Donald Trump Interview at The Federalist

 

Mollie Hemingway spent five hours interviewing Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago in Florida over a wide range of topics, including: Media bias, Covid and Fauci, Afghanistan (the interview predates the catastrophic Biden pull out), his opinion of Mitch McConnell and other Republicans, his abortion record, and, of course, the 2020 election. It’s one of the more balanced profiles of Trump, giving him a chance to speak for himself, while also acknowledging his idiosyncrasies and mistakes he made while in office.

On that last topic, Trump does not come across in the interview as the deranged embittered maniac who tried to overthrow Democracy the way he is portrayed in the mainstream media and NeverTrump outlets like The Dispatch and The Bulwark. Rather, he seems to have some legitimate complaints that states may have unconstitutionally changed election laws to help his opponent.

And, of course, there’s some discussion of those Trump feels wronged him. NeverTrump Senator Ben Sasse, in particular, comes across as a weasel and a scoundrel. After attacking Trump viciously in 2016, Sasse was facing a potential primary challenge in 2018. So, he made a show of mending fences with the president. As soon as the primary was over, he reverted to form.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, in a private call with constituents, excoriated President Trump, saying he had mishandled the coronavirus response, ‘kisses dictators’ butts,’ ‘sells out our allies,’ spends ‘like a drunken sailor,’ mistreats women, and trash-talks evangelicals behind their backs. Trump has ‘flirted with white supremacists,’ according to Sasse, and his family ‘treated the presidency like a business opportunity.’

Before reading the article. I had no idea Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy and Democrat ex-Republican pollster Frank Luntz (who has made a career of steering Republicans to the left while denouncing conservatives) were roommates. Strange bedfellows, I guess.

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  1. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Frank Lantz isn’t a Democrat pollster. 

    • #1
  2. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Frank Lantz isn’t a Democrat pollster.

    No, he is a game designer.  But Frank Luntz is a pollster (per Wikipedia, anyhow.)

    • #2
  3. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    I always believed Ben Sasse was one of the more insufferable politicians on the scene. This just confirms my suspicions. 

    • #3
  4. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I always believed Ben Sasse was one of the more insufferable politicians on the scene. This just confirms my suspicions.

    I’ll admit that I was fooled for about 30 seconds but you are correct. (I also wouldn’t have been as nice as “insufferable politician” at this point in time.)

    • #4
  5. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    My copy of “Rigged” was delivered today. (:

    • #5
  6. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Frank Lantz isn’t a Democrat pollster.

    No, he is a game designer. But Frank Luntz is a pollster (per Wikipedia, anyhow.)

    Ok typo. He is a pollster but not a Democrat pollster. 

    • #6
  7. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    My copy of “Rigged” was delivered today. (:

    @MollieHemingway is a national treasure. Hillsdale scored quite a coup when they brought her on board to teach journalism. I envy those students.

     

    • #7
  8. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Trump is a good man. Better than all the NT right, that’s for sure. I’d rather hang with him then any of the NTs.

    • #8
  9. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    The post has been updated to present Frank Luntz’s political stances more accurately. 

    • #9
  10. D.A. Venters Member
    D.A. Venters
    @DAVenters

    Got around to reading the article.  Great opportunity for Mollie to speak with a former president. A person could learn a lot from that kind of conversation – about leadership, about how the world works, about policies, about the nature of government and liberty.

    So, what did I learn from the article?  I learned that Trump thinks Mitch McConnell is a “stupid f*cker,” Ben Sasse is a disloyal “loser,” and Kevin McCarthy might be gay – the kind of conversation you might hear among adolescents in a middle school hallway, but taking place instead at an opulent resort between an ostensibly serious political writer and former president of the United States.

    Here’s a shocker – he believes the media was unfair to him.

    So, basically – whining, name-calling, and winks at Covid and election conspiracy theories. Stroking his fans, the same old complaints and controversies and belly-aches, and not much else.

    Oh, except that he also has strong opinions on how Mollie should pose in pictures with him, and she marvels at how right he is. 

    What a leader. it’s a real mystery how this man’s presidency ended in his most ardent followers throwing an epic and humiliating temper tantrum, and with his party out of power. 

    If we let this guy continue to dominate our side of the political aisle, if the primaries turn on loyalty to him and his grievances, there’s nothing good coming down the road.  Talk about helping the enemy. It will be the greatest gift to the Dems if that happens. They’re blowing it with their overreach, and this would throw them a lifeline. 

    We’ll be much better off, and the country will be better off, ignoring trump and his mess. Prop up DeSantis and other strong but sane and appealing Republicans instead. Please.

