President Trump is interviewed by FOX News Channel host Tucker Carlson about his decision to not strike Iran, trade with China, Afghanistan, homelessness, and the influence social media and big tech companies wield politically.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: You came very close to sending the U.S. military to strike Iran. You pulled back at the last moment. You were criticized by neo-cons in Washington for doing that. They wanted you to strike Iran. Why do you think they wanted that?
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: I was given a lot of credit by most people. A lot of people gave me of credit.
CARLSON: The public was on your side for sure.
TRUMP: A lot of people said that was a great presidential moment, which was, you know, rather shocking to hear.
So they shut down and unmanned drone.
TRUMP: And they claim, it was over their territory, which it wasn't, but they would say that, so on top of it, they'll say, unmanned and over their territory, then we go in.
Before I sent them out, they had to give me everything I wanted to know by seven o'clock. They walked in, they gave me everything but they didn't tell me how many people would die. How many Iranians -- I know a lot of Iranians from New York City, and they're great people. They're all great people. Were all great, right? Iranian or not.
I said, "How many people are going to die?" And they said, "At least 150." I said, "So let's get it. They shot down an unmanned ..." not a brand new exactly thing either -- the drone -- they shot it down and we're going to now kill 150 or many more people, you never know. Once you start doing what we'd do or what they'd do, and nobody does it better than us, you don't know how many people are going to die.
So I said, "I don't like that. I don't like it." And I stopped it before. I did -- we didn't send them out, you know, there was a little incorrect reporting. It was like we sent them out and we pulled them. But we didn't do that. I didn't -- I made the final decision not to do it.
I built up a lot of great capital, and if something should happen, we're in a position to do far worse by not doing it. But hopefully, we don't have to do anything. Iran now, since we terminated that horrible deal, which was a truly horrible deal, and, you know, you and I aren't so different in terms of fighting, we want to have peace. We want to build our roads and build our schools and build all the things we want to build.
But we can't let Iran have a nuclear weapon. And you may even agree on that because I know where you stand. The show is great. I watch it a lot.
But you can't let Iran have a nuclear weapon. And you can't let certain other countries have nuclear weapons. It's too devastating.
So they're having a lot of difficulty in their country right now. And hopefully, at some point, they'll come back and they'll say, "We're going to make a deal." Let's see what happens.