BILLINGS – In a Friday morning interview with MTN News, President Donald Trump touted U.S. coal, defended his tough trade talk on tariffs for ag products and reiterated his full-throated endorsement of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale of Montana.
Trump spoke with MTN’s Billings News Director Jon Stepanek for just under 14 minutes at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in downtown Billings, where he stayed overnight following his rally at MetraPark Thursday night.
“It was a beautiful scene. It was a great evening,” Trump said of the rally, where he stumped for Rosendale to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester.
Stepanek was the only Montana journalist to interview the president during his two-day stay in Billings.
During the interview, the president continued his criticism of Tester for his role in torpedoing the nomination of White House Dr. Ronny Jackson for secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, blasted a soon-to-be-published book by journalist Bob Woodward that contains scathing quotes from inside the administration and criticized The New York Times for publishing an editorial from an anonymous White House official.
He also spoke about economic issues important to Montanans. He said ranchers are understandably nervous about tariffs, but Trump believes they will ultimately support him.
On coal, Trump said it remains a viable U.S. energy source for the future.
“Natural gas is good, but we need coal also. You know where we need coal too? As a military alternative. Because, you know, If they blow up a pipeline, there’s the end of your natural gas. With coal, you can dump it over there, you have a two-year supply with your big plants. You can truck it over the roads that are no longer in existence. Coal is very close to my heart. Clean coal,” Trump said.
Watch the full interview below.