Donald Trump praises ̵6;BLOCKBUSTER’ interview with Tucker Carlson on Elon Musk’s ‘X’ platform, which reached over 150 million viewers early Thursday morning and stole the spotlight from Fox News’ Republican presidential debate.
The former president’s 45-minute sit-down on X, formerly known as Twitter, aired as his GOP rivals bickered on stage in a crucial night for the 2024 White House race.
The former president praised the success of the interview in a post to Truth Social Thursday morning: ‘The Tucker Carlson Interview with me was a BLOCKBUSTER. Could hit 200,000,000 Views, and more! Thank you! I hope it was enjoyed by everyone.’
Trump is preparing to surrender at a Georgia jail later Thursday on election fraud charges and is expected to have a mugshot taken – a historic first for a former president.
The viewing figures are almost certain to eclipse the number of Americans who tuned into Fox to watch Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy and the rest of the GOP field go to battle to try and close the gap with the frontrunner. The millions of views also counted X users who scrolled past the video, and didn’t tune in for the whole interview.
Trump was asked by interviewer Tucker Carlson whether the nation was headed for ‘civil war.’ He attacked his critics as ‘savages,’ tore into GOP rivals and Joe Biden, and spoke about low-flow shower heads
Trump called his critics ‘savages,’ spoke openly about the potential death of 80-year old President Biden, and riffed about low-flow shower heads and electric cars.
He said he didn’t attend the debate because he is ‘leading by 50 and 60 points’ in the polls and didn’t want to be ‘harassed by people that shouldn’t even be running for president’.
Former Fox host Carlson also asked Trump if he thought the U.S. was heading towards a civil war, if his enemies were trying to kill him and if he believed Jeffrey Epstein was ‘murdered’.
Trump didn’t answer directly, instead pivoting to a defense of the crowd he addressed on the Ellipse near the White House on January 6.
‘There’s tremendous passion and there’s tremendous love. You know, January 6 was a very interesting day because – they don’t report it properly. I believe it was the largest crowd I’ve ever spoken before and you know, some of the crowds I’ve spoken before – I think that the biggest crowd I’ve ever spoken before was on January 6,’ Trump responded.
Then he made reference to his own comments on Twitter later that day as a mob stormed the Capitol
‘And people that were in that crowd – a very, very small group of people and we said, patriotically and peacefully peacefully and patriotically, right – nobody ever says that – go peacefully and patriotically. But people that were in that crowd that day, a very small group of people went down there [to the Capitol] and then you there are a lot of a lot of scenarios that we can talk about. But people in that crowd said it was the most beautiful day they’ve ever experienced,’ Trump said.
The AP estimated the rally size to be 10,000 people.
Pressed if there was a possibility of ‘open conflict,’ Trump responded: ‘There’s a level of passion that I’ve never seen. There’s a level of hatred that I’ve never seen. That’s probably a bad combination.’
Trump attacks his critics as ‘savage animals’
Trump called his critics ‘savages’ and claimed his Democratic opponents will try and ‘steal’ the election again.
‘Are you worried that they are going to try to kill you?’ Carlson asked him. ‘Why wouldn’t they try and kill you? Honestly.’ Trump took it as an invitation to go after his rivals, in comments that aired hours before he plans to fly to Fulton County, Georgia, to have his mugshot taken following his indictment on racketeering conspiracy charges.
‘They’re savage animals. They are people that are sick, really sick,’ Trump said.
That kicked off a long answer where Trump inveighed against ‘Russia, Russia, Russia,’ and went after a string of rivals including former FBI Director James Comey, whom he fired in 2017 in an episode examined in the Mueller report.
‘But these people are sick people. These are people that I think they hate our country, you want to know the truth,’ Trump said.
He claimed his critics would try to ‘steal’ the election from him, and ‘not only me,’ on a night all but two of the GOP candidates on stage said they would support Trump even if he were convicted in court.
‘But if somebody else got in, other than me, they’ll go at him just as viciously,’ Trump said.
He predicted it wouldn’t be Ron DeSantis, who he mocked as ‘DeSanctus,’ calling him ‘out,’ as well as ‘gonzo’ and ‘gone.’
‘I do get credit for holding up quite well. I must tell you,’ Trump said.
‘How do you do that?’ Carlson asked him. ‘How do you get indicted, you know, every week and stay cheerful?’
