nettime's_roving_reporter on Wed, 23 Mar 2016 21:51:36 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> transcript of Trump's meeting with the Washington Post editorical board


A transcript of Donald Trump's meeting with The Washington Post
editorial board

Washington Post. Thank you for making time to meet with our editorial

DONALD TRUMP: New building. Yes this is very nice. Good luck with it.

RYAN: Thank you... We've heard you're going to be announcing your
foreign policy team shortly... Any you can share with us?

TRUMP: Well, I hadn't thought of doing it, but if you want I can give
you some of the names... Walid Phares, who you probably know, PhD,
adviser to the House of Representatives caucus, and counter-terrorism
expert; Carter Page, PhD; George Papadopoulos, he's an energy and oil
consultant, excellent guy; the Honorable Joe Schmitz, [former] inspector
general at the Department of Defense; [retired] Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg;
and I have quite a few more. But that's a group of some of the people
that we are dealing with. We have many other people in different aspects
of what we do, but that's a representative group.


TRUMP: No, other than to say, we're working hard, I think we're all in
the same business of trying to make our country better, a better place,
so we have something in common. I've been treated very, very badly by
The Washington Post, but, you know, I guess -- and I'm your neighbor,
I'm your neighbor right down the road, in fact we're actually giving a
press conference there in a little while, I think your people are going
to be there. And by the way, Bob Costa is an excellent reporter, I've
found him to be just an excellent reporter. I should tell you, because I
have to give you the good and the bad. Not that he does me any favors,
because he doesn't, but he's a real professional.

So we're having a news conference today in the new building that's going
up, and the building is very much ahead of schedule, because it was
supposed to open two years from September, and we're going to open it in
September. We could open it actually sooner but we're going to break it
in a little bit, so we're going to open it in September, and it's under
budget, even though we've increased the quality of the finishes
substantially, marble finishes, very high quality of marble, so we're
under budget and ahead of schedule. And I'm, you know, I am that way
when I build, I know how to build, I know how to get things done.

The GSA [General Services Administration], I will say, GSA has been very
professional, they've been very, very professional. They chose us
over--I think they had more than 100 people who bid, you can imagine,
because of the location, but they had over 100 people that bid, and it
was broken down into ten finalists, and I got it. We got it because of
the strength of my financial statement and also because of the strength
of what we were proposing. So we're having a news conference there
today. What time is that, Hope?


TRUMP: 2:15. I hear a lot of the press is going to be there, we're going
to give them a tour of the building. It's still a little bit rough -- as
an example, a lot of the marble surfaces all have sheetrock covering,
and plywood covering on them, so a lot of people won't see as much as
they think. It'll be like a miracle, you take it off and it explodes,
like it's finished, right? But that'll be a fun news conference.

HIATT: If I could, I'd start by asking is there a secretary of state and
a secretary of defense in the modern era who you think have done a good
job? Who do you think were the best?

TRUMP: Well, because I know so many of them, and because in many cases I
like them, I hate to get totally involved. I think George Shultz was
very good, I thought he was excellent. I can tell you, I think your last
secretary of state and your current secretary of state have not done
much. I think John Kerry's deal with Iran is one of the worst things
that I've ever seen negotiated of any kind. It's just a horrible

HIATT: What in particular?

TRUMP: Well, I think, number one, we shouldn't have given the money
back. I think, number two, we should have had our prisoners before the
negotiations started. We should have doubled up the sanctions. We should
have gone in and said, 'release our prisoners,' they would have said
'no,' and we would have said, 'double up the sanctions,' and within a
short period of time we would have had our prisoners back. And I think
that was a terrible mistake. I think giving the money back was a
terrible mistake. And by the way they are not using the money on us,
they are not buying anything from us, they're buying, you noticed, they
didn't buy Boeing, they bought Airbus, 118 planes from what I
understand, but they bought them all from Airbus, they go out of their
way not to spend any money in our country. So I wouldn't have done that.
And I think it's going to just lead, actually, to nuclear problems. I
also think it's going to be bad for Israel. It's a very bad deal for

HIATT: George Shultz, it's interesting, was associated with a foreign
policy of Reagan that was very much devoted to promoting democracy and
freedom overseas. Is that something you think in today's world the
United States should be doing?

