Donald Trump called his critics ‘savages’ and claimed his opponents will try and ‘steal’ the election again in the preview of his interview with Tucker Carlson – which will run at the same time as the Republican presidential debate.
Former Fox News host Carlson asked the former president if the U.S. was heading towards a civil war and if he was ‘worried’ his enemies were going to try and ‘kill’ him in the first clip of their conversation that will air at 9 pm.
Trump told Carlson he doesn’t think President Joe Biden will ‘make it’ when asked about his health and also accused Mitch McConnell of trying to drum up assistance to impeach him.
Carlson previews clips of what he is billing as an intense interview with the former president, playing up threats of violence, civil war, and President Biden’s health.
The preview comes out hours before Trump was set to air on X, the platform previously known as Twitter – directly competing against the first Republican presidential debate, where rivals are readying to get a leg up to become an alternative to Trump.
‘Are you worried that they are going to try to kill you?’ is just one of the explosive questions that Carlson asks him, in an interview on Trump’s home turf at his Bedminster, New Jersey country club.
‘Do you think we’re moving toward Civil War?’ was another, along with, ‘Whatever happened to Mike Pence?’
That is a reference to Trump’s former vice president, who is on the debate stage, polling in the low single digits, but vigorously denying Trump’s claims he had the authority to reject votes certified by the states on January 6.
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Early sneak peeks indicate Trump plans to lash out against his usual enemies. He alleges Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who voted against his impeachment twice, was gathering votes in favor of it. He said McConnell was ‘trying to get senators to impeach me.’
‘I don’t think he’s going to make it to the gate but you never know,’ he says about President Joe Biden, 80, in a remark that appears to indicate he believes his chief opponent won’t make it.
Biden’s own campaign team slammed the interview before it came out as a ‘softball’ interview promoting ‘conspiracy theories.’
‘They’re savage animals they are people that are sick,’ Trump says of his enemies in the clip.
‘There’s a level of hatred that I’ve never seen,’ he adds.
The prime-time drama comes hours before Trump plans to surrender to authorities in Fulton County, Georgia, Thursday to be processed and have his mugshot taken, after being indicted on racketeering conspiracy charges related to his election overturn effort in the state.
The early excerpts appear to indicate Trump was able to take free shots – without a moderator cutting off his time, or another candidate trying to push back at his own record or time in office.
‘Crooked Joe Biden is so bad he’s the worst president in the history of our country,’ Trump says in the clip, in a line that might have come from the Truth Social platform he owns.
His interview with Carlson was a carefully selected venue on X, a platform owned by Elon Musk, who reinstated Trump’s suspended Twitter account.
Carlson was pushed out of Fox following a massive settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, which sued the network for airing election conspiracy theories about its equipment. The company settled for $787 million.
On Wednesday, the network is trying to draw viewers to its prime-time debate in Milwaukee, in a swing state Trump won in 2016 but lost in 2020.
In texts released during the litigation, Carlson was revealed writing on January 4, 2020:
‘We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I truly can’t wait.’ Then he wrote: ‘I hate him passionately.’
But his platform offers a benefit for both men. Carlson can reestablish himself while elbowing the network that jettisoned him, while still paying his hefty salary. Trump gets to be on air without letting rivals gain an advantage over him.
Carlson also asked Trump why he wasn’t at the debate. Rivals including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have characterized him as afraid to show up. Trump has said he was sitting on a big lead and didn’t need to.
The most HILARIOUS part of Fox News’s insane debate rules. ???? You know Tucker Carlson & Trump are laughing their heads off about this.
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) August 23, 2023
Here’s what’s happening at 8:55pm ET. pic.twitter.com/UZcgSnv6Nm
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 23, 2023
"I think they should come out and immediately speak about President Trump and how what's happening is a witch hunt."
— Real America's Voice (RAV) (@RealAmVoice) August 23, 2023
????BREAKING: Tucker Carlson biographer @Chadwick_Moore reveals Fox News whistleblower has come forward about an active BAN at the network from mentioning Tucker Carlson's historic interview with Trump tonight:
"They are totally banned— all shows are banned— from even mentioning… pic.twitter.com/VrL5vZqQXu
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) August 23, 2023