See What Trump Talked About in His 7-Hour Deposition

In transcript from April sit-down with New York AG, Trump claims he saved 'millions' from nuclear war
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2023 7:45 AM CDT
Trump Deposition: I Was Too Busy as President to Commit Fraud
Former President Donald Trump speaks at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on June 13.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

The civil fraud suit against former President Trump brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James is set to head to trial in October, and now the transcript from his April deposition in that case is revealing what Trump said during his seven-hour interview by James' team. The New York Times describes his remarks as a "series of meandering non sequiturs, political digressions, and self-aggrandizing defenses," in which he "barely [allowed] lawyers to get a word in." Among his claims: that he was too busy being president to commit fraud via his Trump Organization. "I was very busy," he said. "I considered this the most important job in the world, saving millions of lives." James' office accuses Trump of overinflating his net worth by billions of dollars. More excerpts from the nearly 500-page transcript, unsealed Wednesday, per the Times, Insider, and Axios:

  • On who holds ultimate responsibility for the Trump Organization: "My son Eric is much more involved with it than I am. I've been doing other things. And I guess you could say on something major, final decisions, whatever. But I've been much less involved in it than over the last ... five or six years than ever before."
  • On putting the assets of his Trump Organization into a trust: "I tell the story that George Washington actually, when he was president, had two desks. One for his business—he was actually a very wealthy man—one for his business, and one for running the country. I could have had that. ... But I felt I wanted to be a legitimate president."
  • On the lives he says he saved: "I think you would have nuclear holocaust if I didn't deal with North Korea. I think you would have a nuclear war, if I weren't elected. And I think you might have a nuclear war now, if you want to know the truth."
  • On handling other pressing issues: "I was interested in solving the problem with North Korea, which was ready to blow up, and solving the problems we had with China, who was just ripping us off left and right, and making sure that Russia never went into Ukraine, which they didn't, under our auspices, and, you know, a lot of other things. There were a lot of things that were happening in the world, as you probably know. And I did a very good job. I got rid of those problems. Today those problems are very prevalent."

  • Getting personal with the New York AG: "So many things I did for this city ... and now I have to come and justify myself to you."
  • On Forbes magazine, which has estimated his worth in the past: "Forbes doesn't know about us. I read Forbes. You know, they're owned by China. They're owned [by] the Chinese and they have their own agenda."
  • On wind energy: "They're foolishly putting up wind turbines all over the place. And I happen to be in my own way a very good environmentalist and, I think, it's, you know, bad for the environment. ... They're doing [it] all over the United States. They're doing it in our oceans. They're probably killing whales, which are washing up to shore, which nobody has ever seen before. Many whales are coming in where they're doing it up in New England. No, I'm not a fan of wind."
  • On what those close to him think of him: "Friends of mine have said, you are the most honest person in the world. So we've done a good job. Don't get credit for it. That's OK."
Read the transcript in full here. (More Donald Trump stories.)

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