Full Transcripts Available of Donald Trump’s TIME Interviews

Read our full cover story on Donald Trump . You can also read the transcript of the interviews and a full fact check .

Former President Donald Trump sat down for a with TIME at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., on April 12, and a follow-up conversation by phone on April 27.

Over the course of the interviews, Trump discussed his agenda for a second term, which includes, cutting the U.S. civil service, and intervening more directly in Justice Department prosecutions than his predecessors. He also discussed his thinking on other issues, including abortion, crime, trade, Ukraine, Israel, and the prospects for political violence in this election cycle.

Below is a transcript, lightly edited for clarity, of the interviews between Trump and TIME National Politics Reporter Eric Cortellessa. Click to read our fact-check.

Let’s start with Day One: January 20, 2025. You have said that you will take a suite of aggressive actions on the border and on immigration—

Donald Trump: Yes.

You have vowed to—

Trump: And on energy.

Yes, yes. And we’ll come to that, certainly. You have vowed to launch the largest deportation operation in American history. Your advisors say that includes—

Trump: Because we have no choice. I don’t believe this is sustainable for a country, what’s happening to us, with probably by the time Biden’s out. Twenty million people, many of them from jails, many of them from prisons, many of them from mental institutions. I mean, you see what’s going on in Venezuela and other countries. They’re becoming a lot safer.

Well, let’s just talk—so you have said you’re gonna do this massive deportation operation. I want to know specifically how you plan to do that.

Trump: So if you look back into the 1950s, Dwight Eisenhower, he’s not known for that, you know, you don’t think of him that way. Because you see, Ike, but Dwight Eisenhower was very big on illegal immigration not coming into our country. And he did a massive deportation of people. He was doing it for a long time. He got very proficient at it. He was bringing them just to the other side of the border. And they would be back in the country within a matter of days. And then he started bringing them 3,000 miles away—

What’s your plan, sir?

Trump: We will be using local law enforcement. And we will absolutely start with the criminals that are coming in. And they’re coming in in numbers that we’ve never seen before. And we do have a new category of crime. It’s called migrant crime. It’s, ugh, you see it all the time. You see it in New York City where they’re having fistfights with police. And far worse than that. You see it all the time. And you’re seeing it in all of the cities, especially the Democratic-run cities, which is a lot of the big ones, but you’re seeing it in Chicago, you’re seeing it in New York and L.A. and getting worse than in other places.

Does that include using the U.S. military?

Trump: It would. When we talk military, generally speaking, I talk National Guard. I’ve used the National Guard in Minneapolis. And if I didn’t use it, I don’t think you’d have Minneapolis standing right now, because it was really bad. But I think in terms of the National Guard. But if I thought things were getting out of control, I would have no problem using the military, per se. We have to have safety in our country. We have to have law and order in our country. And whichever gets us there, but I think the National Guard will do the job. You know, had Nancy Pelosi used the National Guard. You know, I offered them whatever they wanted, but I often—

You would use the military inland as well as at the border?

Trump: I don’t think I’d have to do that. I think the National Guard would be able to do that. If they weren’t able to, then I’d use the military. You know, we have a different situation. We have millions of people now that we didn’t have two years ago.

Sir, the Posse Comitatus Act says that you can’t deploy the U.S. military against civilians. Would you override that?

Trump: Well, . These are people that aren’t legally in our country. This is an invasion of our country. An invasion like probably no country has ever seen before. They’re coming in by the millions. I believe we have 15 million now. And I think you’ll have 20 million by the time this ends. And that’s bigger than almost every state.

So you can see yourself using the military to address this?

Trump: I can see myself using the National Guard and, if necessary, I’d have to go a step further. We have to do whatever we have to do to stop the problem we have. Again, we have a major force that’s forming in our country, when you see that over the last three weeks, 29,000 people came in from China, and they’re all fighting age, and they’re mostly males. Yeah, you have to do what you have to do to stop crime and to stop what’s taking place at the border.

Would that include building new migrant detention camps?

Trump: We wouldn’t have to do very much of that. Because we’ll be bringing them out of the country. We’re not leaving them in the country. We’re bringing them out. It’s been done before.

Will you build new ones?

Trump: And , you know, prisons. And I got blamed for that for four months. And then people realized that was done by him, not by me.

So are you ruling out that you would build new migrant detention camps?

Trump: No, I would not rule out anything. But there wouldn’t be that much of a need for them, because of the fact that we’re going to be moving them out. We’re going to bring them back from where they came.

I ask because your close aide and adviser Stephen Miller said that part of what it would take to carry out this deportation operation would include new migrant detention camps.

Trump: It’s possible that we’ll do it to an extent but we shouldn’t have to do very much of it, because we’re going to be moving them out as soon as we get to it. And we’ll be obviously starting with the criminal element. And we’re going to be using local police because local police know them by name, by first name, second name, and third name. I mean, they know them very well.

How are you going to get state and local police departments to participate in this? Under what authority is the President able to do that?

Trump: Well, there’s a possibility that some won’t want to participate, and they won’t partake in the riches, you know. We have to do this. This is not a sustainable problem for our country.

Does that mean you would create funding incentives from the federal government for state and local police departments?

Trump: It could very well be. I want to give police immunity from prosecution because the liberal groups or the progressive groups, depending on what they want to be called, somewhat liberal, somewhat progressive, but they are—they’re very strong on the fact that they want to leave everybody in, I guess, I don’t know. You know, sanctuary cities are failing all over the place. And I really believe that there’s a pent-up demand to end sanctuary cities by people that were in favor of sanctuary cities, because it’s just not working out for the country.

So by your own telling, these are new, bold, and aggressive actions that you would take.

Trump: I don’t think they’re bold actions. I think they’re actions that are common sense. But I really believe, Eric, that they’re actions that—it’s incredible that they’ve allowed so many people to come into our country, especially considering they were unchecked and unvetted, most of them. They’re just pouring in. They’re pouring in at levels that no country has ever seen before. It’s an invasion of our country.

Well, let me put it this way: They’re new and they’re certainly going to be tested in the courts. If the courts rule against you, do you commit to complying wit