Ann Coulter is a bestselling author, political commentator and syndicated rightwing columnist. Her most recent book is In Trump We Trust (Biteback £9.99), a celebration of the Republican candidate for the US presidency, whom she rates as her favourite politician in history.
How do you think your man did in last week’s TV debate with Hillary Clinton?
The truth is, I think, he won the first half, she won the second half. I’d call it a draw, but from watching the commentary I gather we’re not supposed to tell the truth. I think all he had to do was not be Hitler. So he won.
Do you think it looks good that he refuses to declare his tax records?
No one cares, except the media. There was enough on that during the debate; can we please move on to the issues? No. One. Cares. Good grief, this is all the media will talk about. They keep saying they want to talk policy, but every time Trump won during the debate was when they talked policy. We only have three debates and we’ve already spent the entire last year on Trump’s taxes and half the effing debate. Can we talk about policy?
I’m sorry, I’m confused. Given that he has spoken a great deal about Clinton’s emails, it seems reasonable to ask about his tax payments.
My reasonable answer is: this is why everyone hates the media. Actually, the public want to hear about issues. You guys want to keep talking about Donald Trump’s personal baggage and he’ll be dead and gone in a decade and America will be overwhelmed with Muslim jihadists.
But if you are going to become president of the United States, the head of US government, whether or not you’ve paid zero federal tax to that government is not just a media issue.
Yes it is, and you really are, seriously, going to keep talking about this? No one cares. We’re at a very crucial point for world history. OK, let’s say he hasn’t paid taxes. No one cares. It’s not a constitutional requirement to be in government.
OK, let’s move on to the big issues. Rosie O’Donnell, who he brought up in the debate [Trump has been publicly feuding with chatshow host O’Donnell for a decade].
Is this seriously going to be about everything that doesn’t matter? No, you are right, whether or not Donald Trump made some insulting remark about some celebrity when he was a reality TV star – that will determine jobs in America, that will determine what kind of country this is, and whether we go to war in Syria. Stop pretending journalists are anything other than the Hillary PR team.
But wait a second, you’ve described Trump as “lowbrow” and said that it’s like “constantly having to bail out your 16-year-old”. Those are not my words, or those of Clinton’s PR team.
That’s out of 1 million words about Donald Trump. Eight months ago I criticised one tweetand that’s going to determine what kind of country this is?
No, for the reason that he didn’t say that. He said Mexico isn’t sending its best people. They’re sending rapists and drug dealers. And it’s beyond dispute that they are. We know gang members are pouring across the border and filling up our prisons. We have a huge drug problem in this country now in places that never had an opiate problem. Why is that? Because this is brought in, because we do not have a border.
You say you don’t care what happens in Ukraine. Do you consider yourself an isolationist?
No, I’m amazed it took my entire life for someone running for president of the United States to care more about our borders than Ukraine’s borders.
And as regards US borders, would you genuinely like to see a wall built between the US and Mexico?[Laughs] Yes! I think the voters have made it very clear. Oh, something else that didn’t come up in the debate; didn’t have time for it, because it was on Donald Trump’s taxes.
Well I guess if he really wanted to, he could have mentioned it himself…
OK, but if that’s the answer then how about my idea: no media moderators. If Donald Trump’s candidacy has proven anything, it’s that the media has no idea what Americans care about. He’s got more votes than any Republican in history on one issue: immigration. And there was not one question on immigration last night. Next debate, it’ll be abouttransgender bathrooms.
You want to block immigration to the US from Muslim countries. Do you think there’s a danger that the US will become a religiously and racially discriminating society?
No, I want to block all immigration to the United States, and no one has a constitutional right to move to our country. We need a pause. It’s been breakneck speed, we’re not assimilating the immigrants coming in. We need a break.
You said that America should invade Muslim countries and convert their people to Christianity. You seem to be stepping back from that position now.
Well, it was 15 years ago. I think times have changed. In response to 9/11, I said that and if it was 9/11, 2001, I would still think that was a good idea. But you know what, it’s not 2001.
But in 2003, you thought it was a good idea to invade Iraq.
Yes, of course. Too bad Obama took our victory and turned it into a defeat. Oh well, let’s not do it again. We live in a country that will elect Barack Obamas.
What do you think of the recent spate of police killings of apparently unarmed or surrendering black men?
Hillary’s position is to take the side of black criminals. Trump’s position is that the people who are most victimised by black criminals are law-abiding black people, and he’s been doing very well with the African American people by taking that message to them.
Do you think it is possible for African Americans to be in favour of law and order but against being shot dead by the police?
That’s a rhetorical question. No, I think black people love being shot. What’s the real question?
I asked you about the spate of shootings and you turned that into black people wanting law and order. There have been several high-profile cases of police killings.
There have been several hysterias that always turn out to be false. In Ferguson, Baltimore, now recently in Charlotte. There’s the original claim that some poor innocent black man of 12 years old [was] walking along with their hands up saying “don’t shoot”, and we’ve had six months of investigation and the whole thing was a lie. [In 2015, two police officers were cleared of criminal conduct in the 2014 shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio, while Rice was carrying a toy gun; a grand jury called the shooting a “perfect storm of human error, mistakes and communications”.]
Do you think the Republican party will survive Donald Trump?
The only way it can survive is with Donald Trump. What’s really hurting his message more than anything else, especially among black voters, is that he’s a Republican. That’s what the Republican party has done to the brand. The sooner it gets rebranded the Trumpian Republican party the better. Finally, we have a candidate who cares about Americans and not just the donor class.
Do you enjoy being a figure of hate?
As long as it’s all the right people hating me. And it seems to me it is.