What follows is a full transcript of the interview, which aired on CBS earlier Sunday. Additional coverage of the interview will air Monday on “CBS This Morning,” broadcasting live from the White House.
.. The relationship I have with China, it’s been already acclaimed as being something very special, something very different than we’ve ever had.
.. JOHN DICKERSON: Why do these missiles keep blowing up?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, I’d rather not discuss it. But perhaps they’re just not very good missiles. But eventually, he’ll have good missiles.
JOHN DICKERSON: You don’t want to discuss it because maybe we have something to do with it?
.. Well, it’s a tough job. But I’ve had a lot of tough jobs. I’ve had things that were tougher, although I’ll let you know that better at the end of eight years. Perhaps eight years. Hopefully, eight years.
.. You know, it’s very funny when the fake media goes out, you know, which we call the mainstream media which sometimes, I must say, is you.
JOHN DICKERSON: You mean me personally or?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, your show. I love your show. I call it Deface the Nation. But, you know, your show is sometimes not exactly correct.
.. I think that, frankly, North Korea is maybe more important than trade.
.. JOHN DICKERSON: What do you know now on day 100 that you wish you knew on day one of the presidency?.. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, one of the things that I’ve learned is how dishonest the media is, really. I’ve done things that are I think very good. I’ve set great foundations with foreign leaders. We have you know — NAFTA, as you know, I was going to terminate it, but I got a very nice call from a man I like, the president of Mexico.I got a very nice call from Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada. And they said please would you rather than terminating NAFTA — I was all set to do it. In fact, I was going to do it today. I was going to do as we’re sitting here. I would’ve had to delay you. I was going to do it today. I was going to terminate NAFTA. But they called up and they said, “Would you negotiate?” And I said, “Yes, I will negotiate.”
JOHN DICKERSON: That’s all you’ve learned, about the media? You knew from the campaign about the media. You said it all the time —
.. The Democrats have been totally obstructionist. Chuck Schumer has turned out to be a bad leader. He’s a bad leader for the country. And the Democrats are extremely obstructionist.
JOHN DICKERSON: Let me ask you about health care — Tucker Carlson interviewed you about six weeks ago when you were in the middle of health care negotiations. And you agreed with him that the health care bill wasn’t going to help your supporters. That those who lived in rural areas, the older, were going to get hurt by that bill. And you told him–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Excuse me, the health care bill is going to help my supporters.
JOHN DICKERSON: Well, hold on. Let me just finish the question, if I may, sir–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Otherwise, I’m not going to sign it. I’m not going to do it.
.. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I just watched another network than yours, and they were saying, “Pre-existing is not covered.” Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I mandate it. I said, “Has to be.”
JOHN DICKERSON: So but in the bill, as it was analyzed, there were two problems. One, and you talked about this with Congressman Robert Aderholt, who brought you the example of the 64-year-old who under Obamacare the premiums–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: But that was a long time ago, John.
JOHN DICKERSON: But has that been fixed?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Totally fixed.
JOHN DICKERSON: How?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: How? We’ve made many changes to the bill. You know, this bill is–
JOHN DICKERSON: What kind though?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: –very much different than it was three weeks ago.
JOHN DICKERSON: Help us explain because there are people–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The bill–
JOHN DICKERSON: –out there wondering what kind of changes.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Let me explain. Let me explain it to you.
JOHN DICKERSON: Okay.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: This bill is much different than it was a little while ago, okay? This bill has evolved. And we didn’t have a failure on the bill. You know, it was reported like a failure. Now, the one thing I wouldn’t have done again is put a timeline. That’s why on the second iteration, I didn’t put a timeline.
But we have now pre-existing conditions in the bill. We have — we’ve set up a pool for the pre-existing conditions so that the premiums can be allowed to fall. We’re taking across all of the borders or the lines so that insurance companies can compete–
JOHN DICKERSON: But that’s not in–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: –nationwide.
JOHN DICKERSON: –this bill. The borders are not in–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Of course, it’s in.
JOHN DICKERSON: –this bill. It’s in that third bill, right, because–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It’s in the second phase.
JOHN DICKERSON: Okay.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It’s called phase one, phase two. And that’s, in effect, second phase, which will get approved, which will quickly get approved.
JOHN DICKERSON: Let me–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: But let me just explain something. There will be such competition. Right now, there’s no competition. There will be such competition by insurance companies so that they can get health care and the people taking care of health care.
.. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: But when I watch some of the news reports, which are so unfair, and they say we don’t cover pre-existing conditions, we cover it beautifully.
JOHN DICKERSON: Although–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I’ll tell you who doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. Obamacare. You know why? It’s dead.
.. JOHN DICKERSON: In one of the fixes it was discussed pre-existing was optional for the states–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Sure, in one of the fixes. And they’re changing it–
JOHN DICKERSON: –oh, okay. So it’ll–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: –and changing.
