President Donald Trump urged the nation “to all come together” Saturday night as he discussed the Democrats’ FISA rebuttal memo, potential new gun legislation and plans for a border wall in an exclusive interview with Fox News.
Speaking with Jeanine Pirro, host of “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” Trump said the Democrats’ FISA rebuttal memo “verified” the contents of Republican U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes’ memo, which was released previously.
The president asserted that that was likely the reason why Democrats didn’t push hard for their own memo to be released.
Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, asserts in his document, made public Feb. 2, that the FBI may have relied on questionable sources to obtain a surveillance warrant in connection with the investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The Democrats’ memo, released Saturday, defends the FBI’s actions.
Pirro noted that months of investigation into possible ties between the Russians and the Trump campaign and administration have not led to any “reference of collusion.”
“There is no collusion,” Trump replied.
“I don’t want to sound braggadocious, but I was a far better candidate than [Hillary Clinton]. … Frankly, that’s what it was all about. It was nothing to do with Russians,” he said.
“I don’t want to sound braggadocious, but I was a far better candidate than [Hillary Clinton]. … Frankly, that’s what it was all about. It was nothing to do with Russians.”
When asked about Twitter comments by U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee and a harsh critic of the president, Trump responded by calling for national unity rather than division.
“We need intelligence that brings our nation together and a lot of people are tearing our nation apart. … We have to come together as a nation.”
‘I get things done’
The president was also asked about the accomplishments of his administration during its first year — and what made them possible.
“I think that I’ve had a lot of good ideas and I have a lot of energy. I get things done,” Trump said.
Trump added that the Republicans’ tax cut bill — signed into law in December — was a key reason why his approval ratings were high, but suggested that cuts in regulations may have been even more popular.
“I don’t think any administration has done as much as we’ve done in the first year, I don’t think it’s even close,” Trump said.
Action on guns
He also spoke about gun regulation in wake of the Feb. 14 massacre in Parkland, Fla.
“I’ve spoke to many senators, many congressman … and I think we’re going to have a great bill put forward very soon having to do with background checks,” Trump said.
But he added there was “no bigger champion of the Second Amendment” protecting the rights of gun owners than him — and reiterated his stance that teachers should be able to protect schools through with “concealed [carry] permits.”
Trump said that assuring gun purchasers’ mental stability would also be a strong part of improving background checks.
“Somebody who is mentally ill should not have a weapon, should not have a gun,” he said. “We’re drawing up very strong legislation right now having to do with background checks, mental illness. I think you’re going to have tremendous support.”
‘I’d like to have a parade’
Trump also spoke about his idea of having a military parade to celebrate the nation’s service members and veterans.
“I’d like to have a parade, a lot of the generals would like to have a parade to celebrate what we’re doing,” he said, adding that the event could possibly be held July 4 or on Veterans Day in November.
Trump also discussed his progress with immigration legislation, saying that although Democrats have agreed to support a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, he “needs more” in order to finalze a comprehensive immigration plan.
“We need something to do with chain migration, we need something to do with visa lottery … We want people to come in through merit,” he said.
Trump ended with some thoughts on first daughter Ivanka Trump’s visit to South Korea for the Winter Olympics.
“There is no better representative we can have go over to a pretty tough place right now in the world,” he said. “We cannot have a better, smarter representative.”