    • #10
  11. Dbroussa Coolidge
    Dbroussa
    @Dbroussa

    One of the things that amazed me about Trump in 2015-16 was that he didn’t perform a prepared speech at campaign stops. He riffed off the cuff and every time it was different. Sure he hit the high points, but it was all improv. I’m similar in that I hate delivering presentation at work the same way. I find it boring due to my ADD. The more I read and hear about Trump the more I am convinced that he is extremely ADD. That can be a great asset when one channels it and he has.

    At some point the GOP may realize how much they betrayed their constituents in their milquetoast approach to the 2020 election and ensuring it was run fairly. Maybe someday people in the US will realize what an outsized role Big Tech and Big Media played in tilting the field against Trump. It seems that the GOP didn’t care because they never wanted Trump in the first place, but the cost to the nation for their weakness is incalculable and, for me at least unforgivable. 

    • #11
  12. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    My copy of “Rigged” was delivered today. (:

    @ MollieHemingway is a national treasure. Hillsdale scored quite a coup when they brought her on board to teach journalism. I envy those students.

     

    She’s been consistently solid both as a reporter and as a news-media critic.  I’m more or less looking forward to the book, but I’ll definitely read some reviews. I enjoyed the excerpt in the Federalist though it felt somewhat sympathetic. 

    • #12
  13. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    Dbroussa (View Comment):
    At some point the GOP may realize how much they betrayed their constituents in their milquetoast approach to the 2020 election and ensuring it was run fairly.

    That would be great but I’m not holding my breath. The Democrats are pushing the California Model of one-party dominance nationwide and the GOP is letting it happen. 

    Maybe someday people in the US will realize what an outsized role Big Tech and Big Media played in tilting the field against Trump.

    The Kabuki theater of the Facebook “whistleblower” who jumped into the scene with ready-made website, PR, and verified 50k Twitter account to advocate that Govt should censor the internet kind of shows the direction this is going.

    It seems that the GOP didn’t care because they never wanted Trump in the first place.

    No. All the conservative issues the GOP pretends to support are just marketing. Trump gave the game away by actually trying to secure the border, cut regulations, and defend freedom. 

    • #13
  14. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    My copy of “Rigged” was delivered today. (:

    Can you do a book review once you read it?

    • #14
  15. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Dbroussa (View Comment):

    One of the things that amazed me about Trump in 2015-16 was that he didn’t perform a prepared speech at campaign stops. He riffed off the cuff and every time it was different. Sure he hit the high points, but it was all improv. I’m similar in that I hate delivering presentation at work the same way. I find it boring due to my ADD. The more I read and hear about Trump the more I am convinced that he is extremely ADD. That can be a great asset when one channels it and he has.

    At some point the GOP may realize how much they betrayed their constituents in their milquetoast approach to the 2020 election and ensuring it was run fairly. Maybe someday people in the US will realize what an outsized role Big Tech and Big Media played in tilting the field against Trump. It seems that the GOP didn’t care because they never wanted Trump in the first place, but the cost to the nation for their weakness is incalculable and, for me at least unforgivable.

    Off the cuff and telling the fake news CNN to go pound sand at the press conferences was great! At least he took questions and the background wasn’t fake! The press has to miss that much!

    • #15
  16. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Frank Lantz isn’t a Democrat pollster.

    No, he is a game designer. But Frank Luntz is a pollster (per Wikipedia, anyhow.)

    Ok typo. He is a pollster but not a Democrat pollster.

    Are you sure???

    • #16
  17. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Dbroussa (View Comment): It seems that the GOP didn’t care because they never wanted Trump in the first place, but the cost to the nation for their weakness is incalculable and, for me at least unforgivable. 

    An the pomposity of their enablers in neighborhoods like this to this day is telling…

    • #17
  18. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    My copy of “Rigged” was delivered today. (:

    Can you do a book review once you read it?

    Probably.  Won’t be too soon–working a startup that is running long.

    • #18
  19. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    philo (View Comment):
    An the pomposity of their enablers in neighborhoods like this to this day is telling…

    I’m struck by the need of the TDS people to constantly remind us that they hate Trump, which we are already well aware of.  I often wonder if any Never-Trumper has ever considered that many of us hate the Establishment GOP just as much, and then try and understand why that is.

    • #19
  20. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    What a leader. it’s a real mystery how this man’s presidency ended in his most ardent followers throwing an epic and humiliating temper tantrum, and with his party out of power.

