President Trump gave Bloomberg an interview Thursday that was a doozy even by Trumpian standards. Among other things, he insisted he couldn't be impeached because he is "doing a great job," defended his controversial handling of John McCain's death—and threatened to pull the United States out of the World Trade Organization. Some highlights:
- McCain flap. Trump denied that he had made mistakes in his reaction to the Arizona senator's death, which saw the White House flag lowered, raised, then lowered once more. He declined to answer when asked whether the Republican would have made a better president than Barack Obama. "I don't want to comment on it," he said. "I have a very strong opinion, all right." Bloomberg notes that press secretary Sarah Sanders stared at him as he delivered the answer.
- Can't impeach me. "I don’t think they can impeach somebody that’s doing a great job," Trump said of Democrats, praising his own performance on issues including trade deals. He said if he was impeached, every following president would be impeached whenever the opposing party gained control of Congress. "You look at the definition of impeachment, that’s a high bar and that would take a long time to fight that if you’re doing a good job," he said. "And I’m doing a great job."
- Sessions safe for now. The president said Jeff Sessions can remain in his role until the midterm elections, though he declined to comment on whether the attorney general's job would be safe after November. Trump, citing "great scholars," complained that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of alleged Russia meddling is illegal. He said he would love for Sessions to "do a great job" and look at the "other side," referring to calls to investigate the Hillary Clinton campaign.
- No comment on Stormy. Trump declined to say whether he knew about lawyer Michael Cohen's hush money payment to Stormy Daniels before the election, citing an excess of media coverage. "I don’t want to get into it because it’s been covered so much," he said. "I can say this: There’s no campaign violation whatsoever, and if you watch all of the good legal pundits you’ll see that."
- Tehran on the brink of collapse? Trump boasted that his policies may lead to the collapse of the Iranian regime. "When I came into here, it was a question of when would they take over the Middle East,” he said "Now it’s a question of will they survive. It’s a big difference in one and a half years."
- "A very antitrust situation" at tech giants. Trump, who has complained of anti-conservative bias at Google and other tech giants, declined to say whether he would seek to break them up under antitrust laws. "I won’t comment on the breaking up, of whether it’s that or Amazon or Facebook,” Trump said. "As you know, many people think it is a very antitrust situation, the three of them. But I just, I won’t comment on that."
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