Trump Sits Down with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos: A Closer Look

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President Trump sat down
for a rare interview with a network
that wasn’t Fox News. For more on this,
it’s time for “A Closer Look.” ♪♪ Trump almost never
does interviews with anyone other than
a friendly outlet, like, for example,
“Fox & Friends.” In fact, he just did one
with them on Friday where they kicked off
the interview with this hard-hitting exchange. -It is the President’s birthday. -The President
is turning 73 today. -Mm-hmm. -And he is joining us by phone
right now. Good morning to you,
Mr. President. -Good morning.
-Happy birthday. How do you plan to celebrate? -Well, I think I’ll just work,
if you want to know the truth. -That doesn’t surprise us. -Come on. You got to have
a cake or something. -I don’t have time to celebrate.
-What about cake? -Yeah, we’ll have a little piece
of cake tonight. -They talk about him
like he’s a child. “The President turns 73 today,
and that’s why we’re doing our show live on location
from Chuck E. Cheese!” So that — that is — Right there, that’s the kind
of interview Trump’s used to. Also, you can see why
because when Trump sat down with ABC anchor
George Stephanopoulos, he was tripped up
by even the simplest questions. For example, Trump has blocked
Democrats in Congress from reviewing
his financial records. In the ABC interview,
Trump tried to claim there was nothing suspicious
in those records, but he couldn’t
get past the fact that his chief of staff,
Mick Mulvaney, who was in the room,
was coughing during his answer. -They’re after my financial
statement, the Senate. They’d like to get
my financial statement. At some point,
I hope they get it. -You gonna turn it over?
-No. At some point, I might. But at some point, I hope
they get it because it’s a — -[ Coughing ] It’s a fantastic
financial statement. It’s a fantastic
financial statement. And let’s do that over. He’s coughing in the middle
of my answer. -Yeah. Okay.
-I don’t like that, you know? -Your chief of staff. -If you’re going to cough,
please leave the room. -I’ll come over here. -You just can’t —
You just can’t. -Just to change the shot?
-Sorry. -Okay. You want to do that
a little differently then? -Yeah.
We’ll just change the angle. Yep. Thank you. -So, at some point — So, at
some point, I look forward to — Frankly, I’d like to have people
see my financial statement. -Just remember that
the next time Donald Trump says he has a great healthcare plan, the plan is if you cough,
get the [bleep] out of here. [ Cheers and applause ] Now, it’s not that I feel bad
for Mick Mulvaney, but you know there’s
a pretty good chance they set up the cough
as a signal and Trump forgot. “If I accidentally start saying I want Congress
to see my financial records, you know, give me
some kind of signal, something simple like a cough.” “Uh, sure, but won’t a cough
be distracting?” -“No, a cough is great! I mean, it’s not like
I’m going to lose my mind when I hear a cough.” [ Laughter ] Also, I love — I love
that Trump thinks his answer was so good
that the coughing ruined it. Dude, you’d be better off
if every answer you gave was interrupted by coughing. For example,
what does this mean? -They’d like to get
my financial statement. At some point,
I hope they get it. -You won’t give it to them,
but you hope they get it? What does that mean?
Are you playing hard-to-get? “Oh, you want
my financial statement? Well, it’s right here.
Chase me. Chase me.” [ Applause ] But the fun part
of this interview was watching Stephanopoulos
set Trump up by tossing him a few softballs
that were right in his wheelhouse
in order to warm him up and then hitting him
with the tough questions. For example, there was the part where Stephanopoulos
greeted Trump in the morning and asked him
how much sleep he got, and the conversation veered into which meals Trump likes
the most. -How much sleep? -Probably, I average
four or five hours, I guess. -Are you a big breakfast guy? -I’m not a breakfast guy
at all, fortunately. -No? -I like the lunches, but the
dinners is what I really like. -Now, that’s the kind of
interview Trump likes to give. He wants the same questions
you’d ask while FaceTiming with your grandpa
in his retirement home. “How was your birthday, Grandpa?
Did you have breakfast? Oh, you like dinner more?
That’s great. Is someone coughing in
the background? Oh. Oh.
Everyone’s coughing. Okay.” [ Laughter ] [ Applause ] Also, by the way… how predictable is it
that Trump is anti-breakfast? Of course, Trump is against the
most important meal of the day. “I don’t like
to front-load my energy. I like to fill up my belly
at night and have a fitful sleep so I wake up nice and paranoid.” But this is how
you rope-a-dope Trump. You bring the rope,
he brings the dope. You soften him up
with a dumb question like this to get him going,
and then you hit him with a tougher one about something
like the Mueller Report, and when Stephanopoulos
did that, Trump was clearly thrown
off kilter. -If you answer
these questions to me now, why not answer them
to Robert Mueller under oath? -Because… they were looking
to get us for lies, for slight misstatements. -You didn’t answer questions
on obstruction. -Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
I did answer questions. I answered them in writing.