TRUMP: I do think it's a different world today and I don't think we
should be nation building anymore. I think it's proven not to work. And
we have a different country than we did then. You know we have 19
trillion dollars in debt. We're sitting probably on a bubble and, you
know, it's a bubble that if it breaks is going to be very nasty. And I
just think we have to rebuild our country. If you look at the
infrastructure -- I just landed at an airport where, not in good shape,
not in good shape. If you go to Qatar and if you go to (inaudible) you
see airports the likes of which you have never seen before. Dubai,
different places in China. You see infrastructure, you see airports,
other things, the likes of which you have never seen here.

HIATT: Short of nation building, is there any role in promoting values
or democracy? Or that's not something...

TRUMP: Well, there is, I just think that we have values in our country
that we have to promote. We have a country that is in bad shape, it's in
bad condition. You look at our inner cities, our inner cities are a
horrible mess. I watched Baltimore, I have many, many friends in
Baltimore, we watched what happened. St. Louis, Ferguson, Oakland, it
could have been much worse over the summer. And it will probably be
worse this summer. But you look at some of our inner cities. And yet you
know I watched as we built schools in Iraq and they'd be blown up. And
we'd build another one and it would get blown up. And we would rebuild
it three times. And yet we can't build a school in Brooklyn. We have no
money for education, because we can't build in our own country. And at
what point do you say hey, we have to take care of ourselves. So, you
know, I know the outer world exists and I'll be very cognizant of that
but at the same time, our country is disintegrating, large sections of
it, especially in the inner cities.

HIATT: So what would you do for Baltimore, let's say.

TRUMP: Well, number one, I'd create economic zones. I'd create
incentives for companies to move in. I'd work on spirit because the
spirit is so low, it's incredible, the unemployment, you look at
unemployment for black youth in this country, African American youth, is
58-59 percent. It's unthinkable. Unemployment for African Americans --
not youth, but African Americans -- is very high. And I would create in
the inner cities, which is what I really do best, that's why when I open
a building and I show you it's way ahead of schedule, under budget and
everything else--I think it was the Rite Aid store, the store in
Baltimore it took them 20 years to get it built, one store, and then it
burned down in one night--we have to create incentives for people to
love what they are doing, and to make money. And to create, you know, to
really create a better life for themselves. And you can't -- it doesn't
seem right that you will have a situation like Baltimore, and many other
places, let's use Baltimore as an example, there are many Baltimores in
this country. Detroit is maybe even a better example than Baltimore. But
that you'll have a situation like that, and then we're over nation
building with other, with countries that in many cases don't want us
there. They want our money, but they don't want us.

HIATT: The root of many people's unhappiness in Baltimore was the
perception that blacks are treated differently by law enforcement. And
the disproportionate -- do you think it's a problem that the percentage
of blacks in prison is higher than whites, and what do you think is the
root of that situation?

TRUMP: Well I've never really see anything that -- you know, I feel very
strongly about law enforcement. And, you know, if you look at the riot
that took place over the summer, if that were stopped -- it all, it
mostly took place on the first evening, and if that were stopped on the
first evening, you know, you'd have a much nicer city right now, because
much of that damage and much of the destruction was done on Evening One.
So I feel that law enforcement, it's got to play a big role. It's got to
play a big role. But that's a pretty good example, because tremendous
amounts of damage was done that first evening -- first two evenings, but
the first evening in particular. And so I'm a very strong believer in
law enforcement, but I'm also a very strong believer that the inner
cities can come back.

HIATT: Do you see any racial disparities in law enforcement -- I mean,
what set it off was the Freddie Gray killing, as you know. Is that an
issue that concerns you?

TRUMP: Well, look, I mean, I have to see what happens with the trial.

HIATT: Well, forget Freddie Gray, but in general, do you believe there
are disparities in law enforcement?

