WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald J. Trump, in his exclusive Oval Office interview with Breitbart News on Monday afternoon, hammered the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on its rigged race for the newly elected chairman against supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Trump told Breitbart News that Sanders supporters were again treated in a “rather unfair” way, as their preferred candidate for DNC chair Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) was muscled out of the way by former President Barack Obama’s ex-Labor Secretary Tom Perez. Perez won on a second ballot after Ellison’s strong but not-good-enough support kicked it past a first ballot at the DNC chair elections in Atlanta this weekend. Trump said the poor treatment by Democrats of Sanders supporters is par for the course, though, as it is something that was seen regularly in 2016 during the presidential election.
The president also said he did not know Perez, but that he wished him “a lot of luck,” as the Democratic Party is in shambles nationally and in states across the country. Democrats are in the minority in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, hold a minority of governorships, and have historically low numbers in statehouses across the country.
“Well, I don’t know anything about him,” Trump told Breitbart News of Perez. “I wish him a lot of luck. I don’t know anything about him. I think that the process seemed rather unfair to the Bernie supporters, but of course that’s standard because Bernie has always been treated badly by the Democrats.”
Democrats have been struggling to find a pathway forward after the party’s catastrophic performance in the 2016 elections, and this weekend’s DNC chair elections did not help a bitterly divided Democratic Party. After Perez won out in the end, he gave the deputy DNC chair slot to Ellison–but Democratic activists on both sides of the fight are still split in a party that finds little to unify itself except opposition to Trump and his agenda. But even that opposition is not as solid as some Democrats would like, as Trump’s nontraditional approach reaches deep into the Democrats’ coalition, splitting the party even more.
Trump has repeatedly made it clear he agrees somewhat with Sanders on trade and the way the political class in Washington, D.C., has failed to look out for American workers when it comes to renegotiating trade deals. The president has made a strong play for union backing, welcoming a variety of union leaders to various events and celebrating their support for his tearing up of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) multinational trade deal once and for all—which he did in his first week as president.
Trump told Breitbart News he plans to renegotiate America’s trade deals on a bilateral basis with countries across the world, something that has already begun:
BREITBART NEWS NETWORK: “Now, in terms of the renegotiation of the trade deals, and all that kind of thing—you’ve talked about doing this on a bilateral basis, can you kind of give us a—“
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: “Yeah. We’re going to do it bilaterally, we’re not going to have a big mosh pit. We’re going to do it bilaterally, have deals with—we’ve already started the process. We’re going to do individual deals with individual countries so we don’t get bogged down.”
Trump also discussed with Breitbart News his plans to deal with Big Pharma, another issue that unites him and some outside traditional GOP circles. He said he plans to push for more competition in the pharmaceutical industry, something he argues will be “good for everybody:”
BREITBART NEWS NETWORK: “And then you’ve also talked about, and this will be my last question, you’ve also talked about dealing with Big Pharma. Can you tell us your thoughts are on that?”
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: “We want competition. There’s no competition and we’re going to get competition in that business and it’ll be good for everybody and ultimately Pharma.”
This is the fourth and final part of President Trump’s first interview with Breitbart News in the Oval Office on Monday. He also discussed broad strokes of his agenda—which he will lay out in an address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night—“fake news” and the New York Times, and the failures of Hollywood at the Academy Awards on Sunday evening. A full transcript of the interview is forthcoming.