President Trump: 'I have a chance to break the deep state'
'It's a vicious group of people. It's very bad for our country,' the president says
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
President Trump says he is making inroads in taming Washington's permanent bureaucracy, which he likes to call the "deep state."
“What am I doing? I'm fighting the deep state,” Trump said in an exclusive interview with Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson. “I'm fighting the swamp…If it keeps going the way it's going, I have a chance to break the deep state. It's a vicious group of people. It's very bad for our country.”
In the wide-ranging interview with Full Measure set to air Sunday, Trump also addressed the debate over whether religious services should remain closed. Calling them “essential services,” he says it’s time for them to open.
Sharyl Attkisson: There are churches and religious leaders, New Jersey, Chicago, California who have said they're going to defy if necessary, state orders and they're going to open back up. Should they do that?
President Trump: I think they're going to be in great shape. We're coming out with CDC probably today. In fact, right after this particular magnificent interview that you're doing… I'm going to be reading an order from CDC, but we're going to be requesting that they open. I think they're going to be calling it an essential service, and it is an essential service, and we want to get our churches back open…When you look at some of the things that they consider an essential service, but they don't consider religious freedom essential service. Now the ministers, the pastors, the rabbis, the anybody you want to say, the religious leaders, all religious leaders, they want to keep the people safe too. But when you see that they're arresting people and they're in parking lots in cars with windows, spas and the people are being arrested, it's a disgrace. Honestly, it's a disgrace.”
Shortly after the interview Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidelines on how religious institutions can safely reopen. Reopenings are still under the control of individual states.
Also addressed in the interview: the controversy over using the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus prevention or treatment. Trump says he just finished a two week course of of the drug for preventive purposes after two White House staffers were diagnosed with coronavirus. “I'm still here, to the best of my knowledge,” he says.
The president also talked about the strengths and weaknesses of his political opponent in the presidential race, Joe Biden, his own Twitter practices, the new Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, and the scandal over FBI surveillance abuses.
“That was the insurance policy,” Trump tells Attkisson, speaking of the FBI’s targeting of the Trump campaign in 2016 and the transition team in early 2017. “[They thought ‘Clinton is] going to win but just in case she doesn't, we have an insurance policy.’ And now I beat them on the insurance policy. And now they're being exposed.”