Former President Donald Trump slammed Dr. Anthony Fauci as not being a "very good doctor," but acknowledged on Newsmax Friday that the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is a "very good promoter."
"I got along with him," Trump told Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "He says, 'Sir, just call me Tony. Just call me Tony.' He was a very good promoter. I don't think he's a very good doctor, but he was a very good promoter."
He also recalled that in January 2020, when the debate in the White House was about closing the country to travelers from China, Fauci hit back.
Ric Grenell, who was in the Oval Office that day and is a guest host on "Wake Up America," was quick to back up the president's comments.
"The intelligence community told you that it wasn't necessary, and you overruled them," Grenell said. "That is a fact. I don't care what the media says about that. That is a fact. You overruled and moved quickly to close because you had a gut instinct about it ... I just want to make that point clear for all those revisionist media types."
Trump also said he thinks President Joe Biden hasn't fired Fauci, who is now his chief medical adviser on COVID, because the current administration thinks the famous virologist opposes him.
"I don't actually think he's against me," said Trump. "I think it's just, you know, he's very confused. Look. He's coming along with so many policies."
And Fauci was one of the people who said "no, no, no, leave it open," when it comes to travel from China, but three months later he also said Trump saved "tens of thousands of lives by making that decision," said Trump.
The former president also said his administration saved "tens of thousands of lives" by closing the flights coming from Europe.
"These two decisions were very big, but especially the China one because that was so early," said Trump. "Nobody would have even, I think very few people would have done that. But that was a good decision. That was a very good decision."
Trump also claimed that he "didn't listen to (Fauci) too much."
"Had I listened to him it would have been not so good, but I did listen to his opinion," Trump said of Fauci, who served as one of the most-quoted members of the then-White House Coronavirus Task Force.
"I knew him. He's a character," said Trump. "He's an interesting guy, but he's a much better promoter. For instance, he told me he was a very good athlete, and then I saw him throw the baseball, not a good pitch. Not good, I said. I said there's no good athlete that throws the baseball like that."
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