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North Korea, Gas Tax, and … the Civil War? Four Things We Learned from Trump Interviews

President Trump is making waves of breaking news on Monday with just two low-profile interviews. Catch up here.

Trump in Kennedy Garden

After a weekend of relative quiet, President Trump broke story after story on Monday with just two, low-key interviews, one with Bloomberg and one on Sirius XM radio.

Here’s what we learned from these interviews, so far:


President Trump seemed to acknowledge he was making big news with Bloomberg when he said he’s willing to meet with reclusive North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un:

“If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it,” Trump said Monday in an interview with Bloomberg News. “If it’s under the, again, under the right circumstances. But I would do that.”

…“Most political people would never say that,” Trump said of his willingness to meet with the reclusive Kim, “but I’m telling you under the right circumstances I would meet with him. We have breaking news.”

Trump has leaned on Chinese President Xi Jinping to defuse U.S.-North Korea tensions of late, but his willingness to meet with Kim may signal a shift in Trump’s good cop-bad cop routine on North Korea.


Someone call Grover Norquist. Trump told Bloomberg he’s willing to raise the gas tax, which has been the same rate per gallon since 1993.

President Donald Trump said he’s willing to raise the U.S. gas tax to fund infrastructure development and called the tax-overhaul plan he released last week the beginning of negotiations.

“It’s something that I would certainly consider,” Trump said Monday in an interview with Bloomberg News in the Oval Office, describing the idea as supported by truckers “if we earmarked money toward the highways.”

The current tax, Bloomberg notes, is 18.4 cents per gallon.


Trump sounded more like Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) or Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) when he told Bloomberg he’s willing to break up big banks on Wall Street.

“I’m looking at that right now,” Trump said Monday in an interview with Bloomberg News in the Oval Office. “There’s some people that want to go back to the old system, right? So we’re going to look at that.”

Trump may find resistance to the idea from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who Bloomberg noted is a Wall Street alum.


Sure to draw the ire of Democrats eager for hits on Trump, the president told Sirius XM on Monday that he’s not sure “why [there was] a Civil War.”

But Trump told Sirius XM that Jackson “was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War.””He said, ‘There’s no reason for this,'” Trump said. “People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War — if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there a Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”

The comments puzzled many, especially since Andrew Jackson “died nearly 16 years before the start of the Civil War,” as Reuters noted.