Donald Trump looked ahead to his general-election contest against Hillary Clinton on Friday’s Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM, beginning with a little dig at the supposedly inevitable Democrat candidate’s inability to put away her primary challenger.
“I was a little bit surprised. Who would think – I mean, even if you went back two weeks ago – who would think that I’m now watching Hillary, who can’t lose her opponent?” he chortled. “It was supposed to be the other way around. She was going to watch me. In fact, I thought she was gonna have like a three-month jump on me, at least. And all of a sudden, I’m watching her, because she can’t get rid of Bernie Sanders.”
SiriusXM host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon noted that Sanders was still hanging on, despite his reluctance to exploit one of Clinton’s “biggest negatives – her untrustworthiness and her corruption.”
Bannon invited Trump to answer the question our mainstream media somehow never thinks to ask the Clintons: “How did they leave the White House ‘dead broke,’ and now are worth $140 million? They’ve never taken a company public, they’ve never gotten bought out of a company, they’ve never gotten huge bonuses for media or anything like that, they’ve never run a private company… they’re not big in real estate, they’re not big in commodities… How do you think she amassed that type of wealth?”
“They’re big in cash,” Trump replied. “And you know, the man that wrote the book from about a year ago, that I think you were very strong about that book – that was an amazing book, and unfortunately, it seems to have disappeared. People aren’t bringing it up, but it was an amazing book, actually.”
The book Trump referred to is Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, by Peter Schweizer, who is a frequent guest on Breitbart News Daily.
“He really covered the web – you know, what was done for this-and-that,” Trump said of Schweizer’s book. “I don’t know, I don’t seem to be hearing about it so much any more, and Bernie has not used that book. But that was an amazing book, in terms of the complexity of what they’ve done, and the dishonesty of what they’ve done.”
Bannon asked Trump point-blank if he thought the Clintons were “influence peddlers.”
“I do, I do. I think so,” Trump replied. “If you read that book, you’ll see it – you know, where so much money is given for speeches, and all of a sudden, some country is a big beneficiary, or whoever paid for the speech. Oh, yeah, I think so. I thought it was obvious.”
“It just seems that that book was so good, and so on point, and so legit, and then all of a sudden, it just disappeared. It shouldn’t be disappearing,” Trump added. (As Bannon pointed out, it’s about to reappear in a big way, thanks to a documentary film based on Clinton Cash.)
“I’m surprised that Bernie Sanders is not going after her tougher, to be honest with you. I’m very surprised,” said Trump.
As to whether a more spirited effort could have won Sanders the nomination, Trump said he would also have to defeat a “crooked system.”
“I mean, you look at the super-delegates – he’s winning so many of these races, and they say he has no chance,” Trump said with a sarcastic chuckle. “It’s a crooked system.”
Bannon asked for a timetable on when Trump’s campaign apparatus would turn its full attention to defeating Clinton, to which Trump replied, “It has already turned. It has absolutely turned. We’re focused.”
A major part of that focus will involve hitting the Clintons on free trade.
“Hillary Clinton wants wages of Americans destroyed, and she wants coal miners fired,” he charged, fresh off a campaign swing through West Virginia. “You know, I mean, what she wants to do, she wants to get rid of the coal miners. And then she actually goes to West Virginia and she tells them, well, she didn’t mean what she said.”
Trump said he learned just how deeply “our country is in trouble” during his campaign travels.
“You go to upstate New York, and you go to Pennsylvania, and you go to Connecticut, and all these different places, and you see empty factories all over the place,” he said. “You see empty factories like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve never seen anything like it. As a real-estate person, I said, ‘Wow, I could probably buy that building for three dollars.’ As a real-estate person, as a person that gets it from a business standpoint, it’s so sad to see.”
“What did it was NAFTA,” he charged, referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement from the 199o’s. “And other things, and bad, you know, very stupid trade policies. NAFTA’s a disaster. And who signed NAFTA? Bill Clinton. NAFTA is a disaster.”
Trump hit similar themes about the Clintons and NAFTA during a campaign rally in Charleston, West Virginia, on Thursday.
“The Clinton administration approved a thing called NAFTA, which has single-handedly taken vast amounts of our businesses, and in particular manufacturing business, and brought them into other countries, brought them into Mexico,” Trump said at the rally.
He expanded on the point he made on Breitbart News Daily about finding abandoned businesses scattered across the land: “I toured upper New York state, and I went to Syracuse, and I went to Rome, New York – the real Rome; Rome, New York. And I went to Albany, and we were getting crowds like you wouldn’t believe, and I went out to [Long Island], Bethpage and Suffolk County, and different places – and I would see building after building, and some of the buildings were really big: empty, empty. Businesses left years ago, and they moved to Mexico, and they moved to other places. And frankly China took businesses and everything else.”
After quoting statistics about the decline in manufacturing, population, and median income in those areas, Trump called NAFTA “the worst piece of economic development.”
“You know what it was for,” he told his rally audience. “It was the economic development of Mexico, not of this country.”
After these companies leave, Trump said, “All we get is unemployment. All we get is the destruction of people’s families and people’s lives.”
Trump added that the politicians who make these trade deals “are either taken care of by their contributors and donors or they’re stupid… or they have no common sense [or] they’re incompetent.”
“But I think they’re not incompetent,” he explained. “I think they’re much smarter. A friend of mine the other day saw a deal that was made – smart guy, very successful – he said, ‘Donald, how stupid could the politicians be?’ But they’re not stupid; they’re smart. They took care of one of their donors allowing this particular deal to happen. He said, ‘What do you mean?’ I said, ‘You think anybody would allow a thing like that to happen? They took care of their donors.’”
He then brought this back to the Clinton Cash corruption scandals. “You look at, like, the Clintons with the Foundation. It’s a disgusting situation,” he said.
He acknowledged his own past contributions to the Clinton Foundation by saying, “Hey, you know what, I gave money to the [Clinton] Foundation, I figured you know maybe they’d use it properly. I didn’t know they were going to use it to fly around on private jets, okay. A lot of people gave money to the Foundation. But some of the money given, I mean, you take a look – what was given for the money. The whole thing is a scam… Our system is broken. It’s badly, badly broken. And if we don’t fix it, we’re not going to have a country left.”
This is clearly a preview of a major theme he intends to strike against Hillary Clinton, and it’s a punch he doesn’t mind telegraphing.