President Donald Trump gave an interview to ABC News' David Muir on Wednesday.
Here are excerpts of some of the answers he gave during the interview, taken word-for-word from ABC News' transcript.
When Trump doubled down on debunked claims that "millions" of undocumented immigrants voted in the election.
DAVID MUIR: I wanna ask you about something you said this week right here at the White House. You brought in congressional leaders to the White House. You spoke at length about the presidential election with them -- telling them that you lost the popular vote because of millions of illegal votes, 3 to 5 million illegal votes. That would be the biggest electoral fraud in American history. Where is the evidence of that?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: So, let me tell you first of all, it was so misrepresented. That was supposed to be a confidential meeting. And you weren't supposed to go out and talk to the press as soon as you -- but the Democrats viewed it not as a confidential meeting.
DAVID MUIR: But you have tweeted ...
DAVID MUIR: ... about the millions of illegals ...
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Sure. And I do -- and I'm very ...
PRESIDENT TRUMP: ... and I mean it. But just so you -- it was supposed to be a confidential meeting. They turned it into not a con... Number two, the conversation lasted for about a minute. They made it -- somebody said it was, like, 25 percent of the ... It wasn't. It was hardly even discussed.
I said it. And I said it strongly because what's going on with voter fraud is horrible. That's number one. Number two, I would've won the popular vote if I was campaigning for the popular vote. I would've gone to California where I didn't go at all. I would've gone to New York where I didn't campaign at all.
I would've gone to a couple of places that I didn't go to. And I would've won that much easier than winning the electoral college. But as you know, the electoral college is all that matters. It doesn't make any difference. So, I would've won very, very easily. But it's a different form of winning. You would campaign much differently. You would have a totally different campaign. So, but ...
PRESIDENT TRUMP: ... you're just asking a question. I would've easily won the popular vote, much easier, in my opinion, than winning the electoral college. I ended up going to 19 different states. I went to the state of Maine four times for one. I needed one.
I went to M-- I got it, by the way. But it turned out I didn't need it because we ended up winning by a massive amount, 306. I needed 270. We got 306. You and everybody said, "There's no way you get to 270." I mean, your network said and almost everybody said, "There's no way you can get to ..." So, I went to Maine four times. I went to various places. And that's the beauty of the electoral college. With that being said, if you look at voter registration, you look at the dead people that are registered to vote who vote, you look at people that are registered in two states, you look at all of these different things that are happening with registration. You take a look at those registration for -- you're gonna s-- find -- and we're gonna do an investigation on it.
DAVID MUIR: But 3 to 5 million illegal votes?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we're gonna find out. But it could very well be that much. Absolutely.
DAVID MUIR: But ...
PRESIDENT TRUMP: But we're gonna find out.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: In fact, I heard one of the other side, they were saying it's not 3 to 5. It's not 3 to 5. I said, "Well, Mr. Trump is talking about registration, tell--" He said, "You know we don't wanna talk about registration." They don't wanna talk about registration.
You have people that are registered who are dead, who are illegals, who are in two states. You have people registered in two states. They're registered in a New York and a New Jersey. They vote twice. There are millions of votes, in my opinion. Now ...
DAVID MUIR: But again ...
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I'm doing an ...
PRESIDENT TRUMP: ... investigation. David, David, David ...
When he claimed that he never said "millions" of people voted illegally, although he explicitly said "millions" in the previous answer and has also tweeted about it.
DAVID MUIR: So, you’ve launched an investigation?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We're gonna launch an investigation to find out. And then the next time -- and I will say this, of those votes cast, none of 'em come to me. None of 'em come to me. They would all be for the other side. None of 'em come to me. But when you look at the people that are registered: dead, illegal and two states and some cases maybe three states -- we have a lot to look into.
