I’ve had Donald Trump’s interview with the Washington Post editorial board open in a browser tab for several days now, and I suppose I should either close it or do something with it. The key takeaway from this exercise in freestyle presidential rapping is just how incoherent Trump was. “It literally makes Sarah Palin seem like an intellectual,” a friend remarked. But that’s hard to capture unless you bite the bullet and read the whole thing. Instead, here are a few greatest hits. And now the tab gets closed. Enjoy.
On how he would have negotiated with the Iranians:
We should have had our prisoners before the negotiations started. We should have doubled up the sanctions. We should have gone in and said, “release our prisoners,” they would have said “no,” and we would have said, “double up the sanctions,” and within a short period of time we would have had our prisoners back.
On whether there are racial disparities in law enforcement:
I’ve read where there are and I’ve read where there aren’t. I mean, I’ve read both. And, you know, I have no opinion on that.
On racial disparities in incarceration:
That would concern me, Ruth. It would concern me.
On how he’d address racial problems:
There’s a racial division that’s incredible actually in the country…And you know there’s a lack of spirit. I actually think I’d be a great cheerleader—beyond other things, the other things that I’d do—I actually think I’d be a great cheerleader for the country.
On South Korea not paying its fair share of defense costs:
You know, South Korea is very rich. Great industrial country. And yet we’re not reimbursed fairly for what we do. We’re constantly, you know, sending our ships, sending our planes, doing our war games, doing other. We’re reimbursed a fraction of what this is all costing.
I think this is on public record, it’s basically 50 percent of the non-personnel cost is paid by South Korea and Japan.
Why isn’t it 100 percent?
On what he means when he says the Ricketts family in Chicago had “better watch out”:
Well, it means that I’ll start spending on them. I’ll start taking ads telling them all what a rotten job they’re doing with the Chicago Cubs. I mean, they are spending on me. I mean, so am I allowed to say that? I’ll start doing ads about their baseball team. That it’s not properly run or that they haven’t done a good job in the brokerage business lately.
On his hands:
This was Rubio that said, “He has small hands and you know what that means.” Okay? So, he started it…I had 50 people…Is that a correct statement? I mean people were writing, “How are Mr. Trump’s hands?” My hands are fine. You know, my hands are normal. Slightly large, actually. In fact, I buy a slightly smaller than large glove, okay? No, but I did this because everybody was saying to me, “Oh, your hands are very nice. They are normal.” So Rubio, in a debate, said, because he had nothing else to say…now I was hitting him pretty hard. He wanted to do his Don Rickles stuff and it didn’t work out. Obviously, it didn’t work too well. But one of the things he said was, “He has small hands and therefore, you know what that means, he has small something else.” You can look it up. I didn’t say it.
…I don’t want people to go around thinking that I have a problem. I’m telling you, Ruth, I had so many people. I would say 25, 30 people would tell me…every time I’d shake people’s hand, “Oh, you have nice hands.” Why shouldn’t I?…I even held up my hands, and said, “Look, take a look at that hand.”…And by saying that, I solved the problem. Nobody questions. Everyone held my hand. I said look. Take a look at that hand.
On using nukes against ISIS:
I don’t want to start the process of nuclear. Remember the one thing that everybody has said, I’m a counterpuncher. Rubio hit me. Bush hit me…
This is about ISIS. You would not use a tactical nuclear weapon against ISIS?
I’ll tell you one thing, this is a very good-looking group of people here. Could I just go around so I know who the hell I’m talking to?
On intelligence, winning, and the war in Iraq:
Right now, look, you know, I went to a great school, I was a good student and all. I am an intelligent person. My uncle, I would say my uncle was one of the brilliant people. He was at MIT for 35 years. As a great scientist and engineer, actually more than anything else. Dr. John Trump, a great guy.
I’m an intelligent person. I understand what is going on. Right now, I had 17 people who started out. They are almost all gone. If I were going to do that in a different fashion I think I probably wouldn’t be sitting here. You would be interviewing somebody else. But it is hard to act presidential when you are being…I mean, actually I think it is presidential because it is winning. And winning is a pretty good thing for this country because we don’t win any more. And I say it all the time. We do not win any more. This country doesn’t win. We don’t win with trade. We don’t win with…We can’t even beat ISIS.
And by the way, just to answer the rest of that question, I would knock the hell out of ISIS in some form. I would rather not do it with our troops, you understand that. Very important. Because I think saying that is very important because I was against the war in Iraq, although they found a clip talking to Howard Stern, I said, “Well…” It was very unenthusiastic. Before they want in, I was totally against the war. I was against it for years. I actually had a delegation sent from the White House to talk to me because I guess I get a disproportionate amount of publicity. I was just against the war. I thought it would destabilize the Middle East, and it did. But we have to knock out ISIS. We are living like in medieval times. Who ever heard of the heads chopped off?