In online interview amid GOP debate, Trump takes aim at Biden: 'Somebody else' is in charge

Trump says top priority in second term is fixing the border and deporting criminals

Published: August 23, 2023 9:20pm

Updated: August 24, 2023 7:07am

Former President Trump told ex-Fox News host Tucker Carlson in their GOP primary debate night interview that "somebody" other than President Biden has to be running the government and predicted that Biden won't make it to the November 2024 general election.

"Somebody else has to be. I don't think he's capable of doing anything," Trump said Wednesday night during the interview that was posted on the social media platform X.

Trump also said he retired the name "Crooked Hillary," given to his Democrat opponent in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton, and gave it to President Biden, while predicting he won't the 2024 Democratic Party presidential nominee.

"I don't think he's going to make it to the gate," Trump said before being asked if he meant Biden won't make it to November 2024. "I think he's worse mentally than he is physically. And physically, he's not exactly a triathlete or any kind of an athlete. You look at him, he can't walk to the helicopter. He can't lift his feet out of the grass." 

Biden has been diagnosed with significant spinal arthritis.

Trump also said in the full interview that he thinks his critics are going to try steal the 2024 election from him, similar to what he said about his 2020 election defeat.

"They're trying. They're going to be trying," said Trump, who now faces criminal charges for allegedly trying to overturn the 2020 election results. 

He also suggested fellow Republicans were targeting him, saying Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was "trying to get senators to impeach me," especially for the second impeachment.

Trump predicted that more Democrats will join the 2024 presidential primary, such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

"I think they probably have some kind of a primary and other people will get involved," he said.

Trump said he would prefer to run against Biden in 2024 because his "record is so bad."

The former president said it didn't "make sense" to participate in Wednesday night's debate given his frontrunner status.

"I'm leading by 50 and 60 points and, you know, some of [the other candidates] are at one, zero and two," he said. "And I'm saying, do I sit there for an hour or two hours, whatever it's going to be, and get harassed by people that shouldn't even be running for president, should I be doing that? And a network [the Fox News Channel] that isn't particularly friendly to me, frankly.

"I'm going to have eight people, 10 people, whoever made the debate, I don't know how many it is, but I'm going to have all these people screaming at me, shouting questions at me, all of which I love answering, I love doing but it doesn't make sense to do them so I've taken a pass."

Trump said cable news is declining overall and argued that much of what's seen on MSNBC and CNN is "corrupt news."

"They're dead," he said. "They really don't have credibility. Fox is way down, as you know. And the good old days are long ago."

Trump also addressed 2024 GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie's attacks on him.

"I couldn't give him a job because I just never trusted him very much," he said. "He was looking at different elements of the administration. And we decided, I decided, just, I didn't want to do it and now I'm glad I did."

Carlson asked Trump whether he has concerns about his critics perhaps trying to kill him after two impeachments and several indictments.

“It started with protests against you and then it moved to impeachment twice and now indictment. Are you worried that they’re going to try and kill you?" Carlson asked. "Why wouldn’t they try and kill you? Honestly.”

Trump responded: “They’re savage animals. They’re people that are sick, really sick.

"You have great people in the Democrat Party. You have great people that are Democrats. Most of the people in our country are fantastic, and I'm representing everybody, not just Republicans. I represent everybody. I'm the president of everybody. But I've seen what they do. I've seen the lengths that they go to."

Trump touched upon his four indictments he faces, saying, "Maybe there'll be more, I don't know. ... Nonsense, bullshit. It's all bullshit. It's horrible."

He criticized Biden's handling of classified documents, amid formal charges in connection with him allegedly mishandling them after his presidency.

"I'm covered by the Presidential Records Act. I'm allowed to do exactly that. He's not covered and he's got 25 times the number of boxes and he's got them stored in Chinatown. He's got him stored in a flimsy garage underneath his Corvette at Penn," he said.

Trump also called for an end to the war in Ukraine.

"That's a war that should end immediately not because of one side or the other but because hundreds of thousands of people are being killed," he said.

He said his No. 1 priority in a second term would be the U.S. border.

"And taking hundreds of thousands of criminals that have been allowed into our country, and getting them out and bringing them back to their country," Trump said. "The first thing I would do would be, I would seal up the border good and tight, except for people that want to come in legally."

Carlson and Trump pre-taped the interview at Trump's club in Bedminster, N.J. The online interview at one point has as many as 80 million viewers. 

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