They say it was definitely the most vicious primary

Back to that damn interview. It’s turning into my Moby Dick.

What we do want to do is we want to bring the country together, because the country is very, very divided, and that’s one thing I did see, big league. It’s very, very divided, and I’m going to work very hard to bring the country together.

He says, after a viciously dishonest and belligerent campaign that attacked most of the population – women, immigrants, people of color, the left, Muslims, Native Americans, people with disabilities, ugly people, fat people, “losers”…everyone except rich svelte white people who vote Republican.

They ask him about his plans to put Hillary Clinton in jail, and he nonsensically says he doesn’t want to put her through that.

The campaign was vicious. They say it was the most vicious primary and the most vicious campaign. I guess, added together, it was definitely the most vicious…

This was a very painful period. This was a very painful election with all of the email things and all of the foundation things and all of the everything that they went through and the whole country went through. This was a very painful period of time…

But the fact is that there were some pretty vicious elections; they say this was, this was the most.

They say it was definitely the most vicious primary. And I think it’s very important to look forward.

He says that as if it were nothing to do with him – as if it were external, like the weather. Yes, the campaign was vicious, because he made it vicious. He sounds as if he’s forgotten that.

Then they talk about climate change.

FRIEDMAN: But you have an open mind on this?

TRUMP: I do have an open mind. And we’ve had storms always, Arthur.

SULZBERGER: Not like this.

TRUMP: You know the hottest day ever was in 1890-something, 98. You know, you can make lots of cases for different views. I have a totally open mind.

My uncle was for 35 years a professor at M.I.T. He was a great engineer, scientist. He was a great guy. And he was … a long time ago, he had feelings — this was a long time ago — he had feelings on this subject. It’s a very complex subject. I’m not sure anybody is ever going to really know. I know we have, they say they have science on one side but then they also have those horrible emails that were sent between the scientists. Where was that, in Geneva or wherever five years ago? Terrible. Where they got caught, you know, so you see that and you say, what’s this all about. I absolutely have an open mind. I will tell you this: Clean air is vitally important. Clean water, crystal clean water is vitally important. Safety is vitally important.

And you know, you mentioned a lot of the courses. I have some great, great, very successful golf courses. I’ve received so many environmental awards for the way I’ve done, you know. I’ve done a tremendous amount of work where I’ve received tremendous numbers. Sometimes I’ll say I’m actually an environmentalist and people will smile in some cases and other people that know me understand that’s true. Open mind.

Crystal clean water is important. Glad we got that straight.

And then Shear asks about conflicts of interest and as we’ve already seen, that’s where he collapses into total incoherence.

As far as the, you know, potential conflict of interests, though, I mean I know that from the standpoint, the law is totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest. That’s been reported very widely. Despite that, I don’t want there to be a conflict of interest anyway. And the laws, the president can’t. And I understand why the president can’t have a conflict of interest now because everything a president does in some ways is like a conflict of interest, but I have, I’ve built a very great company and it’s a big company and it’s all over the world. People are starting to see, when they look at all these different jobs, like in India and other things, number one, a job like that builds great relationships with the people of India, so it’s all good. But I have to say, the partners come in, they’re very, very successful people. They come in, they’d say, they said, ‘Would it be possible to have a picture?’ Actually, my children are working on that job. So I can say to them, Arthur, ‘I don’t want to have a picture,’ or, I can take a picture. I mean, I think it’s wonderful to take a picture. I’m fine with a picture. But if it were up to some people, I would never, ever see my daughter Ivanka again. That would be like you never seeing your son again. That wouldn’t be good. That wouldn’t be good. But I’d never, ever see my daughter Ivanka.

Someone points out the obvious: he could sell his company. He says no he couldn’t possibly do that, because he doesn’t want to.

I don’t care about my company. I mean, if a partner comes in from India or if a partner comes in from Canada, where we did a beautiful big building that just opened, and they want to take a picture and come into my office, and my kids come in and, I originally made the deal with these people, I mean what am I going to say? I’m not going to talk to you, I’m not going to take pictures? You have to, you know, on a human basis, you take pictures. But I just want to say that I am given the right to do something so important in terms of so many of the issues we discussed, in terms of health care, in terms of so many different things. I don’t care about my company. It doesn’t matter. My kids run it. They’ll say I have a conflict because we just opened a beautiful hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, so every time somebody stays at that hotel, if they stay because I’m president, I guess you could say it’s a conflict of interest. It’s a conflict of interest, but again, I’m not going to have anything to do with the hotel, and they may very well. I mean it could be that occupancy at that hotel will be because, psychologically, occupancy at that hotel will be probably a more valuable asset now than it was before, O.K.? The brand is certainly a hotter brand than it was before. I can’t help that, but I don’t care. I said on “60 Minutes”: I don’t care. Because it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters to me is running our country.

That’s ok then. Yes, of course, his new DC hotel will probably profit from his new starring role, but it’s fine, because he doesn’t care. Whew. Now that’s he’s explained he doesn’t care about all that extra profit, we can all relax. What a relief, hey?!

Then they talk about windmills. He explains all about windmills. They try again to ask about his personal objections to windmills, so he explains all about signing checks.

But I am phasing that out now, and handing that to Eric Trump and Don Trump and Ivanka Trump for the most part, and some of my executives, so that’s happening right now.

But in theory I could run my business perfectly, and then run the country perfectly. And there’s never been a case like this where somebody’s had, like, if you look at other people of wealth, they didn’t have this kind of asset and this kind of wealth, frankly. It’s just a different thing.

Oh, ah, I see. He’s saying that he has huge companies and assets and profits, much much bigger than any other president has had, so for that reason it’s all ok. You and I in our simplicity might have thought that made it worse, not ok, but no, we would have been wrong about that. The bigger the profits, the less the conflict of interest. Who knew?

Then he tells them how great his new DC hotel is.

I’ve greatly reduced meetings with contractors, meetings with different people that, you know, I’ve also started by — ’cause I’ve said over the last two years, once I decided I wanted to run, I don’t want to build anything. ’Cause building, like for instance, we built the post office, you’ll be happy to hear, ahead of schedule and under budget. Substantially ahead of schedule. Almost two years ago of schedule. But ahead of schedule, under budget, and it’s a terrific place. That’s the hotel on Pennsylvania.

Maybe at that point he gave them all 10% off coupons. The transcript doesn’t say.

Then he is asked about Bannon.

TRUMP: And if he said something to me that, in terms of his views, or that I thought were inappropriate or bad, number one I wouldn’t do anything, and number two, he would have to be gone. But I know many people that know him, and in fact, he’s actually getting some very good press from a lot of the people that know him, and people that are on the left. But Steve went to Harvard, he was a, you know, he was very successful, he was a Naval officer, he’s, I think he’s very, very, you know, sadly, really, I think it’s very hard on him. I think he’s having a hard time with it. Because it’s not him. It’s not him.


We’re doomed.

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