And he pledged his loyalty to Egypt. "I would never run away," he said, "I will die on this soil." He also defended his legacy, recounting the many years he has spent leading his country.
While he described President Obama as a very good man, he wavered when I asked him if he felt the U.S. had betrayed him. When I asked him how he responded to the United States' veiled calls for him to step aside sooner rather than later, he said he told President Obama, "You don't understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now."
He told me, "I never intended to run [for office] again. I never intended Gamal to be president after me."
Gamal, his son, was sitting in the room with us as he said this.
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