a lot of time together.

And they are very strong with regard to,

as you know, with regard to North Korea.

Will they get tough with North Korea?

I know that you were so close when he was there

visiting Mar a Lago.

Well, we're going to see.

We're going to see.

I would say that we had a good chance.

They had an election where President Moon

got elected to South Korea.

He has a much different attitude--

or a much different take--

on how to handle this situation than his predecessor in South


He's perhaps softer on the issue, but maybe not,

because I like him a lot.

I think he's going to be a strong person.

I think he's got strong views-- stronger

than people would understand.

So we'll see how it all works out.

I think China wants to help us.

We're going to find out whether or not they do.

But China would, in my opinion, like to be able to help us.

What's our leverage with them?

Well, our leverage with China is

that China makes hundreds of billions of dollars

a year with us on trade.

And I want to renegotiate trade deals.

But I would certainly be a lot easier in a trade deal if they

were going to help us with North Korea than if they weren't.

So we're going to see.

The relationship is very good with China.

It's very good with the president of China,

who's a terrific person.

We will find out whether or not they want to help.

And maybe they do.

And maybe they don't.

What about that consortium of Arab nations

that went against Qatar.

Your secretary of state was not too favorable to what

was being done.

How are we going to handle that one?

Well, Rex is doing a terrific job.

But he and I had a little bit of a difference,

only in terms of tone.

So we went to Saudi Arabia.

We had one of the great meetings ever--

54 Muslim countries.

And I got up, made a speech, got nice reviews.

It's almost like you making a speech.

But I said, we've got to stop the funding of terrorism.

Tremendous money, and they're funding terrorism.

So we've got to stop it.

So they are working very hard on that.

And I believe they're going to do it.

It was one of the most incredible two days.

As an example, Saudi Arabia put up hundreds of billions

of dollars of money going into buying our planes

and our military equipment and investing in our country.

And I said, you have to do that.

Otherwise I'm not going.

So they spent hundreds of billions of dollars

right in front of us.

They were signing and big people from the biggest countries

in companies--

General Electric, and all of the big companies.

Many of them were there getting contracts.

All good work for our workers.

That was one of the things.

But the other thing is that-- and very important to me-- was

the funding of terrorism has to stop.

And they fund terrorism--

some of those countries, many of those countries.

So we had a tremendous summit.

And I think things are going to work out.

I think it was a very, very important and very impressive

two days.

And now, as you know, Qatar--

which a lot of people call it Qatar--

but Qatar is now a little bit on the outs.

But I think they are being brought back in.

Because they were known as a funder of terrorism.

And we said you can't do that.

You can't do that.

We have to starve the beast, right.

And the beast is terrorism.

So we can't have wealthy countries funding that beast.

How do we handle that big military installation

we built in Qatar?

What do we do with that?

Well, we'll be all right.

Look, if we ever had to leave, we

would have 10 countries willing to build us another one.

Believe me.

And they'll pay for it.

The days of us paying for things are going to be largely over.

They'll start paying.

We go out.

We build.

We this.

We that.

But you're right.

Qatar-- we're going to have a good relationship with Qatar.

And we're not going have a problem with the military base.

But if we ever needed another military base,

you have other countries that would gladly build it.

Believe me.

You went to the G-20.

And you met for the first time, front face

to face, with Vladimir Putin.

And George Bush had once said he stared into his soul

and came away satisfied.

What do you think?

Can we trust him?

Well, look, we had a good meeting.

I think we had an excellent meeting.

One thing we did is we have a ceasefire

in a major part of Syria where there was tremendous bedlam

and tremendous killing.

And by the way, this is now four days.

The ceasefire has held for four days.

Those cease fires haven't held at all.

That's because President Putin and President Trump

made the deal and it's held.

Now, I don't know what's going to happen.

Maybe as we're speaking they start shooting again.

But this has held, unlike all of the other cease fires

that didn't mean anything.

So that was a great thing that came out of that meeting.

