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Donald Trump meant it when he said that his shackles are now off.
The Republican candidate spoke with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday in his first one-on-one national interview since the Access Hollywood recordings were released Friday. The O’Reilly Factor segment was focused on Trump’s hot mic tape and his debate performance Sunday, with the Republican candidate doubling down on his “locker room talk” and slams against GOP leaders who have pulled their support.
O’Reilly asked Trump what he meant by being “unshackled” now. “Are you going to be more outspoken?”
Trump, appearing on video from Dallas, disagreed with the host’s assessment. “I don’t think I’m that outspoken, to be honest with you,” he said. “I think I’ve been very nice.” Trump tweeted early Tuesday that “it is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.”
He further explained that the “shackles” referred to Republican leaders who have condemned him over the past week, including John McCain (who Trump said “has probably the dirtiest mouth in all of the Senate”) and Paul Ryan, who “doesn’t give support” that he needs. “I think I’m better off without their support.”
“I don’t want his support, I don’t care about his support,” he said of Speaker Ryan. “What I want to do is I want to win for the people because Hillary Clinton, she is a disaster.”
When O’Reilly asked if he has any plans to change his campaign in the coming weeks, he explained that he’s not worried about losing female voters due to the Access Hollywood tapes, because, “first of all, locker room talk, and most people have heard it before,” adding that several women have told him that his comments are a small price to pay to defeat ISIS.
He also told O’Reilly that losing the election would be “pretty sad. Then I have to go back to my other life,” stressing that he is still “winning with men big.”
On the debate, Trump said the most important point he made Sunday night is that Clinton “has done practically nothing except talk” as Secretary of State. He also argued that he never walked into her space during the debate, which was pointed out Sunday night on news networks, but instead she was in his space, which is “typical Hillary Clinton, she’s a phony person.”
O’Reilly and Trump discussed recent portrayals of him in the press, including Alec Baldwin’s impression of him on Saturday Night Live. Calling CNN the “Clinton News Network,” Trump said that he somewhat expected his “unfair” treatment in the press. “I knew it would be bad,” he explained. “I didn’t know it would be this bad.”
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