Former President of the United States Donald Trump joins Sean Hannity on Hannity Tonight on Wednesday at Fox News. Watch the full interview below:
All right, joining us now on the phone, 45th President of the United States Donald Trump is with us.
Mr. President (AUDIO GAP) your overall thoughts. And I want you to address — I will get to a very specific question, but, first, let’s start with your overall thoughts today and what Biden was facing in Putin. And then we will move on from there.
DONALD TRUMP, 45TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I guess the overall is, we didn’t get anything. We gave a very big stage to Russia, and we got nothing.
We gave up something that was unbelievably valuable. I stopped the pipeline Nord Stream. And that pipeline was stopped. And it was given back, and nothing was gotten for it. And it was just — it was another day.
And performance art, you will take a look at how various people performed, namely, the two people. And you have to form your own judgment. It’s not for me to say.
HANNITY: Well, let me do — let me do a follow-up on that.
TRUMP: But I will say that it was — I think it was a good day for Russia. I don’t see what we got out of it.
HANNITY: So, you mentioned Nord Stream.
This is an important question, because Joe Biden got a recommendation from his State Department. They said, do not grant this waiver. OK, Joe granted the waiver. He did it while simultaneously, with the stroke of a pen, eliminating high-paying career jobs in the energy sector on the Keystone XL pipeline.
Then I’m going to take it one more step further. If it was Donald Trump that did everything Joe did here, and then it was Donald Trump’s son, Don Jr., Eric Trump, that had monies transferred to their company from a Russian oligarch, the first lady of Moscow, why do I suspect you would be accused day and night, night and day, 24/7, of some time of — type of family enrichment and collusion?
I don’t know. I think there would be a lot different coverage. Am I wrong?
TRUMP: Well, you just have to read the news.
Look, for five years, from the day I came down the escalator, we have been under investigation, and it turned out to be all false stuff. It was a terrible thing with the Russia, Russia, Russia, which actually made it difficult to deal with Russia.
It was a phony deal created by Schiff and Clinton and all of these people. It was a disgrace, an absolute disgrace, that it should happen. And it really was dangerous and very bad for our country.
But I guess you probably see. It was a few days ago up to 12. And now it’s up to 19 different things where we were accused, and it turned out to be absolutely false, whether it’s the Wuhan lab, the good old Wuhan lab. When I mentioned that, it was like a firestorm. Hydroxychloroquine, now great reviews are coming out on that.
They didn’t want to see it, I mean, creating a lot of problems and death, frankly, death. And they were willing to do that in order to try and take shots.
But it’s all coming out. I think the people understand it. I think that, in many ways, we’re stronger now than ever before. They understand that deception and the horror that these people put this country through. It’s really very sad, actually.
HANNITY: Let me go into this double standard issue that I have been discussing here.
And that is, you — we went through three years, as a country — and I covered it almost every night — every major newspaper, two cable networks that are nothing but Democratic propaganda, ABC, NBC, CBS, they all got it wrong about Trump-Russia collusion.
But now we know the truth. We know that Hillary Clinton paid for the dirty Russian misinformation dossier that even Christopher Steele doesn’t stand by and the subsource doesn’t stand by. That dossier she paid for was then used to spy on you as a candidate, and a FISA court was lied to.
And then it was used again to spy on you in your transition phase and then as a president. And we also know that money from Russia made it to a prominent political family in America. That would be Hunter Biden’s family. That would be Joe’s son.
Now, again, I ask you. That wasn’t the coverage for three years while you were in office, actually four, if you want to include Ukraine. What do you make of the double standard? Some people even got Pulitzers over such phony coverage.
TRUMP: Well, they did get Pulitzers.
And it turned out to be they got Pulitzers for absolutely incorrect and opposite reporting. It was horrible reporting. And there are many people that should have gotten Pulitzers, where they had it right, but they were not considered. And it’s a disgrace.
And Pulitzer is another one that’s been disgraced by this whole last four- and-a-half-year period, five-year period. But, literally, from the day of that wonderful ride down the escalator, from that moment on, investigation after investigation.
And the people that were guilty, they — they just float right through. How it wasn’t done, DOJ didn’t do anything about it, I guess they felt they want to be soft. This group doesn’t feel that way.
