GOP President Donald Trump’s historic general election victory over Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton was due in no small part to the president’s deep understanding of the new media industry–and his close relationship with Breitbart News Network.
Trump hired Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon as his general election campaign CEO as he stormed his way to 306 Electoral Votes and wins over Clinton in 30 and a half states, and regularly conducted interviews with Breitbart News over the course of the campaign.
For the anniversary of President Trump’s Nov. 8, 2016, victory, Breitbart News has compiled a by-no-means-comprehensive list of some of the greatest hits from the campaign–including many key moments that led to what people are now calling “MAGA Day,” based of Trump’s promise to “Make America Great Again.”
1.) August 2013: First Time Donald Trump Promised To Make America Great Again
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News while on his way to the early primary state–and swing state–of Iowa, way back in 2013, the now president of the United States tried out his now-proven-to-be-successful campaign slogan: “Make America Great Again.” While he used it a handful of times before this interview, including in an address to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) earlier in 2013, it appears the slogan never got focal treatment until this August 2013 Breitbart News interview.
The headline on Breitbart News on August 10, 2013, was: “Exclusive–Trump to Speak in Iowa: We Have to Make ‘America Great Again’”
In the interview, Trump stated that his “whole message always is making America great again.” He also discussed the idea that he was tired of other countries and foreign institutions driving the narrative while America wasn’t winning.
“They’re [the American people are] tired of being pushed around by OPEC. They’re tired of being pushed around by China and the other countries,” Trump said back then. “And you know, we’re like a laughing stock as a country. We’ve become just a punching bag for everybody else.”
Two years later, also in Iowa, Trump told Breitbart News he planned to Make America Great Again.
“I can make America great again,” Trump told Breitbart News radio for SiriusXM in Des Moines, Iowa, in January 2015
2.) Donald Trump v. BuzzFeed Blogger
What would be one of Trump’s first of many iconic battles with the media played out in a Breitbart News exclusive as well. After McKay Coppins, then of BuzzFeed–who incorrectly predicted in his hit piece profile on Trump that Trump would never run for president, and that his previous flirtations with doing so were all part of a show on the “fake” campaign trail–smeared Trump inaccurately, Breitbart News interviewed Trump and several of his Mar-a-Lago employees about the inaccurate piece, and Coppins’ foul behavior while there.
What transpired was perhaps the first mega battle between Trump and the political media, one of many to come.
“What a scumbag,” Trump famously said of Coppins.
3.) Carrier Corporation and the Jobs Drifting To Mexico, Overseas
Breitbart News was the first to ask the now president about Carrier Corporation, way back in February 2016 before he spoke about the matter with anyone else or in rallies. In response to the unbelievable video of a Carrier executive telling factory workers of the plans to shutter U.S. facilities in favor of reopening in Mexico in 2017, Breitbart News asked Trump about this and similar actions from Ford Motor Company.
“There’s only one way you’re going to reverse it, and that’s that you’re going to have to make it more expensive to do business that way,” Trump told Breitbart News. “First of all, you’re going to have to look to lower taxes [for those who do business inside the United States]—and we may very well have to charge taxes at the border, when somebody drives a car through the border to sell it in the United States. But look, we’ve closed our plants. We’ve lost our jobs. They’re no going to build cars in Mexico and sell them in the United States, okay? We can lower our taxes, and we’re probably going to have to charge a surtax at the border. Otherwise we’re going to lose a fortune. And that will help Ford and other people make a decision to buy in the United States, to build in the United States.”
Trump would go on to win the state of Indiana, shocking the political world which thought Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had it locked, in May. Then he selected the state’s governor, Mike Pence, as his running mate and hammered away at the trade issue day in and day out until his victory in November. After he won, before he even took office, Trump already negotiated a deal to keep a thousand Carrier jobs in the U.S.
4.) Donald Trump Pushing for Benghazi Accountability When Establishment GOP Did Not Want Select Committee
In January 2014, when then-House Speaker John Boehner and the rest of the GOP establishment in Washington was resisting efforts to hold Hillary Clinton accountable on the Benghazi scandal, President Trump–in another Breitbart News exclusive interview , where he called from New Hampshire–pushed for a select committee to investigate the scandal.
