The five most revealing moments from Donald Trump's first interviews as president

These are the most important bits from his two sit-downs with ABC and Fox News

Thomas Goulding
Friday 27 January 2017 17:22 GMT
Five most revealing moments from Trump's first interviews as president

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Louise Thomas

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Donald Trump gave two major interviews this week in which he set out more details of his policy agenda.

Speaking with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, a well-known supporter of the new US President, Mr Trump was rarely challenged on his plans for government.

But in a separate interview David Muir of ABC News, whose network Mr Trump considers to be one of the cabal of mainstream organisations that cover him unfairly, pressed Mr Trump on voter fraud and the Mexico wall. He nonetheless left many of Mr Trump’s other claims unchallenged.

While both interviews lasted nearly half an hour, the majority of both conversations saw Mr Trump repeat his well-known arguments and justifications for what is shaping up to be one of the most right-wing agendas from a US president since Ronald Reagan.

We picked five of the most notable moments from the two interviews:

1. Law Enforcement may have to stop being "politically correct"

Mr Trump has fewer supporters more loyal than the law enforcement community and he repeatedly staked a claim to being the "law & order" candidate during the campaign.

Referring to a high crime rate in Chicago, Mr Trump said he would send in whatever helped was needed to the midwestern city's police force.

"Maybe they’re not going to have to be so politically correct," he said. "Maybe they’re being overly political correct, maybe there’s something going on.”

Some commentators have taken this to mean that Mr Trump is embracing racial profiling of civilians by police - something that was deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge in 2013.

This would be incredibly controversial in the US where there have been repeated protests about police brutality in a number of cities after unarmed black men were shot dead by officers.

Mr Trump previously said that he could not afford to be “politically correct” when asked about his misogyny, in the first televised debate with with Republican nominees for the presidency.

2. Removing 75 per cent of regulations because “right now you can’t start a company”

While there are famous differences between Mr Trump's outlook and orthodox Republican policy, the new President's promise to remove 75 per cent of all business regulations will no doubt play well with his party's faithful, such as Republican leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.

In both interviews Mr Trump claimed that he wanted to protect the consumer as well as stripping regulation.

But targeting an arbitrary percentage of legislation reveals that business interests are, unsurprisingly, likely to enjoy primacy over workers’ rights and consumer protections.

3. Trump confronted with the shakiness of the Pew reports on voter fraud

Mr Trump has seemingly been obsessed with voter fraud.

But evidence that it took place on a widespread level appears to be thin on the ground.

Law professor Justin Levitt found just 31 cases of voter fraud in over 1 billion ballots between 2000 and 2014, in an study written about for The Washington Post.

For many, the denial of voting rights to thousands of people has been the bigger issue.

Donald Trump believes 'millions voted illegally' says Sean Spicer

In Wisconsin, a crucial swing state that Mr. Trump won with a majority of only 22,000 votes, it is estimated that 300,000 citizens were eligible to vote but didn’t, according to a federal court, because they did not have the correct form of identification.

4. American taxpayers will pay for the wall, and Mexico will pay them back

Mr. Trump’s claim that he will build a wall on the border with Mexico while forcing the Central American nation to pay for it proved so popular with much of the conservative base during the campaign.

The new president's assertion the US will be reimbursed for its estimated £15 billion (£12 billion) cost, is useful groundwork for Mr. Trump to wriggle out of the persistent promise he made that Mexico would straight up pay for it.

5. Trump’s characterization of the world “as angry as it gets”

Trump’s inaugural address painted a dystopian picture of a fearful, dangerous nation, with “the crime, and the gangs and the drugs” representing an “American carnage”.

Mr Muir gave the new president a large window for a monologue on the “total mess” the world is in. The presenter did suggest the notion that targeting Muslims would provoke more "fear" but he did not characterise Mr Trump as Islamophobic.

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