But you know what? I left that up to DOJ. I left that up to the people running DOJ. And I wasn’t involved. I would say that probably, maybe less involved than I should have been. And maybe I should have been forcing it. But a lot of very guilty people were not in any way prosecuted.
And I’m talking about very, very serious things. If you look at Comey and McCabe and the two lovers and all the things that went on, and they weren’t prosecuted, if you read the Horowitz report, and, of course, everyone still waiting for Durham, what happened to Durham? How was that allowed to go into another administration? It’s just — it’s shocking.
HANNITY: By the way, is he in the witness protection program? I’d like to know where he is, too. Is he in the witness protection program? I don’t — he disappeared.
TRUMP: He seems to be gone. He seems to be gone.
And they were so — but you didn’t even have to go into Durham. You could have just taken the Horowitz report, and I have a lot of respect for Mr. Horowitz, the I.G. And he wrote a report that was devastating to Comey and devastating to McCabe. And they didn’t do anything with it. It’s incredible, actually. Incredible.
Very sad. Very sad for the country. But, you know, I guess they felt they shouldn’t.
And yet, this administration feels the exact opposite. If people don’t do anything wrong, they want to go after them. Big difference.
And it’s — you know, it’s — it’s a tough standard. But hopefully, you have an attorney general now that will be fair. But I will say that the people running the justice — and the people in it, don’t forget, you have tens of thousands of people, and they were put there by Obama.
They were put there by everybody. They were put there by a lot of people that came, including Clinton. But they were also put there by Bush. And you know, you see what goes on with that whole group. So you have a lot of people put in there by Bush and Clinton, you know, put there by Obama.
And then you put some in yourself, and you can’t do anything about it, I guess, I don’t know. But I think that they were very, very soft, and maybe rightfully so. But they were very, very soft. And probably, they wanted to be very fair. But a lot of people don’t look at it that way. It’s a shame.
There was such guilt and such a horrible thing happened. They were spying on my campaign. You know, if you think about it, all the way back, almost at the beginning, when I — when I made a statement that my campaign was spied on, it was one of the biggest moments. It was — nobody could believe it.
Then it turned out that I was more than spied on, much worse than being spied on. But they didn’t do anything about it. And to me, that’s a terrible thing for our country.
HANNITY: I don’t see that Biden got anything from Putin. And I can’t believe that American energy workers were — were — with a stroke of a pen, lost their high-paying career jobs, for the same exact thing, the waiver that Biden gave on Nord Stream. I can’t believe it.
Let me ask you this. If you were still president, would you have given that waiver? And secondly, what would you be doing about the cyberattacks that are ongoing, Colonial Pipeline, the attacks on our meat industry? How would you be handling that with Putin?
TRUMP: Well, on the waiver, nobody really understands that. I was the one that stopped it. I stopped it from being built.
And I went to Germany and I said, listen, we protect you with NATO at a very low cost. And they’re very delinquent. You know, they’re only paying half of what they’re supposed to be paying. And what they’re supposed to be paying is very low, two percent, and they’re paying half.
And so, we protect you. We have 52,000 soldiers over there, which is like a major, major city, frankly. They make a fortune with us.
And then they go and they pay Russia billions and billions of dollars for energy. So I said, so let’s get this straight, to Angela, I said, we protect you. And the people that we protect you from, the country, you’re paying billions of dollars, how does that work?
And there are others. So, I got NATO to pay $430 billion more than they were paying, because the United States was paying for almost all of it. I mean, think of it. We pay for their protection. And they — excuse the word — they screw us on trade. It’s the only word that’s really descriptive enough, because they are in many ways worse than China or as bad as China on trade.
How many Chevrolets are being sold in Berlin? Not too many. How many Chevrolets are being sold in Paris? Not too many. Maybe none.
And yet, we sell their products — their wines and their cars and their Mercedes, and their BMWs and everything else. We sell it all over our country. And all of that was stopping. We were ready to go.
And then we got hit by the pandemic. And nobody did as good a job with the pandemic as we did. And that’s why we are leading the world in terms of coming back.