“I think that’s good,” Trump told Breitbart News back in January 2014 when asked if he thought there should be a select committee to investigate the Benghazi scandal. “It’s a good thing. It should be investigated. It was a catastrophic event. Certainly, they should get to the bottom of it.”
Boehner eventually, after months of pressure and a near-revolt from his own conference, installed a select committee to investigate the Benghazi scandal. Boehner would not too much later resign in disgrace from the Speakership and from Congress as conservative Republicans plotted a mutiny against him, with one of the grievances being his lack of leadership on oversight matters like this. But, of course, as was the case many times in the years leading up to President Trump’s historic election win, he was ahead of the curve politically.
5.) Donald Trump Called Barack Obama’s Failed Pacific Rim Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Deal ‘Pathetic’
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News right as he launched his presidential campaign in June 2015, Donald Trump slammed the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal that Barack Obama had negotiated with several Pacific Rim countries as “pathetic”–and blasted the Obama administration for negotiating a deal that China wanted to join.
“Of course China wants to join the trade negotiation because the deal is so pathetic and so bad,” Trump said of the TPP deal in a Breitbart News exclusive published on June 19.
Here is more from that interview:
Trump said Obama’s negotiations are “so weak and so pathetic,” adding that America has “incompetent people” negotiating this agreement, which will end up destroying American jobs.
Trump said the TPP would be a terrible agreement for jobs in this country, and that America is already losing a fortune to China – adding that it is hard to believe it’s going to get worse.
He suggested the only reason politicians in Washington are trying to approve it is for lobbyists and special interest groups.
Of course, since he became President, one of Trump’s first official actions was withdrawing the United States from the failed TPP trade deal–undoing Obama’s mess.
6.) More on Trade from the Early Days of Donald Trump’s Political Rise
That, of course, was hardly the only time Trump talked with Breitbart News about trade policy.
In a May 2015 exclusive interview, before he launched his presidential campaign, Trump bashed the TPP to Breitbart News as an example of a failed negotiation. He specifically called out the failure by Obama to deal with China’s currency manipulation.
“I deal with foreign companies all the time. I do a lot of business with foreign companies and do well with foreign companies,” Trump said then. “The trade deal is a disaster for many reasons. Number one, we don’t have any good negotiators in our government. That’s possibly the single greatest reason—we don’t have our best and our brightest negotiating for us. That’s a real problem. Number two, and very, very importantly, it doesn’t take into consideration the currency manipulation because we get beaten in trade more by currency manipulation than any single other factor. So it’s not even discussed in the trade deal. They’re not addressing the number one cause of the unfairness which is the currency manipulation. China manipulates their currency so brilliantly and it’s very, very hard to compete. The other thing they do and they do it despite agreements is they make it impossible to sell product in their countries even after they sign an agreement so we need much stronger penalties if they continue to do that.”
In November 2015, Trump called TPP “insanity.”
“The deal is insanity,” he said. “That deal should not be supported and it should not be allowed to happen.”
He also, in that November 2015 interview, ripped Obamatrade’s 5,544-page length. “Nobody understands it,” Trump said.
“We are giving away what ultimately is going to be a back door for China,” he added then. “China will take advantage of it—all the weak points in it, more than anybody else.”
In February 2016, when Obama’s team actually inked the deal in New Zealand, Trump blasted it again in a Breitbart News interview.
“It’s like all deals that the United States makes under this president, it’s a terrible deal,” he said, reacting to the Obama administration’s finalization of the pact. “It’s going to allow countries to continue to take advantage of us and take our jobs, take our trade. It’s bad for us. It’ll allow China to come in through the back door at a later date and continue to really do a number on us, and it doesn’t take into account money manipulation—manipulation or devaluation of currency, which is the single biggest tool that countries use against us. It’s a terrible deal.”
