The Daily Caller News Foundation sat down with Donald Trump, Jr. for an exclusive interview in January, where the president’s son spoke openly about his thoughts about his father, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and a host of other topics.
Don Jr., as he is more commonly known, described his father as the “blue-collar billionaire,” a man who made his money successfully building skyscrapers while also caring for those who worked for him at every level.
He called Mueller’s investigation the “greatest witch hunt since Salem,” propagated at the hands of the media and government agents who do not care for his father.
Read the full text below:
The transcript has been edited for quality and clarity.
Ginni Thomas: Thank you for doing this. I really appreciate your time today.
Donald Trump, Jr: It’s my pleasure. Thank you.
Thomas: So in Davos the other day, George Soros said that he thought your dad was danger. Danger to the world and will disappear in 2020 or even sooner. What did you think of George Soros?
Trump: Well, I’d say many would say the same about George Soros. I mean, I don’t know that anyone has spent more money actively–you know–combating the democratic process and fighting that. I mean he spent more money and lobbying against anything that my father has done that he has probably in history. You know on other things. So you know he can say whatever he wants but you know the fact remains he’s the one trying to undermine the duly elected president of the United States. You know if George wants to run he should maybe step in the ring don’t just fund it with billions from the side. And we all know how he made that money, so you know I don’t know that anyone should be listening to George Soros.
Thomas: What do you think about the left’s efforts to frame your dad and anyone who supports your dad as a hater, as a racist, as a fascist? This is a cultural phenomenon and there’s fear spreading across the country of being able to say what you really believe.
Trump: Well, I think it’s terrible for a couple reasons. I spent this on the campaign trail when it was so obvious that was sort of the game plan. You know we’re gonna smear you with racist, fascist, whatever. The real problem is those things exist. Certainly, racism exists but if it’s your response to any argument you can’t win, you actually do real disservice to those people actually afflicted by it. To those people who are actually oppressed and hurt by real racism, real sexism. So if you use it every time, what really happens … as people hear it, they roll their eyes and they move on because they realize it’s nonsense. In this case, the problem is when people who are actually affected by it say it doesn’t matter anymore. It’s lost its effect because it’s been numbing to people. You can only overplay your hand so many times before people start calling your bluff, so it’s actually doing nothing on the positive side of being able to promote that as a real issue. And what it’s doing, on the other side, is it’s hurting those that are actually afflicted by it so it’s been terrible to watch. I see, I know him (the president), I’ve seen him my whole life. I’ve seen the things he’s done. You know it’s amazing–all the rappers, all his African American friends, from Jesse Jackson or al Sharpton, have pictures with him.
Trump: It was only till he got into politics that all of a sudden they say, “oh he’s the most terrible human being.” Oh, I don’t know he wasn’t so terrible a couple years ago when you’re at his events. It wasn’t so terrible then when you’re hitting him up for charity dollars and he’s sponsoring things–sponsoring scholarships and doing XYZ for you guys. That wasn’t a problem. But now, all of a sudden, you’re a conservative, so we must take this stance. You know, again, it’s another backfire. You can only do so much before people start to see through the nonsense.
Thomas: Talk about the obvious press bias again. When you see what they were like with President Obama and the soft lobbing softballs to him versus what happens when your dad hits the press. (What are your thoughts?)
Trump: The media in the mainstream media has become so dishonest, so flagrant… I mean, the best part, I mean I really enjoyed watching the the best 90 minutes of television I’ve ever seen. It was ten days ago, during the Health Report, when they’re questioning the rear admiral–who happened to be appointed by Obama–who gave my father his physical. You know and they went on for .. I think it was 94 minutes. You know, you just said he’s really, really healthy. I mean I felt like I was watching Dumb and Dumber. It’s like one in a million, so you’re saying there’s a chance. They’re just trying to latch onto anything to be able to attack him.
Trump: No one questioned Obama about his smoking … I don’t know if he was doing that then, but you know certainly he was a smoker, which has as much you know … is as much a contributing factor to heart disease and these sort of things. But why it wasn’t (reported is) because he’s a tall, skinny guy with no muscle mass. That’s also not so healthy … I think real people see right through it. I guess that’s all that matters. I mean, it’s amazing. It’s a bias that is so palpable. It’s disgusting … They don’t even get it. … He’s actually fighting back. Well, you guys never asked a hard question in eight years. … He (Obama) can do no wrong, he can say no wrong. Facts don’t matter.
Trump: You have someone else gonna fight back. You have someone that, frankly, bypassed the media. Played a great game of monkey in the middle with them using Twitter. He did this because the way they’ll take his message and distort it. By the time they play one degree of telephone game, you know they’re saying whatever they want. It’s not grounded in any reality, so you know it’s been interesting. They say … Twitter is gonna be his downfall. He shouldn’t be using it. Yeah, they’re covering it all the time. Even they can’t make up their minds. It’s sad. It’s actually forcing people to sort of other routes I think it’s why social has become such a big platform I think frankly both good and bad. I mean I think it’s driven who don’t necessarily have a TV soap box. I think there’s also plenty of people on the fringe and some of those things that people are going there for their news–both left and right–on the extreme ends. It’s bad we’ve actually gotten to the point now where they’ve given up even trying to pretend that they’re not biased. They’ve just literally just thrown it out the window. It’s funny to watch, because when we first got into this process two years ago, I was like, wait a minute, that guy actually said something that was almost in favor of us. That was probably because they were told, “Hey, boost Trump a little bit because there’s no way he can win. We want to have to take out the others.” Look what it got them.
Trump: But they’ve all been working together, right? Whether it’s the debate questions you know being leaked … I mean they’ve picked a pony. That pony was Clinton, or frankly whoever the left puts up. It doesn’t matter and that’s the Anointed One. We will push them and do whatever it takes to make sure that person wins. In the meantime, they’ve shot their credibility. You know, in the foot and they’ve lost. I don’t think you get it back. The American public is much smarter than the media would ever give them credit for and they see right through it.
Thomas: So talk about what’s going on. Why is your dad connected with the real American people? Has he the wingspan to be able to be successful with mainstream America?
Trump: It was amazing, coming in the heels of Davos, you know, the the media narrative last week was that they’re gonna boycott Trump. Meanwhile, there’s lines of billionaires waiting outside of the room to be able to hear him (the president). Speak for hours you know he’s always been able to do it that way. I mean, because he’s a builder. That’s what he does, so he didn’t get good at building by listening to an executive behind a glass door at an office. He did it by being on the ground by talking to real people. The guy’s actually doing the real work. I spoke about it at my convention speech last year. I mean, that’s what he did. That’s what made him better. He got the real information. … He’s always been able to relate that way. I called him sort of the blue-collar billionaire, because that’s sort of the way he is. He’s able to relate to those guys. He’s able to have fun with them. He’s made so many of them succeed within his organization. Any other executive of his level would have never even given them a chance. They got that promotion because they were good, because they were smart, because they had a street smarts, because they worked harder. Not because they had some sort of acronym behind, you know, some sort of fancy college degree. They just did better work better than someone else. Most people in that same position would have been passed over, but he just has a history of doing this. I think he was able to relate to that working class. It’s the way he speaks. It’s the way he interacts. He’s willing to say the things that probably everyone’s thinking but so few were willing to verbalize it.
Thomas: If you walk to Arlington Cemetery. He just takes all the crap in this town that comes at people. They think it’s games, but it’s not a game.
Trump: After winning the campaign, I actually sort of … it was such a long fight and so hard. Everyday, the sort of the frequency of, you know, up and down emotions. Even when we won it was, like wait a minute, they’re gonna play a game. There’s some sort of trick up their sleeve, so I couldn’t even enjoy it. You mentioned Arlington, because that’s when it hit me. Two months later going to the wreath laying ceremony at Arlington. The magnitude and the gravity of everything that had just transpired and sort of it was emotionally over. I think for the American people, I think they get it they see it and I said it they see someone fighting for them now. We are fighting hamstrung, we are fighting with one arm tied behind our back. Not because that’s the way we fight, but because there are a lot more forces making it a lot harder for us. What I know about my father is that he is a fighter. He doesn’t quit. He doesn’t give up. Everyone saw that on the campaign trail. He worked them to death. If she (Clinton) did one event, two events a day–two events a day was a major feat–he was doing five, six, seven events in a day. That is not including everything in between, but full-time speeches. They see his energy, they see his passion. He is the last person in this country that needed his job. He didn’t need to do this, but he wanted to do this because he’s seen it. He’s seen it firsthand. He’s been the recipient from both sides. The request and he understands exactly how this system works. He wants to fix it because he realizes that it’s been broken. We’ve gone down the wrong path for way too long and he’s the guy that can write that ship. So, you know, I do see it. I see it with you know the people who supported us are still a hundred percent there but more importantly the people who weren’t sure you know they weren’t sure because maybe they didn’t like the way he verbalized something. They didn’t like perhaps the approach. But in the end Americans are results driven and you know what sometimes you know you’d love to be able to sweat talk something. Sometimes you actually have to break out the sledgehammer and sort of push it through and make sure you hit hard so people get it. We have to do that because we’re not on equal footing. We’re not on equal ground because we can’t get our message out the same way it’ll be manipulated. It’ll be shredded. It’ll be we won’t have that same benefit of a debt you know. Obama could say and do anything it didn’t matter. They would they would take the message and be like, “Hey, give us the talker and we’ll just it’s perfect.” He didn’t have to do anything we have to work a lot harder to get you know even remotely close to the same. He’s (the president) been able to do that and the results are gonna speak for themselves. The results are speaking for themselves in the economy, in the unemployment numbers. Certainly, you know amongst minorities people are gonna get it. People vote with their heads in the end they’re gonna vote with what has happened.