And that was all set long before Biden came in, including the fact that we came up with vaccines in less than nine months when a lot of people, everybody said it was going to take three to five years and you probably wouldn’t be successful. And if we weren’t successful, Sean, I’ll tell you this, you would have another 1917 tragedy where almost 100 million people died. But we were successful. So it was a great thing.
HANNITY: Let me ask you, in your summits and in your conversations with Putin while president, what did you learn about him? Have you spoken to him since you left office? And was it a mistake for Biden not to hold that joint press conference with Putin?
TRUMP: I got along really well with him. Nobody was tougher on Russia, he would say that. But nobody was tougher on Russia. You never heard of Nord Stream. You never heard of all of the things that we did in terms of sanctions, so many sanctions. And I was loving the idea of taking them off. I would have loved to have taken them off as soon as they got their act together.
I think we had a, you know, great shot at having an unbelievable relationship with Russia. It could have been fantastic. It could have been really beneficial to both countries. You know, they need economics. And we need things that they have where they have very valuable land in terms of mineral rights and many other things.
And a lot of good things could have happened. I had a very good relationship with Putin. But nobody treated him tougher. He understood. Nobody ever heard of the pipeline until I got involved. And I said, wait a minute, the pipeline is going to Germany and all over Europe, what’s going on? Why are we protecting you people? You know, again, and I just — it was just unbelievable.
I got so much for that. And to give up the stoppage, I mean, we — I stopped it. And to give it up — and then if you see what they did — and the number is really 48,000, not 8,000, but you see what they did with the Keystone XL Pipeline where they stopped it almost on the first day. And that was never mentioned during the debate.
I kept saying, you know, you’re not going to be energy independent. You’re not going to do for Pennsylvania, for Texas, for all of these places where we’re doing so well with energy, we’re not going to be energy independent in two months from now.
They’re making windmills all over the place to ruin our land and kill our birds, to kill everything. And we’re not going to be — and they’re very intermittent, as you learned from watching over the last four months. It’s intermittent energy. It’s not good. It’s not going to power our great factories. And it’s a real — it’s a real problem.
HANNITY: What did you make of — yes, there was a question of what…
HANNITY: There was a question of whether Ukraine would join NATO. And Biden’s answer is they have to clean up corruption.
HANNITY: And, OK, so they can’t join NATO because they’ve got to clean up corruption. But his son made a fortune. And he leveraged a billion dollars and bragged about it, of U.S. tax dollars. And this is a big issue to you because you went over an impeachment over this. Leveraged a billion dollars to get a prosecutor in Ukraine fired. He got six hours to do it and son of a B, they did it.
Now, I’m just imagining if they’re too corrupt to join NATO, how come it’s OK then for Hunter to make all that money when he admitted on “Good Morning America” he had no experience in energy, gas, Ukraine, and got millions of dollars. What if your sons got millions of dollars for that with no experience?
TRUMP: Well, when he said that, I was very surprised that he said it because he said basically Ukraine is corrupt. And that was the whole purpose of what was going on. And, frankly, we had an obligation, even a legal obligation. And we have an agreement signed with Ukraine. And that agreement says you’ve got to be honest. You’ve got to run a straight country. And they don’t do that.
And when I saw that statement I was surprised because I guess you hear different numbers. But it’s $183,000 a month for his son to consult on energy from an energy company in Ukraine, to consult on energy. But he admits that he knows nothing about energy. The whole thing is just terrible. The money from Russia, $3.5 million from the wife of the mayor of Moscow — the former mayor of Moscow.
What — remember, I asked that question and your friend, your very dear friend, Chris Wallace said, no, no, you can’t ask that question. I said, I want to know why is the mayor of Moscow’s wife paying him $3.5 million? And Chris Wallace protected him because he couldn’t answer the question.
So, Chris Wallace protected him. Good old Chris Wallace. He’ll never be Mike. And it’s just, you know…
HANNITY: Let me — let me ask this then…
TRUMP: … this is what we go through. We no longer have a fair and free press. Whether you like it or not, and I hate to say it to you, because you’re a big believer in the press despite what you go through, but we no longer have a free and fair press.
HANNITY: I said in 2007, sir, I didn’t — I wish I came up with fake news, but I did say journalism in America is dead. And I don’t think I was wrong. I think I probably understated it.
