President Trump wouldn’t budge on his position on gun control during an interview with Piers Morgan.
In his first international TV interview, which aired in full Sunday evening, Trump expertly dodged the question when Morgan asked what was being done to stop gun violence in the wake of this past week’s shooting at a Kentucky High school that left two students dead and more than 18 wounded.
Morgan mentioned that accused Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock bought 55 guns legally in the year prior to the October shooting that killed 58 and wounded nearly 1,000 – but Trump said gun control laws wouldn’t have helped that.
‘Well, we do have gun control laws and this sick person – he was a sicko. I mean that’s the big problem – they’re sick people,’ he said.
‘If he didn’t have a gun, he would have a bomb, or would have something else.’
President Trump wouldn’t budge on his position on gun control during an interview with Piers Morgan
In his first international TV interview, which aired in full Sunday evening, Trump expertly dodged the question when Morgan asked what was being done to stop gun violence in the wake of this past week’s shooting at a Kentucky High school that left two students dead and more than 18 wounded
And when Morgan, who has been very vocal in his view that the United States should have tighter gun laws, again brought up the vast number of guns Paddock was able to buy in just a year – Trump again defended himself.
Morgan mentioned that accused Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock bought 55 guns legally in the year prior to the October shooting that killed 58 and wounded nearly 1,000 – but Trump said gun control laws wouldn’t have helped that
‘The point is, he would have had 55 bombs,’ he said, ignoring the question about the legality of Paddock’s purchases.
‘He would have had 55 of something else.’
He went on to explain that he thinks people need to be allowed to buy guns for ‘security,’ referring to himself as a ‘Second Amendment person.’
‘You’ve had so many attacks, where there was only a gun – a bad person’s gun – going in this direction and if you had one on the other side,’ he said before taking a pause.
‘In fact, that’s a very big example. And if they had the bullets going in the opposite direction, you would have saved a lot of lives.’
Instead of pressing Trump further on the issue and mentioning that there were police with machine guns at the hotel the night of the Las Vegas massacre.
When Morgan mentioned the leader of the opposition, Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan – both of whom have been critical of Trump – the President replied ‘I don’t know the man’. He tweeted Mr Khan (pictured) during a feud between the pair in June last year
As the interview continued, Trump and Morgan covered a variety of other hot topics – with Trump revealing that he tweets from bed, does not know who Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is and claiming he gets ‘so much’ fan mail from Britons.
Trump insisted he was ‘very popular’ in the UK, despite vows from opponents that his visit to the country will be greeted with huge protests.
‘I think I’m very popular in your country,’ the president bragged.
‘I get so much fan mail from people in your country, they love my sense of security and what I’m saying about many different things…. We get tremendous support from people in the UK.’
When Morgan mentioned the leader of the opposition, Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan – both of whom have been critical of Trump – the President replied ‘I don’t know the man’.
The US President claimed there are a lot of Britons who respect him and like what he stands for
Trump said he usually tweets at breakfast or over lunch before getting down to the work of government in the day.
Speaking to Morgan on ITV from the World Economic Forum in Davos, the President said: ‘Perhaps [I tweet] in bed, perhaps sometimes at breakfast and lunch.
‘Generally speaking during the early morning I can do that then I am busy during the day. I sometimes just dictate out things to my people.’
Trump also mentioned that his mother, Mary, was born in Scotland and said he ‘loves’ the UK.
‘The real me is somebody that loves Britain, loves the UK. I love Scotland,’ he said. ‘One of the biggest problems I have in winning, I won’t be able to get back there so often. I would love to go there.’
Morgan came to the issue of Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan when discussing Trump’s biggest critics in the UK.
When the presenter mentioned that both politicians wanted him to stay away from the UK Trump said, ‘I don’t know the man, I don’t know the man.’
The President has a long running enmity with Khan. Last year he was scathing about the London Mayor response to the terror attacks in Westminster and London Bridge.
He tweeted: ‘At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’
President Trump also defended his diet. Asked if he planned to switch away from fast food, which he has regularly been pictured eating, he said: ‘No don’t want to change it.
‘I eat fine food, some from the finest chefs in the world. I am healthy, I have some of that [fast food] on occasion. I think I eat actually quite well.’
The President, pictured with the prime minister in Davos, said the EU isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in the ITV interview
Trump was asked whether May was in a good position in the Brexit talks and said she should have been stronger in her approach
In the interview, Trump also sparked a diplomatic row by claiming the Prime Minister had invited him to make two trips to the UK this year – including a State visit in October, with all the pomp that entails.
And in a snub to May, the President said he would have taken a much tougher stance than May towards Brussels.
