Whether it’s mocking a victim of sexual assault or defending Saudi Arabia’s crown prince even if he is thought to be involved in the murder of a journalist, President Donald Trump is no stranger to brushing off major controversies.
No matter what the drama entails, Trump will often downplay the incident or downright dismiss it.
This week, he downplayed another alleged scandal, this time involving a whistleblower complaint that allegedly involves Trump asking Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Biden’s son.
“It doesn’t matter what I discussed,” Trump told reporters when asked what he said to Zelensky during a phone call in July. Ukraine’s foreign minister later denied that Trump had pressured the president during that call.
But this isn’t the first time he’s pulled that response amid high-profile issues. As the Washington Post pointed out last year, Trump told “Larry King Live” in 2004 that he handles stress by telling himself “it doesn’t matter.”
“Nothing matters. If you tell yourself it doesn’t matter — like you do shows, you do this, you do that, and then you have earthquakes in India where 400,000 people get killed,” Trump told Larry King in that interview. “Honestly, it doesn’t matter.”
Here are more times Trump said “it doesn’t matter” when it involves things that very much do matter to the American public.
When he didn’t care to meet with the President of China to reignite trade negotiations
In June, as the U.S. trade negotiations with China remained stalled, Trump appeared uninterested in meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Japan.
During a Fox News interview ahead of the summit, Trump said “it doesn’t matter” whether Xi attended the G-20.
“If he shows up, good,” Trump said on the show. “If he doesn’t ― in the meantime, we’re taking in billions of dollars a month.”
“Eventually, they’re going to make a deal, because they’re going to have to,” he continued. “Look, they’re paying hundreds of billions of dollars.”
When GM was going to close down a plant in Ohio
As the GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, was preparing to idle, a move that would affect 1,600 workers, Trump said it “doesn’t really matter” whether the company followed through with closing the plant. The community in Lordstown relied heavily on the industrial giant.
“It doesn’t really matter because Ohio is under my leadership from a national standpoint,” Trump told Fox News in December 2018. “Ohio’s going to replace those jobs in like two minutes.”
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) denounced Trump’s remarks as insensitive: “Shame on you, Mr. President.”
When he made fun of Christine Blasey Ford’s emotional testimony
The week after Christine Blasey Ford gave an emotional testimony, detailing the trauma of her alleged sexual assault, Trump mocked her during a political rally in Mississippi, causing his supporters to erupt with laughter.
During an interview with “60 Minutes” anchor Lesley Stahl, the president defended his decision to mock her, claiming that he didn’t “really make fun of her.”
“It doesn’t matter,” he continued. “We won.”
When he disputed a key witness’ account in an investigation into possible obstruction of justice
Two months after the special counsel’s investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign was completed, Trump denied former White House counsel Don McGahn’s testimony to investigators claiming that Trump directed him to fire Robert Mueller.
Trump told ABC News that McGahn “may have been confused.” Trump then said, “I don’t care what he [McGahn] says. It doesn’t matter.”
When he told House Republicans that they have to elect him even if they don’t like him
Months after disparaging Baltimore during a high-profile spat with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D), who represents a district there, Trump paid a visit to the city to attend a GOP retreat.
“Whether you like me or not, it doesn’t matter,” the president told Republican lawmakers during a nearly 70-minute speech at the Baltimore event.
“You have to elect me, you have no choice,” Trump said, later adding that a Democratic president would “take your money and very much hurt your families,” according to The New York Times.