7.) Managing America ‘May Be Easier Than Building a Business’
“In many ways, [managing] the country may be easier than building a business,” Trump told Breitbart News ahead of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Fox Business Channel debate in late 2015. “People know that and people understand that and they see that. For instance, I’m going to Illinois today and people are going to have like 16,000 to 18,000 people—it could be even more than that. They only knew about it a few days ago. We have 17,000 people already confirmed and we let them know about it a few days ago.”
Trump’s interview then came as he was towering over failed GOP establishment candidates in the polls in large part by touting his business experience. “I built a great company,” Trump said. “I built an incredible company. I don’t even get enough credit for the company I built, to be honest. The company is better than anybody even understands.”
When asked to react to why he was leading so big in the polls, Trump again touted his business experience.
“Because I’ve hired tens of thousands of people over the years, and because I’ve had a tremendously successful company,” he said. “My recent filing shows a huge company—a very huge company—with very little debt and tremendous cash flow when I filed down at the FEC. I have a tremendous company with very little debt and tremendous cash flow and some of the greatest real estate assets in the world. I think people see this. I think if I didn’t see that it would be different.”
In a later interview once he had the nomination wrapped up, in June 2016, Trump told Breitbart News that he planned to manage the country “with heart.”
“I think it will be great. I’ve always been a great manager, but the difference is you’re going to have to manage with heart,” Trump said. “When you run a country, you have to have more heart than when you manage a company. You have people that need help. You have people that are sick. You have people that need medical help and medical care. You have elderly. So it would be different in that way, whereas in a company you could be tougher in a certain area although the beautiful thing about the country is that there’s so much waste, fraud, abuse and fat.”
8.) Rare Jeb Bush Praise
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News in the spin room after the December 2015 GOP presidential debate in Las Vegas at the Venetian Resort and Casino, Trump praised former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush–who he beat up repeatedly on the campaign trail–for attacking him back finally in the debate. The rare praise for Bush showed Trump’s depth and skill as a politician, and he turned what should have been a positive for Bush finally into what looked like a last-ditch desperate effort to remain relevant.
“I think he did the right thing,” Trump said of Bush attacking him in that debate during his Breitbart News exclusive. “He’s getting clobbered in the polls. He’s trying to save his campaign. I think he did the right thing. And I would have done the exact same thing.”
That late 2015 debate exchange with Bush was one of the most iconic of the 2016 campaign, and Trump’s handling of it secured his slot atop the GOP field heading into the final weeks of campaigning before votes were cast in the early states. But that wasn’t all from Trump’s Las Vegas interview with Breitbart News. Here’s more:
Trump, in his post-debate interview with Breitbart News, reveled in the fact that he’s the runaway polling leader.
“I’m honored by what’s happened,” Trump said, after stopping mid-question to give this reporter a completely unexpected and unprompted high-five.
But that was not the only major battle in that debate. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) duked it out on stage, too, something Trump elaborated on in his interview with Breitbart News in the spin room later:
When asked about the Cruz dynamic in his interview with Breitbart News post-debate here in the spin room, Trump said he thinks the mainstream media—and even the debate moderators—are looking to pick a fight between Trump and Cruz. Trump also said he believes the Cruz versus Rubio battles—which centered on immigration and national security—were “interesting.”
“They were really going at it,” Trump said of Cruz and Rubio. “I thought Ted was very nice to me. He pulled back totally. And I respect that. He was very nice—but they [Cruz and Rubio] were going at it.”
Trump specifically thinks the mainstream media and the moderators were trying to stoke a fight between him and Cruz, and were disappointed when none materialized.
“I think they were,” Trump said, when asked if the media was stoking flames for a non-existent battle. “And I think it was enough. I got to watch the first debate, and I mean the first many questions were ‘Donald Trump said this, Donald Trump said that.’ My wife said to me, ‘That’s unfair.’ So when they started doing it during our debate, I did speak up.”
9.) ‘Pack of Thieves’
One of the more interesting dynamics of the 2016 presidential campaign–especially in the primaries–was how some groups that normally align with the grassroots against the establishment threw in with the establishment against Trump. The Club for Growth, probably the most prominent such group, battled with Trump quite a bit during the primaries.
