“I’m a very instinctual person, but my instinct turns out to be right,” President Donald Trump says. | Getty
In a wide-ranging interview with Time Magazine, President Donald Trump defended his prior controversial statements on wiretapping, voter fraud and an array of other issues, claiming that he has ultimately been proven right time and time again.
“I’m a very instinctual person, but my instinct turns out to be right,” Trump told Time’s Washington bureau chief Michael Scherer in an interview conducted Wednesday and published Thursday morning. “I tend to be right. I’m an instinctual person, I happen to be a person that knows how life works.”
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To support his claim, Trump pointed to his prediction that Britain would vote to leave the European Union, his insistence that NATO member states meet their defense spending obligations when “nobody knew that they weren’t paying” and his shocking victory in the presidential election itself as proof that he is often proven right.
But Trump also pointed to more dubious examples, including his mysterious reference during a February rally to some unspecified event that happened “last night in Sweden” when nothing had happened in the Scandinavian country the night before. The White House later sought to clarify that Trump had been speaking generally about rising crime in Sweden, not a specific event, but in his Time interview, Trump said he had been vindicated by riots that broke out in the Swedish capital two days after his “last night” remark.
The president’s interview took place Wednesday shortly after House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) made his announcement that he had obtained information that members of Trump’s transition team had been under inadvertent government surveillance after last year’s presidential election. Trump seized on those remarks, telling his interviewer “that means I’m right” about his claim that former President Barack Obama had ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower.
But Nunes himself said his new information did not corroborate Trump’s allegation and the president seemingly bristled when the Time interviewer pointed out that the House Intelligence Committee chairman’s description of incidental collection would mean that it was not transition team members who had been under surveillance.
“Who know what it is?” Trump said.
The president also stuck to his guns on his claim that millions of people voted illegally in last year’s elections, ballots that he has said cost him the popular vote. Neither Trump nor any other White House official has offered proof for the allegation, which he has stated previously not as a theory but as a fact.
“Well I think I will be proved right about that too,” Trump said when asked about his claims of illegal voting, promising that form a commission on the “very serious problem.” “Well now if you take a look at the votes, when I say that, I mean mostly they register wrong, in other words, for the votes, they register incorrectly, and/or illegally. And they then vote. You have tremendous numbers of people.”
Trump was unapologetic about one of his most outlandish claims, made during the GOP primary, that Sen. Ted Cruz’s father had been somehow involved in the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy. He was similarly unwilling to back away from claims made by the White House citing Fox News contributor Andrew Napolitano, who has been pulled off the air by the conservative network following his allegation that the British government surveilled Trump Tower at Obama’s behest.
Trump told Time he had only been “quoting highly respected people from highly respected television networks.”
“That’s the story,” Trump said as the interview ended. “Hey look, in the meantime, I guess, I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not. You know.”
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