Former President Donald Trump sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Meet the Press, where he discussed the 2024 election, the January 6th Capitol riots, his relationship with foreign leaders, and more.
On the 2024 Election
Trump claimed he is leading the 2024 Republican primary polls by a large margin. He criticized potential rivals like Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley. Trump boasted that DeSantis polls far behind him, saying "I'm leading him by 60 points." He slammed Haley as inexperienced, stating "Nikki Haley doesn't know anything."
Trump did not commit to accepting the results if he lost in 2024, repeating his false claim that the 2020 election was "rigged." He claimed without evidence that there was "ballot stuffing" and other irregularities that cost him the election. Trump stated the 2020 election loss was due to "51 intelligence agents" lying about Hunter Biden's laptop and Twitter suppressing news stories.
On Investigations Against Him
Trump called the investigations into him "Biden indictments" and claimed they were politically motivated. He said he could have pardoned himself before leaving office but chose not to, stating it would have looked terrible. On the Mar-a-Lago document investigation, Trump claimed he had offered to provide security tapes to the DOJ voluntarily.
Regarding the Georgia election interference probe, Trump defended his call to the Georgia Secretary of State as "perfect" and claimed there was mass voter fraud in the state, insisting he just wanted fraudulent votes examined. He accused the January 6th committee of destroying evidence related to Nancy Pelosi.
On January 6
Trump minimized his role in the January 6 Capitol attack, claiming the rally beforehand was peaceful and patriotic. He blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for security failures that day, saying she rejected his offers of National Guard troops.
Trump would not reveal specifics about where he was as the riots unfolded, saying he would "tell people later." He claimed the hearings are biased and he destroyed evidence related to Pelosi's actions that day.
On Ukraine War
Trump claimed the war in Ukraine would never have happened if he was still president. He said he had warned Putin not to invade Ukraine. Trump claimed Europe was not doing enough to support Ukraine compared to the US aid.
He said he could negotiate an end to the war quickly but did not provide specifics, saying it would reveal his strategy. Trump claimed the media has lost interest in covering Ukraine, suggesting that means Ukraine is losing.
On Foreign Leaders
Trump touted his relationships with Putin, Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un. He welcomed Putin's recent praise of him. Trump claimed he got NATO countries to increase their defense spending by demanding they pay their bills.
He did not commit to defending Taiwan militarily if China invaded. Trump stated he purposefully keeps his foreign policy strategies ambiguous.
On 2024 Plans
Trump said he does not support term limits and would not rule out running again in 2028 if he won in 2024. He criticized DeSantis for saying Trump should serve just one term if re-elected.
Trump claimed the media has lost credibility and he needs to win in 2024 to "straighten out" the country. He portrayed himself as the only one who can fix the problems in the US.
The interview provided insight into how Trump is positioning himself ahead of a potential 2024 campaign. He continues to falsely claim the 2020 election was rigged and will not commit to accepting defeat in 2024. Trump touted his foreign policy accomplishments but was light on specifics for the future. He deflected and defended himself against investigations he faces. Trump is gearing up to run on a similar platform as 2016, portraying himself as the savior against a corrupt government and media.