After a period of somewhat-imposed silence lasting almost a month, Donald Trump returned to the rapid media schedule of his time in office by giving three interviews on Wednesday to memorialize the late Rush Limbaugh. The appearances on friendly outlets — NewsMax, Fox News, and One America News — are his first since he left the White House in January and his first interviews since his acquittal in his second Senate impeachment trial. In them, he largely stuck to the remembrance at hand, though he did wander occasionally to the theme of a fraudulent election that he repeated in his final days in office. Below is a roundup of the former president’s most notable comments.
Trump says he is considering building his own social-media network
Speaking with Newsmax’s Greg Kelly, the ex-president said that he was mulling over a Trump-branded social-media platform to reach the millions of Republican voters with whom he is still extremely popular. He added that he “won’t be back on Twitter,” which isn’t exactly his decision, as the service banned him in the wake of the insurrection. As for his former favorite platform, Trump said that “on Twitter, it’s become very boring and millions of people are leaving. They’re leaving it because it’s not the same, and I can understand that.”
Trump also said that he “really wanted to be somewhat quiet” as the Biden administration gets going. “It hasn’t been that quiet, frankly, but I wanted to be somewhat quiet.”
‘We did win the election, as far as I’m concerned’
Trump’s opinion on the electoral results has not changed after four weeks of rest and relaxation. “I think we won substantially,” he said on Newsmax, adding that “you would have had riots going all over the place if that happened to a Democrat,” referring to the non-existent voter fraud he considered to be rampant this November. In his interview on OAN, he also slipped in a claim that Rush Limbaugh agreed with him that “we were robbed,” as he remembered the late radio host who helped pave his way in the Republican party.
‘I’m the only guy who gets impeached and my numbers go up’
As he memorialized a conservative icon on Newsmax, President Trump offered this strange boast, referring to a poll from Politico and Morning Consult released on Tuesday showing that 59 percent of Republican voters said they wanted Trump to play a major role in their party going forward — a number that was up 18 points since the pollsters asked the question the day after the Capitol riot.
‘Well, we have a lot to talk about’
Though the first public interviews of a former president less than a week after his impeachment acquittal would normally be a major news event, Trump mostly eschewed his own political career to remember that of Rush Limbaugh. He did so in his own scrambled words, discussing his Presidential Medal of Freedom (“An idea we had that a lot of people suggested to me, frankly”) and the radio host’s legacy (“He’s one of the people that will not be forgotten”).
Toward the end of his interview with Sean Hannity, the host asked, “I suspect we’ll be hearing a lot more from Donald Trump, am I right?” The former president gave a reserved reply: “Well, we have a lot to talk about.”