TRUMP: I've read where there are and I've read where there aren't. I
mean, I've read both. And, you know, I have no opinion on that. Because
frankly, what I'm saying is you know we have to create incentives for
people to go back and to reinvigorate the areas and to put people to
work. And you know we have lost million and millions of jobs to China
and other countries. And they've been taken out of this country, and
when I say millions, you know it's, it's tremendous. I've seen 5 million
jobs, I've seen numbers that range from 6 million to, to smaller
numbers. But it's many millions of jobs, and it's to countries all over.
Mexico is really becoming the new China. And I have great issue with
that. Because you know I use in speeches sometimes Ford or sometimes I
use Carrier -- it's all the same: Ford, Carrier, Nabisco, so many of the
companies -- they're moving to Mexico now. And you know we shouldn't be
allowing that to happen. And tremendous unemployment, tremendous.
They're allowing tremendous people that have worked for the companies
for a long time, they're allowing, if they want to move around and they
want to work on incentives within the United States, that's one thing,
but when they take these companies out of the United States. Other
countries are outsmarting us by giving them advantages, you know, like
in the case of Mexico. In the case of many other countries. Like Ireland
is, you're losing Pfizer to Ireland, a great pharmaceutical company that
with many, many jobs and it's going to move to Ireland.

RUTH MARCUS, COLUMNIST: But Mr. Trump, if I could just follow up on
Fred's question. I think that what he was trying to get at was the anger
in the African American community that held some of the riots and
disturbances this summer about disparate treatment and about ... clearly
you say you've read where there is disparate treatment. But it is pretty
undeniable that there is disproportionate incarceration of African
Americans vs. whites. What would you -- is that something that concerns

TRUMP: That would concern me, Ruth. It would concern me. But at the same
time it can be solved to a large extant with jobs. You know, if we can
rebuild those communities and create incentives for companies to move in
and create jobs. Jobs are so important. There are no jobs. There are
none. You go to those communities and you can't -- there is nothing
there. There is no incentive for people. It is a very sad situation. And
what makes it even sadder is that we are spending so much money in other
countries and our own country has vast pockets of poverty and a lot of
this is caused by the fact that there are no jobs. So we can create jobs
in places like Baltimore and Detroit. You know, Detroit made a move, but
I don't know but it just seems to be fizzling. I don't know what is
going on. I watched Detroit four, five years ago and it looked like they
were really putting a full-court press on and it doesn't seem to be,
from what I've been told, friends of mine that are very much involved in
that whole process that it doesn't seem to be, doesn't seem to be
something that is being pursued like it should be pursued. But if we can
create jobs, it will solve so many problems.

mean, to take the case of Baltimore, I mean one of the things that's so
remarkable about Baltimore and Detroit is that both of these cities,
like many others have been -- it's not as if no one has ever said before
we should have economic zones, it's not as if no one has ever said
before we need incentives and taxes etc., etc. And Baltimore received a
lot of federal aid over the years. So I guess the question, then, is
what's different specifically about your approach to these issues from
what's been tried in the past, because a lot of effort has been put in
just the direction you just described.

TRUMP: I think what's different is we have a very divided country. And
whether we like it or not, it's divided as bad as I've ever seen it.
I've been, you know, I've been doing things for a long time. I see it
all the time. I mean I see it so often. I see it when we go out and we
have 21,000 people in Phoenix, Arizona, the other day, the division --
not so much Phoenix, because that was actually very smooth, there wasn't
even a minor, they did block a road, but after that, that was Sheriff
Joe Arpaio, when the road was unblocked everyone left and it was fine.
But in Tucson, you can see the division. You can see the division.
There's a racial division that's incredible actually in the country. I
think it's as bad, I mean you have to say it's as bad or almost as bad
as it's ever been. And there's a lack of spirit. And one thing I thought
that would happen, and it hasn't happened, unfortunately, I thought that
President Obama would be a great cheerleader for the country. And it
just hasn't happened. I mean we can say it has. But it hasn't happened.
When you look at the Ferguson problems and the Baltimore problems and
the Detroit problems. And you know there's a lack of spirit. I actually
think I'd be a great cheerleader -- beyond other things, the other
things that I'd do -- I actually think I'd be a great cheerleader for
the country. Because a lot of people feel it's a hopeless situation. A
lot of people in the inner cities they feel that way. And you have to
start by giving them hope and giving them spirit and that has not taken
place. Just has not taken place.

