Donald Trump in ABC This Week interviews during 2020


On Budget & Economy: When stocks go up, everyone does well, not just the wealthy

Q: You talk about a super V [recovery from the pandemic recession]. A lot of people say it's more like a K-shaped recovery. The people at the top who have a lot of stocks are doing pretty well.

TRUMP: They're doing well.

Q: But we've only gotten half the jobs back.

TRUMP: Stocks are owned by everybody. They talk about the stock market is so good, that's 401(k)s. As long as they didn't sell when the market went down, if people held onto their stocks, people that aren't wealthy have done well because of the stock market. I've set records on the stock market even during the pandemic. And that doesn't happen by accident. If Joe Biden ever got this position--and that's a headwind on the stock market-- our stock market would be much higher if it weren't for that [pandemic]. If Joe Biden ever got in, I think you'd have a depression the likes of which we have never seen in this country.

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On Civil Rights: Best employment & best homeownership for Black Americans

Q: When has America been great for African Americans?

TRUMP: We have tremendous African American support. If you look at just prior to this horrible situation coming in from China, when the virus came in, that was the probably the highest point, home ownership for the black community, homeownership, lower crime, the best jobs they've ever had, highest income, the best employment numbers they've ever had. If you go back and you want to look over many years, go back six or seven months, that was the best single moment in the history of the African-American people in this country

Q: Your statement is though, make it great again. Are you aware of how tone deaf that comes off to the African American community? You have yet to acknowledge that there's been a race problem in America.

TRUMP: Well, I hope there's not a race problem. I can tell you, there's none with me, because I have great respect for all races, for everybody. This country is great because of it.

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On Crime: Law-and-order, or you'll see your cities burn

TRUMP: We have a great senator named Tim Scott and he had a compromise plan. A lot of Democrats agreed to it but they wouldn't vote for it. Because I think the Democrats are viewing this as a political issue. I think it's very bad for them because we're about law and order. We have to be about law and order, otherwise you're going to see your cities burn and that's the way it is.

If we can do a plan like Tim Scott's plan, which goes far enough but it doesn't take the dignity away from our police. We can't take their dignity away. We have to let them be able to do what they do. Police are so afraid today that if they do something slightly wrong, and their pension's gone, their job's gone, who knows what happens. It is a very tough job and it's a very dangerous job. We have to give them back their dignity and we have to give them back respect. These are great people for the most part. There's always going to be a bad apple in your business, and we have to weed out the bad apples.

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On Crime: I've established law-and-order, except in Democrat cities

Q: You promised four years ago at the Republican Convention, "I'm going to restore law and order."

TRUMP: And I have, except in Democrat run cities. Look, we have to go by the laws. We can't move in the National Guard unless we're requested by a governor. What happened in Minneapolis was pretty amazing. [Governor Tim Walz, D-MN,] allowed us to bring in the National Guard. When we brought in the National Guard, everything stopped, the crime was gone meaning the whole thing. But by that time a big portion of the city was burned down.

Wherever you have a Democrat city--not in all cases, but if you look at the really troubled cities in our country, they're Democrat-run and that's Biden. They're weak, they're ineffective.

Q: You're president for those cities right now.

TRUMP: I'm president, but I can only do what I'm allowed to do. I don't need an Insurrection Act to take care of 250 anarchists. We can do that very easily with the National Guard. We proved that Minneapolis.

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On Crime: We have to give police their mojo and let them protect us

If you look at our police, they do a phenomenal job. You'll have people choke, make mistakes, and it happens, where they have to make a fast decision and some bad things happen. You also have bad apples. But you have 99% great people. If you're going to stop crime, we have to give the respect back to the police that they deserve. We have to give the police the respect that they deserve, and we have to give them their mojo. We have to let them protect us.
Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On Health Care: Coronavirus was China's fault; I tried to close border

Q: What has been the most difficult part of your presidency?

TRUMP: Without question, I would say, because things were going so well, the whole COVID, the China virus, as I call it, because it comes from China, I think it's a much more accurate term.

It's been very difficult; it's been so sad. We will get there, it's going to happen. But nobody's seen anything like probably since 1917.

Q: What did you learn from it?

TRUMP: I learned that life is very fragile, because [even with] strong people, all of a sudden they were dead. And it wasn't their fault. It was the fault of a country that could have stopped it. And I made a great deal with China. I feel so differently about that [China trade] deal. I don't view it the same way because of the horror of this disease, that could have been stopped at the border.

Q: Could you have done more to stop it?

TRUMP: I don't think so. I think what I did by closing up the country, I saved lives. I think we did a very good job.

