Analysis: The 36 most shocking lines from Donald Trump's interview with The Hill

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1. “I like, I like the idea of keeping Congress abreast, but I wouldn’t have to do that.”

Within the first 30 seconds of the interview, Trump says he doesn’t need congressional approval to launch a military action against Iran. And away we go!

2. “I do like keeping them, they have ideas that intelligent people, they’ll come up with some thoughts.”

Donald Trump offers his thoughts on Congress. Yes, really.

3. “Well, I think we might need military action, we’ll see what happens.”

Trump says “we’ll see what happens” a lot. Like, a whole lot.

4. “We had anywhere from 14 to 18 points of confliction, they were behind every single one of them.”

Look, I didn’t think “confliction” was a word either. But it is! Point, Trump!

5. “So we’ll see what happens, I hope it works out. I think it will eventually work out, they can do it very quickly, they can take a long time, but they’ve got a lot of problems.”

This detailed geopolitical analysis on the current state of Iran is brought to you by the President of the United States.

6. “Well, it was a very nice letter, and it was actually a happy birthday letter if you want to know the truth, it was my birthday. And he sent me a beautiful letter, happy birthday, which was nice.”

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is no dummy. He knows that the way to Trump’s heart is through flattery and obsequiousness. Hence, a “beautiful” birthday card.

7. “He’s, he does that, he doesn’t have, look, there’s something different, he’s a different person than he was four or five years ago, and he wasn’t so hot four or five years ago.”

The President of the United States making vague references to the totally unproven idea that there is something wrong with Joe Biden, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. Totally normal stuff!

8. “But there is something going on in that brain of his.”

And now Trump drops all subtlety when it comes to suggesting that Biden has something wrong with him. If you don’t believe me, check out the next sentence from Trump below.

9. “I think he’s off, he’s, he’s different. I mean we’ve all known him a long time. I don’t know him, but I’ve seen him for a long time, and frankly he looks different, he sounds different, and he thinks different.”

If you don’t think Trump is trying to suggest something is physically wrong with Biden, then give me a credible explanation of what the President means when he says “he’s off” and “he thinks different.” Yeah, I thought so.

10. “Other than that, I hope he does very well.”

So, other than suggesting Biden has some sort of undiagnosed problem with his brain, Trump wishes him well!

11. “I’m looking for nothing in that debate.”

NBC should use this in their promo materials for the Democratic debates later this week. “I’m looking for nothing” — Donald Trump.

12. “One of the big things I see, look I gave the biggest tax cut in the history of our country, one of their big things is to eliminate the tax cut and raise everybody’s taxes.”

(narrator voice) He didn’t.

13. “So a lot of people are starting to say I’m right.”

Oh are they?

14. “Would I do that? Of course. You have any recommendation?”

First, Trump confirms that if there was a Supreme Court opening in 2020, he would nominate someone to fill it. (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already said he would work to confirm such a nominee.) Second, the President asks two reporters if they have any thoughts on who might be a good fit for the nation’s highest court. This is all very legal and very cool.

15. “I have a good list already chosen, I have a beautiful list of great, very talented people.”

Trump loves to call things beautiful. Including his list of potential Supreme Court justices, apparently.

16. “No, if we can get him, you know if we can get him approved. They couldn’t get him approved.”

This is Trump’s response to this question: “You wouldn’t see any hypocrisy in putting forward a nominee before the presidential election given what happened to Merrick Garland?” It’s important to note that McConnell refused to even meet with Garland much less hold confirmation hearings for him. So, the idea that “they” couldn’t get him approved was never tested in any meaningful way. (Also: “If we can get HIM.” Just saying.)

17. “I mean we have the Senate; we have a great Senate, we have great people, if we could get him approved, I would definitely do it. No, I’d do it a lot sooner than that. I’d do it if there three days left, I’d put, put somebody up hoping that I could get them done in three days, OK?”

In this quote, Trump totally unravels the supposed GOP defense for not bringing up Garland for a vote — because it was too close to an election for an outgoing president to pick someone for a lifetime appointment. What Trump admits to — whether on purpose or, more likely, not — is that the only thing that matters here is whether or not there you can get your SCOTUS pick confirmed. The ends justify the means.

18. “Well, we’ll see how it turns out. I mean I, I disagree with him on that. I think a lot of people are disagreeing, you may even disagree with him on that, but, no I would disagree with him on that, respectfully.”

The question? “The FBI Director disagreed — he’s disagreed with the attorney general over spying, he said there was no spying on your campaign. What’s your confidence right now in the FBI Director?” Have a great rest of the day, Chris Wray!

