In the first published excerpt from a telephone interview with Fox’s Pete Hegseth that is set to air tonight during the cable news channel’s New Year’s Eve coverage, President Trump mocked Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who earlier today became the first Democratic contender to formally plan a run for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Asked by Hegseth whether Warren really thinks she can defeat him in the general election, Trump responded “well, that I don’t know…you’d have to ask her psychiatrist.”
After Hegseth brought up Warren’s announcement, Trump reminded viewers of an embarrassing political misstep from earlier this year when Warren angered Native American tribes by releasing the results of a DNA test that showed she had almost no Native American heritage – inadvertently validating the president’s doubts about her claims of Native American heritage. The test showed that Warren may have had a Native American ancestor between six and ten generations ago, meaning she could be as little as 1/1,024th Native.
“Elizabeth Warren will be the first,” Trump told Hegseth in the phone interview. “She did very badly in proving that she was of Indian heritage. That didn’t work out too well.”
“I think you have more than she does, and maybe I do too, and I have nothing,” Trump said, referring to tribal heritage. “So, we’ll see how she does. I wish her well, I hope she does well, I’d love to run against her.”
Trump said earlier this year that he hoped Warren would run because she would be “very easy” to beat, and that if she were elected, she would turn the US into “Venezuela.” Moving on from Warren, the excerpt noted that Trump said he was waiting for top Democrats to join him in Washington to cut a deal that would resolve the federal government shutdown – though he insisted that funding for a border wall would be an essential component of any deal.
“I’m in Washington, I’m ready, willing and able. I’m in the White House, I’m ready to go,” Trump said. He added that Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer “can come over right now, they could’ve come over anytime.”
Fox reported that several details of a possible deal have been floated – one of which would include $5.7 billion in funding for the wall in exchange for Congressional authorization of DACA – the Obama-era policy that allowed undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children to remain in the country.
Trump added that he had canceled his plans to travel to Mar-a-Lago during the holidays to try and work out a deal to end the shutdown.
“I spent Christmas in the White House, I spent New Year’s Eve now in the White House,” Trump said. “And you know, I’m here, I’m ready to go. It’s very important. A lot of people are looking to get their paycheck, so I’m ready to go whenever they want.”
He added: “No, we are not giving up. We have to have border security and the wall is a big part of border security. The biggest part.”
The full interview will air some time after 10 pm ET, which is when Fox’s New Year’s Eve coverage is set to begin.