I think a lot of things came out of that meeting.

But I do believe it's important to have a dialogue.

And if you don't have a dialogue,

it's a lot of problems for our country and for their country.

I think we need dialogue.

We need dialogue with everybody.


It was a great G-20.

We had 20 countries.

I get along, I think, really fantastically

with the head of every country.

Well, you're going to France right away to meet with Macron.

And you were there for Bastille Day instead of July the Fourth,

that's their special holiday.

That's right.

Well I was invited by the president--

the new president of France--

who is a very good person, very good guy.

And don't forget, I terminated for our country the Paris


So that's not that easy for them.

But I terminated it, because it was not fair to our country.

We have other countries that had much better deals

than we did, to put it just in a very simple form.

And I said, why do we not have a better deal?

And nobody could give me the answer.

I said, I'm terminating.

So I terminated.

But I'm going to be with the president.

And I think it's going to be very exciting.

It's 100 years since World War I.

Turns out to be the exact date.

So we're going to watch something

that I think will be very beautiful.

And I think it's very important for our country

to be represented 100 years since the First World War.

Lafayette, we are here.

We've come back.

Here we are.

Here we are.

Oh that's great.

Well back to Putin.

What do you think he wants?

I know he's said what he wants.

But what do you think his game is?

Well he wants what's good for Russia.


And I want what's good for the United States.

And I think, like in a case like Syria,

where we can get together, do a cease fire--

and there are other cases or many other cases where

getting along can be a very positive thing.

But always, Putin is going to want Russia.

And Trump is going to want United States.

And that's the way it is.

And sometimes, you're not going to get along on things.

And sometimes you will.

But we had a good meeting.

It was a face to face meeting.

It was a long meeting.

It was two hours and 15 minutes.

Everyone were surprised by the amount of time.

But that was a good thing, not a bad thing.


Yeah, I think we got along very well.

And I think that's a good thing.

And that's not a bad thing.

Yeah, of course not.

People said, oh they shouldn't get along.

Well, who are the people that are saying that?

I think we got along very, very well.

We're a tremendously powerful nuclear power.

And so are they.

Sure It doesn't make sense not to have

some kind of a relationship.

We used to have that thing called

mutually assured destruction--


And it's still there.

Because he can hurt us.

He can decimate our country.

And we can do the same thing to him.

It's something you don't even like talking about.

But again, we're the most powerful country in the world.

And we are getting more and more powerful.

Because I'm a big military person.

As an example, if Hillary had won,

our military would be decimated.

Our energy would be much more expensive.

That's what Putin doesn't like about me.

And that's why I say, why would he want me?

Because from day one, I wanted a strong military.

He doesn't want to see that.

And from day one, I want fracking and everything else

to get energy prices low and to create tremendous energy.

We're going to be self-supporting.

We just about are now.

We're going to be exporting energy.

He doesn't want that.

He would like Hillary, where she wants to have windmills.

He would much rather have that, because energy prices

will go up.

And Russia, as you know, relies very much on energy.

There are many things that I do that are the exact opposite

of what he would want.

So when I keep hearing about that he would have rather had

Trump, I think probably not.

Because when I want a strong military,

you know she wouldn't have spent the money on the military.

But when I want a strong military,

and when I want tremendous energy, we're opening up coal.

We're opening up natural gas.

We're opening up fracking-- all the things that he would hate.

But nobody ever mentions it.

Well, Gazprom held Europe by the throat.

They were the monopoly.

And now the US is breaking into that monopoly

with our exports of LNG, right?


We are.

We have LNG exporting all over.

We have taken off some of the regulations that

would make it impossible for the energy companies,

impossible for banks, impossible for a lot of different things.

You couldn't build a house in some places.

And many of those restrictions have been taken off.

Some are being taken off.

We have statutory waits, meaning you

have to wait a certain period of time.

And the country is doing really well.

So the stock market is the highest it's ever been.

We have almost $4 trillion in gain. $4 trillion,

I hope you're taking advantage of that.

