In an interview Wednesday with FOX Business Network morning host Maria Bartiromo, the president explains his "Plan B" on China trade negotiations ahead of the G20 summit, the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border, allegations that social media companies are biased against conservative content, tonight's Democratic presidential debate, news that Robert Mueller will testify publicly next month, tensions with Iran, and more.
Trump reacts to news that Robert Mueller will testify publicly next month:
TRUMP: Well my reaction is it never ends, we had no obstruction, we had no collusion, we had a report that was - you know, considering it had 18 people that hated Donald Trump and you had Mueller that obviously was not a Trump fan, not a Trump person, how these people were picked is, you know, by itself incredible.
And yet the report is no collusion, no obstruction, which was ruled on by our great attorney general. He's great, he's doing a fantastic job in many other ways too. But he ruled on it, he read it, he saw it and he ruled on the report and based on the report there was no obstruction whatsoever.
And of course it's hard to have obstruction when you have no crime, we can also add that, he didn't rule on that basis, he just ruled on it that there's no obstruction. But you had no event.
You did have crime, you had crime on the other side, OK, if you want to know the truth.
BARTIROMO: Well actually some of the Republicans - the Republicans congressmen on those committees want to ask him about the Steele dossier, they want to ask him when he first knew that there was no collusion and why he didn't look at the connections between Hillary Clinton having paid for that dossier which as we know was nonsense.
TRUMP: Look, you had people spying on my campaign, that's very simple, OK. Before I used to say it could have been, you had people spying on my campaign, it's probably the first time in history it's happened.
They got caught and they're running around going wild trying to do everything they can. But they spied on my campaign, it's as simple as that, it's so illegal it's probably the biggest political scandal in history and they got caught doing it and it was a reverse - it was really a reversal of sorts.
But it's a horrible thing that happened.
BARTIROMO: So how far up the chain -
TRUMP: The Republicans get it, the Republicans have been totally unified. They get it fully. Lindsey Graham is beside himself, he looks at things that happened, he can't even believe what happened.
Trump on allegations that social media companies throttle conservatives:
TRUMP: Well they are doing it to me on Twitter. I mean, what they did to me on Twitter is incredible. You know, I have millions and millions of followers but I will tell you, they make it very hard for people to join me in Twitter, and they make it very much harder for me to get out the message... What are we going to do? What am I going to do about it? These people are all Democrats. It's totally biased toward Democrats. If I announced tomorrow I am going to become a nice liberal Democrat, I would pick up 5 times more followers. I was picking up, 100,000 followers every few days and all of a sudden -- I am much hotter now than I was a number of months ago. But a number of months ago and then all of a sudden it stopped. And now I pick up a lot but I don't pick up nearly what I did... Maria, you and I know - who's suing Twitter?
BARTIROMO: Devin Nunes - Congressman Nunes.
TRUMP: That's great. I think he's great; in a lot of ways he's great. And he'll probably do well. He's right about it. Twitter is just terrible what they do. They don't let you get the word - I've had so many people come to me, "Sir, I can't join you on Twitter." I see what's happening, 100 percent... Well you may need legislation in order to create competition. Look, it is amazing that I won the election, because you saw what happened yesterday with Google... Google was totally biased to the - you know they talk about Russia because they had some bloggers -- and by the way, those bloggers some of them were going both ways; they were for Clinton and for Trump.
BARTIROMO: Well, somebody at Google said they don't want what happened in 2016 to happen in 2020. They don't want it to happen again, right? Is that what you are referring to?
TRUMP: Let me tell you, they're trying to gig the election. That's what we should be looking at not the witch hunt, the phony witch hunt which has proven zero. You know not even a phone call. This is the biggest political disgrace in history. And you, I don't have to talk to you about it; you know what I'm telling you. You picked it up so early and you got it so early... That's why I'm talking to you early in the morning as opposed to somebody else to be honest with you.
BARTIROMO: Thank you Mr. President. Is what technology companies are doing, what they did to you, is that legal? Are they breaking the law, Mr. President?
TRUMP: Well I don't know whether it is. But I tell you what, they should be sued because what's happening with the bias - and now you see it with that executive yesterday from Google, the hatred for the Republicans.
It's not even like gee let's lean Democrat, the hatred. And actually, you know, I heard that all during my election. It's hard that I won, they were - they were swamping us with negative stuff.
I mean think of it, she was spending hundreds of millions of dollars - she was spending so much money because she - she spent more than twice what I did. You know I never got credit for that, I won the election and I spent half the money.
Trump on the first Democratic presidential debate:
TRUMP: Well I'll be on a plane. Yes everyone said I'll be tweeting, I'll actually be on a plane and it just seems very boring, but I'm going to watch it because I have to. That's part of my life, you know, it's part of my life.
Do I want to watch it? Do I want to watch these people? That's a very unexciting group of people. But -
BARTIROMO: And is this - is this election being set up, capitalism versus socialism? A lot of these programs -
TRUMP: It looks like it.
BARTIROMO: -- yes, Medicare for All.
TRUMP: Except Biden, Biden is a lost soul. He doesn't know where he is I don't think. He's changing his views rapidly. He's going from -
BARTIROMO: And yet he's getting the money on the Democratic side, right, Mr. President. He's in the lead, he's seen as the most moderate.
TRUMP: Well he didn't get - he didn't get anything compared to what we did. My streets (ph) last week they took in I think $28 million and that's - if you call that a poll, we have great polls, we've just had - we just had a poll come out that's been fantastic.
You know - you know how well we're doing. We're doing good.
