Karl Scolds Trump on Sending Troops to Stop ‘Deeply Impoverished’ Women, Children ‘Fleeing Violence:’ ‘You’re Really Going to Do That?’

In an exclusive interview with President Trump broadcasted on Thursday’s Good Morning America, White House correspondent Jonathan Karl badgered the president on just about every issue, from the illegal alien caravan to the midterms.

Starting with the caravan, anchor George Stephanopoulos led into the interview by mocking the president’s call to send thousands of troops to the border. “[He’s] raising fears of a foreign invasion at odds with the facts,” the former Bill Clinton staffer touted. Karl engaged in the same biased language, skeptically doubted the caravan’s threat, despite reports of kidnapping, previous deportees, and multiple incidents of violence in the massive group. Instead, he gushed about the “impoverished women and children” “fleeing violence,” to President Trump:

“You’re really going to do that?” he scolded. “What we see is deeply impoverished people fleeing violence, many of them women and children. You're going to send 15,000 active duty --?” Karl pressed.

Trump remarked that it was mostly young men and “rough people” in the group, but Karl kept protesting. “[But] they can’t arrest people crossing the border!” he remarked.

Trump said it “depends,” characterizing it as a national emergency and “invasion.”

At that, Karl snarked, “Caravans are an invasion?”

Later on, Karl brought up the midterms less than a week away, and tried to hype the “blue wave” that his network has been hoping for, for months now.

Noting that Trump was “spending all his time in states he won,” Karl bragged that Trump “all but conceded” that Democrats would sweep the House races:

TRUMP: I think we're doing great in the Senate as you would probably see and say and I've heard you say it but we're doing pretty well in the Senate and pretty well in the House. You know what I'll say, it's going to be an interesting evening.

KARL He seems to be all but conceding that Democrats are likely to win control of the House. Can you work with them if the Democrats win the House?

After spending some time questioning whether or not Trump told the truth all the time, Karl and Stephanopoulos refocused on the midterms, again hyping the unknowable possibility that Democrats would take over the House:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Jon, the president did seem a lot more comfortable about the Senate than the House in his talk. Are they bracing the White House for a loss in the House, especially as you pointed out with the possibility of new investigations coming?

KARL: There's no question that they are already preparing for that and you can see it in the president's schedule, George. The president is going to states to campaign for Senate candidates. He's not going to campaign for House candidates. He's going -- those Republican states, the states that he won that have Democrats up for re-election, he's campaigning hard there and really not even contesting, pushing hard on the House candidates right now.

 

Read the full transcript below:

 

Good Morning America

11/1/18

7:02:45-7:08:27AM

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We begin with ABC’s exclusive interview with President Trump. Just five days before the midterms he wants all the focus on his signature issue surprising even the Pentagon with a new call to send more troops to the Mexican border raising fears of a foreign invasion at odds with the facts. Our Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl spoke with him last night after a campaign rally in Florida and joins us now. Good morning, Jon.

JON KARL: Good morning. I flew with the president down to Florida aboard Air Force One where he kicked off his final sprint of campaign rallies going into election day. I spoke to him backstage and began by asking him about that call to dramatically increase the number of active duty U.S. military personnel going to the border. Okay, you're talking about 10,000, maybe 15,000 active duty U.S. Military to the border. More than we have fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. More than we have fighting ISIS in Syria. You're really--You’re really going to do that?

TRUMP: It's very important. We have to have a wall of people, very highly trained people, dedicated patriots is what they are. You have caravans coming up that look a lot larger than reported. I'm pretty good at estimating crowd size, and I will tell you they look a lot bigger than people would think.

KARL: What we see is deeply impoverished people fleeing violence, many of them women and children. You're going to send 15,000 active duty --

TRUMP: It's mostly men and mostly young men, a lot rough people Jon. Pushing women up into the front, not good and pushing the few kids right up to the front.

KARL: But they're 900 miles away. The active duty military. You know the law. You're the president. They can't arrest people crossing the border. They can’t--

TRUMP: It depends. It depends. National emergency covers a lot of territory -- they can't invade our country. You look at that and it almost looks like an invasion. It really does look like an invasion.

KARL: Caravans are an invasion?

TRUMP: I think so.

When you look at some of the people within the caravan, yeah, I think it could be considered an invasion of our country. We can't have it.

KARL: But there's been no formal national emergency declaration which means those troops can only act in support of border patrol doing things like transporting agents and building tents. President trump has made fear of illegal immigrants a key theme of his closing argument but health care has emerged as a top campaign issue with many Republicans have hammered over a GOP lawsuit that would do away with Obamacare's requirement that insurance companies must cover people with pre-existing conditions. A lawsuit supported by the White House. You've been saying that Democrats want to take away pre-existing conditions. I mean, it's your administration that is supporting a lawsuit that would allow --

TRUMP: But I’m going to replace pre-existing conditions conditions and I've always been there. What the Democrats are going to do is they're going to destroy our entire health care and you won't have any health care.

KARL: As President Trump makes his final push before Tuesday’s election he is spending all of his time in states he won. Campaigning for candidates for senate and governor.

TRUMP: I think we're doing great in the Senate as you would probably see and say and I've heard you say it but we're doing pretty well in the Senate and pretty well in the House. You know what I'll say, it's going to be an interesting evening.

KARL He seems to be all but conceding that Democrats are likely to win control of the House. Can you work with them if the Democrats win the House?

TRUMP: Well, we'd certainly try. I'm looking to unify. We will certainly try. They've had a very hard time because they haven't been winning and see what happens in five days from now. It will be very exciting and will be a close race. They don't talk about the blue wave anymore. It’s going to be a very close race. I think the senate, we're looking good and feel good about the senate and frankly I think we feel pretty good about the House. A lot of people, so many races, it's hard for me to get to every one of them.

KARL: Getting into the investigations and they get into your business dealings, ask for your tax returns--

TRUMP: I've been an open book for so long. You know that better than anybody. I'm an open book. And, frankly, so many people have looked at me for so many years and I guess it's probably one of the reasons I won, but I think that they're going to want to get along too.

KARL: Finally I remember -- you remember well on the campaign you made a promise.

TRUMP: In this journey I will never lie to you. I will never tell you something I do not believe.

KARL: Can you tell me now honestly have you kept to that promise at all times? Have you always -- if--

TRUMP: Well, I try. I do try. I think you try too. You say things about me not necessarily correct. I do try and I always want to tell the truth. When I can, I tell the truth. Sometimes it turns out to be where something happen, it's different or there's a change but I always like to be truthful.

KARL: Mr. Trump has a long and established record of making exaggerations and false claims. The "Washington post" post claims more than 5,000 false or misleading claims since he became president. One of the misstatements that I asked him about was his statement that the United States is the only country in the world that has birthright citizenship. In fact, there are more than 30 countries that have birthright citizenship including Canada. When I pressed him on that he said simply that is what I was told. George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Jon, the president did seem a lot more comfortable about the Senate than the House in his talk. Are they bracing the White House for a loss in the House, especially as you pointed out with the possibility of new investigations coming?

KARL: There's no question that they are already preparing for that and you can see it in the president's schedule, George. The president is going to states to campaign for senate candidates. He's not going to campaign for house candidates. He's going -- those Republican states, the states that he won that have Democrats up for re-election, he's campaigning hard there and really not even contesting, pushing hard on the house candidates right now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Jon Karl, thanks very much.

 
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