We have four-- almost $4 trillion--

I'm into the bargain--

But when you think of that, that's creating value.

We have a lot of tremendous things

ready to go, tremendous projects all over the country.

Don't forget, when I came in, one of my first acts

was the Keystone Pipeline.


And the Dakota Access Pipeline.

These two things got approved immediately.

They would have never been built.

And it's thousands and thousands of jobs.

And it was my honor.

To me, it was a no-brainer.

The regulatory burden on American business has been,

really, worse than taxes.

And you have lifted-- how many regulations

have you lifted so far?

Oh, just thousands.

And what we've done is we've given the farmers back

their land.

We've given the home-builders the right to put up a house.

You had cases where a farm would have a little puddle

someplace-- a puddle.

When I grew up, we used to call it a puddle, right-- you

too, probably.

And they considered it a lake.

And if you touched it, bad, bad things

happen to you and your family.

We've given the farmers back their farms.

We have so many things planned in the future

too, with the tax cuts and the death taxes.

We're ending the death taxes.

There's so many things we have planned.

But the farmers are so happy now.

The home-builders are happy.

We have our most jobs ever in our country.

Now we have to take care of those people that have given up

looking for a job.

You have a large group of people in this country that

have given up.

I would talk about them a lot in speeches.

They've given up looking for jobs.

They're going to be looking very soon.

And they're going to be getting those jobs.

I was talking to Mike Pence a few minutes ago.

And he thinks that possibly that health care bill

can go through.

There are two pieces of legislation

that the American people are really

anxious to see put through.

One is this iniquitous Obamacare has got to go and be replaced.

Number two, we've got to have a tax cut, especially

for small businesses-- corporate tax.

How far along are you?

And number three is infrastructure,

which we're going to do also.


But number one, repeal and replace.

I am sitting in the Oval Office with a pen in hand,

waiting for our senators to give it to me.

For years, they've been talking about repeal

and replace, repeal and replace.

I think they passed it 61 times--

repeal and replace.

But that didn't mean anything.

Because you had the minority, the Republicans.

They didn't have the majority, so it wasn't

going to get to the president.

But if it ever did, Obama was going to sign it,

so it didn't mean.

Now, we have a president that's waiting to sign it.

I have pen in hand.

So now it means something.

Those other times-- those many, many times that they passed


What's the hold up?

You have very good people.

These are very good people.

We have 52 senators.

It's very hard to get all--

we need almost all of them.

You need almost all of them.

And that's the holdup.

And states are somewhat different.

But with all of that being said, has to get passed.

They have to do it.

They have to get together and get it done.

What will happen if they don't?

Well, I don't want to talk about it.

Because I think it would be very bad.

I would be very angry about it.

And a lot of people will be very upset.

But I'm sitting waiting for that bill to come to my desk.

I hope that they do it.

They've been promising it for years.

They've been promising it ever since Obamacare,

which has failed.

It's a failed experiment.

It is totally gone.

It's out of business.

And we have to get this done-- repeal and replace.

Mitch McConnell is a tactician of great skill.

You think he can pull it off?

It's his job.

He's got to pull it off.


Mitch has to pull it off.

He's working very hard.

He's got to pull it off.

All right, the next thing is taxes.

It looks like to me, lowering the corporate tax

to get us in line with the rest of the world

is, again, a no-brainer.

Can you get that one through?

I think after health care, taxes are going to be so easy.

Health care is very hard.

Health care is hard, because you'll

do something a little bit this way,

and you pick up that final vote, and you

lose four votes over here.

Now you it back.

It's a very tiny little road.

It's about two feet wide.

And it goes throughout the country.

So health care is much tougher than taxes.

No, I think taxes are going to be very well.

In fact, our plan is we're talking about massive tax

cuts-- the biggest tax cut in the history of our country.

We're going to get people back again.

We're going to bring back $4 trillion from overseas.

