Wolf Blizter was touting his big interview with Donald Trump today, but the start of his daily CNN show was pushed back by the President's late arrival to the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony, which then ran long. However, CNN finally cut away from the ceremony to get back to its day-long Trump-Romney-Obama birther showdown.
Trump called in to Blitzer's show just hours before tonight's Las Vegas fundraiser with Mitt Romney and immediately went after CNN and its treatment of him in an interview that was ugly from the start. Here are some of the highlights below:
- Trump began by calling the introductory piece by CNN reporter Jim Accosta "inaccurate" and "inappropriate" and "very dishonest" as if "President Obama wrote it."
- Trump says he's not here to talk about the birth certificate, but ("as you said you would") jobs, China, and OPEC, who are "laughing at the stupidity of our country."
- Trump to Blitzer: The introduction was inappropriate, but "that's okay, because I've gotten to know you over the years."
- Trump says Obama does not like the birthplace issue because it's "hitting very close to home," but accuses Blitzer of spinning the story to make it look like Obama is happy to have it in the news.
- On the birth certificate: "A lot of people do not think it was authentic ... His mother was not in the hospital... If you reported accurately you'd probably be getting better ratings than you're getting, which are pretty small."
- When Blitzer says that Trump is starting to sound ridiculous, Trump responds: "I think you sound ridiculous."
- Regarding the birth announcements published in Hawaii papers in 1961, Trump says that "many people" put birth announcements in the paper to try and bolster their claims for citizenship. He also hints that the "Democratic governor" of Hawaii (who is actually a Republican) may have played a role in sending out the fake birth certificate. "You know and I know it and so do a lot of your viewers ... though you don't have a lot viewers."
- When asked about Mitt Romney's disagreement with him on the issue, Trump says he only talks to Romney about China, and he agrees that China is "trying to destroy our country, by taking our jobs and making our products, and manipulating their currency."
- Trump: "You bring it up [the birth story] because you feel it will probably get a few more people to watch your station, which unfortunately they're not doing."
- Trump says "many people do not believe that birth certificate is authentic." When asked who doesn't believe the birth certificate is real, Trump says: "I don't give names."
- Trump: "All I know is somebody came out with a strong statement that he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia." Trump says that's a "pretty hard statement to refute," but does know who actually made it, the publisher of the president's old memoir or the President himself.
- On George Will (who called Trump a "bloviating ignoramus": "I don't consider him a very smart person.... he totally bombed [during a speech] in front of an important group of people" at Trump's Florida resort. "I'm not a fan of George Will. I never have been."
- Trump says he won't talk to Romney about the birth issue tonight. "We talk about jobs. We talk about China. We talk about OPEC.... He'll be a wonderful president.... A lot of money will be raised."
In the end, David Frum summed up the whole interview pretty well:
That was a big steaming plate of shit spaghetti Trump just deposited on CNN for his supposed friend Romney— davidfrum (@davidfrum) May 29, 2012
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.