Frost/Nixon it was not. But at least the golf course got a good plug.
Brexit firebrand Nigel Farage bagged a half an hour sit-down interview with Donald Trump on Wednesday as part of the former U.S. president’s trip to his Turnberry golf resort in Scotland.
The hardball questions just kept on coming as the two men got stuck into everything from how great Trump is to just how massively he’s going to win the next election.
POLITICO tuned in to the GB News session so you didn’t have to.
Trump sees your complex, grinding, war in Ukraine and raises you the deal-making credentials he honed having precisely one meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
“If I were president, I will end that war in one day — it’ll take 24 hours,” the ex-POTUS declared. And he added: “That deal would be easy.”
Time for a probing follow-up from the host to tease out the precise details of Trump’s big plan? Over to you Nige! “I think we’d all love to see that war stop,” the hard-hitting host beamed.
Safe to say Scotland’s former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon — who quit a few months back and whose ruling Scottish National Party now faces the biggest crisis of its time at the top — is not on Trump’s Christmas card list.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever met her,” Trump said. “I’m not sure that I ever met her.” But he knew one thing for certain. Sturgeon “didn’t love Scotland” and has no respect for people who come to the country and spend “a lot of money.” Whoever could he mean?
One Scot did get a thumbs-up though. Sean Connery, who backed Trump’s golf course and was therefore “great, a tough guy.”
Boris Johnson’s big problem? Not the bevy of scandals that helped call time on the beleaguered Conservative British prime minister, that’s for sure.
Instead, Trump reckons it was Johnson’s latter-day conversion to hard-left politics, which went shamefully unreported on by every single British political media outlet at the time. “They really weren’t staying Conservative,” he said of Johnson’s government. “They were … literally going far left. It never made sense.”
Paging the royals: Turns out Joe Biden — who is sending First Lady Jill Biden to King Charles’ coronation this weekend — won’t be there because he is … catching some Zs. “He’s not running the country. He’s now in Delaware, sleeping,” Trump said.
Don’t worry, though: Trump explained how Biden’s government is actually being run by “a very smart group of Marxists or communists, or whatever you want to call them.” Johnson should hang out with those guys!
Trump found time to wade into Britain’s never-ending culture war over the royals, ably assisted by a totally-straight-bat question from Farage who said Britain would be “better off without” Prince Harry turning up to the weekend festival of flag-waving.
Harry’s wife Meghan Markle has, Trump said, been “very disrespectful to the queen, frankly,” and there was “just no reason to do that.” Harry, whose tell-all memoir recently rocked the royals, “said some terrible things” in a book that was “just horrible.”
But do you know one person who really, really respected the queen? Donald J. Trump, who “got to know her very well over the last couple of years” and revealed he once asked her who her favorite president was.
Trump didn’t get an answer, he told Farage — but we’re sure he had one in mind.
Only got half an hour with the indicted former leader of the free world now leading the Republican pack for 2024? Better keep those questions tight!
Happily, Farage got the key stuff in, remarking on how “unbelievable” Trump’s Turnberry golf course is, and how it slots neatly into “the best portfolio of golf courses anyone has ever owned.”
“We come here from this golf course,” Farage helpfully told Trump, from the golf course. “You turned this golf course around. It’s now the No. 1 course in the whole of Britain and Europe. You’ve got this magnificent hotel. You must have missed this place?”
Trump, it turns out, certainly had missed the place. He is, after all, a man with “very powerful ideas on golf and where it should go.” A news ticker reminded us Turnberry is the No. 1 rated golf course in Europe.
A couple of minutes still on the clock, Farage danced delicately around Trump’s recent courtroom drama, saying he had never seen the former president “looking so dejected” as when he sat before the Manhattan Criminal Court last month.
Trump predicted the drama would “go away immediately” if he wasn’t running for president. But he made clear there are still some burning issues keeping him going: Namely, taking on the “sick, horrible people” hounding him through the courts and relitigating the 2020 election result.
In an actual flash of tension, Farage delicately suggested Trump won in 2016 by tapping into voters’ concerns rather than reeling off his own grievances. “You brought this up,” the former president shot back.
At least they ended it on a positive note. Trump said a vote for him in 2024 would “get rid of crime — because our cities, Democrat-run, are crime-infested rat holes.” Unlike Trump Turnberry, which is the No. 1 rated golf course in Europe!