President Donald Trump discussed former personal attorney Michael Cohen's guilty plea on charges of tax evasion and a campaign finance violation, ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort's fraud conviction, the slaying of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts and illegal immigration in a prerecorded interview airing Thursday morning on Fox News.
Update 7:53 a.m. EDT Aug. 23: When asked if he considers the press to be the enemy of the people, Trump said: "No, not at all, but the fake news is, and the fake news is comprised of ... it's a lot; it's a big chunk."
He added that “fake news” outlets made up about 80 percent of the media and complained that some outlets, such as the New York Times and CNN, criticize him no matter what he does. He pointed out critical coverage of his meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin as examples.
Update 7:17 a.m. EDT Aug. 23: When asked if he'd consider pardoning Manafort, Trump never clearly answered the question but appeared to have sympathy for his former campaign chairman.
“I have great respect for what he’s done in terms of what he’s going through,” he responded. “You know, he worked for Ronald Reagan for years. He worked for Bob Dole. He worked – I guess his firm worked for McCain. He worked for many, many people many, many years, and I would say what he did, some of the charges they threw against him, every consultant, every lobbyist in Washington probably does.”
Trump added: “If you look at Hillary Clinton’s person, you take a look at the people that work for Hillary Clinton, and look at the crimes that Clinton did with the emails and she deletes 33,000 emails after she gets a subpoena from Congress, and this Justice Department does nothing about it and all of the other crimes that they’ve done.”
He continued: “I will stay uninvolved, and maybe that’s the best thing to do.”
Update 6:40 a.m. EDT Aug. 23: Trump slammed Jeff Sessions in the interview, saying the attorney general "never took control of the Justice Department."
“What kind of a man is this?” Trump said, referring to Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. “By the way, the only reason I gave him the job, I felt loyalty. He was an original supporter.”
Original report: President Donald Trump discussed former personal attorney Michael Cohen's guilty plea on charges of tax evasion and a campaign finance violation, ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort's fraud conviction, the slaying of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts and illegal immigration in a prerecorded interview with Fox News' Ainsley Earhardt.
The interview, recorded Wednesday, is set to air from 6 to 9 a.m. EDT Thursday on "Fox and Friends," the network said.
In one clip released Wednesday, the president responded to Cohen's claim that Trump knew about so-called "hush money" payments made just prior to the 2016 election to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal.
“Later on I knew. Later on. What (Cohen) did — and they weren’t taken out of the campaign finance, that’s the big thing," Trump said in the clip. "That’s a much bigger thing. Did they come out of the campaign? They didn’t come out of the campaign, they came from me.”