"We Have To Have Law And Order": Trump Lays Out Plan For Second Term In TIME Interview

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, May 02, 2024 - 04:55 PM

Authored by Chase Smith via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

President Donald Trump (L) takes the oath of office as his wife Melania Trump (C) holds the bible and his son Barron Trump (R) looks on, on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, on January 20, 2017. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In an in-depth interview with TIME magazine, former President Donald Trump laid out his agenda for a second term should he retake the White House in 2025 following the election later this year.

The wide-ranging interview, held over two days at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach, Florida, with a follow-up phone interview, was the cover story for the magazine titled “If He Wins.”

The interview covers all of the big issues in the 2024 election, ranging from border security and immigration to economic policy, abortion, and foreign affairs.

President Trump also touched on the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol breach and the related court cases, as well as the legal issues he faces.

Immigration, Border Policy

In a transcript of the interview with TIME’s national politics reporter Eric Cortellessa, President Trump said on day one of his second term he would take aggressive action over the illegal immigration crisis.

President Trump plans to initiate a vast deportation operation, citing unsustainable numbers of illegal immigrants, expressing a desire to replicate Dwight Eisenhower’s mid-20th century mass deportations.

President Trump said he plans to do this by using local law enforcement as well as the National Guard when necessary.

When we talk military, generally speaking, I talk National Guard,” President Trump said, according to the transcript. “But if I thought things were getting out of control, I would have no problem using the military, per se. We have to have safety in our country. We have to have law and order in our country. And whichever gets us there, but I think the National Guard will do the job.”

Regarding housing illegal immigrants in detention facilities or even expanding the nation’s stock of detention facilities, he said it would likely not be necessary due to his policy of mass deportations but did not rule it out if needed.

If local police departments did not want to cooperate, President Trump said the best option to get them to comply would be to incentivize their cooperation.

“Well, there’s a possibility that some won’t want to participate, and they won’t partake in the riches, you know,” he said in the interview. “I want to give police immunity from prosecution because the liberal groups or the progressive groups ... that ... want to leave everybody in ...[S]anctuary cities are failing all over the place, and I really believe that there’s a pent-up demand to end sanctuary cities by people that were in favor of sanctuary cities, because it’s just not working out for the country.”

He added he didn’t believe that his proposals were “bold” but rather “common sense” and that he would uphold any court decisions regarding his policies.


President Trump is advocating for significant tariffs, especially against China, to protect U.S. industries and jobs.

He said that he didn’t believe that additional tariffs would amount to another tax on Americans and that he didn’t believe it would lead to higher inflation, noting his belief that higher tariffs against China under his first administration were successful.

So how did it cost us if we had such a good economy,” President Trump asked in response to a question about economists saying his tariff policy cost jobs and lost hundreds of billions. “Everybody admits it. If we didn’t do that, we would have no steel industry right now. They were dumping steel all over this country. And I put a 50% tariff on steel. It was gonna go higher. And the people that love me most are businesses, but in particular, the steel industry. They love me because I saved their industry.”

He said he believed that those tariffs did not and would not lead to businesses passing on higher costs to American consumers.

I actually think that the country that is being taxed makes less,” President Trump said. “I think what happens is you build. What happens to get out of the whole situation is you end up building, instead of having your product brought in from China, because of that additional cost, you end up making the product in the United States.

President Trump said that some countries are very tough on the United States when it comes to tariffs.

“[China] charges us 100%,” President Trump said. “But they charge us much more than that. India charges us more than that. Brazil charges us what—Brazil’s a very big, very big tariff country. I ask people, who are the worst to deal with? I’m not going to give that to you because I don’t want to insult the countries because I actually get along with them. But you'd be surprised. The E.U. is very tough with us.”

Foreign Policy

President Trump said that he would not rule out placing conditions on aid to Israel, but aimed to have the Israel-Hamas conflict resolved quickly.

I think that Israel has done one thing very badly: public relations,” President Trump said. “I don’t think that the Israel Defense Fund or any other group should be sending out pictures every night of buildings falling down and being bombed with possibly people in those buildings every single night, which is what they do.”

He said his record and support of Israel was clear and that his record on being tough with Iran was clear, despite noting that he had a “bad experience” dealing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Look, there’s been no president that’s done what I’ve done for Israel. When you look at all of the things that I’ve done, and it starts with the Iran nuclear deal. You know, Bibi Netanyahu begged Obama not to do that deal. I ended that deal.”

He also brought up Iran in relation to its role in funding Hamas, the terrorist group that attacked Israel on Oct. 7, 2023.

“During my term, there were stories that Iran didn’t have the money to give to any, there was very little terrorism,” President Trump explained. “But we had no terror ... and we got rid of ISIS 100%. Now they’re starting to come back.”

The former president also said that Mr. Netanyahu “rightfully has been criticized for what took place on October 7.”

President Trump said that the United States would support Israel militarily if Iran and Israel were to go to war, although he suggested that the recent attack by Iran on Israel was a “ceremonial attack,” given that it was widely known about beforehand.