    I liked this comment because of its contrarian nature, and, to be honest, because it contains some degree of truth.  Without necessarily sorting out everything, the above-quoted passage just doesn’t add up.  It essentially reiterates the Cheneyesque theme that the rioting of certain individuals of free will should be laid at the feet of Trump despite the fact that 100 times that number were present and did not riot.  It’s a big stretch and leads one to wonder what else is being “stretched.”

    As an aside, should anyone be surprised at the pomposity of Ben Sasse?

    • #20
  21. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I always believed Ben Sasse was one of the more insufferable politicians on the scene. This just confirms my suspicions.

    Yes it does. What a typical political creature.

    • #21
  22. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    @MollieHemingway is a national treasure. Hillsdale scored quite a coup when they brought her on board to teach journalism. I envy those students.

    I don’t think there is any way to be a good journalist. The ‘profession’ of journalism is irredeemably corrupt. If Hillsdale teaches anything other than that reporting is about delivering words your editor and/or proprietor wants – that is, if it seeks to perpetuate the dangerous falsehoods of ‘objectivity’ and ‘speaking truth to power’ and being ‘essential to democracy’ – then they are playing the left’s game and leading young conservatives astray. 

    • #22
  23. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    genferei (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    @ MollieHemingway is a national treasure. Hillsdale scored quite a coup when they brought her on board to teach journalism. I envy those students.

    I don’t think there is any way to be a good journalist. The ‘profession’ of journalism is irredeemably corrupt. If Hillsdale teaches anything other than that reporting is about delivering words your editor and/or proprietor wants – that is, if it seeks to perpetuate the dangerous falsehoods of ‘objectivity’ and ‘speaking truth to power’ and being ‘essential to democracy’ – then they are playing the left’s game and leading young conservatives astray.

    But there are ways to be a good “reporter.”  IMO, we have too many journalists and not nearly enough reporters.  Thank you Bob Woodward.

    • #23
  24. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Got around to reading the article. Great opportunity for Mollie to speak with a former president. A person could learn a lot from that kind of conversation – about leadership, about how the world works, about policies, about the nature of government and liberty.

    So, what did I learn from the article? I learned that Trump thinks Mitch McConnell is a “stupid f*cker,” Ben Sasse is a disloyal “loser,” and Kevin McCarthy might be gay – the kind of conversation you might hear among adolescents in a middle school hallway, but taking place instead at an opulent resort between an ostensibly serious political writer and former president of the United States.

    Here’s a shocker – he believes the media was unfair to him.

    So, basically – whining, name-calling, and winks at Covid and election conspiracy theories. Stroking his fans, the same old complaints and controversies and belly-aches, and not much else.

    Your reaction doesn’t surprise me in the least. If you are someone who hates President Trump — and you do — you will find enough in this interview to justify your hatred. And you did.

    I thought the interview was great, and I agree with VTK that the President does not come across as an angry, bitter, malevolent force that you, your pal Gary, and the rest of the French Davidians at the Bulwank and the Dispatch depict him as. Not at all. He comes across as someone who fully accepted his loss and has moved on, while still questioning the process — as many of us do. If that makes him a villain, your soul is broken.

    • #24
  25. HeavyWater Inactive
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Got around to reading the article. Great opportunity for Mollie to speak with a former president. A person could learn a lot from that kind of conversation – about leadership, about how the world works, about policies, about the nature of government and liberty.

    So, what did I learn from the article? I learned that Trump thinks Mitch McConnell is a “stupid f*cker,” Ben Sasse is a disloyal “loser,” and Kevin McCarthy might be gay – the kind of conversation you might hear among adolescents in a middle school hallway, but taking place instead at an opulent resort between an ostensibly serious political writer and former president of the United States.

    Here’s a shocker – he believes the media was unfair to him.

    So, basically – whining, name-calling, and winks at Covid and election conspiracy theories. Stroking his fans, the same old complaints and controversies and belly-aches, and not much else.

    Oh, except that he also has strong opinions on how Mollie should pose in pictures with him, and she marvels at how right he is.

    What a leader. it’s a real mystery how this man’s presidency ended in his most ardent followers throwing an epic and humiliating temper tantrum, and with his party out of power.

    If we let this guy continue to dominate our side of the political aisle, if the primaries turn on loyalty to him and his grievances, there’s nothing good coming down the road. Talk about helping the enemy. It will be the greatest gift to the Dems if that happens. They’re blowing it with their overreach, and this would throw them a lifeline.

    We’ll be much better off, and the country will be better off, ignoring trump and his mess. Prop up DeSantis and other strong but sane and appealing Republicans instead. Please.