In a pair of 2015 Breitbart News exclusives, Trump blasted the Club for Growth harshly. In this one, in Tennessee, Trump blasted the organization as a “pack of thieves”:
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, GOP front runner Donald Trump is firing back at the Club for Growth.
“They’re a pack of thieves,” Trump told Breitbart News as he was leaving Nashville’s Rocketown facility. He had just finished delivering a high-energy speech to an overflow crowd of more than 1,000 people.
Trump was attending the annual convention of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, which describes itself as “the grassroots Republican wing of the Republican Party.”
“They [the Club for Growth] came to my office looking for money. I turned them down. That’s why they’re after me,” Trump told Breitbart News.
Later, in this one, Trump blasted the Club for Growth for groveling for money then turning around and attacking him politically after he did not write a check:
“I had never even heard of the Club For Growth—which is fine, it doesn’t make it bad—and what happened is he [McIntosh] came up to my office, asked me for a million dollars and he came through somebody that I know,” Trump told Bannon. “I said, ‘a million dollars for what? What am I doing? We could be rich, but don’t have to be stupid.’ And he said, ‘well, we’re the Club For Growth.’”
Bannon interjected at that point to note that McIntosh “clearly hadn’t been prepped” before the meeting. “To go in and ask Donald Trump for a million bucks, you have got to be spring loaded,” Bannon said.
“Well, at least give me a good answer, right?” Trump joked about McIntosh’s failure in response. “So I said, ‘Why?’ And he gave me something—and then I said ‘well, write me a letter.’ So he wrote me a letter asking for a million dollars.”
Trump added that “we politely turned him down, we said ‘no.’”
Later, Trump noted that it was “immediately thereafter” that McIntosh “had a press conference to announce what a terrible person I am, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, and he brings up this thing about eminent domain.”
10.) ‘Dishonorable Guy’ Karl Rove
After GOP establishment consultant and ex-George W. Bush White House aide Karl Rove bashed Trump in a Wall Street Journal op-ed just weeks before Trump secured the GOP nomination for president, Trump phoned Breitbart News to give us his thoughts on Rove’s dishonesty.
“This guy is such a dishonorable guy,” Trump said of Rove. “He shouldn’t be allowed to write for the Wall Street Journal.”
“Karl Rove writes articles and he quotes me with things I never said,” Trump added. “He actually makes up quotes and it is so disgraceful that he’s allowed to do it and he writes in the Wall Street Journal, which is a newspaper that totally misrepresents so much. Karl Rove — I’m just reading this — and he’s quoting me on things I’ve never said. He’s literally making up quotes.”
It’s hardly the first time Trump has ripped Rove for his incompetence and dishonesty and lack of integrity.
In a previous Breitbart News exclusive in July 2015, Trump bashed Rove for wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on Mitt Romney, the failed establishment Republican, in 2012.
“Karl Rove spent $430 million dollars on various campaigns last cycle. Didn’t win one. Which is pretty hard to do,” Trump said in that interview. “But Karl Rove spent $430 million dollars and didn’t win one race, and I think that’s pretty sad, and I can’t imagine how anybody would listen to him.”
11.) Tough on China
Trump spent much of the 2016 presidential campaign detailing how he planned to get tough on China.
“I’ve made a tremendous amount of money dealing with China,” Trump told Breitbart News in January 2016 when asked how he would handle the Chinese as President. “I own a big chunk of the Bank of America building in San Francisco. I own 1290 Avenue of the Americas, one of the largest office buildings in New York. I did that because of—and through—China and from winning from China. I’ve sold tens of millions of dollars worth of condos to Chinese. I have a great relationship with China. But I don’t want to sit back and watch our country get taken to the cleaners every single year by China. And it’s largely because of currency manipulation. I’ll do fine with China—we’ll do much better with China than we do now, and China like us much better than they do now.”
12.) Crooked Hillary Clinton
Trump also effectively labeled his general election opponent as “Crooked Hillary,” referring to Democrat nominee for president Hillary Rodham Clinton. In multiple Breitbart News interviews over the course of the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump hammered her over and over again.