He added, “I gave them [Israel] Golan Heights,” and that he was responsible for having the U.S. Embassy moved to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and recognized the former as Israel’s capital.

On NATO, President Trump criticized European countries for insufficient defense spending and said NATO was fine as long as European countries paid their fair share, but he still did not believe NATO would come to the aid of the United States if necessary and as required by the treaty.

Jan. 6, Election Integrity

President Trump criticized the justice system as biased and discussed potential pardons for individuals allegedly involved in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach.

It’s a two-tier system,” President Trump said. “Because when I look at Portland, when I look at Minneapolis, where they took over police precincts and everything else, and went after federal buildings, when I look at other situations that were violent, and where people were killed, nothing happened to them. Nothing happened to them. I think it’s a two-tier system of justice. I think it’s a very, very sad thing. And whether you like it or not, nobody died other than Ashli [Babbitt].”

President Trump said that he “tried to stop the attack” and that his rhetoric was peaceful and patriotic, placing blame on then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, for turning down his offer of “10,000 soldiers” during the “very dramatic and horrible period” on Jan. 6 after the Capitol was breached.

Concerning political violence after this November’s election, President Trump said it was not something he was worried about happening.

“I think we’re gonna have a big victory,” President Trump added. “And I think there will be no violence.”

In response to his legal woes, as he has said in press conferences after his court appearances in New York City the past few weeks, he said that the prosecutions against him are unfair and driven by a corrupt legal system on behalf of President Biden.

To those prosecuting him, he did not say he would go after them using the Department of Justice if re-elected, rather he said, “We are going to have great retribution through success. We’re going to make our country successful again. Our retribution is going to be through success of our country.”

When asked about appointing a special prosecutor to investigate President Biden if he were to be re-elected, he said it would depend on what the U.S. Supreme Court says about presidential immunity in his own case, which is currently before the court.

“Look, a president should have immunity,” President Trump said. “That includes Biden. If they’ve ruled that they don’t have immunity, Biden, probably nothing to do with me, he would be prosecuted for 20 different acts, because he’s created such.”

As far as going after his political opponents, he said that’s currently what’s happening with him.


Regarding potential federal legislation on abortion, President Trump expressed confidence that such measures would not garner the required 60 votes in the Senate. He stressed that the issue should be left to states to determine, as evidenced by recent legislative actions in conservative-leaning states like Ohio and Kansas.

When asked about the Life at Conception Act and enforcement of the Comstock Act, President Trump deferred to states’ prerogatives, refraining from committing to specific positions. He hinted at forthcoming statements on related matters.

President Trump declined to offer a personal opinion on women’s access to abortion pills and the enforcement of laws prohibiting their mailing, indicating an intention to address these issues soon.

Regarding potential state-level penalties for obtaining abortions after bans, President Trump reiterated his stance that states should decide such matters, emphasizing the diversity of approaches among states.

When queried about Florida’s upcoming abortion referendum, President Trump refrained from disclosing his voting intentions, reiterating his belief in the importance of states making their own determinations on such matters.

He emphasized a focus on policies that help women and families, referencing the acceptance of his stance on in vitro fertilization by Republicans and recent state legislation affirming it.

“I’ll be doing it over the next week or two,” he said. “But I don’t think it will be shocking, frankly. But I'll be doing it over the next week or two. We’re for helping women, Eric. I am for helping women.”

Other Details

President Trump discussed his past decision to invoke a minimum ten-year sentence for desecrating monuments, which he felt effectively deterred such actions. President Trump stated he would use the National Guard rather than the military to address protests if necessary, such as Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.

President Trump also acknowledged a perceived anti-white bias in the United States, critiquing the Biden administration for its policies and expressing concern over discrimination against various groups, including white people and Catholics.

He was non-committal about whether the United States should defend Taiwan, preferring not to disclose his stance to maintain negotiation leverage.

President Trump discussed the strategic deployment of U.S. troops overseas, suggesting adjustments might be necessary but emphasizing the ability to manage troop deployments effectively. He criticized South Korea for renegotiating a financial agreement that reduced their payment to the United States for military protection.

The former president also championed democracy over dictatorship, highlighting freedom as a key advantage. However, he expressed concerns about the current state of U.S. democracy, citing the weaponization of federal agencies against political figures.

He refuted claims that he wanted to terminate parts of the Constitution or become a dictator; instead, he accused Democrats of violating constitutional principles through judicial and administrative actions.

He noted when he said he would only be a dictator “on day one” while in an interview with Sean Hannity, that it was clearly a joke and that most people understood it as such.

That was said sarcastically. That was meant as a joke. Everybody knows that.

Regarding the pandemic, President Trump reflected on Operation Warp Speed and praised his administration’s rapid development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.

“You know, you have strong opinions both ways on the vaccines,” President Trump said. “It’s interesting. The Democrats love the vaccine. The Democrats. Only reason I don’t take credit for it. The Republicans, in many cases, don’t, although many of them got it, I can tell you. It’s very interesting.”

He was also skeptical about the efficacy of permanent pandemic preparedness offices, suggesting they were politically motivated and financially wasteful.