Mired in 2 controversies, and one of the most (if not the most) tumultuous election seasons in American history, Donald J. Trump, presidential hopeful and real-estate magnate who moonlights as a "reality" TV star, decided to come forth and speak candidly, in his own words, to the American people and set the record straight about who he is, what he stands for and what he will do for America.
Question: Mr. Trump, there has been an ongoing concern about the financial aspects of certain candidates, most notably Mrs. Clinton and yourself. To be specific, many are concerned with your tax record, the fact that no one has seen it and a string of bankruptcies you have filed. How do you respond to such concerns and accusations.
That makes me smart [not paying taxes]. You know? I sorta get away with things like that. I have used the laws of this country just like the greatest people that you read about every day in business have used the laws of this country, the chapter [bankruptcy] laws, to do a great job for my company, for myself, for my employees, for my family, et cetera.
Maybe I get away with this kind of stuff because people love me. And you know what, I have been very successful. Everybody loves me. I think it's because I've made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. You know the funny thing, I don't get along with rich people. I get along with the middle class and the poor people better than I get along with the rich people. I think I am actually humble. I think I'm much more humble than you would understand.
Question: Hmmm … quite a humble response. Anyway, that leads to my next question. Many people feel that your treatment of women is questionable at least and - some would say - unacceptable in many other ways. Specifically, your now-infamous "locker room talk" and your treatment of a female reporter, Michelle Fields, at a rally have drawn much criticism. How do you react to these sorts of charges?
You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful women - I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything. But it's just locker-room talk, stuff guys do. That's why there are separate rooms to change in. Look at the military. Who was the genius who decided to put men and women in the military together? 26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military - only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together? It's the military. It's guy stuff, like the locker room.
Question: Some would say thinking like that indicates that you believe that women are a less-important, even inferior, gender who don't deserve the same sort of consideration in terms of respect or monetary compensation at work. Is that how you feel?
Women have one of the great acts of all time. The smart ones act very feminine and needy, but inside they are real killers. The person who came up with the expression 'the weaker sex' was either very naive or had to be kidding. I have seen women manipulate men with just a twitch of their eye - or perhaps another body part. All of the women on The Apprentice [reality TV show] flirted with me - consciously or unconsciously. That's to be expected. That's how they get ahead. They have to use what they got, you know? See, beauty and elegance, whether in a woman, a building, or a work of art, is not just superficial or something pretty to see. It can be very useful. It's certainly not groundbreaking news that the early victories by the women on The Apprentice were, to a very large extent, dependent on their sex appeal, using what they got.
Question: And what about the incident involving Michelle Fields at the CNN Townhall?
She's not a baby. She was grabbing me. Am I supposed to press charges against her? She had a pen in her hand, which Secret Service is not liking because they don't know what it is, whether it's a little bomb or not.
Question: They thought a pen was a bomb … okay? This is, as previously stated, one of the more contentious political seasons and mostly on a personal level. That is to say that the levels of animosity seem to be unprecedented. The debates almost degenerate into name-calling matches and pure mud-slinging at times. What is the antagonism that you feel for Marco Rubio, for instance?
He made fun of my pee-pee. He referred to my hands, if they're small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there's no problem. I guarantee it. I've never had any trouble in bed, but if I'd had affairs with half the starlets and female athletes the newspapers linked me with, I'd have no time to breathe.
And by the way, I love women. They've come into my life. They've gone out of my life. Even those who have exited somewhat ungracefully still have a place in my heart. I only have one regret in the women department -- that I never had the opportunity to court Lady Diana Spencer. I met her on a number of occasions. Actually, I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I'm more honest and my women are more beautiful.
Question: Sorry, I didn't mean to chuckle. I thought you were pulling my leg, but since you're being serious, how do you get all these women?
Part of the beauty of me is that I am very rich.
Question: And Ted Cruz? What's the conflict with him?
His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald's being - you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. They don't even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it
Question: Hmm … interesting. Never heard that one before. And now on to the main course, what exactly is the conflict with Hillary Clinton?
I think the only card she has is the women's card. She has got nothing else going. Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she would get 5% of the vote. And the beautiful thing is women don't like her, ok?
And guns, she's always talking about how we shouldn't have guns. I think what we should do is - she goes around with armed bodyguards like you have never seen before. I think that her bodyguards should drop all their weapons. They should disarm. Right? Right? I think they should disarm - immediately. What do you think? Yes? Yes. Yeah. Take their guns away! She doesn't want guns. Take their guns - let's see what happens to her.
