Having selected several key excerpts from Donald Trump's lengthy AP interview earlier, we urge readers looking for fascinating yet surreal bedtime reading to give the full, nearly 8,000 word transcript a try, as it contains bizarro excerpts such as this:
AP: You did put out though, as a candidate, you put out a 100-day plan. Do you feel like you should be held accountable to that plan?
TRUMP: Somebody, yeah, somebody put out the concept of a hundred-day plan. But yeah. Well, I'm mostly there on most items. Go over the items, and I'll talk to you ... (Crosstalk.)
TRUMP: But things change. There has to be flexibility. Let me give you an example. President Xi, we have a, like, a really great relationship. For me to call him a currency manipulator and then say, "By the way, I'd like you to solve the North Korean problem," doesn't work. So you have to have a certain flexibility, Number One. Number Two, from the time I took office till now, you know, it's a very exact thing. It's not like generalities. Do you want a Coke or anything?
AP: I'm OK, thank you. No. ...
Yet what caught our attention was the following excerpt on a topic that has re-emerged in recent days in the aftermath of the spat between Julian Assange and the new CIA chief Mike Pompeo, who last week made it clear Assange's days as a quasi-free man are numbered. And, as the following exchange between the AP and Trump notes, the president does not harbor any partcularly fond feelings for the man who has been accused of being a Russian plant or spy and crushing Hillary Clinton's election chances. That, and so much more in the following bizarre exchange:
AP: Jeff Sessions, your attorney general, is taking a tougher line suddenly on Julian Assange, saying that arresting him is a priority. You were supportive of what WikiLeaks was doing during the campaign with the release of the Clinton emails. Do you think that arresting Assange is a priority for the United States?
TRUMP: When Wikileaks came out ... never heard of Wikileaks, never heard of it. When Wikileaks came out, all I was just saying is, "Well, look at all this information here, this is pretty good stuff." You know, they tried to hack the Republican, the RNC, but we had good defenses. They didn't have defenses, which is pretty bad management. But we had good defenses, they tried to hack both of them. They weren't able to get through to Republicans. No, I found it very interesting when I read this stuff and I said, "Wow." It was just a figure of speech. I said, "Well, look at this. It's good reading."
AP: But that didn't mean that you supported what Assange is doing?
TRUMP: No, I don't support or unsupport. It was just information. They shouldn't have allowed it to get out. If they had the proper defensive devices on their internet, you know, equipment, they wouldn't even allow the FBI. How about this — they get hacked, and the FBI goes to see them, and they won't let the FBI see their server. But do you understand, nobody ever writes it. Why wouldn't (former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John) Podesta and Hillary Clinton allow the FBI to see the server? They brought in another company that I hear is Ukrainian-based.
TRUMP: That's what I heard. I heard it's owned by a very rich Ukrainian, that's what I heard. But they brought in another company to investigate the server. Why didn't they allow the FBI in to investigate the server? I mean, there is so many things that nobody writes about. It's incredible.
AP: Can I just ask you, though — do you believe it is a priority for the United States, or it should be a priority, to arrest Julian Assange?
TRUMP: I am not involved in that decision, but if Jeff Sessions wants to do it, it's OK with me. I didn't know about that decision, but if they want to do it, it's OK with me.
And while Trump may somehow not know about the DOJ's decision to arrest Assange, we are confident he knows that any potential pardon of Assange is long gone. As for Donald Trump "loving" Wikileaks, that was so six months ago.