In this October 2016 Breitbart News exclusive right before the general election, Trump hammered the fact that Clinton was even “allowed to run” for President given all her scandals.
“Hey, look: the FBI looked at many, many criminal events, including the deletion of 33,000 emails after she got a subpoena,” Trump said. “She got a subpoena. She got a subpoena from the United States Congress, and then after getting the subpoena, she probably said, ‘Oh, we gotta get rid of this stuff.’ They deleted 33,000 emails. I mean, if you look at nothing else, I usually use that because it’s so simple. You know, that’s like, simple.”
In a much-earlier interview in July 2015, Trump called what Hillary Clinton did “absolutely criminal.”
“This is not a civil investigation,” Trump told Breitbart News. “This has to be a criminal investigation. What she did is absolutely criminal—there’s no question about it. She got rid of the server. She destroyed emails. And in some cases they destroyed them after getting the subpoena from the United States Congress. Gen. [David] Petraeus’ life was ruined for doing far less. If you look at what Gen. Petraeus did, it’s far less. The magnitude, the gravity, was far less than what Hillary Clinton did. They have no choice but to make this a criminal matter, and you could almost say it’s an open and shut criminal matter.”
Later, right after he wrapped up the nomination, Trump hit Clinton again in an interview in his Trump Tower office as “crooked as hell”:
“That’s why I call her ‘Crooked Hillary,’” Trump replied when Breitbart News asked him during the interview in his Trump Tower office how she could have gone from “dead broke” when she and her husband former President Bill Clinton left the White House to worth hundreds of millions of dollars today. “She’s crooked as hell.”
“They made speeches for a lot of money and then things happened,” Trump added of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s corruption.
In July 2016 in another interview right before the Republican National Convention, Trump told Breitbart News that Clinton was “guilty as hell” and “will pay for her sins” on election day, Nov. 8, 2016.
“Yes, she lied to Congress,” Trump said. “She lied to everybody. That’s what she does is she lies, and then she gets away with it. But the voters are going to end her lying. It’s going to come to a conclusion on Nov. 8.”
In August 2015 in his Trump Tower office, Trump correctly predicted that Clinton would face serious problems over her email scandal and other scandals–but incorrectly predicted that he would face then Vice President Joe Biden in the general election. Biden considered a run for president but after his son passed away, he bowed out of the way for Clinton.
“I think Hillary has got huge problems right now,” Trump told Breitbart News on the 26th floor of Trump Tower. “Is she going to make it? I hear this thing is big league. Why did she do it? You use the server? Because they’re always looking to go over the edge, whether it’s Whitewater or anything else. They always want to go over the edge. I’m just looking at it saying what the hell was she doing? You know what she was doing. She was guarding from the president seeing what she doing.”
He went on even further in that interview:
“It just looks like Hillary is going to not be able to run. It looks to me like that’s what’s going to happen. I think it’s unlikely if you look at what she’s done. What she’s done is ten times worse than what General Petraeus did—far more sensitive documents, top-of-the-line sensitive documents, far more of them. What she did is ten times worse. It destroyed him, so I don’t see how she’s going to possibly be able to run. It’s pretty conclusive right now, too.”
Trump loved trolling Crooked Hillary, and at one point mocked her for being nice to Barack Obama–the then-president of the United States–saying she and Bill Clinton were only doing so so she would not be indicted.
Here’s the opening quotes and paragraphs from a March 2016 Breitbart News interviewwith Trump:
Billionaire Donald Trump, the 2016 GOP presidential frontrunner, told Breitbart News exclusively in a phone interview that he believes that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is only “being nice to” President Barack Obama because she wants him to prevent the FBI from indicting her over her email scandal.
Trump’s comments came in response to a question about his thoughts on former President Bill Clinton, Hillary’s husband, calling President Obama’s administration an “awful legacy” in a Spokane, Washington, speech last week.