Trump defended the ‘beautiful’ January 6 crowd he addressed and said he told a small group at the Capitol to behave ‘patriotically and peacefully’
Trump said the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein probably killed himself
Trump gave extended answers without interruption in the interview from his private club in New Jersey
Trump asked why he should get on stage with rivals ‘screaming at me shouting questions at me’ during a debate
Speculation on Biden’s health
Trump called Biden ‘the worst president in the history of our country,’ then said he might not make it to November 2024.
‘I don’t think he’s going to make it to the gate but you know, you never know,’ Trump, 77, said of Biden, 80.
‘Then he explained how he took the ‘corrupt’ moniker from Hillary Clinton and used it on Biden. ‘I don’t do two people at one time,’ he explained.
That prompted Trump to predict a ‘free for all’ among Democrats, while saying Vice President Kamala Harris wouldn’t be guaranteed her party’s nomination.
‘A lot of people say she has to remain for certain reasons, the candidate – she has to,’ Trump said of Harris. ‘I don’t think that’s true, actually,’ Trump told Carlson, without explaining what reasons he was referring to.
‘I don’t think other people would stand for it. She has some bad moments. Her moments are almost as bad as his, I think, or worse actually,’ he said.
That got Carlson, who interviewed Trump at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club, to chime in that she ‘seems pretty senile, too.’
‘She speaks in in rhyme. It’s weird. It’s weird,’ Trump riffed. ‘But she has bad moments,’ Trump said of Harris, 58, whose approval ratings are underwater as are Biden’s.
He says Biden has ‘skinny legs’
Trump shredded President Biden for both his looks and his mental capacity.
‘I think he’s worse mentally than he is physically and physically. He’s not exactly a triathlete, or any kind of athlete,’ Trump mused about Biden, who used to play college football at the University of Delaware, but has been the subject of some unflattering beach photos recently.
‘You look at him who can’t walk through the helicopter he walks he can’t lift his feet out of the grass, you know, it’s only two inches at the White House.’
‘You watch him and it looks like he’s walking on toothpicks,’ the former president went on. ‘And then you see him in the beach where he can’t lift a chair. You know, those chairs are meant to be light, right? Like two ounces.’
Trump then said he didn’t understand the strategy behind sending Biden to the beach.
Trump on why he skipped the debate
Trump said he skipped the first Republican presidential debate so he wouldn’t get ‘harassed’ by rivals he said didn’t deserve to run.
He said he skipped the forum to avoid giving other Republicans the chance to swing at him, acknowledging it was a defensive move to sit on his lead.
‘But you see, the polls have come out and I’m leading by 50 and 60 points. And you know, some of them are at one and zero and two. And I’m 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?”‘ Trump told Carlson.
He made the comment after rivals on stage, including DeSantis, ripped him for skipping the main event.
Trump said the situation reminded him of the 2016 campaign, where he said he had to fight but the network ‘became very friendly after I won.
‘But I just felt it would be more appropriate not to do the debate. I don’t think it’s right to do it,’ he said.
He pointed to his poll leads, though he exaggerated by claiming it was 70 per cent. ‘And I’m going to have eight people, 10 people, whoever made the debate, I don’t know how many it is, but I’m gonna have all these people screaming at me shouting questions at me? All of which I love answering – I love doing – but it doesn’t make sense to do them. So I’ve taken a pass, you probably noticed,’ he told Carlson.
Trump on Jeffrey Epstein’s death
Carlson tried to get Trump to sound off on the death of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, expressing doubt that he killed himself in prison and accusing former AG Bill Barr of not investigating.
Carlson accused Barr of ‘covering up’ Epstein’s death.
Trump, who has himself been photographed with Epstein at Mar-a-Lago and called him a ‘fixture’ in Palm Beach, didn’t buy it.
‘I don’t really believe – I think he probably committed suicide. He had a life with you know, beautiful homes and beautiful everything and he all of a sudden he’s incarcerated and not doing very well.’
Trump gave running commentary on his problems with low-flow showers and electric vehicles. He has voiced similar complaints for years.
‘Now in some states they have a problem you know, you have some desert areas and all that is okay. But they have sinks where no water comes out. You turn it on, no water comes out. No water comes out of the shower. No water is allowed to go into the washing machine for your dishes or for your clothing. I avoided all that,’ Trump said of his moves to cut back regulations.
‘Wait they have sinks where no water comes out?’ Carlson wanted to know.
‘You want to wash your hands, right? Yeah. And you you’ve seen this and you turn on the sink and it’s very little or you want to wash your beautiful hair right and you stand under a shower. Then the suds never got with the water that comes out very slowly. I’m sure you’ve seen this. It usually takes place in new hotels, new homes,’ Trump complained.