Question: Umm … okay. Let's see. Do you have any thoughts on who may have broken into the DNC [Democratic National Committee] and exposed those sensitive Clinton e-mails?
I don't think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. [Clinton's] saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don't - maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK? Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.
Question: Okay, that was slightly awkward. Let's move on from that. Um, this is sort of a sentimental question as well as a political one. Being a life-long New Yorker who is now running for president in the Age of Terror, to coin a phrase, where were you on 9/11?
I was down there [in lower Manhattan] and I watched our police and our firemen down at 7/11, down at the World Trade Center right after it came down. And I saw the greatest people I've ever seen in action. 40 Wall Street [Trump's personal building] actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan... And now it's the tallest.
Question: Well, no small irony there. I suppose some good comes out of all disasters. So, what are your thoughts on terror-oriented countries such as I ran and Iraq, for instance?
Iraq and Iran were very similar militarily, and they'd fight, fight, fight, and then they'd rest. They'd fight, fight, fight, and then Saddam Hussein would do the gas, and somebody else would do something else, and they'd rest.
And by the way, when Iran, when they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats, and they make gestures at our people that they shouldn't be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water [referring to a September 2016 incident where US Navy ships were approached by Iranian ships].
Oh, and by the way, I dealt with Qaddafi [former leader of Libya, supposedly associated with terrorist activity]. I rented him a piece of land. He paid me more for one night than the land was worth for two years, and then I didn't let him use the land. That's what we should be doing. I don't want to use the word 'screwed', but I screwed him. That's what we should be doing.
Question: Shifting gears slightly, ISIS has presented some interesting challenges to the US and its allies. It is an almost mysterious entity that seems to strike randomly all over the Middle-East region. What are your thoughts on ISIS?
I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me. I would bomb the shit out of them. Cuz ISIS is making a tremendous amount of money because they have certain oil camps, certain areas of oil that they took away. They have some in Syria, some in Iraq. I would bomb the shit out of 'em. I would just bomb those suckers. That's right. I'd blow up the pipes. I'd blow up every single inch. There would be nothing left. And you know what, you'll get Exxon to come in there and in two months, you ever see these guys, how good they are, the great oil companies? They'll rebuild that sucker, brand new - it'll be beautiful.
One time we were at this hotel and some of the candidates, they went in and didn't know the air conditioner didn't work and sweated like dogs, and they didn't know the room was too big because they didn't have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS? But, hey, I don't want congrats, I want toughness and vigilance. Like, why can't we use nuclear weapons?
Also, we must be smart! Because if and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS' ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened.
Question: Now that I know that you advocate nuclear weapons usage and all the environmental disasters that would entail, let me ask if you would start a war with China? There seems to be some sort of general feeling that you would.
Question: You have dubbed yourself the "law and order" candidate. Some have implied that this phrase ("law and order") is nothing more than a code for racial targeting and that the hysteria around these mass shooting is being manipulated to create fear and ultimately target minorities in order to create another era of massive incarceration. There are also intimations that you have associations with Christian fundamentalists who favor white supremacy, like David Duke for instance. How would you respond to that?
For Evangelicals, for the Christians, for everybody, for everybody of religion, this will be, may be, the most important election that our country has ever had. And once I get in, I will do my thing that I do very well. And I figure it is probably, maybe the only way I'm going to get to heaven. So I better do a good job.
Just so you understand, I don't know anything about David Duke [openly White Supremacist politician], OK? I don't know anything about what you're even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So I don't know. I don't know -- did he endorse me, or what's going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke; I know nothing about white supremacists. Just ask the LGBT community, the gay community, the lesbian community what kind of guy I am- they are so much in favor of what I've been saying and doing. Ask the gays what they think and what they do, in, not only Saudi Arabia, but many of these countries, and then you tell me - who's your friend, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?
And by the way, it's the violence that targets these minorities, not Donald Trump. Dewayne Wade's cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP! And what I would tell them is what do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump? What do you have to lose? You're living in poverty; your schools are no good; you have no jobs; 58 % of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose? At the end of four years, I guarantee you that I will get 95 % of the African-American vote.