DAVID MUIR: House Speaker Paul Ryan has said, "I have seen no evidence. I have made this very, very clear." Senator Lindsey Graham saying, "It's the most inappropriate thing for a president to say without proof. He seems obsessed with the idea that he could not have possibly lost the popular vote without cheating and fraud." I wanna ask you about something bigger here. Does it matter more now ...
PRESIDENT TRUMP: There's nothing bigger. There's nothing bigger.
DAVID MUIR: But it is important because ...
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Let me just tell you, you know what's important, millions of people agree with me when I say that if you would’ve looked on one of the other networks and all of the people that were calling in they're saying, "We agree with Mr. Trump. We agree." They're very smart people.
The people that voted for me -- lots of people are saying they saw things happen. I heard stories also. But you're not talking about millions. But it's a small little segment. I will tell you, it's a good thing that we're doing because at the end we're gonna have an idea as to what's going on. Now, you're telling me Pew report has all of a sudden changed. But you have other reports and you have other statements. You take a look at the registrations, how many dead people are there? Take a look at the registrations as to the other things that I already presented.
DAVID MUIR: And you're saying ...
PRESIDENT TRUMP: And you're gonna find ...
DAVID MUIR: ... those people who are on the rolls voted, that there are millions of illegal votes?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I didn't say there are millions. But I think there could very well be millions of people. That's right.
DAVID MUIR: You tweeted though ...
PRESIDENT TRUMP: And I also say this ...
DAVID MUIR: ... you tweeted, "If you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally, I won the popular vote."
When Trump slammed the author of a Pew report that he had just cited as evidence of voter fraud because he was told that the author had stated there was no evidence of voter fraud.
DAVID MUIR: What you have presented so far has been debunked. It's been called ...
DAVID MUIR: ... false.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, it hasn't. Take a look at the Pew reports.
DAVID MUIR: I called the author of the Pew report last night. And he told me that they found no evidence of voter ...
DAVID MUIR: ... fraud.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Really? Then why did he write the report?
DAVID MUIR: He said no evidence of voter fraud.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Excuse me, then why did he write the report?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: According to Pew report, then he's -- then he's groveling again. You know, I always talk about the reporters that grovel when they wanna write something that you wanna hear but not necessarily millions of people wanna hear or have to hear.
When he said that the CIA gave him a standing ovation that was "equal" to the standing ovation Peyton Manning got at the Super Bowl.
DAVID MUIR: Mr. President, I just have one more question on this. And it's -- it's bigger picture. You took some heat after your visit to the CIA in front of that hallowed wall, 117 stars -- of those lost at the CIA. You talked about other things. But you also talked about crowd size at the inauguration, about the size of your rallies, about covers on Time magazine. And I just wanna ask you when does all of that matter just a little less? When do you let it roll off your back now that you're the president?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: OK, so I'm glad you asked. So, I went to the CIA, my first step. I have great respect for the people in intelligence and CIA. I'm -- I don't have a lot of respect for, in particular one of the leaders. But that's okay. But I have a lot of respect for the people in the CIA.
That speech was a home run. That speech, if you look at Fox, OK, I'll mention you -- we see what Fox said. They said it was one of the great speeches. They showed the people applauding and screaming and -- and they were all CIA. There was -- somebody was asking Sean -- "Well, were they Trump people that were put--" we don't have Trump people. They were CIA people.
That location was given to me. Mike Pence went up before me, paid great homage to the wall. I then went up, paid great homage to the wall. I then spoke to the crowd. I got a standing ovation. In fact, they said it was the biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning had won the Super Bowl and they said it was equal. I got a standing ovation. It lasted for a long period of time. What you do is take -- take out your tape -- you probably ran it live. I know when I do good speeches. I know when I do bad speeches. That speech was a total home run. They loved it. I could've ...
When he compared the "carnage" in Chicago to war zones in the Middle East.
DAVID MUIR: Mr. Trump, let's talk about many of the things that have happened this week. Chicago. Last night you tweeted about the murder rate in Chicago saying, "If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible carnage going on I will send in the feds."