Money that can't come back into this country because of our tax


We're going to bring back $4 trillion--

could be more than that--

from corporations that can't get their money back

into our country.

We're going to give a tremendous tax cut for the middle class.

We're bringing it down to 10%.

We're bringing corporate taxes down to 15%.

I hope we can get that number approved.

Maybe they'll want to do something and negotiate.

But if we get what we want, it will be the biggest tax

cut and the greatest tax reform in the history of our country.

Would you settle for the tax cut without reforming

the whole tax code?

Or would you like to work with the whole thing?

Well, I think we can do them simultaneously.

The code is too complicated.

H&R Block won't be happy.

But people go out.

They spend a lot of their money on getting other people

to do their taxes.

I'm one of them.

I know.

You understand.

And it's unnecessary.

So simplification is very important.

Reform is very important.

And the biggest thing to me is tax cut.

We are going for very large tax cuts for businesses

and for the middle class.

Tremendous tax cuts.

Chairman Brady is on board with what you want to do.

He's a great guy.

He will line up.

Have you got anybody in the Senate of like mind?

Well first of all, Chairman Brady is a great guy.

He really knows the subject.

He'll never disappoint you.

So they're, I think, really good.

In the Senate, I think we're going to do very well.

Again, like health care--

this is simpler than health care, believe it or not--

but like health care, I think we're going to get it done.

And then I want to go to infrastructure.

We have to rebuild our country-- our roads, our bridges,

our tunnels, our schools.

We have to rebuild our country.


You know, we will have, in another few months,

have spent $7 trillion dollars in the Middle

East. $7 trillion.

And then if you want to spend $2 on building

a school in Iowa or in Pennsylvania or in Florida,

they don't want to give you the money.

But we've spent-- in a very short period of time--

we will be up to $7 trillion dollars.

How ridiculous is this?

And here's what we got for it.



The Middle East is a mess.

Now, I'm there for one reason.

We've got to get rid of the terrorists.

That's the reason.

And we're almost there.

We have really made headway.

We've made, as I said, we've made more headway

in the last short period of time than they have ever before,

by far, during this long period of time.

But when you think that we've spent--

we will have spent $7 trillion.

Think of it.

We've spent, as of a few months ago,

we actually have spent $6 trillion in the Middle East.

But we have nothing for it.


I want to rebuild our bridges and our roads.

I have a friend who's a trucker.

And he loves-- he's very proud of his equipment.

He buys it very big.

And he buys the best trucks.

He's very proud of it.

He said in the past, when we went from Los Angeles

to New York, it was fine.

Now by the time he gets to New York,

with all the problems on the roads and potholes,

he said I've got to fix my equipment all the time.

He wants to go to a different level of truck,

meaning downward.

PAT ROBERTSON: Where do you go--

We have to fix our roads.

And we have to fix our infrastructure.

So infrastructure is very important.

Somebody suggested the Federal Reserve has a big slush

fund that maybe they could pass over

for infrastructure without actually having to raise taxes.

How do you get the money for that?

Oh, we'll get the money.

We're going to get the money.

And we're going to grow.

And I say it.

We're going to grow.

We're going to have tremendous growth.

We're being held back by all these regulations, which I'm

knocking out left and right.


Even Dodd-Frank, with the banking business.

I have people-- friends of mine--

they want to go get a loan.

They can't.

Great people, and they can't get loans.

We're doing things on Dodd-Frank,

in terms of the banks.

We have many, many things that we're doing.

But we're going to have growth.

And we're going to grow out of our problems.

Hey, we owe $20 trillion dollars.

The Congressional Budget Office uses this.

They don't use dynamic scoring.

They use static scoring.

Can you get past them so you can--

We're going to get past it.

And we're going to get past it to a large extent,

because we're going to have a country that's

going to be much more dynamic.

If we do GDP at 1%--

because we're basically, for the last year, at around 1%.

I call countries like I'm friendly with all-- let's

say, the top 20 countries where I just left.

