Tucker Carlson dropped a tease clip earlier in the evening of what to expect in tonight’s interview, taking a jab at his former employer – who will be hosting the GOP debate directly against the discussion with Trump:
“Whatever you think of Trump he is the far and away indisputable front runner in the Republican race,” Carlson said during the less than minute long video.
“So when Trump approached us about having a conversation for a far larger audience than he would receive on cable news we happily accepted.”
Tucker asks some stunning questions, including: “Do you think Epstein killed himself?” and “Whatever happened to Mike Pence?”
Then Tucker goes there:
“It started with protests against you, then impeachment twice, and now indictments… Are you worried that they are going to try to kill you? Why wouldn’t they try to kill you?”
Trump calmly responds:
I’ve seen the lengths that they go to… when they make up the Russia, Russia, Russia collusion and that’s exposed… these are sick people. I think they hate our country.”
On the indictments sending Trump’s poll numbers higher:
“I think the people of this country don’t get enough credit for how smart they are… but they get it…”
“…the people see it’s a fraud.”
“Crooked Joe Biden is so bad, he’s the worst president in the history of our country. I don’t think he’s going to make it to the gate, but you never know.”
“I think he’s worse mentally than he is physically… and he’s not exactly a triathlete.”
“He’s both the most corrupt president we ever had and most incompetent.”
On Biden’s links to China:
“I actually believe he’s compromised… the Chinese have so much on him.”
“He is in many ways a Manchurian candidate.
“Do you think the rest of the world looks at Biden and thinks, somebody else must be running the government?”
“well, somebody else has to be. I don’t think he’s capable of doing anything.”
Who is pulling the strings?
We have a president that can’t put two sentences together, can’t speak, can’t walk, can’t talk. I don’t think he gets to the starting gate but these people do miracles… I mean he ran out of his basement and he got away with it because of COVID… and they cheated on the election…
…but they have people that are very smart, but they’re fascists and they’re radical left lunatics and they’re destroying our country.”
“The happiest time for someone in an electric car is the first 10 minutes. The unhappiest time is the next hour”
Fear of violence?
“Do you think we’re moving toward Civil War? Do you think its possible that there’s open conflict?” Carlson follows up.
Trump nods, and responds:
“there’s a level of passion and love that I have never seen. And there’s a level of hatred of what they’ve done to our country that I’ve never seen… and that’s probably a bad combination.”
A rigged election?
“We got way more votes in 20 than in 2016… but the election was rigged…they used COVID to cheat in a lot of different things… and we have so much on it… but we had judges that didn’t want to look… but I have never seen spirit like there is right now.”
Trump says we should go back to all-paper ballots.
“There is only one reason they don’t want Voter ID… it’s because they want to cheat.”
And finally, Tucker asks:
“you’re saying they stole it from you last time, why wouldn’t they do the same this time?”
To which Trump replies:
“well, they will try… they’re going to try…”
Trump blasted the GOP establishment’s action during his term, saying that “Mitch McConnell was trying to get senators to impeach me.”
Trump’s first action as president?
“close the border… except for people who want to come in legally… and getting the hundreds of thousands of criminals that have been allowed into our country and bringing them back to their country.”
Watch the full interview below (due to begin at 2055ET):
Ep. 19 Debate Night with Donald J Trump pic.twitter.com/ayPfII48CO
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 24, 2023
As we detailed earlier, former President Donald Trump is skipping tonight’s GOP debates, and will instead appear for an interview with Tucker Carlson – where the pair will undoubtedly upstage the current crop of GOP candidates, who according to current polls, have no chance in hell of receiving the Republican nomination.
Trump confirmed in a social media post that his interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson will be released tonight (Aug. 23), just before the network’s Republican presidential primary debate.
The former president announced on Truth Social that his previously recorded interview with Mr. Carlson will broadcast at 9 p.m.
“Many people are asking whether or not I will be doing the DEBATES?” Trump wrote on Truth Social last week.
“ALL AMERICANS have been clamoring for a President of extremely High Intelligence. As everyone is aware, my Poll numbers, over a ‘wonderful’ field of Republican candidates, are extraordinary. In fact, I am leading the runner up, whoever that may now be, by more than 50 Points. Reagan didn’t do it, and neither did others. People know my Record, one of the BEST EVER, so why would I Debate? I’M YOUR MAN. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Of note, the former president now holds the largest lead over his rivals according to a CBS News poll released on Saturday, while his nearest rival – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – has fallen even further behind.
When it comes to Trump’s multiple indictments, it’s clear the right sees them as nothing more than a partisan attempt to dislodge him from the 2024 race. And with each new charge, Trump’s status as a martyr (and ratings) continue to rise.
First, as was the case with Trump’s previous indictments, Republican primary voters’ overwhelming concern about the Georgia charges is that they’re politically motivated.
They dismiss the premise of the charges: the bulk of them do think Trump tried to stay in office, but to them, it was legal and constitutional because these Republican primary voters overwhelmingly think President Biden didn’t win legitimately. -CBS News
When asked whether the GOP candidates should argue the case for themselves, 91% agreed, vs. 9% who said they should talk trash against Trump.
What’s more, around 75% of Trump voters are those who “show support for his legal troubles” as their rationale, while 99% say that “things were better under Trump.”
Trump voters also generally believe Trump is telling the truth (duh), which is why the indictments aren’t having an impact in support among his base. Voters who say they place top importance on a candidate being “honest and trustworthy” picked Trump at 61%, followed by DeSantis at 17%.
The context here is that Republican primary voters believe the political system is corrupt at an even higher rate than Americans overall do. That could mean perceiving Trump as railing against — or prosecuted by — that system might well make him seem, from their perspective, like the one telling a larger truth.
And when it comes to who voters think has the best chance of beating President Biden, it’s once again Trump in a landslide.
Is there a path forward for the other candidates?
Perhaps if they get used to being called “Mr. Vice President,” if Trump should pick them.
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