Question: It is obvious that you have your own very unique and engaging - for lack of a better term - style - again for lack of a better term - while on stage at these rallies you hold. They have the power of something many people have never seen in their lives, something like one would have seen in Hitler's days in Nuremberg. In fact, people have, not so shockingly, likened your very presence to Hitler directly. Please tell us about this.
Well, all the greats, I mean great speakers and leaders of all time, like Hitler and Mussolini, knew that if you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed. See the crowds have limited brains but they forget really easily, so you have to keep it simple, you know? Don't get me wrong, I love simple people. We won with the poorly educated. I love the poorly educated, but that's what they are: simple. So you hit on a couple of key items and you just keep saying them over and over. Then they start repeating it, and that's all they're thinking about.
Question: I'm sorry to interrupt, but what you're saying is that you don't want the crowd to think? You just want them to repeat these mantras like "build a wall" or "make America great again"?
Yeah, sure, and we're extremely blessed in this country to have a bunch of people who are willing to let the politicians take care of things and not think about it. I basically tell them, don't worry about it, go home, relax, you work hard. Rest your mind a bit. I mean, they know I'm trying to build a wall here. Do they build walls? No. I do. I build walls and I will build a great wall?-?and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me?-?and I'll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words. I own buildings. I'm a builder; I know how to build. Nobody can build like I can build. Nobody. And the builders in New York will tell you that. I build the best product. And my name helps a lot.
And by the way, we are not talking about isolation. We're talking about security. We're not talking about religion. We're talking about security. Our country is out of control. People are pouring across the southern border. I will build a wall. It will be a great wall. People will not come in unless they come in legally. Drugs will not pour through that wall. A nation WITHOUT BORDERS is not a nation at all. We must have a wall. The rule of law matters.
Question: You said 'wall' a bunch of times there. I see what you did there. You just kind of recycled the same words over and over again - and played on stereotypical fears a bit as well. I guess it works?
Yeah, keep it simple. One time I was talking to these local-yokel reporters down in South Carolina and I was trying to tell them how I'd bring peace to Syria and they basically started yawning and falling asleep on me. So, I switched it up and dumbed it down. I'm telling you, I used to use the word incompetent. That was a mistake. Now I just call them stupid. I went to an Ivy League school. I'm very highly educated. I know words, I have the best words, but there is no better word than stupid. Right?
Question: Well that's the word going through my mind right now, actually. Can you speak to the level of antagonism and even violence in your public appearances and possibly where it stems from?
You know what I wanted to do a couple times while I was up there on that stage? I wanted to hit a couple of those speakers so hard. I would have hit them. No, no. I was going to hit them; I was all set and then I got a call from a highly respected governor... I was gonna hit one guy in particular, a very little guy. I was gonna hit this guy so hard his head would spin and he wouldn't know what the hell happened... I was going to hit a number of those speakers so hard their heads would spin, they'd never recover. And that's what I did with a lot - that's why I still don't have certain people endorsing me: they still haven't recovered. I love the old days, you know? You know what I hate? There's a guy, totally disruptive, throwing punches, we're not allowed to punch back anymore. ... I'd like to punch him in the face, I'll tell ya. I tell my people in the crowds at these rallies all the time. I say, there may be somebody with tomatoes in the audience. If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell -- I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. And that happened a few times and I was like, "That was so great. Who was the person who did that? Put up your hand, put up your hand. Bring that person up here. I love that."
Question: I suppose we now know where the violence comes from. Aside from that, however, can you look to the future and tell our readers what they can expect in terms of the remainder of the campaign and the ultimate outcome of it? For instance do you think you'll definitely get the nomination and what would happen if you did not get it?
I think you'd have riots. I'm representing many, many millions of people. In many cases first-time voters ... If you disenfranchise those people? And you say, well, I'm sorry, you're 100 votes short, even though the next one is 500 votes short? I think you'd have problems like you've never seen before. I wouldn't lead it [the violence], but I think bad things will happen. I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, okay? It's, like, incredible, so getting the votes is no problem. I've had a beautiful, I've had a flawless campaign. You'll be writing books about this campaign.
We will make America strong again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And we will make America great again. My whole life is about winning. I don't lose often. I almost never lose. We will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with winning. We will, On January 21st of 2017, the day after I take the oath of office, finally wake up in a country where the laws of the United States are enforced. We will be considerate and compassionate to everyone. But my greatest compassion will be for our own struggling citizens.