“If he said that, Hillary will be indicted,” Trump said of Bill Clinton’s remarks on Obama’s administration. “In all fairness, that’s incredible, because I think she’s being nice to Obama for only one reason: She wants to get protected. That’s the only reason she’s nice to him.”
13.) Mexico, Univision, Cartels, and the Border Wall
Trump also laid out his vision for U.S.-Mexico relations, and how he would confront drug cartels and illegal immigration.
In response to a Breitbart Texas investigation on cartel operations using ovens to cover up massacres of bodies along the border, Trump told Breitbart News: “We need to treat the drug cartels as though they are an enemy army.”
“An enemy army,” Trump said. “That’s how we ought to treat them.”
He added that it is time the United States confront Mexico over this behavior by the cartels.
“Large parts of Mexico is a criminal enterprise,” Trump said. “When you look at the drugs that are flowing across the border and the illicit things that are happening at the border, Mexico—large parts of Mexico—are a major illicit business. It’s happening to an extent that people didn’t know until I brought it up. If I didn’t make my speech on June 16, when I talked about the illegal immigration and the crime at the border, we wouldn’t be talking about this today. You wouldn’t be asking me the question. And now the other day Cruz gets up and says ‘we must build a wall’—it’s the first time he’s ever said it. And then Rubio said ‘build a wall.’ Notice, now they all want to build a wall.”
In May 2016, when he became the presumptive GOP nominee for president, Trump told Breitbart News that sanctuary cities are “a disaster.”
“Sanctuary cities are a disaster,” Trump said. “They’re a safe-haven for criminals and people that should not have a safe-haven in many cases. It’s just unacceptable. We’ll be looking at sanctuary cities very hard.”
Earlier in the year, before his win in the New Hampshire GOP presidential primary–his first win–Trump hammered the presence of MS-13 illegal alien cartel-connected criminal gangs in nearby Boston.
“If somebody great doesn’t get in as president, we don’t have a country anymore,” Trump said in February 2016. “We’re not going to have a country anymore.”
In the summer of 2015, after Univision attacked him viciously for hammering illegal alien crimes in his campaign launch speech, Trump responded saying the Mexican government put the Spanish-language network up to it.
“The Mexican government is putting tremendous pressure on Univision and there are plenty of others—lobbyists and special interests—putting tremendous pressure on Univision to break their fully signed and fully effective contract with the Miss Universe Organization because I’ve exposed the tremendously bad trade deals that the United States is so incompetently making with Mexico and also because of the fact that I’ve exposed some of the terrible things that happen on the southern border,” Trump told Breitbart News.
In a separate exclusive interview with Breitbart News after the campaign launch in the summer of 2015, Trump also clarified that he does “love” the people of Mexico.
“Mexico has made a fortune off the United States,” Trump said, adding though: “I love the Mexican people. I’ve always had a great relationship with the Mexican people.”
In April 2016, Trump also did an interview with Breitbart Texas saying he would not ever back down from defending Border Patrol agents.
“I will always have the backs of the Border Patrol agents who protect America,” Trump said. “I know they will never be intimidated by any bullies trying to push them out of the AFL-CIO, and I will never back down from supporting them and fighting for them every day. Together, we will end illegal immigration and save America.”
14.) Iran and Terror
Trump was also very tough on terrorism, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, during the campaign, hammering away at both in interviews.
In July 2015, Trump hit not just Obama but also “weak” Republicans for allowing the Iran deal to move forward.
“I think it’s an outrage, I think it’s done by people of gross incompetence, I think it’s a tremendous win for Iran and many of our enemies and I think it’s something that shouldn’t be allowed,” Trump said in a July 2015 Breitbart News interview. “It’s outrageous that a deal like this is going forward and can be allowed to go forward. With proper negotiators we could have had a great deal.”
Trump also, in a December 2013 interview with Breitbart News, called on the Iranian government to release Pastor Saeed Abedini.
“I would say: ‘Release the pastor immediately as a sign of good faith. It would really go a long way to ending tremendous hostilities against you within this country. And it would really open up for a positive dialogue rather than the ridiculous dialogue that’s taken place so far. Release the pastor right now.’”