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On Health Care: We already have much better healthcare plan, for less money

Q:

TRUMP: If you look at what they want to do, where they have socialized medicine, they will get rid of preexisting conditions, if they go into Medicare for All you can forget about your doctors and your plans. We're going to be doing a healthcare plan--protecting people with preexisting conditions.

Q: I interviewed you last year, you said the healthcare plan would come in two weeks. You told Chris Wallace that this summer it'd come in three weeks. You promised an executive order on preexisting.

TRUMP: I have it already, and it's a much better plan.

Q: What is it?

TRUMP: We're going to have a very good healthcare. I think maybe a great healthcare for less money.

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On Health Care: I get things done, like right-to-try drugs

Sometimes you don't have time to be totally presidential; you have to get things done. I think I've done more than other president in the first 3 years.

When you look at what we've done for tax cuts and regulation cuts and the vets, all of the things that we've done for the vets. We rebuilt our military, we created Space Force. We did so many things, Right to Try, which is so incredible and so successful. You know what Right to Try is? [on use of experimental drugs for fatally ill patients]

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On Health Care: COVID: Sept. 2020 We've very close to having vaccine

Frankly, we're very close to having the vaccine. If you want to know the truth, the previous administration would have taken perhaps years to have a vaccine because of the FDA and all the approvals, and we're within weeks of getting it. You know, could be three weeks, four weeks, but we think we have it. Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, we have great companies and they're very, very close. So I feel that we've done a tremendous job actually, and I don't think it's been recognized like it should.
Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On Health Care: COVID: If we wouldn't do testing you wouldn't have cases

Q: What could have been done differently on coronavirus?

TRUMP: We're very proud of the job we've done, and we've saved a lot of lives, a tremendous number of lives.

Q: We have 4% of the world's population, more than 20% of the cases, more than 20% of the deaths.

TRUMP: We have 20% of the cases because of the fact that we do much more testing. If we wouldn't do testing you wouldn't have cases. You would have very few cases.

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On Health Care: Biden promised a national mask mandate and didn't do it

Q: What about facemasks for coronavirus prevention?

TRUMP: They said at the Democrat convention they're going to do a national mandate. They never did it, because they've checked out and they didn't do it. And a good question is, you ask why Joe Biden--they said we're going to do a national mandate on masks. But he didn't do it. He never did it.

BIDEN (tweeting a response): "To be clear: I am not currently president."

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On Health Care: COVID-19 is going to disappear; I still say it

Q: You said early in the pandemic hat coronavirus was going to disappear.

TRUMP: It is going to disappear. It's going to disappear, I still say it.

Q: But not if we don't take action, correct?

TRUMP: No, I still say it. It's going to disappear. I want to see people, and you want to see people. I want to see football games. I'm pushing very hard for Big Ten, I want to see Big Ten open. Let them play sports.

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On Homeland Security: I never said soldiers are suckers; I do so much for vets

Q: Regarding your recent comments about our United States soldiers, referring to them as suckers.

TRUMP: It was a fake statement. I never made those statements. They were never made by me. They said I stood over the grave of soldiers killed many years ago and I said they were suckers. I never made that.

Q: Especially John McCain?

TRUMP: I was never a fan of John McCain. I never thought he treated our vets well, he didn't do the job. I was never a fan of his. But everybody knows that, and I said it to his face.

Q: You said he's not a war hero.

TRUMP: I have done so much for our vets and for our military. I rebuilt our military. Our military, when I came into this great office, our military was depleted. It was in the worst shape it was in probably ever. It was depleted. The planes were old and broken, the ships, everything.

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On Homeland Security: I rebuilt our depleted military with $2.5 trillion

When I came into this great office, our military was depleted. It was in the worst shape it was in probably ever. It was depleted. The planes were old and broken, the ships, everything.

You see what I've done. I've rebuilt--2.5 trillion and you think that was easy getting that money from Democrats? Because they don't like the military.

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On Immigration: We want more people to come, via legal merit system

Q: What will you do for our immigration system to make more people can become citizens and vote?

TRUMP: We are doing something with immigration that I think is going to be very strong because we want people to come into our country. We want people to come into our country. We want them to come in--a lot of people--but we want them to come in through a legal system. Through a system that they work to come into our country. A merit system and we're working on something very hard right now. And in a very short time we're going to be announcing it. And I think it's going to have quite an impact. I think it's going to be something that actually will be popular for all.

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On Principles & Values: I'm president of everybody but there are Democrat-run cities

Q: Why do you keep talking about Democrat states?

TRUMP: They are.

Q: They're American states.