    We will have to wait until 2024 to find out if the grass roots want to join Trump on another political suicide mission.

    • #25
  26. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Got around to reading the article. Great opportunity for Mollie to speak with a former president. A person could learn a lot from that kind of conversation – about leadership, about how the world works, about policies, about the nature of government and liberty.

    So, what did I learn from the article? I learned that Trump thinks Mitch McConnell is a “stupid f*cker,” Ben Sasse is a disloyal “loser,” and Kevin McCarthy might be gay – the kind of conversation you might hear among adolescents in a middle school hallway, but taking place instead at an opulent resort between an ostensibly serious political writer and former president of the United States.

    Here’s a shocker – he believes the media was unfair to him.

    So, basically – whining, name-calling, and winks at Covid and election conspiracy theories. Stroking his fans, the same old complaints and controversies and belly-aches, and not much else.

    Your reaction doesn’t surprise me in the least. If you are someone who hates President Trump — and you do — you will find enough in this interview to justify your hatred. And you did.

    I thought the interview was great, and I agree with VTK that the President does not come across as an angry, bitter, malevolent force that you, your pal Gary, and the rest of the French Davidians at the Bulwank and the Dispatch depict him as. Not at all. He comes across as someone who fully accepted his loss and has moved on, while still questioning the process — as many of us do. If that makes him a villain, your soul is broken.

    OK, is that the first use of “French Davidian” here?  Excellent.

    • #26
  27. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    We will have to wait until 2024 to find out the grass roots want to join Trump on another political suicide mission.

    You mean like in 2016?

    • #27
  28. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Got around to reading the article. Great opportunity for Mollie to speak with a former president. A person could learn a lot from that kind of conversation – about leadership, about how the world works, about policies, about the nature of government and liberty.

    So, what did I learn from the article? I learned that Trump thinks Mitch McConnell is a “stupid f*cker,” Ben Sasse is a disloyal “loser,” and Kevin McCarthy might be gay – the kind of conversation you might hear among adolescents in a middle school hallway, but taking place instead at an opulent resort between an ostensibly serious political writer and former president of the United States.

    Here’s a shocker – he believes the media was unfair to him.

    So, basically – whining, name-calling, and winks at Covid and election conspiracy theories. Stroking his fans, the same old complaints and controversies and belly-aches, and not much else.

    Your reaction doesn’t surprise me in the least. If you are someone who hates President Trump — and you do — you will find enough in this interview to justify your hatred. And you did.

    I thought the interview was great, and I agree with VTK that the President does not come across as an angry, bitter, malevolent force that you, your pal Gary, and the rest of the French Davidians at the Bulwank and the Dispatch depict him as. Not at all. He comes across as someone who fully accepted his loss and has moved on, while still questioning the process — as many of us do. If that makes him a villain, your soul is broken.

    And a good part of this interview was done in February when it was fresh.

    • #28
  29. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Got around to reading the article. Great opportunity for Mollie to speak with a former president. A person could learn a lot from that kind of conversation – about leadership, about how the world works, about policies, about the nature of government and liberty.

    So, what did I learn from the article? I learned that Trump thinks Mitch McConnell is a “stupid f*cker,” Ben Sasse is a disloyal “loser,” and Kevin McCarthy might be gay – the kind of conversation you might hear among adolescents in a middle school hallway, but taking place instead at an opulent resort between an ostensibly serious political writer and former president of the United States.

    Here’s a shocker – he believes the media was unfair to him.

    So, basically – whining, name-calling, and winks at Covid and election conspiracy theories. Stroking his fans, the same old complaints and controversies and belly-aches, and not much else.

    Your reaction doesn’t surprise me in the least. If you are someone who hates President Trump — and you do — you will find enough in this interview to justify your hatred. And you did.

    I thought the interview was great, and I agree with VTK that the President does not come across as an angry, bitter, malevolent force that you, your pal Gary, and the rest of the French Davidians at the Bulwank and the Dispatch depict him as. Not at all. He comes across as someone who fully accepted his loss and has moved on, while still questioning the process — as many of us do. If that makes him a villain, your soul is broken.

    OK, is that the first use of “French Davidian” here? Excellent.

    Nah, it’s old.  But always brings a smile.

    • #29
  30. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I always believed Ben Sasse was one of the more insufferable politicians on the scene. This just confirms my suspicions.

    Aren’t you the one who called him a “pretentious decorum-scold” last year? I thought that was perfect. Like a lot of NTs, he is concerned about appearances, but with no substance at all. 

    • #30