Megyn Kelly sat down with former President Donald Trump to discuss a range of topics, including his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the controversial Operation Warp Speed. The interview was explosive, and at times, confrontational, as Kelly pressed Trump on some of the most contentious issues of his presidency.
Megyn Kelly wasted no time in confronting Trump about his relationship with Dr. Fauci, who has been a polarizing figure, especially among conservatives.
“For years, you’ve been saying that the reason you didn’t fire Anthony Fauci was because he’d been there for a long time, that you would have taken heat, that it would have created a firestorm,” Kelly said.
“You made him a star. This is the criticism of you, that you made him the face of the White House coronavirus,” Kelly said, pointing out that Fauci was present at every press briefing and even received a “presidential commendation.”
Trump responded by downplaying Fauci’s role in his administration and told Kelly he did not give Fauci a presidential commendation. Trump said someone in his administration probably gave it to him. Trump added that he “overrode many of the things” Fauci recommended and allowed governors to make their own decisions.
“I don’t know who gave him the commendation. I really don’t know who gave him… Somebody probably handed him commendation,” Trump said.
“Let me just tell you about Fauci. Fauci was very important in the Biden administration. If you know, he didn’t want to stop China. He wanted to let everyone come in from China. I stopped it. I overrode it. I overrode many of the things he did. He was much less important to me,” Trum added.
He continued, “Now, with that all being said, he’s been there for years. He was respected. He lost a lot of respect because of COVID but he was respected. And on COVID, if you know what I did, I let the governors run their states, and many of the governors opened up their states, some of them didn’t… A lot of the states were not closed. I allowed the governors to do that. I also allowed Democrat governors to do that, but I don’t think any of them none of them did it.”
Kelly then shifted the conversation to Fauci’s advocacy for mask mandates. “Wouldn’t you like to go back and try to clip his wings? This guy was pushing mask mandates on us. He wanted the most extreme measure at every turn,” she pressed.
Trump defended his approach, stating that he’s “not one that blames a system” and that he’s “done things that are a lot worse” than not firing someone. He also mentioned his history of firing people, including former FBI Director James Comey, whom he described as part of the “deep state.”
“I’m not one that blames a system that if you’re civil service or if you have some other protection, that you can’t get fired because I’ve done things that are a lot worse than that,” said Trump.
“I was not a big fan of Fauci. If you look at Ron DeSanctimonious, this guy said the greatest things. I can give you articles. That Fauci’s great. He’s wonderful. We love him. We don’t do anything without Fauci. This went on for months,” Trump said.
Kelly refuted that Gov. Ron DeSantis “didn’t listen to Fauci.”
“He did 100%. He shut down Florida for a lot of long,” Trump said while emphasizing that he allowed governors to make their own decisions.
“I’m not trying to blame anybody, but he should say, I closed it down… But I gave him the right to keep it open if he wanted to. I let the governors make the determination as to whether or not to close it down,” said Trump.
The conversation then shifted to Operation Warp Speed, Trump’s initiative to accelerate the development of COVID-19 vaccines. Kelly questioned whether Trump regretted rushing the vaccines, given that they have both helped and hurt people.
“These are your fans. This is the number one question they wanted me to ask you, that you shut the country down for six weeks in spring of 2020…” Kelly said.
Trump was quick to clarify, “I didn’t really… I let the governors shut down. Some did and some didn’t.”
Kelly then questioned the rapid development of vaccines under Operation Warp Speed.
“The vaccines they were rushed through. They have helped but also hurt a lot of people. And your White House actually supported mask mandates. So wouldn’t you like a do-over on any of that?” asked Kelly.
Trump defended his administration’s actions, stating that when the virus first emerged, “nobody knew what the hell it was.” He emphasized that he was the one to identify the Wuhan Clinic as the source and that he had saved lives by shutting down travel from China. “Nobody really understands it even now, fully,” Trump added.
“Look, when this came in, nobody knew what the hell it was. It sounded like an ancient pandemic. You thought that was from 200 years ago or from 1917. We never thought you’d have a pandemic. Nobody had any idea. We got word that bad things were happening in China right around the Wuhan Clinic, and I was the one who said it was in the Wuhan Clinic, and I stuck with it. And it was. It was absolutely it came out of the Wuhan Clinic.”