RYAN: Mr. Trump, you've mentioned many times during the campaign, in
fact including this morning, instances you feel where the press has been
biased or unfair or outright false in their reporting, and you've
mentioned that you want to "open up" the libel laws. You've said that
several times.

TRUMP: I might not have to, based on Gawker. Right?


TRUMP: That was an amazing--

RYAN: My question is not so much why you feel they should be open but
how. What presidential powers and executive actions would you take to
open up the libel laws?

TRUMP: Okay, look, I've had stories written about me -- by your
newspaper and by others -- that are so false, that are written with such
hatred -- I'm not a bad person. I'm just doing my thing -- I'm, you
know, running, I want to do something that's good. It's not an easy
thing to do. I had a nice life until I did this, you know. This is a
very difficult thing to do. In fact I've always heard that if you're a
very successful person you can't run for office. And I can understand
that. You'll do a hundred deals, and you'll do one bad one or two bad
ones -- that's all they read about are the bad ones. They don't read
about the one hundred and fifty great ones that you had. And even some
of the ones they write that are good, they make them sound bad. You
know, so I've always heard that. I've heard that if you're successful --
very successful -- you just can't run for--

RYAN: But how would you fix that? You've said that you would open up the
libel laws.

TRUMP: What I would do, what I would do is I'd -- well right now the
libel laws, I mean I must tell you that the Hulk Hogan thing was a
tremendous shock to me because -- not only the amount and the fact that
he had the victory -- because for the most part I think libel laws
almost don't exist in this country, you know, based on, based on
everything I've seen and watched and everything else, and I just think
that if a paper writes something wrong -- media, when I say paper I'm
talking about media. I think that they can do a retraction if they're
wrong. They should at least try to get it right. And if they don't do a
retraction, they should, they should you know have a form of a trial. I
don't want to impede free press, by the way. The last thing I would want
to do is that. But I mean I can only speak for -- I probably get more --
do I, I mean, you would know, do I get more publicity than any human
being on the earth? Okay? I mean, [Editor's note: Trump points at Ruth
Marcus] she kills me, this one -- that's okay, nice woman.

RYAN: Would you expand, for example, prior restraints against publications?

TRUMP: No, I would just say this. All I want is fairness. So unfair. I
have stories and you have no recourse, you have no recourse whatsoever
because the laws are really impotent.

MARCUS: So in a better world would you be able to sue me?

TRUMP: In a better world -- no -- in a better world I would be able to
get a retraction or a correction. Not even a retraction, a correction.

RYAN: Well, now, you've been a plaintiff in libel suits so you know a
little bit of the elements ...

TRUMP: I had one basic big libel suit, it was a very bad system, it was
New Jersey. I had a great judge, the first one, and I was going to win
it. And then I had another good judge, the second one, and then they
kept switching judges. And the third one was a bad judge. That's what
happened. But, uh...

RYAN: But there's standards like malice is required. Would you weaken
that? Would you require less than malice for news organizations?

TRUMP: I would make it so that when someone writes incorrectly, yeah, I
think I would get a little bit away from malice without having to get
too totally away. Look, I think many of the stories about me are written
badly. I don't know if it's malice because the people don't know me.
When Charles writes about me or when Ruth writes about me, you know,
we've never really met. And I get these stories and they're so angry and
I actually say, I actually say, "How could they write?" -- and many
stories I must tell you, many stories are written that with a brief
phone call could be corrected before they're written. Nobody calls me.

STEPHEN STROMBERG, EDITORIAL WRITER: How are you defining "incorrect?"
It seems like you're defining it as fairness or your view of fairness
rather than accuracy.

