President Trump, in an exclusive interview with Fox News' Ainsley Earhardt, warned that the “market would crash” if he's ever impeached -- while questioning why Democrats would even consider that course in the future.
“I don’t know how you can impeach somebody who’s done a great job,” Trump said, in the interview which aired Thursday on "Fox & Friends."
The president weighed in on calls from the left to pursue impeachment if Democrats seize the House in the midterms. That speculation kicked up following the plea deal struck by his former attorney Michael Cohen claiming the president was involved in hush-money payments and admitting campaign finance violations related to them.
The president argued that he's done a great job in office, despite the critical coverage in connection with the Cohen case and other controversies.
Further, he warned, “If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash, I think everybody would be very poor, because without this thinking, you would see — you would see numbers that you wouldn’t believe in reverse.”
The president touted his economic accomplishments, claiming that the economy was going to be “down” if he hadn’t been elected.
“I freed up, I got rid of regulations, the tax cut was a tremendous thing,” Trump said.
He added: “Had Hillary and the Democrats gotten in, had she been president, you would have had negative growth. We picked up $10 trillion worth.”
Impeachment talk is still confined to certain corners of the Democratic Party. Top House Democrats have largely pushed back on calls to pursue that option, though some have kept the door open.
Many Democrats have said the Cohen plea creates legal risks for Trump. "The factual basis of the plea, potentially implicating the president in illegal campaign finance violations, adds to the president’s legal jeopardy," Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., top House Intelligence Committee Democrat, said in a statement.
The president also hit on immigration in the interview — saying “we’re doing a record-breaking job, but we have bad laws.”
“You know when you have bad laws you can do good. But you can do a lot better if you had good laws. So they’ll all get changed, but we have to elect more Republicans,” Trump said.
The president was asked about the murder of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts, whom he called “a beautiful young girl.”
“She was killed by a horrible person that came in from Mexico, illegally here. Found by ICE, our great ICE who’s abused by the Democrats and the left. And without them, you might not be sitting here so comfortably right now. I just think it’s so sad,” Trump said.
Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, in the U.S. illegally from Mexico, was charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday in Tibbetts’ death. He is currently being held on a federal immigration detainer.
“We’re building the wall. It’s already started. We’ve spent $3.2 billion on it. We’re asking for $5 billion for this year’s funding. The wall is going up. A lot of people don’t know it,” Trump said.
He added that he would “like to build it even faster,” but said working with the Democrats is “very tough.”
“We’re doing an incredible job,” Trump said.
The president said he would give himself and his presidency, thus far, an “A plus.”
“I don’t think any president has ever done what I’ve done in this short, we haven’t even been two years, biggest tax cuts in history, soon-to-be two unbelievable Supreme Court justices—I’m sure that Justice Kavanaugh will be approved, Justice Gorsuch has been a star,” Trump said. “You look at all of the things we’ve done with regulations, the economy is the best it’s ever been in history.”
Trump announced Brett Kavanaugh as his choice to replace retired Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy on the bench. His confirmation hearing is expected in the Senate in early September, though some Democrats are pushing for delays after the Cohen plea.
The one area where Trump said he was not succeeding was with the media.
“The only thing I’m doing badly on is the press doesn’t cover me fairly,” Trump said. “I thought after I won, you know, they killed me during the campaign. Just killed me. I said well, one good thing about winning, I’ve showed them, so now I’m going to get fair press.”
He added: “Guess what, it got worse. It’s worse.”
The president has routinely mocked and attacked media outlets — like CNN, NBC, The New York Times, and The Washington Post -- over critical stories that he often disputes. Last week, more than 300 publications across the country participated in coordinated editorial columns promoting freedom of the press and criticizing Trump.
Trump went on to criticize the media coverage of his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, last month.
“My meeting with Putin was a tremendous success, I got killed by the fake news,” Trump said. “They wanted me to go up and punch him in the face. I said I want to get along with Russia. I want to get along with everybody.”
He added: “They said I was too rough on North Korea, remember that, too rough. But with Putin, they said I was too soft.”
The president angered members of both parties at the Putin summit by saying both countries share blame for damaged relations and by not firmly standing by U.S. intelligence assessments that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections.
Trump praised his wife, Melania Trump, for her grace through negative media coverage of the first family and his administration.
“She is doing great. She's a terrific woman. She goes through a lot with all this publicity. But she's a terrific woman, she's doing great,” Trump said, adding that unfavorable coverage and publicity is “part of my life.”
He added: “I’ve always won. I’ve always won. It was controversial when I ran, and I won, and now the country’s doing better than it’s ever done.”