Trump: Hey, some of the big you know conservative never Trump organization saying by the numbers he’s doing better than Reagan in year one. I mean, that’s pretty impressive when you think about coming from no actual political experience to be able to take on that challenge. To be able to step in there and do that, that’s part of why they’re fighting so hard against us. They don’t want others to think, “wait a minute, I don’t have to be born into this system and raised through it?” You don’t have to be tied in with the lobbyists and all the groups that have made millions you know on the backs of hardworking Americans. Around the DC area, I mean, he’s been able to do that for real American people. You know, I remember you know four or five years ago when Obama there was a $40 rebate that was people were gonna get that was a big deal. Today, when companies are giving thousands of dollars of bonuses, it’s petty cash according to Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. You know it’s only petty cash compare to the money that they paid their IT people before they had to flee the country. Right? That’s the difference. That double standard can no longer fly and it doesn’t but it only doesn’t fly because this is the first time we’ve had someone in conservative leadership who will actually call them out. He will actually fight back and not just take it on the. chin and turn around and walk away head head hunched over. You have someone who has the guts to fight back and that’s what it is he’s a counter puncher. He’ll get along with everyone but you’re not gonna walk all over him without a fight. People have seen that. They learn it the hard way. We have the chance to really drain the swamp and the swamp has teeth. They will fight back. They will not make it easy. They have made a lot of money and a very good livings you pretending that this is rocket science. That you need them. That this is all that complicated but in all reality it really is a big friend network. Everyone worked for someone else at one point in time and everyone’s made a lot of money through the system. Everyone passes around the only people that are totally forgotten about are their constituents, their worker. Right? From the Senate they become a lobbyist and they go back. They make a little money. They’ve got a lot of money. It’s why the DC zip codes are the richest in the country. They don’t produce anything. They don’t make anything. All they do is pedal influence, OK. We saw it with the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation. That’s where we’re different. He’s doing this not because he has to do it. They look at his administration, look at his cabinet. The prior administration every cabinet head that was the best job that person ever had for this cabinet. These are people stepping out from making hundreds of millions dollars running industry to take on the headache that’s gonna come with the attacks that they’re gonna face. This is in many respects the worst job they’ve ever had and yet they want to do it because they believe in him, they believe in the message and they know they can actually make a difference. That they can impart all this change that we hear about every election cycle. Where we’re gonna do it differently, there’s never been a change it’s all the same. That my father is the first change that’s happened to government in a long time and that’s why all these people went all in. How could someone from the outside ever break into our little system our little and cabal. He did it and he’s gonna make a big difference for those people and for everyone in this country. It’s really important …
Thomas: So as we film the Republicans in the House Intelligence Committee are getting ready to vote. I don’t know how that’s going to turn out but assuming they expose the misdeeds of the FBI and senior Justice Department people, do you think that has the possibility of changing that the the trajectory of the Mueller investigation?
Trump: You would think it would. You would think that if you found out the game was that rigged, if that’s what happens, you would think that it would. I don’t think it will.
Thomas: So thanks for tweeting our interview with Joe Digenova! In my interview with Joe, he talks about the kind of the exceptional rules that Hillary Clinton had when she was interviewed by the FBI. So I was wondering, if you think your dad if he has to talk with Special Counsel Mueller? If he could ask for the same kinds of things, whether it’s none of the regular rules, every break in the book, immunized, a lot of people, no grand jury, no subpoenas to allow the destruction of evidence, do you think your dad’s going to be treated the way that Hillary Clinton was?
Trump: I doubt it. You know and the reason I say that is just I can use myself as an example, when you talk about sort of the Russia collusion nonsense … yeah the media has been the left has made this thing to be a thing for two years. They swear by it. It’s the truth this had to happen so much so that they need it to be true. The absolute so they’ve risked their entire credibility their entire narrative for almost two years now has been this is fact…
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