Let me — let me ask this, because, two weeks — last week, Joe Biden said to our military that global warming was the biggest threat they face. The week before, he had said white supremacy is the biggest threat to America.
I don’t know. I think China, Russia, North Korea, the Iranian mullahs might be bigger threats, radical Islamic terrorism.
What’s your reaction to that answer?
TRUMP: Well, he said that the military told him, and the generals, that, which was — I can’t believe that, but maybe, but they shouldn’t be working as generals any longer — that global warming is the — our biggest threat.
Now, when you look at China, and you look at the military apparatus, which I was really doing a big job on. I have a very good relationship there too. And it was a fantastic relationship, until COVID, where the China virus came in. And after that — you know, we made a great trade deal, where the farmers of this country and the manufacturers are doing fantastically because of that trade deal.
Farmers are doing better than they have ever done now. That’s because of what I did, not because of what these guys did. And we did a fantastic thing.
But when you look at it, and when you look at what happened, Sean, and you see that horrible — that horrible thing that came at us from China, and came at us from the Wuhan — the Wuhan lab, it changed my whole line of thinking.
And you just — I really hope and I believe it was an accident, it was incompetence. I guess some people don’t necessarily agree with that. They think maybe there was purpose to it, which would be absolutely terrible.
But we have to find out more about it. Why did it happen? How did it happen? How could anybody be so incompetent? And that is not a group of incompetent people.
So, you have to start thinking about that. But I…
HANNITY: But, Mr. President, could I add one thing here?
TRUMP: I believe it — I believe it was a terrible accident, but I believe it came from the lab.
And I think…
HANNITY: Why would you think it’s an accident?
We all — we knew — there is actually video out now of bats in the Wuhan virology lab. We knew that they studied coronaviruses. And we now know from the e-mails from the great Dr. Fauci, flip-flopper, that gain of function research was being done there.
So, it seems like the most logical conclusion. The only question is, is there a possibility that U.S. tax dollars helped pay for the gain of function leading to COVID-19?
TRUMP: Well, we ended that, Sean.
And when we heard about it, I ended that. But that started in 2014 under Obama. And when I heard about it, we ended it very rapidly. I said, can you imagine? And it wasn’t even Wuhan. It was just that we were paying China. On top of everything else, we’re now paying for their research and other things. Ridiculous.
So, we ended that as soon as we heard about it. And we did a lot of things against China, not that I want to be against China, because I had a great relationship with President Xi, a lot of respect for him.
But I banned China from coming into the country very early, before anybody, Fauci. Nancy Pelosi was dancing in the streets of Chinatown in San Francisco.
HANNITY: January 31.
TRUMP: And they were all saying what I did was xenophobic and horrible and racist.
And then they said four months later I saved thousands and thousands of lives. But I banned China from coming in. And it’s lucky I did. And then I banned Europe from coming in, because you saw what was happening, especially in certain countries in Europe. And I banned Europe from coming in. And everybody said that was terrible.
But we saved tens of thousands of lives. And now we have to get back, and the schools have to get open. And, frankly, we’re lucky we have the vaccine. But the vaccine on very young people is something that you got to really stop. You have to get back to running your country.
I mean, I don’t see reasons — and I am a big believer in what we did with the vaccine. It’s incredible, what we did. You see the results. But to have every school child where it’s 99.99 percent — they just don’t — you know, they’re just not affected or affected badly — having to receive a vaccine, I think is something that you should start thinking about, because I think it’s unnecessary.
HANNITY: You want China to pay $10 trillion, don’t you?
TRUMP: Well, the number is much higher than that, but there’s only so much they can pay. And that’s to us.
And the world is — the number is bigger throughout the world. Look, countries have been destroyed over what they did, and whether by accident or not. And I would hope that it was accident. I hope that it was through incompetence or an accident.
But, when you look, whether it was by an accident, whether it was — whatever it is, this — you look at these countries. They will never, ever be the same. Our country was hit so hard.
But other countries were hit much harder.
Look at what’s going on in India now. You know, they used to say, oh, look how well India was doing, because they were always looking for an excuse — look how well India is doing. The fact that India has just been devastated now, and virtually, every country has been devastated.
