Donald Trump phoned in to CNN's New Day Monday morning, where he faced host Chris Cuomo's questions about several of his own recent statements (which Trump says have been taken out of context by the media). They also bickered over whether or not the candidate deserved congratulations and which president signed NAFTA. We challenge. you have to prioritize. Also, we do so despite feeling that voters don't see to care all that much https://t.co/pfXvS8VZ17 Trump still addressed the issue and said it was a "big deal" after telling me I was wrong for suggesting the same https://t.co/ApImoLk8c0 Yes. Clinton signed it. My point was bush 41 initiated nafta. He counts too. The real issue is how trump will "fix" https://t.co/IzRQA5SDNT Provoked? Trump made the comments. He has to answer for them. Nothing unusual abt this except his resistance https://t.co/przdhZV2od True. Never meant to imply he was wrong. Why are so many trumpers saying I should have congratulated trump in intv? https://t.co/Ep5WO9pMiF
First, Trump completely rejects Cuomo's first question when the CNN host opens the interview by asking about Trump's attacks on Hillary Clinton as an enabler of her husband's sex crimes. "[People see this] as potential proof that you don't have anything to offer as president. What is your thinking on this line of attack?"
"Well this is a nice way to start off the interview," Trump said. "You should congratulate me for having won the race. I thought, you know, there'd at least be a small congratulations. But I'm not surprised with CNN because they treat Trump -- They call it 'The Clinton Network--'"
"Hold on," interrupts the host. "Mr. Trump, I did congratulate you the last time we spoke. I said congratulation on winning the big race, what are you going to do going forward. Hold on, hold on, hold on--"
"Thank you very much, so warm and so well-felt," Trump responded. "You're starting off with a question. We haven't spoken. Last week I was the essentially the nominee of the party and you start off with this question..."
"You know what," Cuomo admits. You're right. "Here's the restart: You are going to be your party's nominee by all accounts. The first thing that you've come out with hot and heavy out of the box are these attacks on Hillary Clinton."
"That wasn't the first thing I came out with," Trump objected. "The first thing I came out with, if you watched, was trade."
"We're making horrible trade deals, we're losing our jobs, we're losing our manufacturing, it's trade. The next thing I came out with is rebuilding our military, because our military is absolutely being decimated. We're not spending the proper money. We're not buying the proper equipment. We're not taking care of our soldiers. We're not taking care of our vets, by the way. But we're not taking care of our military at a time when we just about in the history of our country need it the most. So I talk about that."
Trump continued his talk on trade, attacking Hillary Clinton for her support for NAFTA in the 1990s before an objection from the CNN host. "By the way" he said, "Clinton is the one that approved NAFTA. NAFTA is the worst deal, one of the worst deals our country's ever made from an economic standpoint. One of the worst deals ever."
Cuomo objects to negative talk about free trade: "NAFTA, I understand you wanting to bring up trade. As you know, Clinton did not pass NAFTA. Bush passed NAFTA. So you can criticize it all you want..."
"Oh really?" Trump asked. "Who signed NAFTA?"
"You can criticize NAFTA all you want," said the CNN host. "I'm just saying you want to keep the history. Bush was involved with NAFTA."
"Excuse me," wondered Trump. "Who signed NAFTA? Whose bill was it and who signed it?"
"But what is your point, though?" Cuomo said. "This was in the Bush administration."
"But this was one of the worst deals ever made in the history of our country --" Trump said.
Cuomo: "Bush 41."
" -- and it has just destroyed manufacturing, and destroyed jobs," Trump said.
Cuomo: "All right, that's a valid point. You just have to spread the blame across both parties and you have to come up with a solution."
CUOMO: Bush 41.
TRUMP: OK. You take a look. You take a look. NAFTA was a Clinton deal and he wanted it so badly, and I have not been a big fan of what went on in terms, economic developmentally, or with the war with Bush either, frankly, if you want to know the truth. I mean, there's a whole -- that's a whole other story. But if you look at NAFTA and you take a look at what's been done and how hard Clinton pushed it and that bill has been an absolute disaster. The passage of that has been an absolute disaster for our country.
At one point, Cuomo wonders if the interview became so hostile because Trump was on the phone and not in studio: "All right, so let's unpack a little of this stuff one at a time. And first of all, just to get back to tone, just for one second, a little bit of this is because you're on the phone. As you know, when you're in person with somebody, very often you can interpret questions --"
TRUMP: You would have asked the same question in person.
CUOMO: But I think maybe if you were face to face, it might be a little bit different. That's all.
TRUMP: You think you would have asked a different question? I don't think so.
CUOMO: No, I think that you're taking it the wrong way, because obviously I'm playing off what the headline is everywhere this morning. I'm not just making it up.
Cuomo later tweeted extensively about the encounter:
We challenge. you have to prioritize. Also, we do so despite feeling that voters don't see to care all that much https://t.co/pfXvS8VZ17— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) May 9, 2016
Trump still addressed the issue and said it was a "big deal" after telling me I was wrong for suggesting the same https://t.co/ApImoLk8c0— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) May 9, 2016
Yes. Clinton signed it. My point was bush 41 initiated nafta. He counts too. The real issue is how trump will "fix" https://t.co/IzRQA5SDNT— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) May 9, 2016
Provoked? Trump made the comments. He has to answer for them. Nothing unusual abt this except his resistance https://t.co/przdhZV2od— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) May 9, 2016
True. Never meant to imply he was wrong. Why are so many trumpers saying I should have congratulated trump in intv? https://t.co/Ep5WO9pMiF— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) May 9, 2016