President Trump discussed navigating stimulus alternatives amid coronavirus, Joe Biden's plan for the economy and Russian bounties with Fox Business' Blake Burman.
BLAKE BURMAN, FOX BUSINESS CORESSPONDENT: Mr. President, thank you for talking to FOX Business.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you.
BURMAN: We appreciate it. A lot to get to.
Let me start with phase four and what might potentially come later this month.
Another round of direct payments for individuals, do you support that at this time?
TRUMP: I do. I support it. But it has to be done properly.
And I support, actually, larger numbers than the Democrats. But it's got to be done properly. We had something where they wanted -- where it gave you a disincentive to work last time. And it was still money going to people and helping people, so I was all for that.
But we want to create a very great incentive to work. So, we're working on that. And I'm sure we will all come together.
BURMAN: You want the direct payments larger or the uninsurance benefits larger?
TRUMP: I want the money getting to people to be larger, so they can spend it. I want the money to get there quickly and in a non-complicated fashion.
And they wanted to make it too complicated. Also, it was an incentive not to go to work. You would make more money if you don't go to work. That's not what the country is all about. And people didn't want that. They wanted to go to work, but it didn't make sense, because they make more money if they didn't.
And we had some of that. And so we don't want to have that. We want to have people get out. And we want to create a tremendous incentive for people to want to go back to work.
BURMAN: On that end, the uninsurance benefits, Mitch McConnell yesterday signaled his support for an extension.
The $600 figure, do you agree with that number? Do you think it should be less?
TRUMP: We are getting together. We are going to meet tonight, and we're going to make a determination. But it's going to be a good number, a substantial number. People are going to be very happy.
One thing that's happening -- and you see it. You see it with the numbers. And we have big numbers coming out. Hopefully, they are going to be good. They are very important.
But when you see what's happening with jobs, when you see that we are doing record numbers of jobs -- in the history of our country, we have never created more jobs than what we did last month, that last month number. Retail sales are at a record number, especially when you talk about increase.
When you look at percentage increase, nobody's ever seen anything like it. So, we are headed back in a very strong fashion, with a V. And I think we are going to be very good with the coronavirus.
I think that, at some point, that's going to sort of just disappear, I hope.
BURMAN: You still believe so, disappear and--
TRUMP: Well, I do. I do. Yes, sure, at some point. And I think we're going to have a vaccine very soon too.
BURMAN: Speaking of COVID-19, Goldman Sachs put out a model yesterday, saying that, if there is universal masks, it would be a net positive for GDP.
We know the IHME model says that, if there were universal masks, that it would be beneficial, it would save lives.
So, if there is an economic benefit, sir, and there is a public health benefit, sir, why not go forward and say there should be mandatory masks all across this country?
TRUMP: Well, I don't know if you need mandatory, because you have many places in the country where people stay very long distance. You talk about social distancing.
But I'm all for masks. I think masks are good. I would wear -- if I were in a group of people, and I was close--
BURMAN: You would wear one?
TRUMP: Oh, I would. I would. Oh, I have. I mean, people have seen me wearing one.
If I'm in a group of people where we're not, you know, 10 feet away, and -- but, usually, I'm not in that position. And everyone's tested. Because I'm the president, they get tested before they see me.
But, if I were in a tight situation with people, I would absolutely--
BURMAN: Do you think the public will see that at some point?
TRUMP: I mean, I would have no problem. Actually, I had a mask on. I sort of liked the way I looked, OK? I thought it was OK.
It was a dark black mask, and I thought it looked OK. Looked like the Lone Ranger.
But, no, I have no problem with that. I think -- and if people feel good about it, they should do it.
BURMAN: Want to ask you about your opponent coming up in November, Joe Biden.
He has a much different tax vision than you. He talks about taxing the wealthy, about increasing the corporate rate from 21 percent to 28 percent.
Mr. President, in this environment of double-digit unemployment right now, do you worry that that message might resonate better?
TRUMP: I think what happens is, if you do that, you are going to crash the market. We have a market that's going to be, I believe, by sometime early next year, could even be sooner, at record levels.
You are going to crash the market. 401(k)s will be down the tubes. The wealth of the country will be down.
No, he really wants to -- just to put it more accurate, he just wants to raise everyone's taxes, because they want to spend it on nonsense. They want to spend it on things that don't work. They want to give the money away.
And I don't think people are going to stand for it. They want to -- the Democrats want to raise taxes. And it's going to ultimately be everybody's taxes. That will kill the market. It will kill everything that we are doing. It will kill jobs. And it will be very bad.
I think that, frankly, the stock market is doing well, but it's an overhang. If he got elected -- and they say this -- if he got elected, that's an overhang over the market, because the market would crash, would absolutely crash.
BURMAN: What do you mean by crash?
TRUMP: The market would go down by a tremendous amount. He would raise taxes. He would raise regulations.
Look, one of the biggest things I have done is, I have cut regulations more than any president in history. We still have regulations, but they're much less.
If Biden got in -- and, first of all, it wouldn't be him, because he's not into regulation. He doesn't know -- he doesn't know where he is, frankly. I watched his press conference yesterday. He's answering -- I mean, he's answering questions like this from a teleprompter. I said, what's that all about?
But his people, the people around him are radical left. They are going to raise taxes. They are going to raise regulations. And they are going to put everyone out of business. It would be a disaster.
