President Donald Trump’s COVID-19-infected tour of right-wing media continued on Friday afternoon with an appearance on Rush Limbaugh. The conversation with the conservative radio host followed interviews with Fox hosts Maria Bartiromo and Sean Hannity on Thursday. On Friday night, Trump is scheduled to appear on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News and participate in a “medical evaluation” on live TV. (This is not actually a joke.)
With the Limbaugh appearance, which lasted a full two hours, Trump had perhaps his most generous interlocutor since leaving the hospital on Monday. Indeed, Rush billed the episode not as an interview, but as a “virtual rally” for the president’s reelection campaign.
By recent standards, it’s hard to say this was more or less insane than the rest of Trump’s apparently drug-addled media appearances this week. There were a few notable moments, including the president saying “fuck” on live radio—something his Federal Communications Commission might have to look into. Here are the most deranged portions of Friday’s interview.
“If you fuck around with us … ”
Trump said of Iran, “If you fuck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are gonna do things to you that have never been done before.”
Black Lives Matter “is such a racist term.”
“The first time I ever heard of Black Lives Matter, I said that’s such a terrible term because that’s such a racist term. It’s a term that sows division between Blacks and whites and everybody else and it’s a very bad term, for Blacks.”
California would be in play except “everybody likes to vote three times.”
Echoing completely fabricated claims he made about losing the popular vote in 2016, Trump said he would do well in California were it not for fraud. “In theory you don’t win California because everybody likes to vote three times,” he told Limbaugh. “The people they want to vote, they vote numerous times, numerous times, and it’s disgraceful.”
“We had a medicine that healed me.”
Despite acknowledging that he had continued to experience some “lingering” effects from COVID-19, an audibly sore-throated Trump claimed repeatedly that he’s been miraculously “healed” thanks to an experimental antiviral cocktail. “I was in not great shape, and we had a medicine that healed me, that fixed me.”
Trump also criticized Attorney General William Barr over a report in Axios that there would be no indictments—or even a report—before the election in the investigation into the origins of the Russia probe by U.S. Attorney John Durham. “I will be so disappointed if that Axios piece you read to me is true,” he said.
Trump also said that if former Vice President Joe Biden defeats him in November’s election, “we will go the way of failed nations all over Latin America, South America. We will go the way of failure like nobody’s ever seen and on a scale like nobody’s ever seen it.” He added that, in reference to American allies, “our friends sometimes are worse than our enemies.”
Finally, Trump spent a good chunk of the interview on his favorite topic: TV. He criticized Fox News for going downhill since 2016, blaming the fact that “Paul Ryan is on the board of Fox,” and then he said the network makes some programs he still enjoys, listing by name his favorite television hosts and shows on Fox News.
Trump did claim that he’s off of his medication regimen, but the White House has repeatedly refused to say when the last time was that he tested negative for COVID-19. On Friday afternoon, the New York Times reported that he intended to host a rally for hundreds of supporters on Saturday on the White House Lawn.