TRUMP: Fairness, fairness is, you know, part of the word. But you know,
I've had stories that are written that are absolutely incorrect. I'll
tell you now and the word "intent", as you know, is an important word,
as you know, in libel. I'll give you an example. Some of the media, not
all of it, but some of it, is very, very strong on -- you know I get
these massive crowds of people, and we'll get protesters. And these
protesters are honestly, they're very bad people. In many cases, they're
professionals. Highly trained professionals. And I will rent an arena
for 20,000 seats and they will come in -- because there's really no way
-- how you going to be able to tell -- somebody said "oh you shouldn't
let 'em in" -- how you gonna know, you know? They walk in. [Inaudible]
So we had an incident this weekend, which was amazing in Tucson, Arizona
where a man, a protestor, wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit, another one
dragging an American flag, was walking out of the arena, and an African
American man who was a supporter was sitting there listening to the
speech and we had to stop because they were so loud -- they're so loud,
these people, I don't know what they do, they're trained voices or
something. And they're walking up and you saw it, because it was all
over television, and the African American man became incensed I think
the guy said something to him like you know what, like "screw you,"
okay? Or worse. I think, because he looked over to him and said
something to him and the guy just had it. Now, they were together, these
two. The one wearing a Ku Klux Klan, the other dragging a flag or
something, but the African American man, who I think was an Air Force
person, I just read he had a pretty stellar life so far. And he just
became incensed. So when I saw the television yesterday early in the
morning I saw the Ku Klux Klan, I saw exactly what happened. By the time
it got on to the national shows that was for the most part taken out.
They just had this African American smacking, you know, fighting. And it
didn't make sense, you know, why, why. But if you saw it in the morning
it made a lot more sense. We don't condone violence at all but it's
very, very unfair reporting and we, you know...

HIATT: Sorry, when you say we don't condone violence --

TRUMP: I say that.

HIATT: You say that. But you've also said, "In the good old days, he
would have been ripped out of his seat so fast, you wouldn't believe
it." Isn't that condoning violence?

TRUMP: No, because what I am referring to is, we've had some very bad
people come in. We had one guy -- and I said it -- he had the voice --
and this was what I was referring to -- and I said, "Boy, I'd like to
smash him." You know, I said that. I'd like to punch him. This guy was
unbelievably loud. He had a voice like Pavarotti. I said if I was his
manager I would have made a lot of money for him, because he had the
best voice. I mean, the guy was unbelievable, how loud he was. And he
was a swinger. He was hitting people. He was punching and swinging and
screaming -- you couldn't make -- so you have to stop. You know, there
is also something about the First Amendment, but you had to stop. And,
so, this one man was very violent and very loud. And when he was being
taken out, he walked out like this, with his finger way up, like, "screw
everybody." And that's when I made that statement. He was absolutely out
-- I mean, he hit people and he screamed and then he was walking out and
he's giving everybody the finger. And they don't talk about that. See,
they don't talk about that. They say, "Donald, wait a second, Donald,
don't" --

HIATT: But your answer is you condone violence when the guy is really
egregious and terrible?

TRUMP: No, I condone strong law and order. I'll tell you what they --

HIATT: Rip him out of his seat, punch him in the face, isn't that

TRUMP: Well he punched other people.

HIATT: No, I understand that.

TRUMP: Fred, he punched other people. He was punching people. He was --
one guy was, you know, I'd like to say --

protester who was sucker punched -- he didn't punch anyone --


ARMAO: He was being escorted from police, and he was sucker punched.

TRUMP: No. When are you talking about? When?

ARMAO: In Fayetteville.


TRUMP: I don't know. I don't know which one.

ARMAO: Yes you do.

TRUMP: I don't know. Because we've had so many --

ARMAO: That's the gentleman you said you were going to look into to see
whether or not to pay his legal fees.

TRUMP: Oh well that's a different -- that's different from the one I'm
talking about. This one was about a month ago. This one was before

ARMAO: Well, okay, Fayetteville, do you condone violence in that case --

TRUMP: No I don't, no I don't, that's different --

ARMAO: Where the protester is being walked out --

TRUMP: By the way, that's different --

ARMAO: But, yet, you explained it that he was giving the finger and so
he provoked it, so he got sucker punched. And you are going to possibly
pay for his legal expenses.

TRUMP: He did give the finger, and --

ARMAO: So that's okay?

