Trump: U.S. Treated As World's Policeman; China, Russia Don't "Police The World"
President Trump is interviewed by FOX News Channel host Tucker Carlson about his decision to not strike Iran, trade with China, Afghanistan, homelessness, and the influence social media and big tech companies wield politically.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Two American servicemen killed in Afghanistan this week. How much longer do you think our troops will stay?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, I'll tell you. I've wanted to pull them out. And you know, I have pulled a lot out. We were at 16,000. We're down to about 9,000, which a lot of people don't know.
In Syria, as you know, I've pulled most of them out. We've defeated the Caliphate. Now when you say Caliphate and defeat, the Caliphate's land, it's an area we've taken back a hundred percent.
But these people -- ISIS -- they're stone cold crazy. So that doesn't mean somebody is not going to walk into a store and blow up a store, which they do.
So I never say defeated them, but they were decimated. And this went on for a long time and other people didn't do what I did. We did it. We did it very effectively. Our military, there's no military like our military in the world. I don't want to have to use it very often. But we took back the Caliphate.
With Afghanistan, it's 19 years and we should not have been there 19 years and if we were, you know, it would be nice to fight to win. But it's just 19 years.
They're building hotels -- we are. I mean, we had a Holiday Inn that cost numbers that would be 10 times what it should have cost.They built a gas station, a pretty famous deal where it costs like $80 million to build a gas station.
CARLSON: It's Lawford gas station.
TRUMP: Maybe more. Okay. They probably did. If they report 80, that means more.
And we have the greatest fighters in the world. But when you're 19 years, you're really becoming like a police force. So we have pulled it back. We're actually negotiating with various people. But we want to get out. We want to get out of a lot of areas that we're in. We shouldn't be there. We shouldn't be there. We're the policeman for the whole world.
You know, if you look at Russia, Russia doesn't police the world. Russia has -- you know, they police Russia.
TRUMP: You look at China. They don't police. They don’t have troops everywhere. What they have is, they have people taking out the minerals out of the ground. They don't have troops.
We have a case in Afghanistan where we have troops on one mountain, it's a very mountainous country, rough country, beautiful country, actually in a lot of ways. But we have troops, and on the other mountain ridge, China is there with big excavating equipment, taking out minerals. They don’t have people. Now, it's pretty dangerous for them, because their people tend to be shot as they're operating the machines. You know, it's not exactly the safest place.
So we've reduced the force very substantially in Afghanistan, which I don't talk about very much, and that's okay.
CARLSON: Could you see getting out entirely?
TRUMP: I'll tell you the problem is, look, I would like to just get out. The problem is, it just seems to be a lab for terrorists. It seems -- I call it the Harvard of terrorists.
When you look at the World Trade Center, they were trained. They didn't --- by the way, they attacked the wrong country. They didn't come from Iraq, all right. They came from various other countries.
But they all formed in Afghanistan, and it's probably because it's at the base of so many countries, but they all formed and it's rough mountains and you get a lot of -- you know, you get a lot of good hiding places.
But I would leave very strong intelligence there. You have to watch because they do -- you know, okay, I'll give you a tough one. If you were in my position and a great looking central casting and we have great generals, a great central casting general walks up to your office, I say, "We're getting out." "Yes, sir. We'll get out. Yes, sir."
I'll say, "What do you think of that?" "Sir, I'd rather attack them over there, then attack them in our land." In other words, them coming here. That's always a very tough decision, you know, with what happened with the World Trade Center, et cetera et cetera.
When they say that, you know, no matter how you feel, and you and I feel pretty much very similar. But when you're standing there, and you have some really talented military people saying, "I'd rather attack them over there than have them hit us over here and fight them on our land." It's something you always have to think about.
Now, I would leave and will leave -- we will be leaving. Very strong Intelligence, far more than you would normally think because it's very important, and we can do it that way, too. But we have reduced the forces very substantially in Afghanistan.
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