EXCLUSIVE: One-on-One interview with President Donald Trump

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The following is a transcript of the interview.

KNOE's Jeff Horchak got an exclusive interview with President Donald Trump. (Source: KNOE)

KNOE anchor Jeff Horchak:

All right. All right, Mr. President. First of all, you seem to like Louisiana. This is your second trip here in a month. This is the only state in the south that has a Democratic governor. How big is this for Eddie Rispone?

President Trump:

Well, Eddie's going to be a great governor. He's a brilliant businessman. Your insurance costs are way too high. Your taxes are way too high. You're actually 50th in terms of economic development. And yet you're setting records because of what we've done at the federal level, including the big plant, a couple of really big LNG plants. But Eddie will turn this around so fast. I mean, for you to pay auto insurance rates, like your paying is ridiculous. So he'll turn it around very quickly. It'll be a great governor.

Jeff:

I know recently, you did tweeted about Governor Edwards here saying he's crushing the economy as well as Second Amendment rights. How has he done that?

President Trump:

Well, he really is. I mean, he hasn't done well. When you number 50 out of 50. And, you know, I view this as being a tremendous place, as you say, I come here a lot. I was just here for the big ribbon cutting with a $10 billion plan. But he hasn't done the job. His taxes are too high. He has people that are just not building here. They're building in other locations, which really means not building. It means jobs. And so John Bel Edwards has not been a good governor and he's never going to be with us whether it's Second Amendment or anything else. He's never going to vote for us. I've been through with many other Democrats, they talk Trump, Trump, Trump, and then they don't they never vote for us.

Jeff:

Well, Kentucky just voted a Democratic governor and in Virginia, Democrats flipped the House and the Senate. What does that say about the Republican Party strategy? And how does that affect you in 2020?

President Trump:

Well, I think it's stronger than ever. I mean, you look here at what's happening? And I think, you know, Eddie should do very well. You look at Mississippi, we won everything, including the governorship. And if you look at Kentucky, we won everything other than, I guess that's in dispute. But we brought him he's a wonderful guy, but we brought him from 19 points down to even because it was just about an even contest. So it's only a few thousand votes, and I think it's a dispute. So you know, it was really very successful, Kentucky, but you look at some of the other candidates that were with us, they won by record margins.

Jeff:

We have 12 ICE detention centers in the state. Do you think those detention centers are effective and find illegal immigration
?

President Trump:

Oh yeah, you don't want those people around you, I'll tell you what. And ICE has done an incredible job and these are stone-cold killers, you just saw what happened with Mexico over the last couple of days. You don't want them walking around Louisiana, I can tell you that. I know the people of Louisiana. They don't want them walking around
.

Jeff:

You're supposed to be attending the LSU Alabama game, I hear, on Saturday. I can't ask you for a pick because obviously that wouldn't be fair, but what's your take on this game? Number one, number two, two very good teams.

President Trump:

So,
I know your Alabama coach. I know your team at LSU and you're gonna have a great game, but I understand that you have, LSU has a fantastic quarterback. Someone said he's the next Tom Brady. Now there have been a lot of next Tom Brady's right? Sometimes it doesn't pan out. But I hear you have a fantastic quarterback. It's going to be a great team. Look, Alabama is always tough and you guys are you have really become tough. It's great.

Jeff:

Let me ask you one other question about the China agreement. We have a lot farmers down here, rice farmer, soybean farmers. If that deal gets done, it could affect the state in a major way economically.

President Trump:

It's true. And it'll be a fantastic boon to the farmers and the farmers were with me all the way. But remember when China really targeted the farmers because they were with me, they want to send a message. It didn't work out. I charge China tremendous billions and billions in tariffs. And I gave a lot of that money $28 billion to the farmers all over the country. So I said, How much did the farmers, how much did they, I wouldn't say lose, how much did they not get from China over the last year? They said $16 billion. The year before that it was $12 billion. I said, good. That's $28 billion. We're going to give it, so I took it in tariffs. I distributed among all the farmers. Oh, you probably wouldn't have so many farmers right now and they're very happy. And so we gave them $28 billion. And now China is starting to buy again. I
think we taught them a lesson.

Jeff:

You have a lot thrown at you every day. How do you get up every morning and just stay positive and keep rolling because you're everywhere?

President Trump:

I don't
have a choice, I have to do it. I have to do it. It's like, I love it. We have the greatest unemployment numbers we've ever had. We have the greatest employment numbers, you look at all of the states are doing well. I mean, all 50 you really, as I said, yours can do better, but you're doing the best you've done. And you're having tremendous numbers in your own state. And I get up and I love what I'm doing. And I love taking care of our country. I love our military, I love and I've rebuilt the military over a period of two and a half years. We spent over $2 trillion on rebuilding. We took it over was totally depleted. And we're doing a lot of great things and I love doing it.

Jeff:

President Trump, it's nice to meet you. Thanks for your time. We appreciate it.

President Trump:

It's a great honor, thank you very much. Great job.