On 25 July United States President Donald Trump sat down with the editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal, Gerard Baker, in the Oval Office.
He chatted pretty frankly about a range of subjects and the quotes that emerged from the interview were staggering.
Here's the views of the Commander-in-Chief on a number of matters:
1. The mixed response to his political speech to the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree:
I’d be the first to admit mixed. I’m a guy that will tell you mixed. There was no mix there.
That was a standing ovation from the time I walked out to the time I left, and for five minutes after I had already gone. There was no mix.
And I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful.
So there was — there was no mix.
The organisation told TIME that they were unaware of any call from national leadership placed to the White House and referred to a July 27 statement from Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts of America, who said of Trump's speech:
For years, people have called upon us to take a position on political issues, and we have steadfastly remained non-partisan and refused to comment on political matters.
We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program.
2. Anthony Scaramucci, the Director of Communications who would be removed from the White House six days later, after only ten days in the job:
But I’m very happy with Anthony. I think Anthony is going to do amazing.
3. His son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner:
He’s a good — he’s a good boy.
4. His tweets about a potential post-Brexit trade deal with the UK:
I can say that we’re going to be very involved with the U.K. I mean, you don’t hear the word Britain anymore. It’s very interesting. It’s like, nope.
Is Scotland going to go for the vote, by the way? You don’t see it. It would be terrible. They just went through hell.
They just went through hell.
One little thing, what would they do with the British Open if they ever got out? They’d no longer have the British Open.
Scotland. Keep it in Scotland.
I thought that course showed well.
After some significant talk about golfer Jordan Spieth...
We have a very good relationship. I have a very good relationship with the prime minister. And we are absolutely looking to do a major trade deal.
5. The EU:
I have a very good relationship with the EU people and all, but they are very, very protectionist.
You know, our farmers and others can’t even deal with – you know, you can’t sell in. It’s very unfair.
And that’s what I’ve been talking about for a long time. It’s so stacked against the United States.
Now, the EU was conceived to the point that they wanted to do something to compete with the United States.
Well, you know, you could say that’s a friendly act or an unfriendly act. But it’s very protectionist.
Among the most, we have farm products that you just can’t get into the EU.
And we don’t do that to them.
6. Possible deals with the UK:
So you’d include an agriculture deal with the U.K.?
Well, I’ll tell you, you know, I did – I did thing that nobody even wrote about – although, you did. (Laughter.) But when I was with President Xi, who I have a very good relationship with, I said: Do me a favor. Would you allow cattle, please, to come in?
I was last night in West Virginia, and I had farmers coming up to me and hugging me and kissing me because of the cattle stuff.
They actually weren’t from West Virginia; they were from other places. (Laughter.)
But, you know, it was the Boy Scouts, so they came from all over the country, but –
Could you do a services deal with the U.K.? Could that include services?
Yeah. It would include everything.
Including financial services?
Oh, no, it would be very – it would be – it would be very all-in with –
7. International diplomacy, economic:
So I deal with foreign countries, and despite what you may read I have unbelievable relationships with all of the foreign leaders.
They like me. I like them. You know, it’s amazing.
So I’ll call, like, major — major countries, and I’ll be dealing with the prime minister or the president.
And I’ll say, how are you doing? Oh, don’t know, don’t know, not well, Mr. President, not well.
I said, well, what’s the problem? Oh, GDP 9 percent, not well.
And I’m saying to myself, here we are at like 1 percent, dying, and they’re at 9 percent and they’re unhappy.
8. International diplomacy, demographics:
And then you call places like Malaysia, Indonesia, and you say, you know, how many people do you have?
And it’s pretty amazing how many people they have.
9. Attorney General Jeff Sessions:
I’m very disappointed in the fact that the Justice Department has not gone after the leakers. And they’re the ones that have the great power to go after the leakers, you understand. So – and I’m very disappointed in Jeff Sessions.
You can fire him.
Look, Jeff – I could. But we’ll see what happens. But I was – I appointed a man to a position. And then shortly after he gets the position, he recused himself. I said, what’s that all about? Why didn’t you tell me that you were going to do that, and I wouldn’t have appointed you? But I appointed him. And shortly thereafter, he recused himself. So I think that is a –
I see the way they go after us on a witch hunt, you know?
The Russian – the Russian story’s all an excuse for the Democrats losing.
In fact, if you read the book, Shattered, they have a whole chapter where they sat the day after the election and they said: 'Yeah, Russia. It was Russia. And, you know, Trump was involved.'
OK, the one thing interesting, you never heard me even associated with anybody.
But, no, that’s a total witch hunt, the whole Russia story. It’s a hoax. It’s a hoax.
We had no collusion with Russia. We never dealt with Russia.
Here’s the good news: I was never involved with Russia. There was nobody in the campaign. I’ve got 200 people that will say that they’ve never seen anybody on the campaign.
Donald Trump Jr's Twitter feed would like a word.
He met a Kremlin-connected lawyer on the pretext that the meeting would provide information on Hillary Clinton damaging to her campaign.
11. Behind-the-scenes contributions to passing the healthcare bill:
What have you been doing, Mr. President, sort of behind the scenes?
A lot. A lot.
I mean, what do you think the crucial conversations have been?
Many conversations. I just had one with a certain senator that was very convincing to that senator.
So I’ve done a lot.
I mean, last night — last night it was amazing. I was at the — you know, I was in West Virginia doing certain things and making a speech to the Boy Scouts, and that was some crowd.
That was an incredible crowd.
I’m going to start explaining to people when you have an area that just isn’t working – like upper New York state, where people are getting very badly hurt – and then you’ll have another area 500 miles away where you can’t – you can’t get people, I’m going to explain you can leave, it’s OK, don’t worry about your house.
You can read the full interview transcript on Politico.com.