President Donald Trump sat down with Fox News host Laura Ingraham of “The Ingraham Angle” during his trip to France this week to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings in World War II. During the interview, the president touched on topics far beyond the D-Day ceremonies — and took aim at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for insults she’s lobbed at him in recent days. The president called her a “disgrace” for her comments that he should be in prison after special counsel Robert Mueller released the results of his nearly two-year investigation.
Early on in the interview, Ingraham asked him, “Two years ago the so-called ‘experts,’ [the] foreign policy experts, were predicting that you would fracture NATO, [that] America would become isolationists. What do you say to those experts today?”
“Well, those are the people that fail so badly and I haven’t really gone to them — I know them, I’ve read them, I’ve seen what the result is and the result was terrible. NATO was going down. And if you look at the money coming into NATO for the last 15 years, it’s like an escalator down and now it’s like a rocket ship up. Secretary [Jens] Stoltenberg has been maybe Trump’s biggest fan, to be honest with you … He made a speech the other day. He said without Donald Trump maybe there would be no NATO. We’ve gotten over $100 billion from other countries where they’re starting to pay because it got to a point where we were paying so much — I think we were really paying close to 100 percent of NATO, so we were paying to protect all of these European nations and it’s just not fair.”
“And I told them that,” Trump added. “I told the countries, the heads of the countries, I said, ‘It’s not fair, the United States possibly doesn’t even benefit’ … Certainly in this age we’re not benefiting, certainly not like them. And they paid over $100 billion more toward their defense.”
Ingraham noted that Theresa May praised Trump on Wednesday “for the burden sharing that [is] basically about time.”
“Yes, she was so nice, but they’re all saying it and they’re stepping up. I would say Germany has not stepped up much. Germany’s paying one percent. They should be paying much more than that. Well, think of it, one percent — so we protect Germany and then Germany takes advantage of us on trade. I was with Angela Merkel yesterday, who I like a lot … You know, a lot of people think we don’t have a good relationship. We do, and she even smiles when I say, ‘Look, you have to pay,’ and she sort of laughs, because for years they got away with this and it’s unfair. And they’re not getting away with it anymore.”
“What about her dig at you when she was at Harvard — was that appropriate?” asked Ingraham.
Merkel said during her speech there, “I want to leave this wish with you: Tear down walls of ignorance and narrowmindedness, for nothing has to stay as it is.”
Trump responded, “She has to say what she has to say … But I like her, I get along with [her], but I said, ‘You have to pay,’ and most of the nations are now either current or very close to current … It’s over $100 billion in a very short period of time.”
The conversation then turned to the 5 percent tariffs that Trump said he will impose on Mexico if that country does not stem the tide of illegal immigration into America. “What must Mexico do?” Ingraham asked him. “What can they do to stem this massive tide — 140,000 people in May?”
“When you’re the piggy bank that everybody steals and robs from, and they deceive you, like they’ve been doing for 25 years, tariffs are a beautiful thing. It’s a beautiful word if you know how to use them properly. Republicans should love what I’m doing because I view tariffs in two phases. Number one, it’s great to negotiate with, because people don’t want to be tariffed for coming into the United States. They don’t want that. And number two, frankly they’re going to make fortune because all the companies are going to move back into the country.”
“But isn’t that Congress’ fault for not passing asylum reform?” Ingraham pressed.
“Yes,” Trump replied.
“Why does it seem like Mexico is bearing the brunt?”
“They [Mexico] are letting millions of people walk up through their country,” said Trump, “and they shouldn’t let anybody walk up through their country. I mean, frankly, we shouldn’t even have to have border patrol. Border patrol’s doing incredibly, you know they apprehended over 100,000 people last [month] … And by the way that [the 140,000 in May] is not even close to our record, because if you go back 13-14 years ago, it was crazy numbers, but I don’t want this. I want people to come in legally,” said Trump. “We want the people that we want and I want a merit-based system, but we shouldn’t have anybody. They shouldn’t be able to walk through Mexico. And now I’ve told Mexico, ‘If you don’t stop this onslaught, this invasion’ — people get angry when I use the word invasion, people like Nancy Pelosi that honestly don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. I watched her. She was saying we have to protect Mexico. We have to take care of Mexico. Look, I’m dealing with Mexico right now. They send in $500 billion worth of drugs, they kill 100,000 people, they ruin a million families every year. If you look at that, that’s really an invasion without the guns.”
“Are you worried about how this might affect the USMCA, another historic trade re-negotiation?” asked Ingraham.
“I’m not worried about it because they need us. We don’t need them — they need us. They stole 32 percent of our car business with NAFTA. [It was] the stupidest deal, one of the truly stupid deals of our time. They stole 32,000 – they have 32 percent of our car business.”
