He spent 50(!) minutes chatting with the hosts, who are known for their upfront advocacy of Trump and his presidency. (Hence his willingness to phone into their show and just talk and talk and talk.)
Below, the 40 most memorable lines from Trump’s birthday interview.
1. “I don’t have time to celebrate.”
Same. Also: “I ain’t got time to bleed.” And away we go!
2. “Yes, we’ll have a little piece of cake tonight, but in the meantime we’re doing a lot of things.”
NO TIME TO CELEBRATE.
3. “I enjoy that doing more. That’s better than taking it easy. There’s always going to be plenty of time to take it easy, I guess.”
So, working is better than taking it easy. That said, there will be plenty of taking-it-easy time, allegedly.
4. “I don’t think anybody’s accomplished so much in two and a half years, what we’ve done.”
Well, he has set one record in his first two-plus years in office; he’s said more than 10,000 misleading or outright false things, according to The Washington Post’s Fact Checker. That’s 12 a day!
5. “I guess they don’t know that we have things that we can detect in the dark that work very well. So we have that.”
Take that, Iran! We have “things that we can detect in the dark.” And they “work very well.” BOOM.
6. “They were unstoppable and now they are in deep, deep trouble. They — you can’t — you can’t — they don’t have anything.”
The President of the United States on Iran. In summary: deep trouble. Also, they don’t have anything.
7. “I don’t think anybody would present me with anything bad because they know how much I love this country. Nobody’s going to present me with anything bad.”
OK. So Trump is saying it’s fine that he said he would listen to foreign countries promising information on his political opponents because those countries would never say anything bad because they know how much he loves America. Yeah, yeah, that’s the ticket.
8. “if I was — and, of course, you have to look at it, because if you don’t look at it you’re not going to know if it’s bad.”
[raises hand tentatively] What if, and I am just spit-balling here, you just don’t accept information from a foreign power at all? Then you wouldn’t need to look at it to see if it was good or bad, right?
9. “But, of course, you give it to the FBI or report it to the attorney general or somebody like that. But, of course, you do that.“
“The FBI director is wrong because, frankly, it doesn’t happen like that in life.” — Donald Trump earlier this week, insisting that he wouldn’t have to tell the FBI about contacts with a foreign country offering information on an opponent.
10. “I thought it was made clear. In fact, I actually said at the beginning, I think I said I’d do both.”
He did not. Here’s what Trump did say: “I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. I don’t — you don’t call the FBI. Life doesn’t work that way.”
11. “I mean how can you report something that you don’t know?”
[raises hand] Again, I am just a guy thinking out loud here. But what if, and I am repeating myself, you just said, “I am not going to take any information on my opponents from foreign sources?” Feels like that would pretty much cover our bases, right?
12. “Now, if I thought anything was incorrect or badly stated, I’d report it to attorney general, the FBI.”
In this scenario, Trump — and Trump alone — has total and complete decision-making power over whether information passed on to him by a foreign power should be reported to law enforcement. Which, uh, well, seems like a lot of power to give to any one person.
13. “And I’m just thinking, gee, if they say, we don’t like your opponent, am I supposed to put — you know, the president of France, am I supposed to report him to the FBI?”
This is a total straw-man argument. At issue is not whether, say, Emmanuel Macron likes Joe Biden. At issue is a country hypothetically passing along negative information about Biden to Trump in hopes of manipulating the results of the election in a way they believe would be beneficial to them.
14. “But nobody is going to say bad things to me. They know that I’m a very straight player.”
That’s what you think foreign leaders think, eh? Interesting!
15. “They spied on my campaign and they got caught, OK. They spied on my campaign and they got caught.”
I don’t know who Trump believes this “they” to be, but he is factually wrong about spying. The Justice Department went through the appropriate legal channels — the FISA court — to get approval for domestic surveillance on Carter Page, who they believed to be compromised by the Russians.
16. “I call her ‘nervous Nancy.’ She’s a nervous wreck.”
Casting a powerful woman as unable to effectively control her emotions? I’m sure this is just a big coincidence!
17. “Isn’t it amazing that constantly every day somebody gets a letter, ‘come into Congress, come into Congress,’ because, you know, it’s like death to a thousand wounds.”
I think “death by a thousand cuts” is what you’re going for there, chief.
18. “The big thing though is they spied on my campaign. That’s probably one of the great criminal acts of all time.”
The surveillance of Page was approved by a FISA court — and re-authorized three times. Chief Justice John Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, appoints the judges who sit on the FISA court. The FISA applications were signed off on by deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a Trump appointee.
