RUSH: So the president's 30 minutes on the program yesterday was actually 25 minutes, 20 minutes, ended the program, didn't have a chance to discuss it afterwards, did not have a chance to do a postmortem. So we're gonna do that now with the aid and assistance of Drive-By Media reaction.
Now, I can't even begin to share with you all of that reaction. There were hundreds of mentions of the Trump interview. Many in the Drive-By Media were livid that Trump appeared here and not with them, which is crazy. Trump spends more time with the Drive-By Media than any president in our memory, whether it be at NATO, whether it be on the South Lawn at the White House on the way to the helicopter.
The one thing the president stopped doing and our old buddy at CNN Jim Acosta mentioned this in a tweet, he's very upset about it, the formal White House press briefing has ended. It doesn't happen. There hasn't been one in over a year or close to it. And the Drive-Bys are very upset about this because that's when they got their faces on TV and that's when they had their chance to try to embarrass the president, make big names for themselves. Now they don't get to do that.
Now when Trump meets the press, it's all of them lined up on the driveway at the White House shouting like a bunch of Romper Room 6-year-olds. “Mr. President! Mr. President!” And you can't see them. All you see is Trump. And he looks like a maestro conducting the orchestra pointing to this media person and pointing to that one and telling this one to shut up, putting his index finger to his mouth. And he spends half an hour with them. I mean, this guy spends more time with the press than any previous president ever. And yet they're still complaining about lack of access and lack of this.
So he shows up on this program yesterday, and many of them said that's not right, he shouldn't come to places like this. He shouldn't come to places where he's supported. He shouldn't come to places where people that talk to him and interview him are friendly with him, it shouldn't happen. Well, I guess that would disqualify all of them from ever talking to Obama, then, right? 'Cause that's all it was was a bunch of fawning, slavish hero worship when the Drive-By Media spent time with Barack Hussein O.
Now, you can tell these guys are bothered by the fact that he's on this program, not with them, very snarky about it. We have some audio sound bites to illustrate this. We'll start here at the top. There's another thing here about this. This interview had at least three -- if this were a normal press-president relationship, there were three things the president said yesterday that were genuine news. And they've ignored all of it, as they always do, in place of attacking him in the way they have become famous for.
So here is a montage of a bunch of the Drive-Bys. And this montage is an example of how much they heard. Now, this is a sign of how great an interview it was. I wouldn't normally point that out. But this is how great an interview it was by how many different things the Drive-By Media heard in the interview.
KAITLAN COLLINS: With nothing else on his public schedule, President Trump called into Rush Limbaugh's radio show today to defend the U.S. air strike.
JIM ACOSTA: The president told conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, he’s waiting to see what Iran does next.
MICHAEL WARREN: On Rush Limbaugh's radio show in a 20-minute conversation Donald Trump brought up Barack Obama's name four times in the first five minutes.
BLAKE BURMAN: During that interview, the president continued to defend his decision to take out that Iranian general.
HILLARY VAUGHN: President Trump saying that he took care of what the administrations under President Obama and President Bush didn’t.
NATALIE BRAND: President Trump told Rush Limbaugh, Soleimani should have been taken out a long time ago.
LAURA JARRETT: What he said with Rush Limbaugh, of course making this about President Obama, a familiar target.
HANS NICHOLS: He should have been taken out, as he said, 15 to 20 years ago.
JOHN ROBERTS: President Trump speaking to Rush Limbaugh on his radio program saying that Soleimani had it coming.
RUSH: All right. So they have all these different takes of what happened in the interview yesterday. Here's Jonathan Karl on ABC's World News Tonight.
KARL: Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh asked the president to explain why he ordered the strike when he did.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Could you explain to people why what you've done here makes us safer, why it was necessary, and why what we did was right?
THE PRESIDENT: He should have been taken out a long time ago. And we had a shot at it, and we took him out. And we're a lot safer now because of it.
KARL: But the president made no mention of an imminent threat.
