Former President Donald Trump sought to minimize any threat his Republican rivals pose to him to win the 2024 nomination and portray President Joe Biden as unfit for office in a pre-recorded interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that he sat for in lieu of participating in the first GOP debate.
Trump argued his standing in the polls meant debating was beneath him, saying:
“Do I sit there for an hour or two hours, whatever it’s going to be and get harassed by people that shouldn’t even be running for president? Should I be doing that at a network that isn’t particularly friendly to me?”
The former president dismissed the 91 charges he faces across four separate criminal cases in the interview that was posted the night before he is expected to turn himself in at the Fulton County jail after being criminally charged in the state’s 2020 election subversion case.
“I got indicted four times. All trivia nonsense. Bullshit. It’s all bullshit,” Trump said.
Trump, who still refuses to accept he lost the 2020 presidential election, claimed without evidence his political opponents would try to steal the election in 2024.
“They’ll try. They’re going to be trying,” Trump said.
Trump declared Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whom Trump has long seen as his chief rival for the GOP nomination, was “gonezo.” Trump has spent months relentlessly attacking DeSantis but spent little time in the 46-minute interview posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, focused on the Florida governor.
As he has before, Trump falsely claimed former Vice President Mike Pence had the power to change the outcome of the 2020 election.
Carlson at one point asked Trump if he believed the country was “moving toward civil war.”
After a brief pause, Trump said, “There’s tremendous passion and there’s tremendous love.” He defended his supporters who stormed the Capitol during the insurrection on January 6, 2021, and said, “There was love in that crowd. There was love and unity.”
“I have never seen such spirit and such passion and such love, and I’ve also never seen simultaneously and from the same people such hatred of what they’ve done to our country,” Trump said.