6 Weird Donald Trump Moments, Wrapped Up In A Single Bizarre Interview
It's no surprise that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has a lot to say. The man has never been one to mince words and seems always eager to comment, even when he's not quite informed on the issue. Trump's presidential campaign has resulted in a meaty collection of "did he really just say that?" moments. A few more head-scratching remarks were thrown onto the pile when Donald Trump sat down with the Washington Post to discuss what a Trump White House administration would look like. The resulting interview, which was published Saturday, is a glimpse down the surreal Trump rabbit hole.
The Washington Post's national political reporter Robert Costa and associate editor Bob Woodward steered clear of pressing Trump about his campaign's sore spots — accusations his ideas are racist and sexist, his strategy of bullying, and tendency to incite political violence. Instead, the two veteran reporters sought to suss out what a Trump presidency would really look like, according to the man himself. "I feel like Trump was trying to pivot in a way toward the general election, but he still feels like he's mired in the primary and so he's reluctant to, as he put it, act presidential at this moment. But he recognizes that something needs to change," Costa said in a video focused on his and Woodward's initial takeaways from the exclusive interview.
Here are the six most eyebrow-raising statements from Trump's Washington Post interview.
He Thinks America Is On The Edge Of A "Very Massive Recession"
Fearmongering is nothing new for Trump. The GOP presidential candidate has been playing on the fears of his support base since day one, but his most recent comments on the economy veered into unprecedented territory as he discouraged investments in the stock market while sharing his decisively bleak viewpoint on the economy. Trump said he believed America was "sitting on an economic bubble" at the moment. "I’m talking about a bubble where you go into a very massive recession. Hopefully not worse than that, but a very massive recession." His opinion differs dramatically from forecasts offered by many mainstream economists.
Never one to play by the rules or follow tradition, Trump didn't stop with a few bleak assessments of the economy but instead broke an unspoken political rule that keeps the president and party leaders focused on encouraging investment in and support of the American market abroad. Trump went so far as to say "it's a terrible time right now" to invest in the stock market. When Woodward asked if he realized how his comment could affect Wall Street, Trump dismissed the matter. "I know the Wall Street people. I know the Wall Street people probably better than anybody knows them. I don’t need them."
He's Going to Make Them Respect Us With His Personality
Trump told the Washington Post he felt that America wasn't getting the respect it deserved abroad.
Real power is through respect. Real power is, I don’t even want to use the word, fear. But you know, our military is very sadly depleted. You look at what’s going on with respect to our military, and it’s depleted from all of the cuts... We’re not getting treated with respect from the 28 countries that we’re dealing with... I don’t want people to be afraid. I want them to respect our country. Right now, they don’t respect our country.
His plan to win back that respect? "The aura of personality." Oh, and winning. "Respect is about winning," Trump said. "We don’t win anymore... we don’t win anymore."
He Wants High-Level Federal Employees To Sign Non-Disclosure Agreements
Citing his preference for discretion and loyalty, Trump said he'd ideally want all of the high-level federal employees of his administration to sign non-disclosure agreements to keep them from spilling any insider information regarding him or his leadership. "When people are chosen by a man to go into government at high levels and then they leave government and they write a book about a man and say a lot of things that were really guarded and personal, I don’t like that."
Does this mean Trump's not a fan of transparency?
He's Obsessed With Winning
No surprise here. I mean, what's a competitor without a focus on winning? What's odd is that Trump appears to believe winning the Republican nomination would keep him from having to take responsibility for his personal and misogynistic attacks. "The first thing I have to do is win. Winning solves a lot of problems," Trump said when asked how he might attempt to remake his image in the press. When pressed about whether he has any plans for attempting to unify the GOP Trump veered off on a tangent about winning and how he's a winner.
I’m looking to win first. ... My life has been about victories. I’ve won a lot. I win a lot. I win —when I do something, I win. And even in sports, I always won. I was always a good athlete. And I always won. In golf, I’ve won many club championships. Many, many club championships. And I have people that can play golf great, but they can’t win under pressure. So I’ve always won.
He Doesn't Want To Act Like A President, Yet
Trump told the Washington Post his friends and family have been nagging him to "be more presidential" but that he doesn't have much interest in making that transition at this time. "Not yet. Not yet," Trump said. "My natural inclination is to win. And after I win, I will be so presidential that you won’t even recognize me."
He's Confident His Haters Will Become His Friends
Quite a few of Trump's campaign rallies have been marred by incidents of violence between his supporters and protesters, and the GOP candidate has been accused of inciting much of that hatred and violence by adopting an inflammatory rhetoric.
"I bring rage out. I do bring rage out. I always have," Trump said when asked about being at the center of much of the division and frustration within the Republican Party. "I think it was ... I don’t know if that’s an asset or a liability, but whatever it is, I do. I also bring great unity out, ultimately."
When speaking about how he might build a coalition of support within the GOP, Trump admitted he's had trouble making amends with those he's targeted during his campaign with name calling and personal attacks.
One of the problems I have is that when I hit people, I hit them harder maybe than is necessary. And it’s almost impossible to reel them back.
But ultimately, it seems that Trump is confident he'll be able to smooth things out with his haters in the end.
I’ve had many occasions like this, where people have hated me more than any human being they’ve ever met. And after it’s all over, they end up being my friends. And I see that happening here.
It's been a whirlwind of a week for Trump. A week so bad, some have begun to question whether this is the beginning of the end for the GOP frontrunner. Real Clear Politics analysis of recent polls shows an average of 63 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of the businessman. Will Trump's focus on immediate wins pan out for the presidential hopeful, or will his unwillingness to take on a presidential tone cost him the nomination? And how many more outrageous statements can he drop between now and then?