In an interview with Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker for an upcoming book of theirs, former President Donald Trump slammed many high-profile political figures and administration officials who attempted to sabotage his presidency, and expressed that his main regret during his first term was not using the military to put down violent riots and looting instigated by left-wing black supremacists in the wake of convicted felon George Floyd’s death.
Vanity Fair published an excerpt from the book this week that describes a recent interview with Trump in March at Mar-a-Lago. Though the writers continually stress that Trump is lying or making debunked claims in the excerpt, little is presented in the way of actually disproving anything he said.
“Had Mike Pence had the courage to send it back to the legislatures, you would have had a different outcome, in my opinion,” Trump said in the excerpt of former Vice president Mike Pence’s refusal to take a stand for election integrity in January, adding “What courage would have been is to do what Thomas Jefferson did [and said], ‘We’re taking the votes.’ That would have been politically unacceptable. But sending it back to these legislatures, who now know that bad things happened, would have been very acceptable.”
Trump also spoke about disgraced former Attorney General Bill Barr in the excerpt, stating, “Barr disliked me at the end, in my opinion, and that’s why he made the statement about the election, because he did not know. And I like Bill Barr, just so you know. I think he started off as a great patriot, but I don’t believe he finished that way.”
“I’m very disappointed in Kavanaugh,” Trump said in the excerpt, expressing disappointment in his appointees to the Supreme Court. “I needed better judges. The Supreme Court was afraid to take it,” he noted, adding, “It should have been reversed by the Supreme Court. I’m very disappointed in the Supreme Court because they did a very bad thing for the country.”
Trump also spoke about deceased Republican John McCain, stating, “John McCain was a bad guy. He was a bully and a nasty guy, bad guy. A lot of people disliked him. Last in his class in Annapolis. All that stuff, but he was a bad guy. I say it to you. I don’t care.” Trump went on refer to Mitch McConnell as a “knucklehead” and a “stupid person” with “no personality,” Chris Christie as “very disloyal,” and Nikki Haley as “someone who wants to come here [to Mar-a-Lago] very badly” but “has been killed by the [Republican] party” after releasing “nasty” statements attacking Trump.
The main regret Trump expressed in the excerpt about his first term was that he did not use the military to put an end to violent, criminal Black Lives Matter Riots ravaging American cities in 2020. Many outlets have reported that people such as Mark Milley, Jared Kushner, and Bill Barr sided with looters against the president when he contemplated such an action. “I think if I had it to do again, I would have brought in the military immediately,” Trump said.