TRUMP: Well, a lot of people don't -- you know, the finger means, "F
you." A lot of people think -- and you have children there, you have a
lot of children that go, you know, they go with their parents -- a lot
of people think that's very inappropriate. I mean, you know --

ARMAO: It's certainly inappropriate.

TRUMP: Well, I think it is.

ARMAO: But does it -- is it -- does it qualify to --

TRUMP: So do you let him --

ARMAO: -- to punch him in the face?

TRUMP: Again I don't condone it. So do you let him walk out, he's
holding up his finger, telling everybody. Same thing happened, you know,
the last one in --

HIATT: I guess the question is, when you then offer to pay the guy's
legal fees, isn't that --

TRUMP: I didn't offer --

HIATT: Isn't that condoning?

TRUMP: No, I didn't offer, Fred --

HIATT: You said you would consider it --

TRUMP: I said I want to look into it. I said I want to look into it. I
didn't say that.

HIATT: Isn't that condoning?

TRUMP: No, I don't think so.

HIATT: Doesn't that convey a message of approval?

TRUMP: Don't think so.

LEWANDOWSKI: To be fair, before every event, there is a public service
announcement made about --

TRUMP: It's true.

LEWANDOWSKI: -- any potential protesters. That is made to everybody that
says --

TRUMP: Strong.

LEWANDOWSKI: -- please do not engage these protesters. You know, they
may cause a disturbance. Please do your best, let local law enforcement
handle this or security at that venue. The problem becomes, with a
massive crowd of twenty or thirty or forty thousand people, the
resources that are there don't have the ability to get to all these
people in a manner before the crowd reacts, because the agitators are
inciting those people. So we are very clear at the onset, that there is
a loud public notice that says, "please do not engage these people,
please let them do their job, and let the local law enforcement deal
with that." That's said at the very front end at every event.

TRUMP: Very loud, and it's repeated over and over. Actually, I guess
it's on tape, but they repeat it over and over. One thing that was
interesting this weekend. We had in Phoenix, Arizona, we had an
interesting incident. We had people, we had a major highway coming into
the arena. It's not an arena, it's a huge open space, 60 acres, and it
was packed. And we had a major highway coming in, and people --
protesters -- stopped their car in the middle of the highway, chained
themselves to their cars, and the cars -- blocked. They were there for a
while. A car was not able to move. They were backed up for 20 -- I mean,
like, just forever. And, it was terrible. And they were very abusive,
screaming, you know, "screw you, screw you, pigs, pigs" -- meaning to
the cops. Sheriff Joe Arpaio -- now that was his territory. Okay, he's a
tough cookie. Sheriff Joe saw this, he gave them a couple of minutes to
move their car -- they didn't move them -- cut the chains, arrested the
people and just moved the cars over. I don't know how they did it --
just, they were gone in minutes after he came there. Minutes. It was
amazing how quick. They actually had chains around their necks. They
didn't even know why they were there. People -- somebody was
interviewed, "Why are you here?" "Well, I don't know, I'm not sure."
They didn't even know.

Nobody ever talks about these people. They say, "Oh, Trump had a bad
rally," or something. You know there are two sides to it, and honestly,
there is really one side of it -- because you see how bad this was. So
what happened is they arrested three people. There were probably a
hundred or a hundred-fifty protesters, there were 21,000 people there,
there were 150 protesters that were creating havoc. As soon as the three
people were arrested, everybody else ran. That was the last we heard,
and I made a speech for, you know, a half hour, 45 minutes -- not one
person stood up and started screaming at this speech. It was sort of an
amazing thing.

Now Tucson was different. Different police force, different level of,
you know, whatever, and we had numerous interruptions during the speech.
You know, I'll be speaking, I'll be ready to make a point, and a guy
will stand up and start, just screaming. Out of -- from nowhere, for,
like, no reason. Not even screaming things that make sense, and often
screaming tremendous obscenities.

I know [Lewandowski] went in -- he took a lot of heat a couple of days
ago in that same rally because he went in to get -- to quiet people
down, and they had a couple of signs "F-you" -- it just said "F-you,"
meaning the word spelled out, and you have cameras there, you know, it's
on live television, and you have guys holding signs saying "F-you Trump"
or just "F-you," and they had numerous of those -- there were, you know,
probably ten of those signs throughout the arena.

