Last week, President Trump sat down in the Oval Office with editors and reporters from The Wall Street Journal for a 45-minute interview that produced a few bits of news, including Trump saying “tax the rich people” and declaring months in advance that Iran will be noncompliant with its nuclear deal.
The WSJ published excerpts from the interview, but kept the full transcript under wraps — until now. Tuesday, Politico stepped in and published the transcript, which it says “has circulated around the Journal newsroom as well as among others in New York and Washington.”
It’s not hard to see why. The interview is full of embarrassing exchanges and the bizarre turns of phrase Trump has made part of the American political lexicon (get ready for a sequel to “no puppet”). Here are quotes that stand out most.
On Jared Kushner: “He’s a good — he’s a good boy.”
On calling the U.K. Britain: “I mean, you don’t hear the word Britain anymore. It’s very interesting. It’s like, nope.”
On the future of the British Open if Scotland leaves the U.K.: “One little thing, what would they do with the British Open if they ever got out? They’d no longer have the British Open.”
On whether his speech to the Boy Scouts received mixed reviews: “I’d be the first to admit mixed. I’m a guy that will tell you mixed. There was no mix there. That was a standing ovation from the time I walked out to the time I left, and for five minutes after I had already gone. There was no mix.”
On the reaction to the speech from the head of the Boy Scouts, who later apologized for Trump’s political attacks: “And I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful. So there was — there was no mix.”
On Anthony Scaramuci: “But I’m very happy with Anthony. I think Anthony is going to do amazing.”
On the Miss Universe pageant, held in Russia four years ago: “I mean, I had Ms. Universe there, like, nine years ago, eight years ago, something like that. But I have nothing to do with Russia.”
On conversations with foreign leaders about their domestic economies: “So I deal with foreign countries, and despite what you may read I have unbelievable relationships with all of the foreign leaders. They like me. I like them. You know, it’s amazing. So I’ll call, like, major — major countries, and I’ll be dealing with the prime minister or the president. And I’ll say, how are you doing? Oh, don’t know, don’t know, not well, Mr. President, not well. I said, well, what’s the problem? Oh, GDP 9 percent, not well. And I’m saying to myself, here we are at like 1 percent, dying, and they’re at 9 percent and they’re unhappy.”
On his astonishment upon learning about the large populations of other countries: “And then you call places like Malaysia, Indonesia, and you say, you know, how many people do you have? And it’s pretty amazing how many people they have.”