19. “But the bottom line is, they spied on a campaign of another candidate and another party.”
No matter how many times he says this, it doesn’t make it any more true.
20. “So this is big stuff. We’ll see how it turns out.”
I guess we’ll see what happens.
21. “And, again, I stay uninvolved. I — maybe I shouldn’t. Somebody else would say, oh, he’s involved. I say, we have a great attorney general. He’s doing a great job.”
Yes, Mr. President, the facts definitely bear out that you have stayed totally out of the business of the Justice Department in your first two years in office. For sure. Yup. No question about it.
22. “They spied on the opposing party’s campaign using the intelligence apparatus of the United States.”
23. “I have a lot of people that want it. And there are a lot of great people. And it’s the — sometimes you have so many that it makes it more difficult.”
Trump is talking here about the press secretary job that Sarah Sanders is leaving at the end of the month. And yes, he is doing what he always does: Arguing that there are people falling all over themselves to work in his White House when the opposite is true.
24. “If — if I were a Democrat liberal, I think I’d say I was the greatest president in history.”
To be clear: Trump has already said he is the best president ever, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln.
25. “Like tax reductions, the biggest ever, biggest in the history of the country.”
26. “No, I’m not going to fire her. I think she’s a terrific person. She’s a tremendous spokesperson. She’s been loyal.”
Trump confirms what we all knew — he isn’t going to get rid of senior counselor Kellyanne Conway even though the Office of the Special Counsel recommended she be removed for her repeated violations of the Hatch Act. Why? Because “she’s been loyal.”
27. “Now, I’m going to get a very strong briefing on it and I’ll see, but it seems to me to be very unfair.”
Trump is going to be briefed on the Hatch Act and Conway’s violations of it. But he has already made up his mind! Also, what constitutes a “very strong” briefing?
28. “So the wall is going up. It’s going up rapidly.”
29. “Look, everybody knows that Joe Biden does not have what it takes. OK, he doesn’t have what it takes. Everybody knows that.”
“Looks like Bernie Sanders is history. Sleepy Joe Biden is pulling ahead and think about it, I’m only here because of Sleepy Joe and the man who took him off the 1% trash heap, President O! China wants Sleepy Joe BADLY!” — Donald Trump, May 20, 2019
30. “I just left Iowa. We’re winning that by a lot.”
The last general election polling done in Iowa was in March by Emerson College. It showed Joe Biden beating Trump 53%-47%.
31. “And every poll that I see and every poll that we have, I’m winning by — we’re doing well.”
Now, you can’t see these polls. But just trust Trump — he is doing very well in all of them. ALL of them.
32. “I love Mike. We’re running again. But, you know, you’re talking about a long time. So you can’t put me in that position.”
In which the President declines to endorse his vice president if/when Mike Pence runs for president. I bet this went over really well in Penceland!
33. “[Biden’s] having a hard time thinking lately.”
34. “So I threw his name out. Didn’t really put him out. I threw it — and the Democrats just absolutely went after him and were so unfair what they did to him.”
Trump here seems to be trying to walk back his nomination of Ronny Jackson as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. But, the facts seems to disagree with that revisionist history.
35. “I know they didn’t kill the top person because I saw a picture of him in the paper. I don’t know whether or not they did.”
OK, so North Korea definitely didn’t kill its top negotiator in the US nuclear talks. Because Trump saw that guy’s picture in the paper.
36. “If I wasn’t President, you would right now be in a major war with North Korea, I can tell you that.”
And that claim is backed up by …
37. “It was Jackie O., and that’s good, but we have our own Jackie O. today. It’s called Melania. We’ll call it Melania T.”
OH MY GOD. (Trump was talking, by the way, about his decision to redo Air Force One because he didn’t like the “baby blue” color picked by First Lady Jackie Kennedy.)
38. “A lot of them say for whatever they say, we love stilettos and, you know, the high heels.”
In which the President of the United States says on national TV that lots of people tell him they like when his wife, the first lady, wears stilettos. You can’t make it up.
39. “Her people told me she hasn’t had so much fun in 25 years.”
The “her” here is the Queen of England who, according to her “people,” had more fun with President Trump during his recent visit to London than she’s had in decades. So, yeah, that pretty much sums it up.
40. “Hey, look, we’ve done a good job. I think we’ve done a very good job. Foreign relations-wise. But we do have some situations.”
This is like reading an international relations textbook! This feels like a good place to end.