Donald Trump Kinda Sorta Laid Out His Second-Term Agenda

ElectionsWhite House 2024 Election
Donald Trump Kinda Sorta Laid Out His Second-Term Agenda

Former President Donald Trump did a lengthy interview with Time where he kind of sort of lays out a second-term agenda to the degree that his lying cable news-addled brain is able to. The interview (there were actually two of them, with another coming two weeks later) is very long and slightly incoherent and very Trump (you can read Time’s summary of it here).

Reading through the whole transcript reveals Trump at his Trumpiest, and Time really showed everyone how to do this with a write-up, the transcript, and a fact-check while National Political Correspondent Eric Cortellessa did an excellent job keeping Trump talking while picking his spots to try to pin him down on an answer. The hyperlinks to the fact-check in the Trump quotes below are their way of calling bullshit on him.

I’m going to highlight the most pertinent Trump quotes from the interview in chronological order, and attempt to build an honest version of Trump’s issues page, so we can get an idea of what the Republican nominee has planned for us in his own words (Cortellessa’s questions are in bold).

On Day One Trump Will Issue Mass Deportations Using the U.S. Military

Trump: We will be using local law enforcement. And we will absolutely start with the criminals that are coming in…

Does that include using the U.S. military?

Trump: It would. When we talk military, generally speaking, I talk National Guard…But if I thought things were getting out of control, I would have no problem using the military, per se.


Get Ready for Some Absolutely Batshit Crazy Lies and Legislation

Trump: But there are far more problems with what’s happened now, where police are standing outside of a department store as it’s being robbed and 500 mostly young people are walking out carrying air conditioners and televisions and everything else. And the police would like to do something about it. But they’re told to stand down. They said don’t do it. And if you do anything about it, if you stop crime, we’re going to go after your pension, your home, your family, your wife or your husband. And you know, police are being prosecuted all the time. And we want to give them immunity from prosecution if they’re doing their job.

Would you push a bill through Congress to do that? 

Trump: We’d have to take a look at that.


He’s Still Determined to Hike Taxes on Everyone

When you say more than that, though: You mean maybe more than 10% [tax] on all imports?

Trump: More than 10%, yeah. I call it a ring around the country. We have a ring around the country. A reciprocal tax also, in addition to what we said. And if we do that, the numbers are staggering. I don’t believe it will have much of an effect because they’re making so much money off of us. I also don’t believe that the costs will go up that much. And a lot of people say, “Oh, that’s gonna be a tax on us.” I don’t believe that. I think it’s a tax on the country that’s doing it…

Mr. President, most economists—and I know not all, there isn’t unanimity on this—but most economists say that tariffs increase prices. 

Trump: Yeah.


No Dumbass, That Is Not Traditionally What Has Happened

Do you think that businesses pass along the cost of a tax to the consumer?

Trump: No, I don’t believe so. I believe that it cost the country that—I think they make less. I actually think that the country that is being taxed makes less. I don’t believe—

You don’t believe that businesses pass on the cost? 

Trump: No, I think what happens is you build. What happens to get out of the whole situation is you end up building, instead of having your product brought in from China, because of that additional cost, you end up making the product in the United States. And that’s been traditionally what happened.


A U.S. War With Iran Is in Netanyahu’s Hands With President Trump

If Israel and Iran get into a war, should the US support Israel in striking Iran militarily?

Trump: Yes, if a situation like occurred. A lot of people say it was a ceremonial, it was a ceremonial attack. Because they allowed everybody to know what happened, et cetera, et cetera. If that’s the case, it would be a good thing, not a bad thing. But a lot of people say that that attack was, you know, I mean, everybody knew about it. I heard about it long before the attack was made, and so did many others. So it would depend, obviously, but the answer is yes. If they attack Israel, yes, we would be there.


His Answer to Every Question on Abortion Is “Not My Problem”

Do you think states should monitor women’s pregnancies so they can know if they’ve gotten an abortion after the ban?

Trump: I think they might do that. Again, you’ll have to speak to the individual states.



Well you said Alvin Bragg should be prosecuted. Would you instruct your Attorney General to prosecute him? 

Trump: When did I say Alvin Bragg should be prosecuted?

It was at a rally. 

Trump: I don’t think I said that, no.

I can pull it up

Trump: No.


His January 6th Ramblings Sound Better in Ralph Wiggum’s Voice

Trump: Well, actually, I did the opposite of attack. I’m the one that tried to stop it. I offered 10,000 soldiers and Nancy Pelosi turned me down. So did the mayor of Washington, she turned me down in writing.

What would you say to those voters, though?

Trump: That I offered. Number one, I made a speech that was peaceful and patriotic that nobody reports. Nobody talks about it: peacefully and patriotically. Nobody talks. You know, the committee never used those words. They refused to allow those words. Number two, I had like five tweets that were, go home, blah, blah. I got canceled because of those tweets.


Trump: No, I got canceled because of those tweets. I didn’t get canceled because of bad things I said. I got canceled because of good things I said. Because when you read my tweets, and when you see the speech that I made, and when you see the statement that I made in the Oval Office in the Rose Garden, during this very dramatic and horrible period, I’m a very innocent man. Nancy Pelosi is responsible, because she refused to take the 10,000 soldiers or National Guardsmen that I offered. She refused to take them. The mayor of Washington refused to take them too. And they’re responsible, you know, for the Capital.


“I Don’t Know Anything About It” Is Some Mob Boss Cosplay

 Well, would you definitely retire after a second term, or would you consider challenging the 22nd amendment?

Trump: Well, I would, and I don’t really have a choice, but I would.

You would consider it?

Trump: I’m at a point where I would, I think, you know, I would do that. Look, it’s two terms. I had two elections. I did much better on the second one than I did the first. I got millions more votes. I was treated very unfairly. They used COVID to cheat and lots of other things to cheat. But I was treated very unfairly. But no, I’m going to serve one term, I’m gonna do a great job. We’re gonna have a very successful country again—

But you’d consider it? 

Trump: And then I’m gonna leave.

You’d consider it, you said. 

Trump: Consider what?

Challenging the 22nd amendment. 

Trump: I don’t know anything about it.


I Love These Little Trump Truth Bombs When He Doesn’t Care About Partisan Nonsense

Trump: You know, you have strong opinions both ways on the vaccines. It’s interesting. The Democrats love the vaccine. The Democrats. Only reason I don’t take credit for it. The Republicans, in many cases, don’t, although many of them got it, I can tell you. It’s very interesting. Some of the ones who talk the most. I said, “Well, you didn’t have it did you?” Well, actually he did, but you know, et cetera.


These quotes are a small snippet, a little less than ten percent, of the whole Time interview, and it is worth reading in its entirety to get the full picture of Trump’s vision for his second-term and the incoherent babble I had to cut with those ellipses.

There’s a lot to poke fun at, doubt and be afraid of—in other words—normal Trump stuff, but there is a new sinister aspect to it that was not as present as it was in 2016 or even 2020. There is a dark undertone to a lot of his answers around presidential power, and even ones he doesn’t want to touch like his admission that states “might do that” in response to a question about monitoring women’s pregnancies so they can know if they got an abortion.

“A president should have immunity” or a variation of it is a quote he repeats roughly four times. He understands the immense power that Article II affords him to do almost whatever he wants and call it national security, and he wants an expansion of that kind of power. I do believe the Democrats’ hysterical notion that this could be the last election ever to be cynical and wrong, but that doesn’t mean Trump’s dictatorial ambitions don’t exist. If there’s one overall message to take from Trump in this interview, it’s that his agenda is clearly an escalation on the policies of his first term, with some added retribution for his political enemies.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin