Trump gives New York Times rare interview on range of topics

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In a rare impromptu interview Thursday with The New York Times, President Donald Trump addressed several hot topics including the “nuclear menace” North Korea, China’s disregard of sanctions, the Russia investigation and tax reform.

Trump expressed anger over a Wednesday report which revealed that U.S. spy satellites caught ships from China illegally delivering oil to North Korean vessels dozens of times since October. The president said his stance on trade with China has “been soft” in order to encourage the country to assist the U.S. in bringing an end to the North Korean nuclear threat.

Trump declared that the transfer of oil from China to North Korea is unacceptable, saying, “Oil is going into North Korea. That wasn’t my deal! If they’re helping me with North Korea, I can look at trade a little bit differently, at least for a period of time. And that’s what I’ve been doing. But when oil is going in, I’m not happy about that.”

The president contended that North Korea’s growing nuclear capabilities are “no good for China.”

Trump’s remarks followed a Thursday tweet in which he wrote, “Caught RED HANDED – very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!”

Trump also addressed the Russia investigation, which is being led by special counsel Robert Mueller. The president said he believed he was “going to be treated fairly” by Mueller and ultimately be vindicated.

“I can only tell you that there is absolutely no collusion,” Trump said. “Everybody knows it. And you know who knows it better than anybody? The Democrats. They walk around blinking at each other.”

Trump said he believes that the investigation is a “ruse” devised by members of the Democratic Party “as an excuse for losing an election.”

“It makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position,” Trump said. “So the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.”

Regarding the successes achieved by his administration during his first year in office, Trump lauded his recently-passed tax bill, asserting that he knows “the details of taxes better than anybody” and knows “the details of health care better than most.”

Trump said he believed he’d “win another four years” in the White House, and that news outlets would eventually get behind him because otherwise “their ratings” would go “down the tubes.”

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