When Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio each made their respective 2016 presidential campaign announcements, they immediately sat down for interviews with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. Donald Trump has decided to go a different route, giving his primetime Fox interview to Bill O’Reilly.
Yes, tonight’s O’Reilly Factor will feature an extensive interview with Trump that is expected to cover a wide variety of topics. And, according to some advance excerpts provided by Fox, Trump is holding nothing back.
Trump has nothing nice to say about any of his fellow 2016 candidates, whether they are on the left or right side of the political spectrum.
“Well I don’t have a lot of respect for many of them, but yes I do a couple,” Trump said of the 2016 field, without naming any names. “But I will tell you I’ve been dealing with politicians all my life. They are all talk, no action.”
On Jeb Bush specifically, Trump added, “I’m not a big fan of Jeb Bush. The last thing we need is another Bush.”
As for Hillary Clinton, Trump said he laughs when he sees her talk about income inequality. “That can be beaten. That can be beaten. All you have to do is take a look at her donor list,” he said, admitting that he could lose the general election for attacking her as a woman. “Maybe I don’t win for that reason,” he said. “But maybe I do.”
But while Trump had plenty of negative things to say about the Americans he is running against, he was surprisingly genial on the topic of Russia President Vladimir Putin.
“Putin has no respect for our president whatsoever. He’s got a tremendous popularity in Russia, they love what he’s doing, they love what he represents,” Trump said. “I was over in Moscow two years ago and I will tell you – you can get along with those people and get along with them well. You can make deals with those people. Obama can’t.”
“I would be willing to bet I would have a great relationship with Putin,” he added. “It’s about leadership.”
Finally, Trump laid out his unique plan to defeat ISIS. “I say that you can defeat ISIS by taking their wealth,” he said. “Take back the oil. Once you go over and take back that oil they have nothing. You bomb the hell out of them and then you encircle it, and then you go in. And you let Mobil go in, and you let our great oil companies go in. Once you take that oil they have nothing left.”
“I would hit them so hard,” he continued. “I would find you a proper general, I would find the Patton or MacArthur I would hit them so hard your head would spin.”
“There’s nobody bigger or better at the military than I am,” Trump declared with typical understatement.
UPDATE — 8:34 p.m. ET: Watch the full interview below, via Fox News:
[Photo via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]