Shortly after the US released the list of Chinese goods that will now be subject to 25% export tariffs, marking the official start of a US trade war with China, President Trump marched across the White House lawn surrounded by a scrum of reporters, to the set of Fox & Friends, which was shooting at the White House, after teasing on twitter that he might need to take "an unannounced trip" to see the highest rated morning show in cable news.
Wow, the highest rated (by far) morning show, @foxandfriends, is on the Front Lawn of the White House. Maybe I’ll have to take an unannounced trip down to see them?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2018
Speaking with Fox host Steve Doocy, Trump hit on a range of topics from his recent summit in North Korea to corruption at the FBI, which was recently laid bare by the 500-page DOJ Inspector General's report, which was released yesterday following a fusillade of leaks from Bloomberg, Fox News and other outlets. Trump insisted that the "horrible" leaders of the FBI were "plotting against my election.
Trump declared that the IG report was "pretty good" but that the conclusion was "wrong", insisting that the report clearly showed FBI leaders acted with political bias against him.
"The end result was wrong, there was total bias...when you look at Peter Strzok and what he said about me...it was a pretty good report but I say the IG blew it with that statement. The IG report was a horror show, and that conclusion was ridiculous."
Turning his attention to former Director James Comey, Trump said Comey's conduct was "criminal" and that the former director was "the ringleader of this whole den of thieves" adding that the president's enemies within the bureau ignored the fact that the US economy is better than it has been in years under Trump (see 1'20 into the clip below.).
But he clarified that Christopher Wray, his pick to lead the bureau, is "very different" from Comey, "which is what you need," and asserted that the rank and file employees in the bureau overwhelmingly support his administration.
"I bet if you took a poll in the FBI, I would win that poll by more than anybody's ever won a poll - but the top people were horrible."
Trump also threw in a humble-brag about his electoral victory, saying "I beat the Clinton dynasty. I beat the Bush dynasty, and now, I guess, hopefully I'm in the process of beating very dishonest intelligence."
Trump added that he'd like to speak with Special Counsel Mueller, but that the Russia probe "seems to be very biased."
Turning to the North Korea summit, Trump said he "got along very well" with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, adding that "we had good chemistry." Meanwhile, "when I was talking to President Obama, he essentially was ready to go to war with North Korea." On the subject of Russia, "Obama was told by the CIA or somebody, the FBI, about Russia. He never did anything about it. How come he never gets blamed? In September, just before the election, my election - he should've done 'cause maybe I would've won by more."
Finally, on the key topic du jour, the burgeoning trade war with China, Trump insisted that "the trade war was started many years ago by them - and the United States lost." Let's just hope it doesn't lose a second time...