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Trump gives freewheeling rant on Denmark, trade war, Jewish voters

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President Donald Trump ranted about everything from trade with China, the Prime Minister of Denmark, and Jewish voters being “disloyal” in a freewheeling 35-minute session with reporters before departing for Kentucky on Wednesday.

Trump has had an exceptionally tumultuous week between calling Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats “disloyal” on Tuesday, canceling a planned visit to Denmark after its prime minister said she would not be willing to sell the island of Greenland to the United States, and trying to convince the world that the US won’t see a recession soon.

Read more: Trump is snubbing a close ally because it won’t let him buy Greenland while supporting rival Russia before big Europe trip

While taking questions from reporters on the White House’s South Lawn, Trump addressed a number of topics:

  • He accused Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell of raising interest rates “too fast, too furious.”
  • Trump harshly criticized Danish PM Mette Frederiksen for calling his interest in buying Greenland “absurd,” which caused Trump to cancel his scheduled visit to the country.
  • “I thought the prime minister’s statement that it was an absurd idea was nasty, I thought it was an inappropriate statement. All she had to do was say, ‘no, we wouldn’t be interested.’ I thought it was a very not nice way of saying something. They could have told me ‘no.'”
  • Trump interpreted the PM’s response to be an affront to the United States, saying, “I know Denmark well. I have many friends from Denmark … and we treat countries with respect. She shouldn’t treat the United States that way.”
  • When asked who he thought Jewish voters were being disloyal to, Trump said he believed they were being disloyal to Israel. (In the 2016 election, Trump only won 24% of Jewish voters compared to 71% who backed Hillary Clinton).
  • “In my opinion, you vote for Democrats, you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people and you are being very disloyal to Israel. And only weak people would say anything other than that,” Trump explained.
  • He said, “I have been responsible for a lot of great things for Israel. One of them was moving the embassy to Jerusalem, making Jerusalem the capital of Israel. One of them was the Golan Heights. One of them, frankly, is Iran.”
  • Trump accused the media of trying to cause a recession, saying, “The fake news, of which many of you are members, is trying to convince the public to have a recession. ‘Let’s have a recession!’ The United States is doing phenomenally well.”
  • Trump further said he was “chosen” to fight a trade war with China while looking up at the sky, saying, “Somebody had to do it. I am the chosen one. Somebody had to do it. So I’m taking on China. I’m taking on China on trade. And you know what, we’re winning. Because we’re the piggy bank.”
  • The president then turned his anger onto the media, saying, “I think The New York Times has totally lost credibility. What they’re now trying to is the racist deal, and that’s not going to work because I’m the least racist person ever to serve in office. Okay? I am the least racist person.”
  • On the subject of immigration, Trump said he was “looking very seriously” at eliminating birthright citizenship — which would require amending the 14th Amendment to the US constitution.
  • In discussing ISIS, Trump said that if Europe did not take back ISIS fighters captured by US forces, ” I will have no choice but to release them into the countries from which they came. Which is Germany and France and other places. Because we beat them. We captured them, we’ve got thousands of them, and as usual, our allies say, ‘oh, no, we don’t want them.'”
  • Trump finished up by discussing his visits to hospitals in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, in the wake of mass shootings in the two communities. Trump was highly criticized for using the visits as a photo op and making the day about himself.
  • “Not only did they meet with me, they were pouring out of the rooms. The doctors were coming out of the operating rooms. There were hundreds and hundreds of people all over the floor. You couldn’t even walk on it,” Trump said of the doctors and patients at the hospitals he visited.
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