-Not on obstruction. -I don’t know.
I answered a lot of questions. They gave me questions.
I answered them in writing. -Not on obstruction. -Look, George, you’re being
a little wise guy, okay, which is, you know,
typical for you. -Did you just call him
a little wise guy? Did you — Did you also tell him to go home
and get his shine box? Every time you think Trump
couldn’t sound more like a Scorsese character,
he finds a way. This interview should have had
a voiceover from Henry Hill. Why not answer them to
Robert Mueller under oath? -I knew they were cops.
Only cops talk that way. If they had been wise guys,
I wouldn’t have heard a thing. -Stephanopoulos also asked Trump about the evidence
contained in the Mueller Report that he obstructed justice. In fact, more than 1,000
former prosecutors signed a letter saying there was
enough evidence to indict Trump. But when Stephanopoulos
asked Trump about that, Trump dismissed it. -Robert Mueller said
he’s not reached a decision that could not exonerate you, and he laid out
all that evidence. More than a thousand
former federal prosecutors — -Oh, that’s —
They’re all politicians. Hey, George, look,
I know more about prosecutors than you’ll ever know. [ Laughter ] -That doesn’t sound as good
as you think it sounds. That’s like if you’re watching
“Law & Order” with a buddy and they go, “See, his mistake
was throwing the body in the river
without weighing it down. You gotta weigh it down!
Everybody knows that!” And, of course,
Stephanopoulos also got Trump to make a shocking admission
that if a foreign government offered him dirt
on a political opponent, he would definitely take it. -Your campaign this time around,
if foreigners, if Russia, if China,
if someone else offers you information
on opponents, should they accept it
or should they call the FBI? -I think maybe you do both. I think you might
want to listen. I don’t — There’s nothing wrong
with listening. -Wow, dude.
You would have been better off if THAT answer had been
interrupted by coughing. -Should they accept it
or should they call the FBI? -I think they… -[ Coughing ] -“Stop coughing. I’m good.” But in a way, it was — was at least refreshing to finally get an honest
confession from Trump, because before this interview,
Trump was still pretending he had no interest in colluding
with a foreign government. For one thing, there were
the all-caps tweets screaming “no collusion,”
and last week, Trump even lied to reporters
and claimed the Mueller Report had actually shown
that his campaign rejected contacts from
the Russian government. Trump made that comment
while sitting next to the president of Poland, and he couldn’t help
but get him involved. The Mueller Report spoke.
They were very disappointed. It said no collusion and
no obstruction and no nothing. And, in fact, it said we actually rebuffed
your friends from Russia. -His friends? Why — Why are you dragging him
into it? Are you trying —
Are you trying to frame him? “I had nothing to do
with Russia, but you should, uh,
talk to this guy over here. He’s guilty as hell.” So, with all this going on,
you’d be forgiven for not trusting Trump
when to comes to Russia. And even if you put aside
Trump’s latest comments, there’s all the damning evidence
about his campaign’s contacts with Russia, his constant praise
for Vladimir Putin, and even how excited Trump is
to see him. I mean, look at that. Even Putin seems kind of bummed
to be with him. This looks like a family photo
of a corny dad on a road trip
with his goth teen. It should be
at the Grand Canyon. [ Laughter ] [ Applause ] “Could you at least — Can you at least smile
for one picture? We drove 30 hours. I like to listen to your music
in the camper.” Well, if you are concerned,
apparently you’re not alone. As we learned this weekend, even intelligence officials
don’t trust Trump with sensitive information
when it comes to Russia. -The United States is reportedly
ramping up cyber attacks on Russia’s electric power grid, and “The New York Times” says
potentially crippling malware has been placed deeper into the
Russian grid than ever before. -This from
“The New York Times” story — two administration officials
said they believe Mr. Trump had not been briefed
in any detail. Pentagon intelligence officials
describe broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump
about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction
and the possibility he might countermand it or discuss it
with foreign officials. -Wow. They can’t even give the
President of the United States sensitive details about Russia because they’re afraid
he’ll blab about it to Putin. This is probably why Trump
spends all of his time showing off new paint colors
for “Air Force One” because that’s the only thing
his aides trust him to do. That’s why Putin — That’s why Putin looks so bummed
in those photos. “Do you have any classified
secrets, Donald?” “Oh, yeah,
we’re painting ‘Air Force One’ red, white, and…blue.” [ Laughter ] Trump keeps going on TV — keeps going on TV and giving us
more evidence against him. Meanwhile, Democrats are having
a weird debate over whether they should impeach him or
focus on beating him in 2020. If anything, it seems like
the answer is simple. -You do both.
-This has been “A Closer Look.”

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