If Donald Trump is starting to get worried about his position after his week from hell, he isn’t showing it. In a blustering interview with Fox & Friends broadcast Wednesday morning, the president claimed it would be impossible to impeach him—because he’s doing an “A+” job.
Despite predictably friendly questioning from host Ainsley Earhardt, the president betrayed his anger at the events of a week that saw his longtime attorney Micheal Cohen implicate him in a federal crime, and former campaign Chairman Paul Manafort found guilty on eight counts.
During the interview, he claimed that Cohen flipping against him for a softer sentence should be made illegal, said his only failing as president so far was not managing to get favorable news coverage. He also stated the stock market would spontaneously combust if he was impeached.
In his first comments on impeachment after his disastrous Tuesday, Trump was asked if he thought the Democrats would try to bring him down if the party takes control of Congress after this fall’s midterms.
“You know, I guess it says something like high crimes and all—I don’t know how you can impeach somebody who has done a great job,” Trump said. “If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash, I think everybody would be very poor. You would see numbers that you wouldn’t believe.”
A great deal of the interview was dedicated to Trump attacking Cohen—the man who’s made this the worst week of Trump’s presidency to date. He distanced himself from his former right-hand man—“he worked for me, you could more or less say, it was almost part-time”—and said Cohen flipping against him would be unfair and should “almost ought to be illegal.”
Trump appeared to be warning Cohen, who hasn’t made a deal to co-operate with prosecutors yet, though he has taken take a plea deal for the crimes he committed while working for Trump. The president said that the two violations of campaign-finance laws, which Cohen implicated Trump in, are “considered not a big deal, frankly.”
“I’ve seen it many times, I’ve had many friends involved in this stuff, it’s called flipping and it almost ought to be illegal. You get 10 years in jail but if you say bad things about somebody, in other words make up stories if you don’t know, they just make up lies... and now they go from 10 years to they’re a national hero. They have a statue erected in their honor.”
Trump was much softer when he was asked about Manafort, who he said he still has “great respect” for—despite being found guilty for financial crimes Tuesday. He failed to directly answer whether he was considering pardoning his former campaign chairman, instead going on a long rant about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department.
As usual, Trump’s greatest praise was reserved for himself. He gave himself an “A+” rating when asked how he would grade his presidency so far, claimed that the U.S. currently has “the best economy we’ve ever had in the history of our country,” and lauded his meeting with Kim Jong Un as his greatest achievement in office to date.
“The only thing I’m doing badly is the press doesn’t cover me fairly,” said Trump. “I thought after I won—you know, they killed me during the campaign, just killed me—I said well one good thing about winning, I’ve showed them, so now I’m going to get fair press. Guess what, it got worse. It’s worse. I would honestly give myself an A+.”
The takeaway of the interview was that Trump’s confidence in himself has clearly not been shaken by the dramatic events of this week. In a softball question on how he handles the stress of the presidency, Trump said that success was all just a part of being him.
“Well, it’s part of my life,” he said, humbly. “I guess my whole life has been that way. Somebody said ‘Oh gee, this is always such controversy’ and I’ve always had controversy in my life and I’ve always succeeded and I’ve always won. I’ve always won.”