Trump Talks Shutdown, Roger Stone, NFL Protest in Super Bowl Interview - Rolling Stone
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Trump Talks Shutdown, Roger Stone, NFL Protests in Pre-Super Bowl Interview

The president also discussed foreign policy and whether he would want his son to play football

President Donald Trump appeared in an interview with CBS’s Margaret Brennan that aired on Sunday. Topics ranged from another potential government shutdown, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a pardon for Roger Stone, protest in the NFL, and pulling troops from abroad.

When discussing another potential government shutdown, Trump said, “I don’t take anything off the table. I don’t like to take things off the table.”

He then bashed Pelosi, saying she was “rigid” and unwilling to compromise on border security. It’s untrue, of course, and Brennan pointed out that Pelosi offered him a billion dollars for border security, but Trump responded by trashing Pelosi further. “You have people dying all over the country because of people like Nancy Pelosi who don’t want to give proper border security for political reasons, she’s doing a terrible disservice to our country,” the president said.

Trump then dodged a question about insulting his intelligence advisors and talked about how he wants to bring U.S. troops home from stations abroad, adding a seemingly off-the-cuff remark that he wants to keep troops in Iraq to keep an eye on Iran.

The conversation next moved to the NFL, where Trump tried to take credit for there being fewer protests this season because he passed the FIRST STEP Act, a criminal justice reform bill, as if that was why players were kneeling during the national anthem.

For the record, this is how Colin Kaepernick, who started the protests in the NFL, explained his thinking: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Trump also, notably, said that if his son, Barron, wanted to play football, he would not encourage it. He spoke of head injuries and called football “a dangerous sport,” saying, “The helmets have gotten far better but it hasn’t solved the problem. So, you know, I hate to say it because I love to watch football. I think the NFL is a great product, but I really think that as far as my son—well I’ve heard NFL players saying they wouldn’t let their sons play football. So. It’s not totally unique, but I would have a hard time with it.”

Asked if he would pardon former advisor Roger Stone, Trump said he hadn’t considered it (ha!), telling Brennan, “I have not thought about it. It looks like he’s defending himself very well.”

The interview, as usual, was full of Trump dodges and lies, and little pushback from Brennan.

In This Article: Donald Trump


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