7 puzzling things Donald Trump said in his first presidential interview
President Trump sat down with ABC's David Muir, and the discussion went to some interesting places
On Wednesday, President Trump sat down for his first interview since his inauguration. He and ABC News anchor David Muir discussed everything from torture to ObamaCare to Trump's baseless claim that 3-5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election. Here are some of the more colorful things the new president said during the interview:
On his speech at CIA headquarters:
That speech was a home run. That speech, if you look at Fox, okay, I'll mention you — we see what Fox said: They said it was one of the great speeches. They showed the people applauding and screaming and — and they were all CIA. There was — somebody was asking Sean — "Well, were they Trump people that were put" — we don't have Trump people. They were CIA people.... I got a standing ovation. In fact, they said it was the biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning had won the Super Bowl and they said it was equal. I got a standing ovation.
On his inaugural crowd:
I've seen crowds before. Big, big crowds. That was some crowd. When I looked at the numbers that happened to come in from all of the various sources, we had the biggest audience in the history of inaugural speeches. I said the men and women that I was talking to who came out and voted will never be forgotten again. Therefore I won't allow you or other people like you to demean that crowd and to demean the people that came to Washington, D.C., from faraway places because they like me. [MUIR: I just wanna say I didn't demean anyone who was in that crowd. We did coverage for hours....] No, I think you're demeaning by talking the way you're talking. I think you're demeaning. And that's why I think a lot of people turned on you and turned on a lot of other people. And that's why you have a 17 percent approval rating, which is pretty bad.
I have a general who I have great respect for, [Defense Secretary] Gen. Mattis, who said — I was a little surprised — who said he's not a believer in torture.... But I will tell you I have spoken to others in intelligence. And they are big believers in, as an example, waterboarding. Because they say it does work.... As far as I'm concerned we have to fight fire with fire. Now, with that being said I'm going with Gen. Mattis. I'm going with my secretary because I think [CIA Director Mike] Pompeo's gonna be phenomenal. I'm gonna go with what they say. But I have spoken as recently as 24 hours ago with people at the highest level of intelligence. And I asked them the question, "Does it work? Does torture work?" And the answer was, "Yes, absolutely".... I don't want people to chop off the citizens' or anybody's heads in the Middle East. Okay? Because they're Christian or Muslim or anything else. I don't want — look, you are old enough to have seen a time that was much different. You never saw heads chopped off until a few years ago.
On whether a Muslim ban will stir up anger:
There's plenty of anger right now. How can you have more?.... David, I mean, I know you're a sophisticated guy. The world is a mess. The world is as angry as it gets. What? You think this is gonna cause a little more anger? The world is an angry place.
On whether the U.S. should have taken Iraq's oil:
We should have taken the oil. You wouldn't have ISIS if we took the oil. Now I wasn't talking about it from the standpoint of ISIS because the way we got out was horrible. We created a vacuum and ISIS formed. But had we taken the oil something else would've very good happened. They would not have been able to fuel their rather unbelievable drive to destroy large portions of the world. [MUIR: You've heard the critics who say that would break all international law, taking the oil.] Wait, wait, can you believe that? Who are the critics who say that? Fools. I don't call them critics. I call them fools.
On the Affordable Care Act:
ObamaCare is a disaster. We are going to come up with a new plan ideally, not an amended plan, because right now if you look at the pages they're this high. We're gonna come up with a new plan that's going to be better health care for more people at a lesser cost.... I will say millions of people will be happy. Right now you have millions and millions and millions of people that are unhappy.
On the Dow hitting 20,000:
I'm very proud of that. The business community — and the labor community, you saw that with the labor leaders that came out. One of them said, "It was the single greatest meeting I've ever had with anybody. It's the highlight of my life."