TRUMP: No. The Democrat-run states are the ones that are doing badly. If you look at New York, if you look at Illinois, if you look at a lot of different places, they're doing poorly. And cities in particular are being run so poorly.

Q: Don't you have a responsibility to those states and cities as well?

TRUMP: .largely because of the debt, but largely because of the crime. They don't want to do anything about crime. They have sanctuary cities where they're protecting criminals. They have things that the Republicans don't have. I'm the president of everybody, but I don't want to say it, but they're Democrat-run cities. It is what it is.

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On Principles & Values: I could be more presidential of not for media fake news

Q: At times, some have called your behavior not presidential. What, if anything, would you do differently if reelected, to create a more unified message where all sides can come together to make positive change?

TRUMP: I'm fighting a battle. It's a big battlefield, and I have a lot of forces against me. I have the media, which I call the fake news, because a lot of it is fake. I'm fighting a lot of forces. Sometimes you don't have time to be totally, as you would say, presidential.

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On Tax Reform: Fact Check: Claims falsely that Biden would raise all taxes

TRUMP: If Joe Biden ever got in, I think you'd have a depression the likes of which we have never seen in this country. If you look at his policies, where he wants to raise everybody's taxes, you look at what he wants to do in terms of regulation, where he wants to put all of the regulations back on that I took off and then some--and in many cases, double it up.

[OnTheIssues fact-check: Is that true? No]: Kiplinger.com analysis (9/18/20) of Biden's tax plan: He wants to raise the highest personal income rate back up to 39.6% (it was lowered to 37% by the 2017 tax reform law), cap itemized deductions for wealthier˙Americans, limit "like-kind exchanges" by real estate investors, and phase-out the 20% deduction for qualified business income for upper-income taxpayers. He won't raise taxes for anyone making less than $400,000, though.

Source: OnTheIssues Fact-check on ABC This Week 2020 Town Hall Sep 15, 2020

On War & Peace: I'm bringing troops back, when advisers wanted war

I'm bringing our troops back from Afghanistan. I'm bringing our troops back from Iraq. We're almost out of almost every place. You know, everybody said--because of my personality, they said, "he'll be in a war immediately."

Look at North Korea, how that's worked out. We haven't--the sanctions are on. Everything's the same. We haven't spent anything. We're getting along with him. I get along with Kim Jong-un. That was supposed to be a war.

If President Obama were president, if Hillary Clinton ever got in, that would be a war, probably a nuclear war with North Korea. In the meantime, I'm getting calls all the time from friends of mine in South Korea. Thank you. We love you. Thank you. It's really been rather amazing.

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On War & Peace: We're creating peace in Mideast; not the old-fashioned way

Look at what we had today with the United Arab Emirates, the UAE. And just take a look at what's going on with Israel today. We're actually creating peace in the Middle East without blood staining our sand. Look at what happened with Bahrain. A guy like [ousted Secretary of Defense] Jim Mattis would have disagreed with the way I went about it and I turned out to be correct.

The New York Times wrote incredible, glowing articles last week about this incredible thing that I've been able to do in the Middle East. A guy like Jim Mattis could have never done it because they were all doing it the old-fashioned way. They were going in the wrong outlets and the wrong doors.

And what happened today with UAE and with Bahrain and with Israel, people don't even believe it. And I have numerous other countries in that region that are going to be signing very soon also. You'll have peace in the Middle East, and this is without war and without losing our great, young soldiers.

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

On War & Peace: Soldiers don't want to be in Afghanistan

I'm bringing our troops back from Afghanistan. I'm bringing our troops back from Iraq. We're almost out of almost every place. You know, everybody said--because of my personality, they said "he'll be in a war immediately."

You know, there's no sadder thing than to sit with a widow or a mother, and these incredible Marines are walking off a casket and they were killed in the Middle East. Going there was the worst decision in the history of our country. We've spent $8 trillion and we've lost thousands of lives.

Iraq did not--Saddam Hussein did not knock down the World Trade Center. They said they had weapons of mass destruction. They made a mistake.

So we've been in there almost 20 years in Afghanistan. And we're bringing our soldiers back home. Nobody expected that from me. And people are so happy about it. And you know who's the happiest? The soldiers, I see them all the time. "What do you think, should we be here?" "No, sir, you shouldn't be here." "Why?" "They don't like us, sir."

Source: ABC This Week: special edition 2020 Town Hall interview Sep 15, 2020

The above quotations are from ABC This Week interviews during 2020
(Martha Raddatz interviewing candidates for 2020 races).
Click here for other excerpts from ABC This Week interviews during 2020
(Martha Raddatz interviewing candidates for 2020 races)
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Page last updated: Sep 19, 2020