JOHN DICKERSON: –be permanent?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Of course.
JOHN DICKERSON: Okay. Well, that’s a development, sir. So you’re saying it’s going to be pre-existing to everybody?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: John, this has evolved over a period of three or four weeks. Now, we really have a good bill. I think they could have voted on Friday. I said, “Just relax. Don’t worry about this phony 100 day thing. Just relax. Take it easy. Take your time. Get the good vote and make it perfect.”
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Most importantly, we’re going to drive down premiums. We’re going to drive down deductibles because right now, deductibles are so high, you never — unless you’re going to die a long, hard death, you never can get to use your health care–
JOHN DICKERSON: Let me ask you something–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: –because the deductibles are so high.
JOHN DICKERSON: Okay. So what I hear you saying is pre-existing is going to be in there for everybody, it’s not going to be up to the states?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Pre-existing is going to be in there and we’re also–
JOHN DICKERSON: And it’s not up to the states?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: –going to create pools.
JOHN DICKERSON: Okay.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: And pools are going to take care of the pre-existing.
JOHN DICKERSON: But on that crucial question, it’s not going to be left up to the states? Everybody gets pre-existing, no matter where they live?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: No, but the states–
JOHN DICKERSON: Guaranteed?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: –are also going to have a lot to do with it because we ultimately want to get it back down to the states.
JOHN DICKERSON: Okay. Is it a guarantee?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Look, because if you hurt your knee, honestly, I’d rather have the federal government focused on North Korea, focused on other things, than your knee, okay? Or than your back, as important as your back is. I would much rather see the federal government focused on other things–
JOHN DICKERSON: Let me.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: –bigger things. Now, the state is going to be in a much better position to take care, because it’s smaller.
JOHN DICKERSON: People out there with pre-existing conditions, they are worried. Are they going to have the guarantee of coverage if they have a pre-existing condition or if they live in a state where the governor decides that’s not a part of the health care, or that the prices are going to go up? That’s the worry. The American Medical Association says–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We actually–
JOHN DICKERSON: –it could effectively make coverage completely unaffordable for people.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: –we actually have, well, forget about unaffordable. What’s unaffordable is Obamacare, John.
JOHN DICKERSON: So I’m not hearing you, Mr. President, say there’s a guarantee of pre-existing conditions.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We actually have — we actually have a clause that guarantees.
JOHN DICKERSON: Okay, excellent. We got there.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We have a specific clause–
JOHN DICKERSON: Let me ask you–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: –that guarantees.
.. We’re also going to fix all of our trade deals. We’re going to have a very wealthy country again.
.. They’re going to want, in Congress, to make up on the spending side, to change Medicare. Will you allow that?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You’re not going to have to do it.
JOHN DICKERSON: But, sir, will you allow it?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You’re not going to have to do it. I’m just telling you we are–
JOHN DICKERSON: Does President Donald Trump want them not to do that?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I would much prefer them not to do that, that’s right.
JOHN DICKERSON: It sounds as if, having covered you in the campaign, it sounds like you’re leaving the door open. On the campaign, you were quite clear. You said, “I’m the guy who’s not going to touch Medicare.”
.. I said, number one, I’m under audit. Right now, I’m under audit. After the audit is complete. It’s a routine audit, but I have a very big tax return. You’ve seen the pictures. My tax return is probably higher than that from the floor. When you look at other people’s tax return, even other wealthy people, their tax return is this big. My tax return is this high.
.. JOHN DICKERSON: You first said that you were under audit, were going to wait till that was done, about 14 months ago. That seems like a long time. When do you think this might happen? Are you asking them?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It could happen soon. I don’t know. I mean, I think–
JOHN DICKERSON: When? Give me a sense of–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: –it’s pretty routine, to be honest with you. But then I’ll make a decision.
JOHN DICKERSON: A member of Congress suggested that a condition for getting tax reform would be releasing your tax returns. What do you think about that?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Oh, I don’t know who did that. I mean, I don’t care who did that. These are the people, you know, the great obstructionists.
JOHN DICKERSON: So you’re not buying that deal.
.. JOHN DICKERSON: You don’t think it’s phony that they, the Russians, tried to meddle in the election? You believe that?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: That, I don’t know. I don’t know.
JOHN DICKERSON: That you don’t know or you do know?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, I have a problem. You have Podesta, who, by the way, I understand has a company with his brother in Russia. Hillary’s husband makes speeches in Russia. Hillary did a uranium deal with Russia. Nobody ever talks about that. But I don’t know–
JOHN DICKERSON: You don’t–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: –because the F.B.I. was not allowed by Podesta to go in and check all of the records on their servers and everything else that you would normally have to check. That’s number one.
Number two, knowing something about hacking, if you don’t catch a hacker, okay, in the act, it’s very hard to say who did the hacking. With that being said, I’ll go along with Russia. Could’ve been China, could’ve been a lot of different groups.