Fresh off his less-than-impressive rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Saturday, President Donald Trump used a Monday interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody to accuse former President Barack Obama of having committed treason in connection with the investigation into Russian involvement in the Trump campaign.
Brody’s softball interview in the White House was in essence a gift from the CBN platform for Trump to try to take back some control of the political narrative after Tulsa’s rally and bombshell claims in former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s new book. Brody began tweeting clips from the interview Monday evening; clips from the interview ran on CBN’s ”700 Club” Tuesday.
When Brody began asking Trump about what crime Obama may have committed, Trump cut him off, responding, “Treason. It’s treason.”
“They were spying on my campaign. It turns out I was right,” Trump said before diving into the “insurance policy” conspiracy theory, which asserts that before Trump won the presidency, intelligence officials and Democrats concocted a scheme to impeach Trump should he win.
When Brody asked Trump if his much-criticized comment in Tulsa about slowing down testing for COVID-19 was tongue-in-cheek, Trump said he knows some people think his comments were tongue-in-cheek, but he reasserted that expanded testing in the U.S. was finding new cases and making the U.S. look worse in comparison to other countries.
Brody asked Trump if he agrees with his many supporters who believe that God had put him in office “for such a time as this.” Trump said that Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson had told him during the 2016 presidential campaign that he would win because God put him there. “I almost don’t even want to think about it,” Trump said, adding, “I hope it’s true.” Trump said he was honored by Franklin Graham’s announcement that his father Billy Graham had voted for him.
Brody asked what it would mean for the United States if Joe Biden were elected. Trump responded by touting his anti-abortion credentials and warning that Biden would put “radical left judges on the Supreme Court and all over the court system.” He warned that if Biden were elected “China would own the United States” and people’s retirement accounts would turn to “dust.” Trump declared that “nobody has done more for religion than I have,” citing his support for Israel and the U.S. embassy’s move to Jerusalem.
The interview featured Trump’s religious persecution fear–mongering, which will likely be a key campaign strategy for getting conservative evangelicals to stick with Trump in November. Trump told Brody that if “radical left” judges were allowed to fill future Supreme Court vacancies, “religion, I think, will be almost wiped out in America.”
After Trump said he was surprised by the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on civil rights protections for LGBTQ people, Brody asked about Chief Justice John Roberts, saying, “Is he the new Anthony Kennedy or potentially worse?”
Trump also used the interview to rail against Fox News for being less reliably in his pocket than he would like. “Fox News wants to be politically correct all of a sudden,” he said. Trump complained that Fox News allows “vicious” commentators to “spew lies” about him.
Asked about the charge in Bolton’s book that Trump said journalists should be jailed and executed, Trump said, “He made it up.” Trump called Bolton a liar and said, “All he wanted to do was bomb people.” Trump said he had used that fact that people thought Bolton was “crazy” to his advantage as a deal negotiator.
Brody has been a relentless cheerleader for Trump, often tagging the president in sycophantic tweets. Over the weekend, Brody tweeted and retweeted positive spin on the rally’s far-lower-than-expected turnout, complaining that the “liberal media” won’t give Trump a break.