"We are the most powerful country in the world – and we are getting more and more powerful because I'm a big military person,"
On Wednesday, July 12, 2017, amid the firestorm over his son's emails regarding alleged campaign assistance from the Russian government, Trump sat down for an interview with the televangelist Pat Robertson. The interview will air on CBN's "700 Club" on...
Trump ventures outside Fox News for interview with Pat Robertson
For the first time in more than two months, President Donald Trump gave a televised interview to someone who doesn't work at Fox News. But the questioner was probably just as friendly.
On Wednesday, amid the firestorm over his son's emails regarding alleged campaign assistance from the Russian government, Trump sat down for an interview with the televangelist Pat Robertson. The interview, which took place in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, will air Thursday on the "700 Club."
It is Trump's first interview since late last month, and his first non-Fox interview since May. His last two interviews came last month, and each was with "Fox & Friends," the overwhelmingly pro-Trump morning show that is regular viewing for the president. Trump's previous interview, which aired on May 13, was with another Fox personality Jeanine Pirro.
His Q&A with Robertson will mark Trump's first sit-down outside the Fox universe since May 11, when the president was interviewed by NBC News' Lester Holt.
Holt's interview came the same week that Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Similarly, Robertson's arrives in the wake of another bombshell: the New York Times reported Tuesday on emails between Donald Trump Jr. and a business associate regarding the acquisition of potentially damaging information on Hillary Clinton supplied by the Russian government.
How vigorously the president is questioned about the matter remains to be seen, but Robertson has been a consistent supporter of the administration, praising the president earlier this year as "God's man for this job."
Along with the Robertson interview, Trump also sought pastoral guidance earlier this week when several evangelical leaders visited him in the Oval Office for a prayer session.
Trump: Putin Didn't Want Me in White House
"We are the most powerful country in the world – and we are getting more and more powerful because I'm a big military person," Trump told CBN founder Pat Robertson in a White House interview to be aired Thursday on the "700 Club."
"If Hillary [Clinton] had won, our military would be decimated. Our energy would be much more expensive.
"That's what Putin doesn't like about me," he said "And that's why I say: 'Why would he want me?'
"Because from day one I wanted a strong military. He doesn't want to see that.
"He wants what's good for Russia – and I want what's good for the United States," Trump said.
CBN released excerpts of Trump's interview Wednesday.
The interview follows Donald Trump Jr.'s release of emails Tuesday before he met with a Russian lawyer last year saying the Kremlin had damaging information on Clinton and Moscow had backed his father's White House quest.
The documents also were disclosed by The New York Times.
Trump told Robertson he was doing too many things Putin opposed – and that is why the Russian probably would have preferred a Democrat in the White House.
"I keep hearing about that he would have rather had Trump, I think 'probably not,'" Trump said.
"When I want a strong military, you know she wouldn't have spent the money on military.
"When I want tremendous energy, we're opening up coal, we're opening up natural gas, we're opening up fracking – all the things that he would hate, but nobody ever mentions that."
President Trump noted Clinton supported windmills for energy production – and Putin "would much rather have that because energy prices would go up and Russia, as you know, relies very much on energy."
Trump said he had "an excellent meeting" with Putin at the G-20 summit in Germany last Friday, noting they were able to reach a cease-fire in Syria.
"In a case like Syria where we can get together, do a cease-fire, and there are many other cases where getting along can be a very positive thing, but always Putin is going to want Russia and Trump is going to want the United States – and that's the way it is," he told Robertson.
On healthcare, Trump said he would be "very angry" if the Republican-controlled Congress did not pass legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare and said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "has to pull it off."
"I don't even want to talk about it because I think it would be very bad," he told Robertson. "I will be very angry about it – and a lot of people will be very upset.
"But I'm sitting, waiting for that bill to come to my desk. I hope that they do it."
As for McConnell, the six-term Kentucky Republican senator, "he's got to pull it off," Trump said.
"Mitch has to pull it off. He's working very hard.
"He's got to pull it off."
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