“It was a little surreal to say I’m the president of the United States, but I think that’s true with everybody,” US President Donald Trump said during an interview with CBS television news program “60 Minutes.” Trump touched upon topics like the case of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, his much slammed zero tolerance policy of separating immigrant children and families at the US border, and on his life as POTUS, among other issues. US Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser Christine Blasey Ford also found a mention during the interview.
The last time Trump appeared on the program, he had just been elected to the presidency in 2016. Here are the top five things that Trump said in the interview on Sunday
‘Climate Change not a hoax’
Asked if he thinks climate change is a hoax, Donald Trump said, “I think something’s happening. Something’s changing, and it’ll change back again. I don’t think it’s a hoax, I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s man-made. I will say this. I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs. I don’t want to be put at a disadvantage.” “I’m not denying climate change,” he said in the interview. “But it could very well go back. You know, we’re talking about over a…millions of years.”
Trump called climate change a hoax in November 2012 when he sent a tweet stating, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.” He later said he was joking about the Chinese connection, but in years since has continued to call global warming a hoax.
On his “love” for North Korea’s Kim Jong Un
Calling it a “great achievement so far,” Trump said he “trusts” the North Korean leader. Pressed about denuclearisation, he said, while they don’t know if North Korea is building more missiles, he does know that they haven’t tested a rocket in the meantime. When pointed at the human right violations by the N.Korean dictator, Trump said, “Sure. I know all these things. I mean– I’m not a baby. I know these things. Let it be whatever it is. I get along with him really well. I have a good energy with him. I have a good chemistry with him. Let it be whatever it is to get the job done.”
“Might” impose more trade tariff on China
While the United States has now imposed $250 billion in tariffs, Trump did not rule out coming up with more tariffs on Chines products. “I have a great chemistry also with President Xi of China. I don’t know that that’s necessarily going to continue. I told President Xi we cannot continue to have China take $500 billion a year out of the United States in the form of trade and others things,” he said, adding that China wants to “negotiate” Trump exuded confidence that he will win what he described as a “skirmish” with China. “I called it, actually I called it a battle. But, actually, I’m gonna lower that. I consider it a skirmish. And we’re gonna win,” he said.
Vladimir Putin is “probably” involved in assassinations
Talking of his ‘good friend’ Vladimir Putin, Trump said that the Russian president is “probably” involved in assassinations. “But I rely on them, it’s not in our country,” he said.
Pressed about Russian interference in the US elections, Trump said, “They– they meddled. But I think China meddled too.” “Do you really think I’d call Russia to help me with an election? Give me a break. They wouldn’t be able to help me at all. Call Russia. It’s so ridiculous,” he added.
“Everybody leaves at some point”: Trump on reports of Jim Mattis stepping down
Rejecting reports of tension with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Trump said he has a “very good relationship” even though he thinks the Pentagon chief is “sort of a Democrat.” Asked if Mattis is stepping down, Trump said, “It could be that he is. I think he’s sort of a Democrat if you want to know the truth. But Gen. Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves.”