President Donald Trump, in an interview with FOX News Channel's Tucker Carlson, said if it were not for Twitter he would not be president.
"Well, let me tell you about Twitter," Trump said to Carlson. "I think that maybe I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Twitter, because I get such a fake press, such a dishonest press. I mean, if you look at -- and I'm not including Fox, because I think Fox has been fair to me, but if you look at CNN and if you look at these other networks."
Trump also touted that he has his "own form of media," claiming a combined social media audience of 100 million people.
"The news is not honest," the president said. "Much of the news. It's not honest. And when I have close to 100 million people watching me on Twitter, including Facebook, including all of the Instagram, including POTUS, including lots of things -- but we have -- I guess pretty close to 100 million people. I have my own form of media."
Transcript, via FOX News:
CARLSON: Do you talk to anyone before you tweet? And is there anyone in the White House who can say to you, Mr. President, please don't tweet that, who you would listen to?
TRUMP: Well, let me tell you about Twitter. I think that maybe I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Twitter, because I get such a fake press, such a dishonest press. I mean, if you look at -- and I'm not including Fox, because I think Fox has been fair to me, but if you look at CNN and if you look at these other networks, NBC -- I made a fortune for NBC with "The Apprentice". I had a top show where they were doing horribly, and I had one of the most successful reality shows of all time. I made -- and I was on 14 seasons. And you see what happened when I'm not on. You saw what happened to the show was a disaster. I was on -- I was very good to NBC, and I -- they are despicable. They're despicable in their coverage.
CBS, ABC, you take a look at what's going on -- I call it the fake press, the fake media. It is a disgrace what's happening. So, let me just tell you --
CARLSON: But then they say to you, but you're -- I mean, as you know, the response -- look, so you had this big speech to the joint session on Tuesday. You had great press all week, bipartisan, and then you let off this tweet, and immediately, people say --
TRUMP: No, it wasn't that tweet. They had other things --
CARLSON: You can't back up what you say.
TRUMP: Excuse me. I had a very successful night. Joint session, it was very successful. I got reviews even from people that I would never think I was going to get good reviews. I got great reviews. And then all of a sudden they came up with a new dialogue in order to kill that. So that speech was hot for about two or three hours after the speech was made, because they came up with other things, having to do with other people, that they shouldn't have been able to do and they shouldn't have done, but they did it. And you know exactly what I'm talking about.
So the news is not honest. Much of the news. It's not honest. And when I have close to 100 million people watching me on Twitter, including Facebook, including all of the Instagram, including POTUS, including lots of things -- but we have -- I guess pretty close to 100 million people. I have my own form of media. So if I tweet two or three or four or five times a day, and if most of them are good -- and I really want them all to be good -- but if I make one mistake in a month -- this one, I don't think is going to prove to be a mistake at all.
CARLSON: Do you think it's OK to make -- the counterargument, even from people who support you, who say look, I support Donald Trump, I believe what he believes, and I want him to succeed badly, but if the President says something that cannot be proved or is demonstrably untrue, he devalues his own currency.
TRUMP: Let's see whether or not I proved it. You looked at some proof. I mean, let's see whether or not I prove it. I just don't choose to do it right now. I choose to do it before the committee, and maybe I'll do it before the committee. Maybe I'll do it before I see the result of the committee. But I think we have some very good stuff. And we're in the process of putting it together, and I think it's going to be very demonstrative. But just on Twitter, if I don't do that, I won't get my word out. Because when I tell -- when I say things, the press doesn't cover it accurately. They cover it very inaccurately. Much of the press.
Some of the press -- by the way, some of the finest people I know are reporters. Reporters are wonderful. I'm talking about the fake media, the fake news. And there's a lot of fake news. So if I'm not going to -- if they're not going to do me the honor and the public the honor of spreading my word accurately as it was meant, and you know exactly what I'm talking about, because there's been nobody in history that got more dishonest media than I've gotten. You look at some of the stories in "The New York Times". You look at some of the stories in "The Washington Post". Take a look at what's going on with CBS and NBC in particular and ABC -- take a look at CNN. It's a complete hit job. No matter what you do, no matter how good -- no matter how great it is, they don't report it in a positive fashion.
So, when I can reach, whether it's 90 million or 100 million or 80 million, however many people it may turn out to be, when you add everything up -- and then of course it gets disseminated from there, when I can reach that many people, Twitter is a wonderful thing for me, because I get the word out.
CARLSON: Does it ever go through any kind of mediator --
TRUMP: Sure it does. Sure. Sometimes I'll --
CARLSON: Do you show your staff and --
TRUMP: Sometimes I'll have something and I'll say, what do you think about this? A lot of times, my staff comes to me and they say, could you do a tweet on this or that? Because it's not being shown correctly. I mean, they'll come to me a lot and they'll say, could you do -- I probably wouldn't be here -- I'm not talking about Twitter, because it's really Twitter, Facebook, and lots of other things, OK. But I might not be here talking to you right now as President if I didn't have an honest way of getting the word out.