When the Fox News host said the ally, however, is “one of our most important trading partners,” Trump replied, “OK, fine, and yet they send in $500 billion worth of drugs. We will never do that kind of trade. They send in drugs, illegal drugs, $500 billion, 100,000 people are killed, dead every year from what comes through our southern border. They shouldn’t be allowing people to come through their country from Central, from Honduras and Guatemala, El Salvador … They walk right through our country.”
Ingraham noted that Speaker Pelosi in the past day or so said some “pretty harsh things” about Trump. “She said, ‘I don’t want impeachment, I want him in prison.’ How do you work with someone like that?” asked Ingraham.
“I think she’s a disgrace,” replied Trump. “I actually don’t think she’s a talented person. I’ve tried to be nice to her because I would have liked to have gotten some deals done. She’s incapable of doing deals. She’s a nasty, vindictive, horrible person. The Mueller report came out [and] it was a disaster for them. They thought their good friend Bobby Mueller was going to give them a great report and he came out with a report with 13 horrible, angry Democrats who are totally biased against me. A couple of them worked for Hillary Clinton. They then added five more, also Democrats, with all of that two-and-a-half years — think of it — from before I even got elected they’ve been going after me and they have nothing.”
Trump also said he had a new name for the speaker: “Nervous Nancy. Nancy Pelosi’s a disaster, OK?” he said. “She’s a disaster and let her do what she wants, you know what? I think they’re in big trouble … Ask Nancy, why [does] her district [have] drug needles all over the place? It’s the most disgusting thing what she’s allowed to happen to her district [in California, which includes the city of San Francisco]. With needles, with drug addicts, with people living in the middle of the streets, with people living on the sidewalk … She ought to focus on that because she’s a disaster and she made a statement [about him]. It was a horrible, nasty, vicious statement while I’m overseas.”
Trump noted quite rightly that if he himself had made “any statement about anybody,” meaning an American political leader, while he was traveling to other countries, people would say, “‘Why would he do that when he’s overseas?’ … She is a terrible person and I’ll tell you her name, it’s Nervous Nancy because she’s a nervous wreck.”
Ingraham noted that this past Tuesday, “Joe Biden once again downplayed the China threat at one of his town halls in New Hampshire.”
Trump sighed and said, “He just doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get it.”
“How happy would President Xi be to have Joe Biden as the nominee of the Democratic Party?” asked Ingraham.
“Well, he wants him. He wants him. Hey, look, we’re taking in tens of billions of dollars,” said Trump. “We had a 3.2 GDP first quarter. It’s always [been] one percent, less than one percent, it’s always the worst quarter. [But] we’re at 3.2, a point-and-a-half above schedule. And you know why? Because so much money’s coming in from China. We never took in any money from China. And let me tell you a little secret,” added Trump. “That’s all a little tiny piece of it because the big one is yet to come. We have $325 billion that I haven’t even taxed yet and they’ve already spent all of their weapons. They’ve done everything they can. I’ll tell you, the greatest people, the farmers, our patriot farmers, and now they’re really – they’re going to benefit … Remember this about the farmers. For 15 years before I got here, everything was coming down, so this didn’t happen. The farmers are going to be one of the biggest beneficiaries, but these are patriots, these are people that say the president is right, and if I’m going through a little short-term problem, it doesn’t matter, the president is right.”
“Listen to those incredible people back there,” Trump said, referring to the veterans and their families and others who were in Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. “These people are so amazing.”
Later in the interview, Ingraham asked him, “What do you pray for when you pray for this country?”
“Peace. Really peace. And we’ve built up our military, we built up our wealth, we’ve built up everything. Our country is in such great shape right now. Iran is in a much different position than they were two-and-a-half years ago. Two-and-a-half years ago, Iran was a disaster for us. Now they’re — they’ve got problems, let’s put it that way. They’re not the same country. North Korea [has conducted] no nuclear tests … And we’ll see what happens. We’re going to see what happens.”
“China wants to make a deal,” the president also said. “Everybody wants to make a deal. We’re the best, we’re the strongest, there’s nobody even close.”
See the full interview below.
By the way, when some in the media later ripped into Trump and Ingraham for supposedly holding up the entire D-Day ceremony because of that interview, which Trump himself had suggested — perhaps in jest — the Fox News host clarified on her show, “That is patently false. Fake news. Our cue to end the interview was when we heard the Macron helicopter approaching. And that is what we did. The interview ended before Macron landed. In fact, President Trump was on the lawn waiting for President Macron, who himself was just a few minutes late.”