No, I think — I think that’s one of the reasons that I feel it’s very important to find out where it came from, how it came. I think I know. I mean, I feel certain about it.
But certainly, China should help. Right now, their economy and our economy are the two economies that are coming — that are coming back the fastest. I mean, if you think —
TRUMP: — about it, in certain ways, maybe they were — they benefited very greatly, I mean, very, very greatly.
And I can tell you they benefited with the U.S. because we were in a process of doing things where we caught up to China at a level that nobody thought was possible. And once the China virus came in, we had to take a very different — look, you know, the world changed. The whole world changed.
You didn’t think about the economics. You think — you thought about saving people and saving lives. So, the world changed. It was a different — whole different ball game.
HANNITY: Let me ask you this, though.
TRUMP: We did — we did the great trade deal, a big piece of it, but we did the great trade deal. And it helped a lot of people — manufacturers and farmers in particular.
But, you know, after — after that horrible disease floated in from China, however it came in — and it came in through numerous ways — once that disease came in from China, I had a whole different attitude. It was a terrible thing.
HANNITY: Let me ask you about — let me go back to the campaign, and I’m going to play a tape for you here. I’ve compared Joe Biden. I’ve shown video of him from 2012, 2016.
He — I called, you know, he lived in his basement bunker throughout most of the campaign in 2020. I used to argue he was in the big tech media mob protection program. And they let him hide and get away without answering many questions, did the bare minimum of anybody campaigning.
And I have a highlight reel that I put together. But I’m saving that for another day. But this happened at the G7. Joe’s had a lot of these cognitive misfires, let’s call it that. And this is the one that he had, because he had called Putin a killer, then he was asked about it. He didn’t want to give that answer because he was about to meet with Putin.
And your reaction to Joe, and do you think he’s up to the job physically, mentally? Let me play this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Vladimir Putin laughed at the suggestion that you had called him a killer. Is that still your belief, sir, that he is a killer?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To answer the first question — I’m laughing, too. They actually, I —
BIDEN: Well, look, I mean, he has made clear that — the answer is, I believe he is in the past essentially acknowledged that he was — there were certain things that he would do or did do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: You know, I do make fun of it. But in all seriousness, Mr. President, that scares the hell out of me. Have you noticed the same thing I see?
TRUMP: Well, may be the only time I’ve ever disagreed with you is about the age, because I guess Joe is going on to be 79 fairly soon, and that’s not old, relatively speaking. I know — Bernie Marcus, a great gentleman, founder of Home Depot.
HANNITY: Oh, Bernie Sanders is older.
TRUMP: He is 92. He’s 100 percent. I spoke to him, he’s 100 percent. And other people are in their 90s and 80s and they’re doing great.
So, you know, his age is not the problem. And look, I hope he has no problems. I want him to do well. I want him to go out and do well.
I think the election was unbelievably unfair. But I want this guy to go out and do well for our country. I don’t want to see a scene like that. I watched that yesterday. I thought it was terrible. It was terrible.
Nobody knew what was happening. We didn’t know.
HANNITY: Let me ask you — let me move on to the economy. We now have inflation. We now have jobs that people aren’t taking, and businesses now are turning down the federal government’s extended unemployment benefits.
The price of lumber through the roof, the price of gasoline up an average $1.10 per gallon. The price to heat and cool your home is up. The price of meat is skyrocketing, lumber skyrocketing, every item that you buy in any store that is delivered by a truck, you are paying a lot more for.
And I’m looking at it, and we are getting rid of energy independence which you gave us as president for the first time in 75 years.
What is your take on the state of the economy and the impact the current border crisis has on it? And I want — I’ll do a follow up on that.
TRUMP: So, the lumber is really a function of supply and demand. We have so much. But they’re putting environmental restrictions on trees now that are so bad. And we’re trying to make deals with Canada. I can tell you from personal experience, Canada is very, very tough. Canada is as tough as anybody. They — it’s very unfair the way Canada treats us.
And I had it down to a science. It was so good. It was so — we were doing so well. Everything was coming down. We signed the USMCA, Mexico, Canada. But we were not being taken advantage of anymore. And I was going to tariff the hell out of their cars coming into the United States if they did. And they knew it. And as soon as I left, they started playing games.