Iran finally released Abedini in January 2016.
Trump hammered the Iran deal over and over, including an April 2015 interview with Breitbart News:
“It’s a terrible deal. The United States has been beaten at virtually every corner. The deal will lead to nuclear proliferation throughout the region and a nuclear arms race. It’s a terrible thing for Israel. Iran is not getting rid of any of its nuclear plants. They’re not getting rid of anything. [The regime] will become rich, because now that the sanctions are off, they are going to cash in. They are going to leverage the deal to continue to cause problems throughout the region, including Yemen, and finalizing its takeover of Iraq.”
In an interview for Sept. 11, 2016, Trump emphasized the fact that America is less safe than it was back on Sept. 11, 2001, the date of horrific Al Qaeda terrorist attacks against the United States.
“We are less safe as a country,” Trump said in the Sept. 11, 2016, interview. “We have incompetent leadership. We have leadership that doesn’t know what it’s doing. And you look at our military, it’s very depleted. We have the greatest people in the military, but it’s very depleted with equipment, with size. Our Navy is missing many ships from what it had. All of our forces are way down. We are less safe.”
In a March 2016 interview after the terrorist attack in Brussels, Trump told Breitbart News that the terrorists are “winning.”
“The terrorists are totally winning,” Trump said. “The terrorists are making us look like fools.”
He added a shot against Clinton as well.
“The terrorists will cause Hillary Clinton to lose the election,” Trump said. “She’s weak on borders. She’s weak on crime. She’s weak on anything having to do with controversy other than controversy with herself. She’s weak on the police. She’s weak on anything having to do with strength. Hillary is so weak on the borders, and so afraid to talk negatively about protecting our people, that it will end up costing her the election in my opinion.”
15.) The “Movement”
Trump repeatedly over the course of 2016 talked about a movement that is bigger than him, a wave on the crest of which he was riding into office.
“Well, Alex, it is a movement. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Trump said in an interview with Breitbart News editor-in-chief Alex Marlow just days before the general election. “We will have crowds of 20,000, 25,000 people routinely, in an area where she would go and have 300 people, 400 people, and can’t even fill up the seats. This is a movement like no other. I mean, Bill O’Reilly said it, and many others have said it. And these are people that don’t necessarily even like me. But O’Reilly said this is the single greatest political phenomena he’s ever seen in his lifetime, and he said that he’s seen a lot of them. He said, ‘I’ve never seen anything like what’s happened, what’s taken over.’”
He made a similar point in an another Breitbart News exclusive interview before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, last year–after the United Kingdom successfully voted to Leave the European Union, for Brexit.
“This is bigger than what happened in the U.K.,” Trump said. “This will be bigger than what happened in the U.K. What happened in the U.K. is peanuts compared to what’s happening in the United States.”
Trump also said in that summer 2016 interview that he is a “messenger” to the movement.
“I’m a messenger to a movement,” Trump says. “Many, many people—Bill O’Reilly said this is the greatest phenomenon he’s ever seen in politics. You know that, right? Matt, I had 4,000 people last night and I had 3,000 people standing outside. Obama had 1,500 people. I had 7,000 people. I had thousands standing outside. Look, this is a movement. I say I’m the messenger to the movement. I’m the messenger.”
16.) Taking on the Establishment in Both Parties
Not only did Trump run hard at Democratic Party corruption, but he went after the GOP establishment hard too.
When Jeb Bush attacked him in Spanish, Trump fired back in a Breitbart News exclusive calling for him to speak English while in the United States.
“I like Jeb,” Trump said. “He’s a nice man. But he should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States.”
In May 2016, when he wrapped the nomination before the convention, Trump told Breitbart News that having “unity” with the establishment figures like House Speaker Paul Ryan would be “better” for his general election campaign–but that it did not matter in the end because he would beat Hillary Clinton anyway. Ryan, of course, half-heartedly backed Trump in the beginning of the general election campaign–then withdrew his support embarrassingly in October, something the president still does not forgive the Speaker for.