How are you doing to a major country--

I won't use names--

oh, we are not happy.

We are not happy.

What's your GDP?





And I say, how you doing?

We are not happy.

So we're at 1% and we're supposed to be happy?

We have the highest taxes anywhere in the world.

We're going to lower them.

We're going to lower them substantially.

We're going to have tremendous growth.

I'd like to make a prediction.

If you get health care and tax reform,

you're guaranteed another four years of office if you want it.

Well then I'll see you at the inauguration.

I am counting on it.

Anyhow, well, I appreciate so much what you're doing.

By the way, the evangelicals of America

voted 83% in the last election for you.

And I want you to know there are thousands

and thousands of people praying for you all the time.

Thank you Pat, that's so nice.

Holding you up.

The evangelicals were so great to me.

And they did.

They came out in massive numbers.

And on top of that, I got 83%.

But they came out in record numbers.

They never came out like that.

And we've really helped.

Because I've gotten rid of the Johnson Amendment.

Now we're going to go try and get rid of it

permanently in Congress.

But I signed an executive order so that now, people like you--

that I want to hear from--

ministers and preachers and rabbis and whoever it may be,

they can speak.


You couldn't speak politically before.

Now you can.

And I want to hear from you and others that we like.

Franklin Graham-- I had such a--

Dr. Jeffress, Robert Jeffress, who is such a great guy.

Pastor Jeffress.

He used to go on television.

I didn't know who he was.

I'd see him.

And he was always speaking so well of me.

And you have so many people that I want to hear from.

Now they're going to be able to speak.

And that's going to be a great thing for Christianity.

Believe me-- a great, great thing.

And it's a great thing for religion.

One last thing.

It looks like you may have another Supreme Court nominee.

Very possible one or more will retire.

And have you already got the list ready for the next one?

Well we have a great one with Justice Gorsuch.


He's going to be great.

And I just have to wait to see what happens.

I have a lot of respect for Justice Kennedy.

I like him a lot.

But we have to see what happens.

And we'll be learning.

Whatever it is, it is.

If there is ever a vacancy, we will put somebody

on who is going to be terrific for our country.

Last question.

There seems to be a visceral hatred of you

in the part of the left.

And they won't quit.

Does it bother you?

Well, there's a--

there seems to be a hatred.

And it's too bad.

We're creating jobs.

We're creating value.

We're making our country proud again.

We're building up our military.

We're taking care of our police.

Our police have been horribly treated.

And the veterans, by the way, is being reformed dramatically.

The veterans.

We have something where it's accountability.

Veterans Accountability Act.

We have, where you could be the worst employee in history,

you could treat the veterans horribly.

You can do whatever you want.

They couldn't fire you.

They've been trying to get rid of it for 40 years.

They've been trying to get in a position

where they can do things.

I had it passed last week.

I just signed it last week.

Nobody even talks about it.

But you know what?

The people know that we're doing these things.

The people see the stock market.

The people see the jobs report.

But it is really unfair, because it's like a witch hunt.

It's like a witch hunt.

But we take it.

We take it.

As long as my people understand--

that's why I do interviews with you.

You have a tremendous audience.

You have people that I love--

the evangelicals.

And sometimes, you say the evangelical Christians.

But I do a lot of interviews with people,

because I can get the word out.

Because I'm treated very unfairly by the press.

And it is what it is.

You don't mind if we ask you to take on heavyweights

and not fight and with light weights anymore?

No, we want to fight.

The big guys.

We want to fight.

We have to bring our country back.


Our country was going in the wrong direction.

That's right.

You couldn't build.

You couldn't do anything.

Our country was going in the wrong direction.

And by the way, what they were doing to religious liberty.

They were destroying religious liberty.

You will be saying Merry Christmas again very soon.

We'll count on it.

Thank you.

Well, Mr. President, thank you so much for being with us.

Thank you.

Always a joy to see you.

Such a great honor.

We're so proud of what you're doing.

Thank you very much.

God bless you.


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