RUSH: It just kills these guys that the president was here. It kills these guys that your host, El Rushbo, the beloved radio talk show host was asking the president questions. They think it's their God-given right to do this, their constitutional right. So you note the snark here. “But the president made no mention of an imminent threat. “
No mention of an imminent threat? Have you listened to the Iranians making all the noise about what they're gonna do next? It's just all so predictable. Here's Brian Stelter at CNN saying that it's not normal, it's not normal for the president to do what he did yesterday, talking to a radio talk show host.
STELTER: We need to recognize it’s not normal. A strong administration, a confident administration would want to answer lots of questions. But instead the president right now is on the phone with Rush Limbaugh, his friend Rush Limbaugh on the radio giving rants, giving speeches. That’s the way the president likes it.
They could be winning back credibility one true statement at a time, one piece of evidence at a time. That’s what journalists do every day. If we make a mistake, we correct it. We try to get better every day. And unfortunately, this administration doesn't seem to want to win back credibility, instead President Trump wants to stay in his bunker, his Rush Limbaugh, talk radio, Fox News bunker.
RUSH: I mean, they cannot help but turn it around and make it about them. "We journalists, we try to get better every day. We try to win credibility back every day. We try to do one true statement at a time. That's what the president ought --" So by virtue of appearing here, the president was not being truthful. See? By virtue of appearing on this program, the president was being dishonest. The president didn't have to even be credible. These guys, it's hard to believe. In this instance, Donald Trump's yesterday appearing on this program talking to his base.
And, you know, can I tell you something about this, folks? There is -- and I don't know what percentage of it, but there's a percentage of Trump's base that's not happy with this Iranian stuff. There's a percentage of Trump's base that doesn't want any more U.S. engagement overseas, military engagement. Been there, done that, waste of resources over there, not our problem, especially now that we're energy independent. It's not our problem.
Now, I don't know what percentage of Trump's base is upset about this, but there are some in the Trump base who are, who think that this is not exactly what the president promised when he was campaigning in 2016. And there are also some people who think the president has squandered something. Every president strives for the old axiom of peace and prosperity.
If you can lay claim as president to your presidency, your time being a time of peace and prosperity, nobody can beat you. And we've got the prosperity in spades, and we have the peace in spades. We're not at war. And Donald Trump is the only president in the modern era who has not started a war until this hit on Soleimani.
So now the question comes, okay, is this starting a war, or is this ending a war? Is it starting a war or is it involvement in a war that has been going on for who knows how long and it's time that the people who have been committing atrocities against our people get paid back for it. I mean, you can look at it any number of ways. I don’t look at this as starting a war but there are clearly some Trump supporters that probably do. So the president comes here. This is an election year. He's got to have his base. If he doesn't have his base, then all the rest of it's academic.
So it's not the president seeking safety and security coming here. It's tactically and strategic. A good percentage of this audience is Trump voters, Trump base. He doesn't know, nobody knows how many of them maybe don't support this. He comes here to explain it. It makes all the sense in the world. This is not cowardice. This is not refusing tough questions. The president obviously felt that it was worth his time to appear on a program that he's confident reaches a bunch of his voters.
It makes absolutely perfect sense. So the question would have to be put to you: If you're in the camp that thinks this is a big strategic mistake and a waste of American resources, did the president convince you yesterday that this is worth our while or not? This is not, you know, he wasted 30 minutes showing up with some friendly host throwing softballs at him. This is maintaining the base. This is all part of the reelection strategery of 2016.
Anybody knows that in politics, if you don't hold your base, all the rest of it becomes sort of meaningless. Here's Don Lemon, the smartest man... (chuckles) "the dumbest man on television," and that's a tough competition now. You got Fredo out there; you've got Don Lemon. You know, half the CNN roster and 75% of the MSNBC roster is in the competition for dumbest person on TV. So out of everything that happened on this interview yesterday, here's what Don Lemon on his show on CNN last night took away from it...
LEMON: This is what he told right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh today about Qassem Soleimani...
THE PRESIDENT: He's a terrorist. He was designated a terrorist by President Obama, and then Obama did nothing about it.
LEMON: Okay. So if... (sputtering) If you're watching -- Rush, whoever, anyone who's watching -- say with me, everyone: "Barack Obama is not president anymore."
RUSH: Thank God!
