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Trump: 'My Gut Tells Me More' Than Others' Brains

President also talks Putin, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, climate change in wide-ranging chat
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2018 6:22 AM CST
Updated Nov 28, 2018 6:55 AM CST
Trump Talks Putin, Khashoggi, His Gut
In this Nov. 26, 2018, photo, President Trump speaks at a rally in Biloxi, Miss.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – President Trump took the Washington Post on a wild ride through his thoughts on climate change, Russia, the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, and more in a 20-minute interview Tuesday. One main topic was the Federal Reserve, which he strongly criticized for raising interest rates. "I'm doing deals, and I'm not being accommodated by the Fed," Trump said. "They're making a mistake because I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else's brain can ever tell me." He said he was "not even a little bit happy" with his choice of Jerome Powell as Fed chairman. The interview comes a day after he spoke with the Wall Street Journal on trade, a chat that Vox says shows Trump "has no idea what he's doing." A fact-checked, annotated version of the Post interview can be found here. Other highlights:

  • Russia and Ukraine. On Russia's seizure of three Ukrainian Navy ships, Trump said, "I don't like that aggression," though he noted he was still waiting for a "full report" on the escalations. That report may affect whether Trump has a sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit this week in Argentina: "Maybe I won't even have the meeting."
  • Climate change. Trump doubled down on saying he doesn't believe a sobering climate-change report issued by the US government this week, noting that our air and water are "right now at a record clean," and that "people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence but we're not necessarily such believers" that climate change is a man-made issue.

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  • Khashoggi. The president also continued his "maybe he did, maybe he didn't" stance on the culpability of Mohammed bin Salman in the journalist's death, saying the Saudi crown prince "denies it. And people around him deny it. And the CIA did not say affirmatively he did it, either, by the way." (The CIA is said to have "high confidence" bin Salman ordered the killing.) Trump said he may try to meet with the crown prince on the G20 sidelines.
  • US troops. Trump called the death this week of three US service members in Afghanistan "very sad" and said he still plans on visiting troops in a war zone in the region "at the right time"—maybe even before Christmas.
  • Robert Mueller's Russia probe. "I have no intention of doing anything" to stop the investigation, the president declared, noting "[it] is what it is" and that "it just goes on and on and on." As for discussing his former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, who's in new trouble with Mueller, Trump added: "At some point, I'll talk on the record about it," but right now, "I'd rather not."
Read more here. (Trump said last week Khashoggi's death should maybe be blamed on "the world.")

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