His intervention could undermine the moves he made earlier to repair the transatlantic special relationship by singing the praises of Britain and saying how much he supported and respected May.
However, his comments to Morgan were more critical. When asked if he thought the Prime Minister was ‘in a good position’ regarding Brexit talks, Trump replied: ‘Would it be the way I negotiate? No, I wouldn’t negotiate it the way it’s [being] negotiated… I would have had a different attitude.’
Pressed on how his approach would have differed from that of May, he said: ‘I would have said that the European Union is not cracked up to what it’s supposed to be. I would have taken a tougher stand in getting out.’
TRUMP REVEALS HE HAS NOT BEEN INVITED TO HARRY’S WEDDING… YET
I’ve not been invited to Harry’s wedding…
When President Trump was asked if he had received an invitation to the Royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May he said: ‘Not that I know of.
‘I want them to be happy. I really want them to be happy. They look like a lovely couple.’
…but I am still coming for a state visit, he claims
It was announced just before our meeting that President Trump will be coming to Britain later this year, initially for a non-State visit around the time of a Nato meeting in Brussels in mid-July.
But Trump clearly feels the full State visit, first offered to him by Prime Minister Theresa May a year ago, is still very much on the cards for the autumn.
‘So you’re coming to Britain?’ Piers Morgan asked him before the interview started.
‘Yeah. I’ll be there. She [Theresa May] just invited me. Twice. State and working. One is a State, October.’
‘That date is still to be confirmed,’ said an aide.
…and as for my hair, it’s still hanging on!
As Morgan prepared to start filming, Trump was distracted by his own image appearing on a camera monitor.
‘Can you bring that down a bit?’ he asked. ‘I like it on my hair.’
The camera was lowered to centre on the world’s most famous blond bouffant. ‘People find it hard to believe that it IS my hair,’ said the President as he checked it out.
‘But it is. You know that right, Piers?’
The comments will boost those calling for a ‘hard Brexit’, led by Boris Johnson.
Trump claimed he was not surprised by the result of the EU referendum: ‘I said [that] because of trade, but mostly immigration, Brexit is going to be a big upset. And I was right.’
He added: ‘I know the British people and understand them. They don’t want people coming from all over the world into Britain, they don’t know anything about these people.’
However, May can draw comfort from the President’s promise of a ‘great trade deal’ between Britain and America after the UK has left the EU: ‘You have a two-year restriction because of Brexit, but when that is up we’re going to be your great trading partner.
Before the cameras started rolling, Morgan asked Trump if he was coming to the UK. He replied: ‘Yeah, I’ll be there. She [May] just invited me. Twice.’
After checking with an aide, Trump said he expected one non-State visit – probably in July after a Nato summit in Brussels – followed by a State visit in October. A White House aide said later the date had not yet been confirmed.
Trump’s comments about a State visit took Downing Street and Buckingham Palace by surprise. A Whitehall source added: ‘As far as we know, nothing has been agreed about the President meeting the Queen.’
Buckingham Palace declined to comment. May’s invitation for a State visit – made shortly after Trump entered the White House a year ago – had been put on ice as a result of wide-scale public opposition.
Donald Trump said he would have taken a tougher stance during EU negotiations in an interview with Piers Morgan
Trump also cancelled a planned trip to open the new US Embassy in London next month. However, the President told Morgan: ‘A lot of people in your country like what I stand for, they respect what I stand for.’
Trump made it clear that he was thrilled at the way Emmanuel Macron had ‘rolled out the red carpet’ for him on a State visit to France. ‘Emmanuel is a great guy. His wife is fantastic. I like them a lot. We had dinner at the top of the Eiffel Tower and everything was closed.’
Trump had reportedly refused a State visit to the UK after May criticized him for retweeting videos from British far-Right extremists.
The President said he would apologize if the far-right group is seen as being ‘horrible and racist’.
The videos were initially posted by British nationalist Jayda Fransen, who has been convicted of hate crimes, and Theresa May publicly condemned the President.
In the president’s first international TV interview he claimed he would have taken a tougher stance than Theresa May when negotiating with the EU
Asked about a State visit during a joint appearance with May at the Davos economic summit on Friday, Trump said: ‘We’ll talk about it.’ May nodded in approval.
No 10 said last night details of any State visit would be set out in due course.
The President also answered once and for all the question of whether or not he is a feminist. His answer was a clear ‘no’.
Trump said: ‘No, I wouldn’t say I’m a feminist. I mean, I think that would be, maybe, going too far. I’m for women, I’m for men, I’m for everyone.
‘I think people have to go out, they have to go out and really do it, and they have to win. And women are doing great, and I’m happy about that.’