And now you look at lumber prices, because we get a lot from Canada. And you look at what’s going on with milk and the fact that they don’t take us but we take them. So many things they did (INAUDIBLE) that I straightened out and now it’s going back to worse than it was, because there’s nobody there complaining about it.
Now Canada treats this country very, very badly. So does Europe, by the way, and China, you know about. But as I say, in many ways Europe treats us just as badly as China.
HANNITY: Let me ask this question. And I want to ask it and I’ll ask you about 2022 and 2024 in a minute. It seems to me that conservatism, and I remember — and maybe you do or you don’t, when you were thinking about running for president, times that I’d interview you, in private conversations we’d have at the time, I explained what I believed in.
I really haven’t changed much. I believe in liberty, freedom, capitalism, our Constitution, low taxes, less government interference, bureaucracy, a constitutionalist on the bench, school choice, law and order, safety and security so people could pursue happiness, free market solutions for health care, including protecting pre-existing conditions.
I want secure borders. I absolutely positively want energy independence for a lot of reasons, and free and fair trade, and peace through strength. That pretty much sums up Sean Hannity’s philosophy. There was talk that you are considering maybe laying out the Trump “America first,” “make America great again” agenda. How close is my lifelong-held beliefs to what you would put on paper if you ever considered it? And are you considering it?
TRUMP: Well, I am. And, frankly, if you think of it, that’s all I’ve been doing and talking about for a long time. And I guess that’s why we got them by surprise in ’16, and in ’20 we did much better than we did in ’16. And shockingly, we were supposed to win easily at 64 million votes, and we got 75 million votes, and we didn’t win. But let’s see what happens on that.
The whole thing is shocking. But it’s common sense. Look, when you talk about a strong military, when you talk about the economy, when you talk about we don’t want inflation — inflation is going to kill the economy. By the way, now you’re going to see very soon a big interest rate increase all of a sudden, which is — you know, that’s step one.
I don’t know if you remember during the Carter administration where the prime rate went up to 21 percent. I was there. I was — I was there…
HANNITY: I was there too.
TRUMP: Twenty-one percent for the prime rate, just the prime — and you couldn’t get anything. It was — the economy came to a halt. And, you know, when you look at — you mentioned lumber, but when you look at we no longer will be energy independent within a matter of weeks, they’re closing down everything. It’s — what’s happening is not to be believed.
I’ll tell you, the biggest beneficiary is Russia and Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. I mean, these people, they’re going to make more money than they’ve ever made. You know, they talk about me with Russia, I get along with Putin. I had a good relationship with Putin. But I was so tough. Look what they’ve done. They will make Russia so rich because of what’s happening.
When I left, it was $1.87 a gallon for a gallon of gas, now it’s over $3. It’s going to go up to $5, $6, or $7, mark my words. And that’s bigger than any tax increase you could give. You could triple people’s taxes, that costs more money for the middle income people, much more money. And for — frankly, for our country it’s a disaster. It’s going to stop everything. And we had so much…
HANNITY: Let’s talk about…
TRUMP: I mean, we had a point where we were getting the — the fuel for zero. In fact, you get — they would give you $38 if you took it. Nobody has ever seen anything like it. Now we had to straighten that out because that would have hurt our industry. But we ended up having a great energy industry. And we ended up with low prices. And now we’re not going to be — within a matter of weeks we will no longer be energy independent. And we are going to be relying again on the Middle East and Russia and all of these other people because we are being led very, very stupidly.
And I said this during the debates and people didn’t listen. But I said it during the debates. But actually, people did listen, and they voted properly. And that’s the way it goes.
But they lied. You know, they didn’t talk this. They never said — this is a Bernie Sanders dream, what’s happening right now. He can’t believe it, because this is far worse than Bernie was ever going to be. Bernie Sanders would have never even thought to suggest some of the things that are happening right now.
HANNITY: Let’s look at the border. And the stay-in-Mexico policy is gone. Border wall construction has stopped. Catch-and-release is back. It’s really just catch and we will send you to one of the states, free transportation.
You see we’re — you know, we’re up dramatically, nearly 200,000 illegal immigrants a month. And they’re just being processed. And that opens up other areas of the border for cartels, human smugglers, drug smugglers.