LEMON: We can say it together: "Barack Obama is not president anymore!"
RUSH: Thank God!
LEMON: He's not the president anymore.
RUSH: Thank God!
LEMON: Barack Obama's been out of office for nearly three years.
RUSH: Thank God.
LEMON: President Trump owns this crisis, another one of his own making.
RUSH: So you see, all Trump had to do was mention Obama. These guys are gonna go to their political graves doing everything they have to to defend the Obama legacy, the Obama administration, including the Iranian nuclear deal. So here's Trump attacking Obama. Don Lemon thinks it's irrelevant. "Obama's not president!" He was for eight years, and there are a lot of remnants of the Obama regime that have to be cleaned up, and this is one of them. It's exactly what Trump said.
It's not hard to understand. So Lemon cannot refute the president substantively. Instead he has to (impression), "He can't get over mentioning Obama. Let... Let me tell you, everybody following along now! Uh, Barack Obama is not president. Let me tell one more time. Barack Obama is..." Well, he was, and we're still paying the price for it in a whole lot of ways like immigration and health care and economics -- and a bunch of the stuff that he did is in the process of being reversed and fixed, including this stuff.
Don Surber wrote a post at his blog, DonSurber.blogspot.com, a miniature review of Trump's appearance here yesterday, and he pointed out that Trump saying that this should have been done 15 to 20 years ago, taking out Soleimani. In Don Surber's view, that is major news. It should have been page one news.
The media's been chomping at the bit to get to Trump to ask him why he did this, and he answered it here. He said it should have been done 15, 20 years ago. This guy's taking out Americans, and murdering Americans, IEDs, plotting the attacks, the last one on the embassy in Baghdad. This stuff's gotta stuff! That should be page 1 news, but it isn't page 1 news because they didn't get it. We did, here at the EIB Network. So instead, they talk about all this.
"Trump chose a safe place! Trump couldn't stop talking about Obama." Surber also pointed out what he thought was an intriguing piece or portion of the interview. Pull quote: "Limbaugh later set up perfectly, asking, 'A lot of things had to surprise you when you assumed office and found out some things that had been done previously in policy. What was the purpose of American policy with Iran prior to your presidency?' President Trump said, 'I don’t think they had a purpose. I don’t think they knew what was happening.
"'Why did give them $150 billion, much of it going back into terror? If you look at what’s happening... When I first came into office, I went to the Pentagon, and they showed me 18 'sites of confliction,' meaning conflict, over there. And every one of them was started by Iran, either their soldiers or they paid for soldiers, soldiers for hire. I have no idea what they tried to do with appeasement,'" meaning the Obama administration and previous administrations.
"Death to America is more than a just slogan. Iran has us tied up in 18 little wars." Now, Surber thinks this should have been front-page news as well, the president pointing this out. You know, here's a question for you -- and the president tore into John Kerry yesterday. He literally tore into him, and the Drive-Bys have totally ignored that. But he tore into John Kerry as essentially being a coconspirator with Iran in their ability to nuke up.
I don't care what you think of Trump and I don't care what you think of Kerry. A president of the United States saying that about a former secretary of state is news, and they totally ignored it. Why did they ignore that? Why didn't they run with that and make fun of Trump? I think it's obviously because they don't even want to ask. You know, like, they don't want to go, "What was that $150 billion for?"
Have you seen, uh, ladies and gentlemen? Have you seen some of the tweets that suggest that the Iranians were using some of that money to blackmail or pay off Americans to support the Iranian nuclear deal? Now, Trump did not mention that, so don't anybody confuse me here, confuse what I'm saying. But there are a lot of people who think Obama dropped off $150 billion, $1.8 billion in cash on the pallets. For what?
Well, if the Iranians are paying people off around the world -- Great Britain, United States, whatever -- to support the Iranian nuclear deal, that could be one of the sources of the money. (Snort!) I tell you, what I have learned and seen about the way things operate in the so-called establishments around the world -- European Union, you name it -- nothing like that would surprise me anymore, and it wasn't that long ago that anybody who said that, I would pooh-pooh it as an insane conspiracy theory.
