Donald Trump's 'Fox News Sunday' Interview Covered A Lot. Here's What You Need To Know.

The president discussed the Mueller probe and more with Chris Wallace.

President Donald Trump sat down with Chris Wallace for a wide-ranging interview on “Fox News Sunday,” in which he discussed the Russia investigation, his war on the media and more.

Though he made a rare admission about a personal misstep, Trump still gave himself an “A+” on his overall presidential performance.

Here are some of the most noteworthy moments from Trump’s ― at times fiery ― interview with his favorite cable news network:

Trump said his mood is “very light”

Wallace started the interview by asking Trump whether news reports suggesting he is “angry” and “in a cocoon of bitterness and resentment” are accurate.

“How dark is your mood?” Wallace asked.

“It’s very light,” Trump responded, adding that stories stating otherwise were “fake news” and “disgusting.”

“I’m extremely upbeat,” he continued. “The White House is running like a well-oiled machine. It’s doing really well. I have great people. I will make some changes, but not very many.”

Trump said he’s considering “three or four or five” potential changes to Cabinet staffing

“I have three or four or five positions that I’m thinking about. Of that, maybe it’s going to end up being two. But I need flexibility,” Trump told Wallace.

Speculation that White House chief of staff John Kelly and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will depart the Trump administration has been mounting in recent weeks.

Trump told Wallace that he gets along “well” with Kelly, though there are “certain things” he doesn’t like about him. As for Nielsen, Trump said he likes her “a lot” but wishes she would “get much tougher.”

“I respect her a lot,” he told Wallace. “She’s very smart. I want her to get much tougher and we’ll see what happens there. But I want to be extremely tough.”

Trump claimed he “didn’t know” about Matt Whitaker’s criticism of the Russia probe

The president told Wallace he was unaware of Matt Whitaker’s past remarks bashing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference before he named him acting attorney general.

“He’s right,” Trump said about Whitaker’s past criticism of the probe. “What do you do when a person’s right?”

Repeating his constant refrain that there was no collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia, Trump reiterated that Whitaker “happened to be right” about his assessment of Mueller’s investigation.

Trump’s decision to push out Jeff Sessions and name Whitaker as acting attorney general has drawn pushback from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who fear Mueller’s investigation could be hindered.

Trump said he “would not get involved” if Whitaker curtailed the Mueller probe

Whether the Mueller probe continues as normal is “really up to” Whitaker, Trump told Wallace.

“I think he’s very well-aware politically,” Trump said. “He’s a very smart person. He’s a very respected person. He’s going to do what’s right.”

When asked whether he would step in if Whitaker decided to curtail the investigation, Trump responded no.

“I would not get involved,” the president said. “All these people that say I’m going to end the investigation, you know ... how long has this witch hunt been going on?”

Trump said he’s completed “written answers” to Mueller’s questions...

When Wallace asked Trump about the “written answers” his legal team was reportedly submitting to Mueller’s office, the president interrupted that he personally had prepared them.

“I’m preparing written answers,” the president said. “I’m the one that does the answer. Yes. Are they writing them out? Yeah, they’re writing what I tell them to write. ... By the way, it wasn’t a big deal.”

...but doesn’t plan on sitting down with Mueller’s team for an interview

The president told Wallace he “probably” would not agree to an in-person interview with the special counsel’s team.

“I think we’ve wasted enough time on this witch hunt,” Trump said, adding that he could always “change his mind.”

Trump admitted he botched Veterans Day

Though he defended his decision not to visit a World War I cemetery in France earlier this month, Trump told Wallace he should have done more to honor veterans on Veterans Day last week.

“I should have done that,” Trump said when asked why he didn’t visit Arlington National Cemetery on the federal holiday. “I was extremely busy on calls for the country, we did a lot of calling, as you know. ... I, probably in retrospect, I should have and I did last year and I will virtually every year.”

Trump bashed decorated military leader who oversaw Osama bin Laden raid

Trump accused retired Adm. William H. McRaven of being a “Hillary Clinton fan” and “Obama backer” when Wallace brought up the former Navy SEAL’s pointed criticism of the president.

McRaven, who commanded the 2011 operation that killed 9/11 architect Osama bin Laden, has been an outspoken critic of the president. He wrote in August that Trump has “embarrassed us in the eyes of our children” and “divided us as a nation.”

“Frankly, it would have been nicer if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that,” Trump told Wallace. “Everybody in Pakistan knew he was there.”

Hours later, McCraven fired back in a statement to CNN.

“I did not back Hillary Clinton or anyone else,” McRaven told CNN. “I am a fan of President Obama and President George W. Bush, both of whom I worked for. I admire all presidents, regardless of their political party, who uphold the dignity of the office and who use that office to bring the nation together in challenging times.”

“I stand by my comment that the President’s attack on the media is the greatest threat to our democracy in my lifetime,” he continued. “When you undermine the people’s right to a free press and freedom of speech and expression, then you threaten the Constitution and all for which it stands.”

Trump said he sees “no reason” to listen to the Khashoggi tape

The president told Wallace that he didn’t plan to listen to an audio recording provided by Turkey at Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

“We have the tape,” Trump said. “I don’t want to hear the tape, no reason for me to hear the tape.”

When asked why he doesn’t want to listen to it, Trump said, “Because it’s a suffering tape.”

“I’ve been fully briefed on it,” he said. “I know everything that went on in the tape without having to hear it.”

Following Wallace’s interview with Trump on Friday, news broke that the CIA had concluded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered Khashoggi’s assassination. Trump told reporters it was “too early” to tell when asked about the CIA’s assessment on Saturday.

Trump said he doesn’t “think about” how he makes decisions

Wallace tried to ask the president about his decision-making process, but Trump responded that he doesn’t really have one.

“I don’t think about how I make them,” Trump said. “I make what I consider the right decision.”

He continued: “I have great people working at the White House. ... I will talk to them and sometimes I’ll have them go at each other. I do like that. You know, let them go at each other. And they do, they’re very competitive people. And at the end, I make a decision.”

Trump gave himself an “A+” on performance

When asked where he ranks himself in the “pantheon of great presidents,” Trump told Wallace that he would give himself an “A+.”

“I think I’m doing a great job,” Trump said. “I would give myself ― look, I hate to do it but I will do it ― I would give myself an A+. Is that enough? Can I go higher than that?”

Trump said he won’t attempt to serve a third term

When asked whether he might attempt to amend the Constitution so he could potentially serve a third term as president, Trump told Wallace that it “just won’t happen.”

“I think the eight-year limit is a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump said.

This story has been updated with more details from the interview.

Go To Homepage

Popular in the Community