FOX NEWS: In his first interview since Robert Mueller's wildly anticipated hearings, President Trump called the Special Counsel's investigation "treason," adding that this should "never be allowed to happen to our country again."
"This should never happen to another president of the United States again," Trump said in an interview with FNC's Sean Hannity. "This is an absolute catastrophe for our country. This was a fake witch hunt and it should never be allowed to happen to another president again."
"This was treason. This was high crimes. This was everything as bad a definition as you want to come up with. This should never be allowed to happen to our country again," the president said.
Transcript, via FNC:
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: The president of the United States, President Trump, always a pleasure to have you, sir. Thank you for being with us.
Sorry about that, I guess we had a phone problem on our end. I apologize on behalf of the entire Fox News Channel.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (via telephone): Don't worry about that, Sean. Thank you very much.
HANNITY: Mr. President, just -- I’m just going to open it up to you to go wherever you want with this. This has been something you've had to deal with your entire presidency almost. You have and were loud and saying it was not true. It was a witch hunt. And we had four separate investigations backing up your claim and culminating in what you saw yesterday, sir.
Your reaction to all that.
TRUMP: Well, I think people learned a lot yesterday, watching a very poor performance and watching things that they couldn't believe when they saw what was going on. And hopefully, we are going to be able to find out how a thing like this started.
It was a disgrace to our country, it was a disgrace from every standpoint and I would say that most people have never seen anything like it. And then on top of it, you watch that performance, it was -- it was shocking and very sad.
HANNITY: How much -- how much of that did you watch, sir?
TRUMP: Say it, Sean?
HANNITY: How much of the Mueller testimony did you actually watch?
TRUMP: So, I wasn't going to watch at all, and then I started thinking about it, and then I watched a little bit at the very beginning and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. So, I ended up watching more than I wanted to.
HANNITY: Well --
TRUMP: And then I watched the afternoon because, you know, it was such a big crater at the beginning, and I said, now, I have to watch -- I have to watch shifty Schiff because he just went through three hours and now he has to go through Schiff. And I said, this is going to be very interesting.
And I’ve never seen anything like it, actually. It was sort of good television. So, I couldn't watch it all. I had meetings, I had economic development meetings, and I was saying, fellows, maybe we could move it to another time but I didn't want to do that.
But I got to watch enough and it was shocking. I thought the Republicans represented themselves brilliantly. John Ratcliffe and Jim Jordan and, I mean, all of them, Louie Gohmert, I could mention 15 names or however many they have that spoke. It got fairly close to that number, I guess, maybe it was a little bit less than that.
But I will tell you that everybody representing the Republicans I thought was really good and I thought the other side was typically biased, but they were stuck with a situation that they couldn't believe.
HANNITY: Mr. President, I just mentioned, "The New York Times," not long ago, actually said that they believed that -- well, the dossier, which I was stunned Mueller didn't know about Fusion GPS, the things he didn't know shocked me, didn't know Jeannie Rhee, Clinton’s attorney, worked for him. But we’ll put that aside.
But they suggest at "The New York Times" that the dirty dossier that Hillary paid for that was used to spy on your campaign, your transition, and even your presidency, sir, was likely Russian disinformation from the beginning. Now, if that's the case, that would mean that the Russians knew that Hillary was paying for those lies, which would mean that the narrative that the American people have been fed by the media and the Democrats, that, well, they were trying to help you, the Russians, that would mean that "The New York Times" is right for once, and I suspect they may very well be, that they were trying to hurt you more than Hillary.
TRUMP: Well, based on the fact that we’ve just become -- and, you know, fairly recently, a little while ago, the number one oil and gas producer and energy producer in the world, by far, Russia, Saudi Arabia, now second and third, based on the fact that we now have the best -- we will soon have the most modern military we have ever had with the best equipment, the best -- newest planes and all of the things that we have done, and so many other things, Sean, based on all of that, the last person they should want is me.
But I have heard the same thing about the fake dossier. I’ve heard it came out of Russia. I think a lot of it also is made up. It was just made up like you would write a novel, but it was a fake and it was paid for by the Democrats and paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC and it's incredible. These are incredible stories.
Nobody would write a novel like this because people wouldn't believe it. It wouldn't be believable.
HANNITY: You know, Mr. President, I famously have asked Lindsey Graham -- he really, when Attorney General Barr was before his committee, he went through a list of things, do you feel that Mueller did a good job? Do you think he had the resources? Do you believe that his had every opportunity?
You turned over 1.5 million documents, I can’t believe -- you encouraged everybody to testify before Congress, before the special counsel -- I was shocked. McGahn did, but we’ll put that aside here.
And you keep saying that you think we can't let this happen again. And, I guess the -- we've learned from the attorney general that he is going to look into whether the investigation into Hillary's server was rigged, he's going to look into potential FISA abuse, he's going to look into the origins of this probe, we know that Durham has now interviewed Steele for nearly 16 hours, and we know the I.G. is very close to a FISA report.
What do you -- why is it important to get to the bottom of this from your perspective?
TRUMP: Because this should never happen to another president of the United States again. This is an absolute catastrophe for our country. This was a fake witch hunt and it should never be allowed to happen to another president again.
This was treason. This was high crimes. This was everything as bad a definition as you want to come up with. This should never be allowed to happen to our country again.
HANNITY: Your thoughts -- you have often said fake news. I called them out often on this program. It turns out there's been, you know, I give a list, starting with Richard Jewell and Ferguson, Missouri, and Cambridge police and Baltimore, Maryland, and UVA and Duke lacrosse, and Nicholas Sandmann.
But they went with every single lie, every conspiracy theory. I don't see the media very often talking about the things you have accomplished. I mention the employment situation is the best since 1969.
What you say to the press in this country? The press that is supposed to be fair, balanced, objective, down the middle? I’m a talk show host. I’m like the whole newspaper. We do everything.
TRUMP: Well, I think the press has lost all credibility, much of it. But it’s lost a big part of it. I mean, a very substantial part of it, lost all credibility.
And I watch as people scream at these poor Democrats, the congressmen, scream like I’ve never seen. You must do this, you must do that, I mean, these are supposed to be journalists, talk show hosts, of all sorts of people, I could not believe it. And they are actually trying to force them to do what they want to be done.
I’ve never seen anything like it. And I’ve seen it -- you know, they use the word unhinged, they are unhinged. The media has become totally unhinged. They are very dishonest.
And when I say enemy of the people, when people give purposely fall stories and when they tried and get politicians to do things that are wrong and they are know they are wrong, that really is the enemy of the people. It's fake news, but it's the enemy of the people, more importantly.