Full interview: Trump discusses pandemic, election in one-on-one conversation with David Crabtree
In an exclusive interview with WRAL News, President Donald Trump talks about his administration's work to battle the coronavirus pandemic, his prospects for re-election and his plans for a second term in office.
Welcome back to North Carolina. Um, we have heard so much about how you want to move forward and fighting this virus. Is there a central focus plan now from the president to move forward? Well, I think there really is. A lot of states are doing really well. The South, as you know in Florida and Texas on the West and California broke out, but they're starting to come down. And I'll tell you, Florida, Arizona, Texas, there, Saudi head down, I think soon, rapidly. So we're doing very well there. But what we're really here to tell you the truth are vaccines and therapeutics therapeutically, if we can solve a problem, which is sort of like, let's get better and we are having tremendous success. That's why we're in North Carolina today, because this is a great, great plant and great scientists, and they're very close to having the vaccine. And when that happens, we're going to distribute it in record time. You probably heard what I just said. It would be record time, and if we could do that, that will be a great achievement. So we'll have the vaccine, but we're gonna have a vaccine very soon by the end of the year, maybe even a little sooner than that on that will be a great achievement That would have been years ahead of schedule. Mr. President, with the benefit of hindsight, is there anything you would have done differently if you had the past 45 months to relive? While the virus is a very tough thing, every country is suffering today. Spain now is weird up again. You probably heard a couple of others in Europe are rearing up. It's a very delicate, very contagious thing. I think the thing I'm happiest about is that I banned China very early when nobody said I should and we kept, uh, China out infected, heavily infected way put the ban on China that we put the ban on Europe. But it's just this process. It takes a long time. We have to come up with the vaccine. We have to come up with a a cure, in a sense, a cure. And that's what we're doing therapeutically, I think you're gonna be very impressed over the next couple of weeks and by the end of the year will have the vaccine the states have been doing a really good job, many of them in particular, many of them. And we've had great relationships with the governors. What we have done is we've been able to supply masses massive amounts of whether it's ventilators or poor swabs or whatever it is ultimately they needed, because the coverage will bear when we took over and now the coverage, their full. So we're sending things down to Florida and various places that need whatever they need. But most of the states are loaded up. You know, I plan to be in Charlotte in a few weeks for the pension you referenced today in the briefing that there would still be part of happening your shoulder. Where were you? Make your acceptance speech? How will that look? We're just going to be announcing that, probably by the end of this week. But all I know is I'll be in North Carolina, and that's a very big deal because we have a lot of the delegates there, and that will be a nomination process. And that's essentially where the nomination, where's formalized and I'm really honored to do it in North Carolina, we won the state. We've had great relationships, whether it's on tobacco or anything else that we're doing here we are today. This was a big contract that we gave to a great company in North Carolina. So we've had really great relationships with the state. And so I'm very happy to be back up back on the Monday I want to make sure I'm clear. I didn't misunderstand. You are going to announce where the acceptance speech will be held, probably by the end of the week or early next week. Yes, and you feel good about your chances in North Carolina again? I think so. The relationships way have in North Carolina are incredible. I mean, my granddaughter was named Carolina, and that's pretty good. That's a good step is you know, my daughter in law. Flores is from the state and way did very well in 2016 and they say that we're going to do even better this time. We've done a lot for the state. We've helped the state whether it be through national emergencies, where you had some pretty big problems, as you know, over the course of four years, or the tobacco growers were very close to what we work with them, we worked with everybody in this state. It's been a great relationship, Mr. President, May I ask you, you're one of 45 people in the history of this great country to hold this office the past 3.5 years. Could you have ever imagined it to be what it has been in serving this way? Never. I never thought a thing like this could happen. We won a great race. And now it turned out we were spied on by President Obama and Biden were spied on 100%. They caught him in the act. They caught a lot of people. Comey. The whole group was caught and we'll see what happens with that. But if you would have thought and then they do the Russia, Russia, Russia, phony stuff that turned out to be a fraud. The Muller thing was a total disgraceful situation. They say it should have ended on the first day and it took 2 2.5 years. They spent $45 million they found absolutely nothing. If you would have told me, it would have been this unpleasant in that way, but very pleasant in the fact that nobody's accomplished more in the 1st 3.5 years than I have. And then in the end, after we built the greatest economy in history, we get hit by the the plague, the plague from China, and we shut it down would save millions of lives. Now we're opening up and we're gonna have a tremendous next year. We're gonna have a great third quarter. What can we look forward to in a second trump turn while really just finishing off what we've started? We've done a lot of it, whether it's Space Force or many other things, as you know, but solidifying that also, we're gonna get drug prices way, way down there, coming way down. We're doing tremendous things on health care, including transparency, which is gonna lower the costs tremendously. So I would say some of those things we're going to continue. One would much of it we've done. We've rebuilt the military we've taken care of. The now is doing incredible. We have veterans choice past and accountability, which is a big deal, is you know, veterans accountability, where people don't treat our vets right. We can do things about it now, before you couldn't do anything but veteran choices. Very big, where they don't get immediate care, immediate service. They go out, get a doctor, we pay the bill, they get themselves fixed up. So it's been It's been a great 3.5 years, but it's been very unfair. It's been very unfair, a lot of phony witch hunts, and it's it's made it less fun. But I'm not sure I could have done anymore because we have really done a lot we've done, I think, more than any administration has ever done in the 1st 3.5 years, and nobody even challenges them. Mr. President. One last thing? Yes, and my daughter asked that I asked this question. She's a young person looking to the future to encourage Americans, and I heard a little of this in the briefing earlier. Yes, Aziz, we're so divided today. What is your message to all Americans? Success is going to bring us together. It was doing it before with the best unemployment rates we've ever had and employment rates 160 million people, almost working. That's far more than we ever had before. Whether it be a black unemployment African American any anything. You look at the Hispanic American Agent American, the unemployment rates with the best in our nation's history. Every single the stock market, finances, homes, home values, home equity. Every single metric was at the top. Women were in the best shape we've ever been in, from the employment standpoint and from a weight standpoint, with all of that, things were really starting to come together. Then we got hit with the virus and we had a closer to save millions of lives. We opened it tell you, Do we have a tremendous future? I think that next year we're gonna have the best year we've ever had. And it's it's heading in that direction, especially if we come up with therapeutics and the vaccine, which we're doing. That's why I'm in North Carolina today, Mr President. Thank you. So thank you. All the best. You can do your very nice Thank you