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right.
DAVID MUIR: You will send in the feds? What do you mean by that?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: It's carnage. You know, in my speech I got tremendous -- from certain people the word carnage. It is carnage. It's horrible carnage. This is Afghanistan -- is not like what's happening in Chicago. People are being shot left and right. Thousands of people over a period -- over a short period of time.
This year, which has just started, is worse than last year, which was a catastrophe. They're not doing the job. Now if they want help, I would love to help them. I will send in what we have to send in. Maybe they're not gonna have to be so politically correct. Maybe they're being overly political correct. Maybe there's something going on. But you can't have those killings going on in Chicago. Chicago is like a war zone. Chicago is worse than some of the people that you report in some of the places that you report about every night ...
DAVID MUIR: So, I will send ...
PRESIDENT TRUMP: ... in the Middle East.
When he said will go with whatever CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis decide on waterboarding and torture: "If they don't wanna do, that's fine. If they wanna do, then I will work for that end."
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don't want people to chop off the citizens or anybody's heads in the Middle East. Okay? Because they're Christian or Muslim or anything else. I don't want -- look, you are old enough to have seen a time that was much different. You never saw heads chopped off until a few years ago.
Now they chop 'em off and they put 'em on camera and they send 'em all over the world. So we have that and we're not allowed to do anything. We're not playing on an even field. I will say this, I will rely on Pompeo and Mattis and my group. And if they don't wanna do, that's fine. If they do wanna do, then I will work for that end.
I wanna do everything within the bounds of what you're allowed to do legally. But do I feel it works? Absolutely I feel it works. Have I spoken to people at the top levels and people that have seen it work? I haven't seen it work. But I think it works. Have I spoken to people that feel strongly about it? Absolutely.
DAVID MUIR: So, you'd be okay with it as ...
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I wanna keep ...
DAVID MUIR: ... president?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: ... no, I wanna -- I will rely on General Mattis. And I'm gonna rely on those two people and others. And if they don't wanna do it, it's 100 percent okay with me. Do I think it works? Absolutely.
When he said he was not concerned that his refugee ban would cause anger among Muslims because "the world is as angry as it gets."
DAVID MUIR: ... concerned -- are you at all concerned it's going to cause more anger among Muslims ...
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Anger?
DAVID MUIR: ... the world?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: There's plenty of anger right now. How can you have more?
DAVID MUIR: You don't think it'll ...
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Look, David ...
DAVID MUIR: ... exacerbate the problem?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: ... David, I mean, I know you're a sophisticated guy. The world is a mess. The world is as angry as it gets. What? You think this is gonna cause a little more anger? The world is an angry place. All of this has happened. We went into Iraq. We shouldn't have gone into Iraq. We shouldn't have gotten out the way we got out.
The world is a total mess. Take a look at what's happening with Aleppo. Take a look what's happening in Mosul. Take a look what's going on in the Middle East. And people are fleeing and they're going into Europe and all over the place. The world is a mess, David.
When he spoke about the "explosion" of Obamacare.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: ... here's what I can assure you, we are going to have a better plan, much better health care, much better service treatment, a plan where you can have access to the doctor that you want and the plan that you want. We're gonna have a much better health care plan at much less money.
And remember Obamacare is ready to explode. And you interviewed me a couple of years ago. I said '17 -- right now, this year, "'17 is going to be a disaster." I'm very good at this stuff. "'17 is going to be a disaster cost-wise for Obamacare. It's going to explode in '17."
And why not? Obama's a smart guy. So let it all come do because that's what's happening. It's all coming do in '17. We're gonna have an explosion. And to do it right, sit back, let it explode and let the Democrats come begging us to help them because it's on them. But I don't wanna do that. I wanna give great health care at a much lower cost.
And when he made Muir look at a framed panoramic photograph of the crowds at his inauguration, calling it a "sea of love."
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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