Your take on how to fix this?
TRUMP: So, we had the most secure border in the history of our country, Southern border, in the history of our country. It’s never been so good.
It was hard getting it there, because we had to win lots of lawsuits. And that included on the wall. The wall would have been finished within months. All of the material is sitting right there rotting. They stopped it like very early. First, second, third day, they stopped it.
Now they want to start it again, which is interesting. Go tell the contractors that. But it was sitting there. And now it’s sitting there rusting. And it’s a shame. We were — it took us two-and-a-half years to win all the lawsuits. And it was almost complete.
And then they came in, and they stopped it. And one of the reasons — though, still, we built almost 500 miles of wall. And one of the reasons we have been so successful is because, even though it has gaps, which were easily closed, very easily, it has gaps, what happened is, the wall was so good in terms of illegal immigration.
And you mentioned things that people don’t mention, drugs. Drug smuggling was down to the lowest point that it’s been in years, and also human trafficking, usually of women, by the way. It’s a vicious business, and it’s a big business. And we had that down to the lowest point in years and years and years.
And now, it’s worse than ever.
HANNITY: We have three minutes left. Let’s talk about 2022, and then the obvious question for 2024.
2022 seems like a bellwether year. You have got the House in play. You have got Florida Senate seat, Georgia Senate seat, North and South Carolina. You’ve got New Hampshire. You’ve got Wisconsin. You’ve got Ohio. You’ve got Arizona. If that’s not a bellwether, I don’t know.
What do you anticipate your involvement for 2022 will be? You started endorsing some people. You are going to be out on the road. And what are your thoughts with 2024? Will you be making a comeback?
TRUMP: So, I’m very honored to say that my endorsement means more than any endorsement that has ever been given by anybody.
I mean, you know, we’re winning. We just won Republican Party chairman of North Carolina and of Georgia and of other places. We just won — there are two races in Texas. We won a great race in Louisiana. This is just intermediate to what’s happening.
I will be working and getting a lot of great people elected. And, again, they go up 20, 30, 40 points sometimes. People — the fake news doesn’t like talking about it. But the numbers are really incredible.
So, I’m working on ’22, getting a lot of good senators and a lot of good congresspeople elected. And then we will be making a decision on 2024. But, if you look at the numbers, people are liking me more now than ever before. But I think that’s — the reason is, they’re watching what’s happening with our country. They’re watching no energy independence. They’re watching the border.
Never has there been a scene like what’s happening at the border, and the death that’s being caused. This isn’t just border. This is death and criminals pouring into our country. They’re looking at the economy. They’re looking at inflation. They’re looking at interest rates. They’re looking at gasoline prices.
And I guess it’s making me very popular.
HANNITY: Is there anything — and we have a minute left. If you do run in 2024, what might you do differently? What do know now that you didn’t know in 2016?
TRUMP: Well, you know, we ran a very successful administration.
We had the greatest economy in history. We had 160 million jobs. We were never even close to that. Nobody was ever even close to that. And we did it twice, because then we did it after the pandemic. We came with a vaccine. We did a lot of great things. And we did it after.
But I was under siege with fake investigations and everything. And I was doing this while I was under siege from phony people with phony Russia, Russia, Russia that was caused by Clinton and the DNC Democrats and all of that.
And we did it. We built Space Force. We did — you know, we did — we rebuilt the military. We got the largest tax cut in history, the largest regulation cuts in history. Not even close. We did ANWR, which they have already excluded…
HANNITY: Well, we’ve got to…
TRUMP: … thanks to Murkowski in Alaska.
And it’s — what we have done was amazing. But I was under siege. So, you know, some people said, gee, he wasn’t very nice.
HANNITY: I think you can argue – I’ve got to run.
TRUMP: But I was under siege from day one, Sean.
So, not nice.
HANNITY: But I think you have been — I think you’re still under siege.
But thank you for spending the time with us.
TRUMP: I am under siege. I agree with you on that.
TRUMP: I agree.
HANNITY: All right, we appreciate you being with us.
All right. Let not your heart be troubled. Laura Ingraham, only five seconds late. I tried hard.