BURMAN: I want to ask you about minimum wage, because, today, here in the District of Columbia, three other states as well, they are raising the minimum wage.
The critics would say this is the wrong time to do that for businesses. Do you agree?
TRUMP: I'm going to have a statement on minimum wage. I feel differently than lot of people on minimum wage, some people in my own party.
But I will have a statement over the next two weeks on minimum wage.
BURMAN: In terms of?
TRUMP: Well, I think I'm going to have a very positive statement on minimum wage.
But, look, I'm putting people to work at record numbers. I did it once. We had the greatest economy in the history of our country. Then we got hit with the China virus. It came in, and it came in rather quickly.
And we put bans on China, did a lot of things right. We did -- I think we did it all right. We did a great job. We are credited with doing a great job.
But we had to turn off our country, or we would have lost millions of people. We would have lost millions of people, millions and millions. And now we're coming back. We did it once, best African-American, best Hispanic-American, best Asian-American, best employment numbers we have ever had, best economy we have ever had, best stock market we have ever had.
And the beautiful thing is, if you take a look today, the stock market is getting very near those numbers again. That means jobs.
BURMAN: You see what happened -- you saw what happened last night in New York City with the council there and what it means for the NYPD.
What would you want to say to Mayor Bill de Blasio?
TRUMP: Well, I'm a big fan of New York's finest. We call them New York's finest, policemen.
And what he's done to that group of incredible men and women is very sad. It's very sad. I don't mean just the billion dollars. That's a big thing, but even if you go long, long before this, when they turned around, they turned their backs.
His relationship with the police of New York -- and these are incredible people -- he's -- he's -- it's been very sad to watch, frankly.
BURMAN: Before we go, I want to ask you about Jay Powell as well, because you had talked about this idea of maybe you could demote him, maybe you could potentially even fire him.
Based off of what you have seen over the last few months, do you still have those feelings?
TRUMP: Well, first of all, I didn't talk about it. The media did. I didn't talk about that.
And I would say that I was not happy with him at the beginning, and I'm getting more and more happy with him. I think he stepped up to the plate. He's done a good job.
We have -- he's had to liquefy a little bit. Let us liquefy. Let the economy -- I mean, put out the money that you needed. And I would say that, over the last period of six months, he's really stepped up to the plate.
BURMAN: If you had to make a decision today on his next term, would you keep him?
TRUMP: Well, I don't want to say that.
But I can tell you, I'm very happy with his performance, and Steve Mnuchin. I think they have both done a very good job. They are working together very closely. They have done a very good job.
Here we are, with the stock market almost where it was. I mean, you know that better than anybody. The market is just a little bit shy, not much, of where it was. And, before, we had the highest market in history. We're not very far off that.
BURMAN: Do you think the stock market needs to be at a certain level come November 3rd? Like, do you view that as a barometer--
TRUMP: No, I think--
BURMAN: -- of where you need to be?
TRUMP: I think, the higher it is, the better it is for me.
BURMAN: Do you have a number in mind, or--
TRUMP: I think the Democrats would like to see the country stay closed as long as possible, because they figure that's probably good for the election, because it would be bad a little bit for jobs, and maybe a lot for jobs.
But it's hard. And people want to get back to work. They want to get back to doing what they're doing.
We understand this disease now. It's a horrible thing. And it shouldn't have been sent, or it shouldn't have happened. Maybe it was sent, and maybe it wasn't. We will find out. We are going to figure it all out.
But it came from China. Shouldn't have happened.
BURMAN: -- maybe it was sent?
TRUMP: They shouldn't have allowed this to happen. They could have stopped it in China. And they did stop it going into China, for the most part, but they didn't stop it.
Beijing had a little bit of an outbreak, I understand, recently, but I would view that as somewhat different. They stopped it from going into China, but they didn't stop it from going to the U.S. and the world. And they should have been able to do that.
BURMAN: If you get reelected, sir, would you cut another trade deal with Xi Jinping?
TRUMP: I will sort of hold that answer in abeyance.
I'm not happy. We made a great deal, but the ink wasn't dry when we got hit with the plague. And the plague came in from China. So, I'm not happy.
BURMAN: And lastly, sir, on the issue of Russia and bounties, if there is ever a scenario in which Russia puts a bounty on U.S. troops, how would you respond?
TRUMP: First of all, they would hear about it.
But we never heard about it, because intelligence never found it to be of the -- of that level where it would rise to that.
When you bring something into see -- into a president -- and I see many, many things. And I'm sure I don't see many things that they don't think rose to the occasion.
This didn't rise to the occasion. And from what I hear -- and I hear it pretty good -- the intelligence people didn't even -- many of them didn't believe it happened at all.
I think it's a hoax. I think it's a hoax by the newspapers and the Democrats.
BURMAN: So, based on -- based on what you have been briefed, do you think it is -- it is--
TRUMP: Well, I think -- yes, I agree with the intelligence people.
I think, frankly, that many of the intelligence people didn't think it was something that even happened. And, if it did happen, the Russians would hear about it, and anybody else would hear about it that was involved.
There's never been anybody so strong, so good to our military. I have spent more money. We have a brand-new, beautiful military. When I took over, it was depleted, it was a mess.
And the greatest asset we have in our military is our men and women, our soldiers, our sailors, all of the people in our military. And I'm here to protect them.
But this was something that never got presented to me. And they know that. Never got presented, because it didn't rise to that level.
BURMAN: Thank you, sir. We will leave it there.