19. “No, the conditions are much better than they were under President Obama. But because our economy is so good, you know we have the lowest unemployment rate that we’ve had in 51 years.”

OK, so here’s what is happening: Trump is asked about the deplorable conditions for children in some of the detention facilities along the border. He quickly blames former President Barack Obama and then pivots to his stump speech about the lowest unemployment rates for lots of minority groups. Empathy, thy name is not Donald Trump.

20. “I took over Obama’s policy. It was a policy of separation. I’m the one that put them together.”

This is simply not accurate. Trump put in place a zero tolerance policy that led to the child separation crisis.

21. “And, and by the way, we’ve built a lot of wall. You’re seeing the; did you like my tweet the other …”

“Did you like my tweet?” — The President of the United States

22. “I mean you look at my Hispanic numbers, they’ve been great, and because the Hispanics understand the border better than anybody else.”

Trump got 28% of the Hispanic vote in 2016. In the latest June CNN-SSRS national poll, just 23% of non-whites approved of the job he was doing.

23. “Well, he’s incorrect. If I wanted to, but I have no plans to anything.”

In which Trump says that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who he appointed(!), is wrong about Trump’s ability to fire him. Of course, Trump has no plans to fire Powell. But if he wanted to get rid of him, well …

24. “The Fed has been terrible to me and despite that I’m pulling through and you know, it’s one of those things.”

(grabs bullhorn, turns it all the way up) Donald Trump hand-picked Jerome Powell to head the Fed!

25. “I know that when you have the great stars like Ronaldo and some of these stars, my son loves soccer and you know, some of the Messi.”

“Some of the Messi” is my favorite quote. Ever. From anyone.

26. “Well, I think a lot of it also has to do with the economics. I mean, who draws more?”

Trump was asked here if he thinks the US women’s national soccer team should be paid as much as the men’s team. Here’s a fun fact: From 2015 until now, the US women’s national soccer team has created more revenue from their games than has the US men’s national soccer team.

27. “We have to go through the six years or whatever it may be when, when you know, would I like to get a ride out of some of your compatriots, say go through the six, 10, 14, maybe 18 years, whatever it may be.”

28. “Well, look, I have a lot of respect; even Mount Rushmore; so for many, many years they got, they had fireworks, right? Many, many years.”

The question? “Do you think you should be on Mount Rushmore, sir?”

29. “They ended it a long time ago, but they didn’t want, but they didn’t have fireworks because of, I don’t know, I think they thought, thought the stone was gonna catch on fire. That doesn’t happen, right? There was somebody said they had. Nobody’s been able, nobody’s been able to figure out why, but it was a very strong no.”

Donald Trump on fireworks at Mount Rushmore. And stone catching on fire. I think. The real reason there haven’t been fireworks at Mount Rushmore? A pine beetle infestation in the surrounding national forest increased the potential for wildfires.

30. “Bergdorf Goodman’s a crowded store. And I’ve never been up that I remember ever on that floor. They sell women’s dresses on that floor. OK? But Bergdorf Goodman is … and this is, like, 25 years ago, but this store is packed.”

This is a very interesting breakdown of Bergdorf’s.

31. “I’ll say it with great respect, No. 1, she’s not my type.”

Of all the offensive and out of touch things Trump has said since he became a candidate for president in 2015, this has to be in the top five. Trump is responding to allegations made by advice columnist E. Jean Carroll that he raped her in a dressing room at Bergdorf’s in the late 1990s. Whether or not you believe Carroll is beside the point. What the President is saying is that he would never rape someone like her because she isn’t his type. Sit with that for a minute.

32. “I think it’s a crazy thing when, when people are allowed to make false accusations like that. I really do.”

33. “When a reporter is, is fake, there are a lot of them, fake; some of these we don’t even get calls in many cases, like, to confirm something.”

34. “She’ll be governor. She’ll be governor. She won’t talk to us anymore. She’ll be too high.”

Donald Trump on his outgoing press secretary Sarah Sanders. Again, this is all super normal!

35. “If she runs for governor, she would have my endorsement, yeah, she would have my endorsement. I mean, I don’t know that she’s gonna run, but I think she should. She probably will, but I think she should, I mean, she’s very popular.”

Follow this logic: If Sanders runs for governor, Trump will endorse her → she might not run → she’ll probably run → she should run → she’s very popular. Get it? Got it? Good!

36. “Anyway, have a good time, fellows.”

This is an amazing way to end an interview or, really any encounter. When I leave work today, I am going to turn to The Point Posse and say, “Anyway, have a good time, fellows.” And, oh yeah: This feels like a good place to end.

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