Donald Trump makes wild claims in TV interview: True to form, former president Donald Trump did not hold back on making numerous bold, bombastic, and arguably, debatable (at best) statements during a recent TV interview.
Donald Trump, the Wild Man
Speaking to Kristen Welker on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” the occasion marked the first time Trump has sat in front of a camera for a mainstream news outlet since leaving the Oval Office.
The closest he’s come to one before was a recent one-on-one with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, in a stunt aimed to ostensibly compete with Fox’s first Republican primary presidential debate, an event the former chief executive decided to skip.
The interview, while featuring two of arguably most influential personalities in the far-right movement within the GOP, did not do as well as purported – with Trump and his camp bandying the supposed 150+ million views the interview (which did not air on TV but was exclusively posted on Carlson’s Twitter / X account), but a deeper look shows that the view only around 148,000 reposts and roughly 530,000 likes in terms of direct engagement. In comparison, 13 million Americans watched the debate.
What Was Said
Trump began the interview by touting his “Make America Great Again” slogan, the “simple” reason he wants another shot at running things from the White House.
“Our country is in serious trouble. I don’t think we’ve ever been so low in terms of, certainly opinion, world opinion and country opinion. People are devastated,” Trump said.
He quickly followed up with a claim that by the end of the year, the government’s border policy would see 15 million illegal immigrants and people coming from “prisons… (and) mental institutions, insane asylums” flood the United States. He provided no evidence or supporting information for the figure, which is significantly higher than even the estimated 11.4 million individuals the government says are currently in the U.S. without legal papers. In addition, statistics from the U.S. Border Patrol say that there were 2.7 million border crossings in 2022, and authorities at the border have caught or turned away more than 2.5 million people so far this year.
Trump also spoke on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, which he claimed caused $85 billion worth of equipment fall into the hands of the Taliban, who quickly retook the country following the departure of U.S. forces. The estimate of the U.S. Department of Defense is much lower, showing that the Afghan government had more than $7.1 billion of equipment funded by the U.S. when it fell into Taliban hands in 2021.
Another controversial subject Trump touched on was abortion, alleging that Democrats were okay not only with terminating pregnancies at any stage, but were even okay with infanticide.
“The radical people on this are really the Democrats that say after five months, six months, seven months, eight months, nine months, and even after birth, you are allowed to terminate the baby,” he claimed.
Infanticide is illegal, and no Democrat has voiced any support for killing babies after birth. Some Democrats do support much broader access to abortion regardless of how far along a baby is in the womb, but data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that only 1% of abortions are performed after 21 weeks of gestation.
Trump also declined to answer a question of whether he watched the events of January 6 on TV, saying, “I’m not going to tell you. I’ll tell people later at an appropriate time.”
Tim Ramos has written for various publications, corporations, and organizations – covering everything from finance, politics, travel, entertainment, and sports – in Asia and the U.S. for more than 10 years.
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