Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.” was scheduled to broadcast live from the White House on Wednesday and was surprised by an impromptu visit by President Donald Trump.
Covering a wide range of issues, the president discussed a wide range of issues with host Stuart Varney, from the media’s handling of the economy to White House plans to cut spending.
From FOX NEWS:
The president also touched on the status of trade talks with China, the importance of Saudi Arabia as an ally and his use of social media and the media’s coverage of him.
Varney first asked Trump about first lady Melania Trump’s plane being forced back to Joint Base Andrews earlier that morning after a “mechanical issue” led to smoke in the cabin, and the president assured viewers that he spoke with his wife and she was fine.
“She got on another plane,” he said. “I said, ‘I hope this plane’s better than the first one but yes, they had a problem.”
When asked if he liked doing so much media, Trump replied that he didn’t.
“I like getting the point across,” he added. “I’ve heard you say many times that the economy isn’t covered properly and it’s not.”
Trump acknowledged the current media blitz is a result of the upcoming midterm elections, saying the Republican Party needs to hold onto its majority in Congress.
He also promised more tax cuts and upcoming spending cuts.
“So, we need Republicans and we’ll have tremendous border security when we do that,” Trump said. “We’ll continue with the tax cuts because we have other tax cuts planned, we’re going to do a lot of cutting of the budget.”
A surprised Varney asked for clarification on cutting spending, noting this was not an easy task in Washington.
“It’s not as tough as you think and frankly there’s a lot of fat in there but we had to get the military done last time,” Trump explained. “You know, President Obama let it go and I could say beyond President Obama, the military was in terrible shape.”
The federal budget deficit jumped in fiscal 2018 to $779 billion, the highest level in six years and the president said he had “to give up things to the Democrats that I hated to give up” to rebuild the military.
After talking a little about infrastructure rebuilding, Trump said it’s not time to start trade talks with China, saying they’re not ready, and was asked if there would be any punishment for Saudia Arabia for the alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“We need Saudi Arabia in terms of our fight against all of the terrorism, everything that’s happening in Iran and other places,” Trump said.
Trump said he did not want to walk away from Saudi Arabia, adding that there are also financial consideration at play.
“I do not want to do that,” he said, “And frankly they have a tremendous [military] order – $110 billion. Every country in the world wanted a piece of that order. We got all of it.”
Without identifying yesterday’s tweet from the president calling porn star Stormy Daniels “Horseface,” which set social media atwitter, Varney asked Trump about his tweeting and whether any of his aides ever asked him to give up his phone.
Saying “no,” Trump added that it’s “a way of getting out the message” and admitted that he likes tweeting.
“I do like it,” he said. “It’s a form of getting out the truth.”