RUSH: Here is Joe in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Joe, can I tell you a quick story about Sheboygan? When I was growing up in my hometown, Cape Girardeau, the local newsman did the weather as well, Don McNeely was his name, KFVS-TV channel 12. He always gave the weather in Sheboygan.
Nobody in Cape Girardeau cared a whit about what was happening in Sheboygan. He just liked to say the word. So I knew growing up what the weather and temperature in Sheboygan was every day I watched television growing up. I just thought you should know that.
CALLER: It's about 35 degrees today here, Rush, but we're all warmed up by listening to you and the great information that you share.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Let me just say mega dittos, Maha Rushie, and Rush, what better title could you have than Maha Rushie, so I don't think anything else is worthy than Maha Rushie for you. Hey, I'm a longtime listener, first-time caller. I actually started listening to you back in the early nineties when I was in the People's Republic of Madison as a rare conservative student --
CALLER: Oh, yeah.
CALLER: -- up in Madison.
RUSH: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
CALLER: I appreciate the information that you’ve shared with me throughout the past 30 years. It's helped me to be a well-informed voter and a good citizen.
RUSH: I appreciate that. You know what? That's very nice of you to say.
CALLER: Yeah, and before I talk about the president's call yesterday into the EIB, I just want to mention as well, my son William, he's dying. He's gonna be envious, he's at school today, but he's read all five of the Rush Revere books, and he read them about two years ago when he was 7 and literally for the past two years every Friday that he's been home from school when they're off, he's tried to call into the EIB Network. And he hasn't been able to get through, but I will share this call with him today. He's a huge fan of Rush Revere. I finally broke down and got him a Liberty doll this Christmas, and dad got a Stand Up for Betsy Ross T-shirt --
RUSH: Well, hang on when we finish the call, because we've got a whole package of stuff from Revereville that we would love to send him. So hang on. We'll get your address and stuff at the end of the call.
CALLER: William's got 43 first cousins, so he's trying to get all of them to read all five books, and he's really hoping that you'll write more books, you know, whether it be about the Electoral College, which I'm trying to educate him about, or, who knows, maybe even impeachment. I think Rush Revere and Liberty could have some great adventures with those two subjects as well.
RUSH: God bless you.
CALLER: Let me tell you about how excited I was yesterday to hear that the president was gonna be calling in to your show. My wife and I actually rearranged our entire schedules for the afternoon so that we could have a chance to listen to the president. And I really want to compliment the president for reaching out to all of us, your great listener base and sharing with us a lot of information and insight with some of the things that he's involved in right now.
But, Rush, I really believe the bigger compliment has to go to you and us as your listeners. Obviously the work that you do behind the Golden EIB Microphone and all of us who's your listeners across this great nation, we are a respected and an appreciated constituency, and I'm just humbled that the president of the United States would find value in reaching out to us.
RUSH: Thank you, sir. Now, hang on. Hang on. Don't hang up. Don't hang up.
RUSH: One of the points our previous caller was gonna make before we sadly ran out of time was that he was overwhelmingly impressed that the president sat through a commercial break. And that's an astute observation. We did take a commercial break, and during the break, Mr. Snerdley said to the president, "It's not gonna be long. We'll be back here in about eight minutes. It's one of our shortest commercial breaks."
And the president, “Not a problem at all. You tell Rush I understand how this works. You gotta make the big money to pay the big money. So you tell him to do whatever he's gotta do. I'll wait here until it's time to get back." And that's what he did.
And I made the executive decision to blow through the second spot break, 'cause if I hadn't done that, the last segment with the president would have been three minutes instead of 10, and there was no way I was gonna -- he just barely gets wound up. He's like me, three minutes, Mr. President, thank you, sad to say out of time. You know, still be seven minutes to 3 o'clock. So he was cooperative. It was a very astute observation on the part of the caller.
RUSH: Yeah, I just watching the president's in the Oval Office telling the media what he told you yesterday on this program. He's explaining why the hit on Qassem Salmonella -- no, Soleimani. He's explaining how bad the guy was. He's gonna declassify some of the intel tomorrow, and Trump is justifying it in ways he doesn't even have to, but you already know about it 'cause you heard the president here yesterday.