In a telephone interview airing Monday morning on Fox Business, President Donald Trump refused to hang up the phone even after Fox anchor Maria Bartiromo apparently attempted to end the interview five times in six minutes. During the interview Trump delivered a monologue in which he attacked Hillary Clinton, the Mueller report, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, whom Trump referred to as “a dumb guy.” The interview was not the first time that Trump had described Clapper as unintelligent, according to The Washington Post.
Trump discussed a range of topics in the Bartiromo interview — the fifth time the 51-year-old Fox Business anchor has interviewed Trump in just over two years — describing the United States-Mexico border as “like Disneyland now.” In Trump’s words, “Perry Mason” — presumably a reference to lawyers in general — has become involved, and “it’s all legal,” according to a Politico account of the interview.
But it was when Bartiromo asked Trump about Attorney General William Barr’s upcoming testimony to Congress, scheduled later this week, that Trump embarked on a monologue. In his remarks, the president blasted the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller — and anyone else Trump believed was involved with Mueller and the probe, according to The Washington Post.
LOL — @MariaBartiromo desperately tried to wrap up her phone interview with Trump, but Trump refused to stop talking about "cleaning the swamp" and how Clapper is "a dumb guy." pic.twitter.com/z1NrlTHw7d
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 29, 2019
Bartiromo treated Trump politely throughout the interview, saying “yes” in agreement with the president’s statements 14 times during the interview, according to Washington Post columnist Philip Bump. Bump noted that “almost no claim made by Trump was challenged in any way,” by the Fox anchor.
But according to Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake, writing on his Twitter account, Bartiromo did attempt to gently wrap up the interview with Trump multiple times — first starting at the 12-minute mark, when she said, “I know you have to run.” Bartiromo would allegedly attempt to conclude the interview four more times, repeating “I know you have to run,” and “I know you have to go.”
But Trump apparently did not have to run, as he continued his monologue, declaring, “This is about cleaning out the deep state, cleaning the swamp.” The president mentioned Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan by name, appearing to accuse both men of taking some sort of monetary payoffs.
“You look at Brennan with his big mouth, and you look at Clapper who’s a dummy, and yet he was in intelligence. He’s a dumb guy,” Trump remarked during the interview. “Then they go on CNN, they go on and they make more money than they’ve ever seen before, though they possibly, they made a lot more than that. I mean, something had to go on.”