Culture

The Most Off-The-Wall Things Trump Said During His ‘Unintelligible’ Associated Press Interview

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By President Trump’s usual dramatic standards, he enjoyed a relatively low-key weekend. Sure, he issued an insincere-sounding Earth Day tweet, awarded a Purple Heart with “congratulations,” and picked a rally over next weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, but that’s small Trump potatoes. Yet bubbling under the surface was a doozy of a Friday Associated Press interview, which trickled out in short excerpts but didn’t publish in full transcript form until Sunday.

Plausible reasons exist for this gap — including a purposeful withholding of the interview — but there’s also a fair chance that no one could discern what the hell Trump was saying. In 16 separate instances, the word “unintelligible” reveals that neither the AP nor its chosen transcribers could make out Trump’s marble-mouthed prose. In 55 other areas of the interview, his words are connected by ellipses, which signals that even Trump may not have understood what he was saying. Here are the most bonkers things Trump (probably) said during this discussion.

Trump basically confirms the reports that he was blown away by the scope of his new duties, i.e., how hard it is to be president:

“Well the one thing I would say — and I say this to people — I never realized how big it was. Everything’s so (unintelligible) like, you know the orders are so massive. I was talking to…”

He tried to explain the responsibility he felt with the Syrian missile strike:

“[I]f this missile goes off and lands in the middle of a town or a hamlet …. every decision is much harder than you’d normally make. (unintelligible) … This is involving death and life and so many things. … So it’s far more responsibility. (unintelligible) ….The financial cost of everything is so massive, every agency.”

On the subject of CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s hard-line stance on Wikileaks, Trump downplayed his previous statement: “I love Wikileaks!” He also tried to claim that he didn’t really “love” them, he just thought they provided “interesting” reading by leaking John Podesta’s emails:

“When Wikileaks came out … never heard of Wikileaks, never heard of it. When Wikileaks came out, all I was just saying is, ‘Well, look at all this information here, this is pretty good stuff.’ … I found it very interesting when I read this stuff and I said, ‘Wow.’ It was just a figure of speech. I said, ‘Well, look at this. It’s good reading.'”

He seems unaware of how Jeff Sessions declared it a “priority” to arrest Julian Assange, but Trump’s “OK” with it:

“I am not involved in that decision, but if Jeff Sessions wants to do it, it’s OK with me. I didn’t know about that decision, but if they want to do it, it’s OK with me.”

The AP tries to switch from Wikileaks to Trump’s thoughts on Iran and receives an obsessively weird complaint about “leakers”:

“And the other thing that we should go after is the leakers.”

Trump says he got along very well with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and denied snubbing her handshake attempt in the Oval Office:

“One of the best chemistries I had was with Merkel … And I guess somebody shouted out, ‘Shake her hand, shake her hand,’ you know. But I never heard it. But I had already shaken her hand four times. You know, because we were together for a long time.”

Trump tries very hard to articulate what “fake media” means to him and compliments Fox News, which he says is the most truthful and not just because they kiss his tush:

“I have learned one thing, because I get treated very unfairly, that’s what I call it, the fake media. And the fake media is not all of the media. You know they tried to say that the fake media was all the, no. The fake media is some of you. I could tell you who it is, 100 percent. Sometimes you’re fake, but — but the fake media is some of the media. It bears no relationship to the truth. It’s not that Fox treats me well, it’s that Fox is the most accurate.”

Trump thought that the media would embrace him after the election, and he’s crushed that this didn’t happen:

“I used to get great press. I get the worst press. I get such dishonest reporting with the media. That’s another thing that really has — I’ve never had anything like it before. It happened during the primaries, and I said, you know, when I won, I said, “Well the one thing good is now I’ll get good press.” And it got worse. (unintelligible) So that was one thing that a little bit of a surprise to me. I thought the press would become better, and it actually, in my opinion, got more nasty.”

Trump claims to not watch CNN after mentioning that he recently saw something on CNN, and the AP calls him out:

TRUMP: “The one thing I’ve learned to do that I never thought I had the ability to do. I don’t watch CNN anymore.”

AP: “You just said you did.”

TRUMP: “No. No, I, if I’m passing it, what did I just say (inaudible)?”

AP: “You just said –”

TRUMP: “Where? Where?”

AP: “Two minutes ago.”

In case you forgot, Trump won the electoral college, and he’s going to tell you about the difficulty of this accomplishment:

“The Democrats, they have a big advantage in the electoral college. Big, big, big advantage. I’ve always said the popular vote would be a lot easier than the electoral college. The electoral college — but it’s a whole different campaign (unintelligible). The electoral college is very difficult for a Republican to win.”

Beyond that, Trump also brags a lot about getting a great discount for the military on the F-35 fighter jet, and he says some big tax-reform news is coming this week. You can read the full interview here, and it’s truly exhausting to witness.

(Via Associated Press)

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