“This was brand new. Nobody knew what the hell it was. Somebody said there’s dust coming in from China, and it’s killing people in Italy, and it’s killing people in France, and it’s going to kill people here. And by the way, I shut it down to China. That was a big move. I saved thousands, hundreds of thousands of lives by doing it. But honestly, I don’t blame a lot of people because nobody knew what it was. Now, we do understand it somewhat. Nobody really understands it even now, fully, but nobody knew what COVID was, and it wasn’t even a name. I called it the China virus. I still do. I call it the China virus. It came out of China.”
Trump defended his administration’s efforts, stating that he saved “hundreds of thousands of lives” by acting quickly. He also mentioned that even Democrats have praised him for the vaccine rollout, saying it was “one of the greatest things you’ve ever done.”
“As far as the vaccine is concerned, you had the original COVID, and the vaccine had an impact on that. And there are some people, I will tell you, some friends of mine that are Democrat—I think they voted for me, but they’re Democrat, very smart people, top people. They say, ‘You know, I don’t understand one thing. Why don’t you talk more about the vaccine? It was one of the greatest things you’ve ever done.’ Now, think of that. They say to me, and I say, ‘I’m not going to talk about it one way or the other,’” said Trump.
“First of all, no mandates. I don’t want mandates. I never had mandates… No mandates, no anything. I didn’t demand anybody to take it. But I have people on the other side, not my side, they said ‘You saved 100 million people’ because I got it done in nine months as opposed to five years to twelve years. A lot of people are proud of it. No, I’m not proud of it. I’m saying what Democrats think.” Trump added.
“I’m not somebody who denies some of the good the vaccines did. I lived through that, too,” Kelly responded. “But of course, a lot of people have been vaccine-injured, and that’s one of the questions. Those people are mad that they were rushed through and that they can’t sue.”
It can be recalled Kelly opened up about facing a newly discovered autoimmune issue post-vaccination.
Trump reiterated that he never gave mandates and that people should make their own decisions.
“I never gave mandates, and people have to make up their own make their own decision, as far as I’m concerned,” Trump said.
(Trump’s full interview will be aired on SiriusXM Ch. 111, today at 12 p.m. EST. It will be posted later today on Megan Kelly’s YouTube account.)
The Gateway Pundit previously reported that former President Donald Trump released a fiery video statement vehemently opposing attempts to reinstate COVID-19 restrictions, including lockdowns and mask and vaccine mandates.
Trump’s comments come amidst increased concerns over new variants of COVID-19 in an attempt to manipulate the upcoming 2024 presidential election.
In the video posted on Truth Social, Trump argued that the “left-wing lunatics” are employing scare tactics again about new COVID-19 variants to set the stage for renewed restrictions. He said that the real motive behind this is to influence the upcoming 2024 election through what he describes as an attempt to “restart the COVID hysteria.”
Below is the transcript:
The left-wing lunatics are trying very hard to bring back COVID lockdowns and mandates with all of their sudden fear-mongering about the new variants that are coming.
Gee whiz, you know what else is coming? An election. They want to restart the COVID hysteria so they can justify more lockdowns, more censorship, more illegal dropboxes, more mail-in ballots, and trillions of dollars in payoffs to their political allies heading into the 2024 election. Does that sound familiar?
These are bad people. These are sick people we’re dealing with. But to every COVID tyrant who wants to take away our freedom, hear these words, WE WILL NOT COMPLY, so don’t even think about it.
We will not shut down our schools. We will not accept your lockdowns. We will not abide by your mask mandates, and we will not tolerate your vaccine mandates.
They rigged the 2020 election, and now they’re trying to do the same thing all over again. By rigging the most important election in the history of our country, the 2024 election, even if it means trying to bring back COVID. But they will fail because we will not let it happen.
When I’m back in the White House, I will use every available authority to cut federal funding to any school, college, airline, or public transportation system that imposes a mask mandate or a vaccine mandate.