In April 2015, before he ran for the presidency, Trump told Breitbart News that he was in many ways more disappointed in the GOP establishment for its failures than in the Democrats.
“I’m a conservative Republican, but I’m in many respects a lot more disappointed in the Republicans than I am in the Democrats,” Trump said. “Democrats want what they want, and Republicans cave at every corner. Nobody understands why. They have the cards and they don’t use them. So many different things are allowed to go by whether it’s the vote from the other night [the doc fix bill] or many of the different votes over the last few years.”
“The Republicans fold at every corner and nobody really understands why,” Trump added. “That would not happen with me as president, that I can tell you. For one thing, they have to negotiate differently. They have the cards. They have the purse strings, but they don’t use them. They have tremendous power and they’re not using the power. Obamacare has been fully funded, the vote the other night as to increasing the limits [on the national debt] without negotiation just automatically agreed to. Every single thing is just agreed to. They fund everything and they fund it unilaterally. It’s incredible to me that they do this, and it’s incredible to me that the Democrats get away with it.”
Then, later in 2015, when now former Speaker John Boehner resigned in disgrace amid a mutiny in his own party, Trump told Breitbart News he thought it was “time” for Boehner to go.
“I think it’s time,” Trump said then. “I think the establishment—the Republican establishment—has not gotten the job done. There are tremendous problems, the establishment has not done it. It’s breaking down. I’m not surprised to see it. A lot of people thought it was going to happen earlier.”
17.) The Incredible Donald Trump
Sometimes, Trump’s comments and interviews were so laughably bold and extravagant–especially about himself–that they just captured the personality of the man who would become President of the United States.
One good example of this is in January 2016 when Trump shamed his critics in a Breitbart News interview.
“My life has been about winning. I like to win. I like to close the deal,” Trump said then. “I’ve had that kind of a life—I’ve built a great company. And don’t forget when I filed the papers, everybody said ‘wow, that’s much more than we thought’ when I filed my federal papers on financials because it’s over $10 billion, substantially over $10 billion in net worth. I started with a very small amount of money and grew it into something that’s massive, one of the big fortunes, and I want to use that same brainpower—that same ability—to make our nation great again. We’ll be able to do it. The people are so amazing. The thing I have been most impressed with during my trips all over is just how smart the public is. They’re incredible. They really, really get it. So, I’m honored by your question actually because you’re right a lot of people said ‘oh, he’s never going to run and if he runs he’ll just have fun for a little while.’ This is not fun. I want to do something and our theme is Make America Great Again and that’s what we’re going to do.”
In another, in October 2015, Trump cast himself as the only guy who could do the job.
“It’s time for leadership in Washington,” Trump said. “It’s time to elect a President who will represent the only special interest not getting any attention—The American People. It’s time to send a real businessman to the White House. It’s time to Make America Great Again.”
Then there was the time in the summer of 2016 after he was the presumptive nominee in which he recounted the rich civil rights history of the GOP, and counter-narrative claimed that mantle against the media and left which were calling him a racist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-immigrant bigot.
“The Democrats have always played that card,” Trump said of the race card in that interview. “The Republicans have not taken enough credit for what’s taken place. They’ve never taken enough credit for what’s taken place.”
Or there was the time in April 2016 when he told Breitbart News he was “greatly honored” that leftists would have thousands of people protesting his speech to a New York GOP dinner.
“It’s Hillary and Bernie teaming up because the last person they want to run against is Donald Trump,” Trump said, adding: “They’re desperate because they don’t want to make America great again. They are desperate because they want to do the exact opposite of what I want to do. They do not want to make America great again. Many of these people aren’t protesters, they’re agitators. Many of these people are paid to be there. These are in some cases professionals. It’s fine with me.”
There was also the time back in August 2015 before the first GOP primary debate–one of the most negative in history–where Trump said he’d aim to keep in positive but would respond harshly if he was attacked first.
“I hope we can keep it on a high level,” Trump said of the debate back then beforehand. “If that doesn’t happen, I’m willing to go to the other route. But I will say the two people who hit me really hard both went down in the polls.”