Trump on the border crisis:
BARTIROMO: Yesterday the House passed a $4.5 billion for humanitarian aid at the border. Then you've got the Senator Elizabeth Warren saying she wants to decriminalize border crossings. You were the first one to call this a crisis. I went to the border, took the whole show there. We saw children and the position that children are being put in. It was disgusting. What's your reaction to the $4.5 billion aid bill?
TRUMP: So everything - I'm not happy with it because there's no money for protection. It's like were running hospitals over there now. You know, people are coming up - what people don't understand is you had separation. Separation's a terrible thing of the families, and I said, "well, I'm going to put people together, but that's going to mean more people coming up." But - and it has from that standpoint.
And we've done a great job. You know, they'll pick up one little site. We've done a much better job than Obama. You know, Obama built all those cells. Those cells were built by the Obama administration.
BARTIROMO: The Obama administration put in those cages, right?
TRUMP: He put in all the cages, and I remember for awhile they had a fun with that. They had me for three days and then somebody said, "well, they were built in 2014. They were built by President Obama." And immediately it stopped. There were no apologies. It immediately stopped.
BARTIROMO: So what do you want to see done? You've got these loopholes, the Flores agreement.
TRUMP: I had loop - if I had the loopholes taken care of and asylum taken over, you'd have no - zero problem at the border without Mexico.
BARTIROMO: How can you get that done?
TRUMP: Right now, you're going to see the numbers drop because Mexico's been really strong.
TRUMP: You're going to really see numbers drop, but we don't need anybody if they - if the democrats would get rid of the loopholes. They're called loopholes for a reason. They're loopholes. They're loopholes to come into the country. If the democrats would get rid of the loopholes and would fix asylum, it would take an hour, we could sit there, we could make a deal. They refuse to do it for two reason. Number one, they want open borders. They legitimately want open borders. They want those people that you see in caravans, many of whom are criminals, OK? Just so you understand many of whom are criminals. In fact, you saw the other day 649 were people of crimes and people that committed crimes in the United States many of them.
BARTIROMO: They say they're families and they rented the kids.
TRUMP: Many of them are criminals. They want those people. Maria, you explain it to me. I can't understand it, OK? They want those poepel to come into the United States, so I say it must be politics. They must think that having a big, open border and have hundreds of thousands of people flowing into the United States is a good thing for our country. It's ruins to our country now.
Trump on Iran:
BARTIROMO: Let me move on to Iran because this serious seems like this is getting deeper and deeper and a very dangerous situation. The president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani says that the White House is, quote, "mentally retarded". You're reaction.
TRUMP: Well I don't think their leadership is smart, I don't think they have smart leadership at all. Look what's happened to Iran, Iran's going down the tubes. Their people can't eat, they're rioting all over their streets, their inflation rate is 60 percent or something like that, maybe even worse actually.
BARTIROMO: Are we going to have a war with Iran, Mr. President?
TRUMP: Well I hope we don't but we're in a very strong position if we - if something should happen, we're in a very strong position, it wouldn't last very long I can tell you that. It would not last very long.
And I'm not talking boots on the ground, I'm not talking we're going to send a million soldiers, I'm just saying if something would happen, wouldn't last very long. I've been very nice to them, I decided not to do - they shot down our drone, I decided not to kill a lot of Iranians, I like Iranians so much.
And that plays into your decision too, I mean they're human beings, they're people. I didn't want to kill 150 people when they shot down an unmanned drone. So I didn't - I didn't do that.
And a lot of people were very happy that I didn't.
BARTIROMO: So the sanctions at this point - the sanctions are enough in your view to fight back on Iran's provocations?
TRUMP: Well the sanctions are very biting, when I took over Iran was a terror. We had 18 - 14 to 18 sites of confliction, Iran was behind every one of them. Look at what they did. They would have take over the Middle East and they were going to make it really very, very bad, very dead.
They would have taken over Saudi Arabia, they would have -
BARTIROMO: Well we know that nothing compares -
TRUMP: Had I not been elected president they would have taken -
BARTIROMO: -- nothing compares to the -
TRUMP: -- over Saudi Arabia, they would have taken over the entire Middle East.
Trump on a trade deal with China:
BARTIROMO: So you have a plan B should you not do a deal with China. Going into this meeting, what is victory for you? What next week?
TRUMP: My plan B is maybe my plan A. My plan B is that if we don't make a deal, I will tariff and maybe not at 25 percent, but maybe at 10 percent, but I will tariff the rest of the $600 billion that we're talking about. We have much more than $300 billion worth of products. Now, what's going to happen, then all of those companies will move out of China, most of them, and they'll move to other places like Vietnam and other places that take advantage of us, and we'll start working on that, too, by the way, but I don't want to do too many at one time. China's fine. We did Mexico and Canada. We have to get that approved by Nancy Pelosi. That's a great deal for us.
Trump says he would not replace Mike Pence with Nikki Haley on the 2020 ticket:
BARTIROMO: There was an op-ed in the "Journal" the other day, Mr. President, and it said basically advising you to take Nikki Haley as your running mate going into 2020. Are you locked in on - on Vice President Pence for 2020 or would you consider having Nikki Haley as your running mate?
TRUMP: I love Nikki. She's endorsed me. She's my friend. She's part of my campaign, but Mike has been a great vice president. He's 100 percent and this was written actually by a friend of mine, but let me tell you, Mike Pence has been a great vice president. Nikki Haley represented us so well and our country so well. I love Nikki and there's places for Nikki and Nikki's future's great but Mike Pence is the person 100 percent. Yes, we won, we won together. We have tremendous evangelical support.
TRUMP: We have tremendous support from every angle. And - well you can't break up a team like that. That's a team that really -- and we get along well together. We get along really well together.