And he went in to say, please would you move the sign, and the woman in
front -- and I saw it -- this guy grabbed the woman in front, okay, he
[Lewandowski] hardly touched him -- he took him -- If he touched him at
all it was just grabbing the shirt a little bit. But the guy was a real
wiseguy. And he was screaming obscenities. He did grab the woman in
front and ultimately he was led out by the security guy, who was right
behind him.

But the reason is that the police were slow to get there. And the point
is this: You're making a speech and you have guys getting up saying,
[Editor's note: Trump says the next few words in a hushed voice] "fuck
you," and the whole place goes, "Whoa," and it incites the place. They
incite the place, because then everyone goes, "USA, USA." That's why
they're all screaming "USA, USA," or "Trump, Trump, Trump."

You can have 20,000 people and you can have like two people. Usually --
it's amazing -- usually it's one person. I mean, it's like they stage
it. It's very professional. They have like one person here, one person
here, one person.

Okay, we're talking about the media. So, I've never seen the media cover
it from that angle. It's always, "Trump had a" -- and here's the big
thing, I mean, honestly, essentially nobody has heard

HIATT: But just -- given the Supreme Court rulings on libel -- Sullivan
v. New York Times -- how would you change the law?

TRUMP: I would just loosen them up.

RUTH MARCUS: What does that mean?


TRUMP: I'd have to get my lawyers in to tell you, but I would loosen
them up. I would loosen them up. If The Washington Post writes badly
about me -- and they do, they don't write good -- I mean, I don't think
I get -- I read some of the stories coming up here, and I said to my
staff, I said, "Why are we even wasting our time? The hatred is so
enormous." I don't know why. I mean, I do a good job. I have thousands
of employees. I work hard.

I'm not looking for bad for our country. I'm a very rational person, I'm
a very sane person. I'm not looking for bad. But I read articles by you,
and others. And, you know, we've never -- we don't know each other, and
the level of hatred is so incredible, I actually said, "Why am I -- why
am I doing this? Why am I even here?" And I don't expect anything to

RYAN: Would that be the standard then? If there is an article that you
feel has hatred, or is bad, would that be the basis for libel?

TRUMP: No, if it's wrong. If it's wrong.

RYAN: Wrong whether there's malice or not?

TRUMP: I mean, The Washington Post never calls me. I never had a call,
"Why -- why did you do this?" or "Why did you do that?" It's just, you
know, like I'm this horrible human being. And I'm not. You know, the one
thing we have in common I think we all love the country. Now, maybe we
come at it from different sides, but nobody ever calls me. I mean, Bob
Costa calls about a political story -- he called because we're meeting
senators in a little while and congressmen, supporters -- but nobody
ever calls.

RYAN: The reason I keep asking this is because you've said three times
you've said we are going to open up the libel laws and when we ask you
what you mean you say hatred, or bad–

TRUMP: I want to make it more fair from the side where I am, because
things are said that are libelous, things are said about me that are so
egregious and so wrong, and right now according to the libel laws I can
do almost nothing about it because I'm a well-known person you know,
etc., etc.

little bit, can you talk a little bit about what you see as the future
of NATO? Should it expand in any way?

TRUMP: Look, I see NATO as a good thing to have -- I look at the Ukraine
situation and I say, so Ukraine is a country that affects us far less
than it affects other countries in NATO, and yet we are doing all of the
lifting, they're not doing anything. And I say, why is it that Germany
is not dealing with NATO on Ukraine? Why is it that other countries that
are in the vicinity of the Ukraine not dealing with -- why are we always
the one that's leading, potentially the third world war, okay, with
Russia? Why are we always the ones that are doing it? And I think the
concept of NATO is good, but I do think the United States has to have
some help. We are not helped. I'll give you a better example than that.
I mean, we pay billions– hundreds of billions of dollars to supporting
other countries that are in theory wealthier than we are.

DIEHL: Hundreds of billions?

TRUMP: Billions. Well if you look at Germany, if you look at Saudi
Arabia, if you look at Japan, if you look at South Korea -- I mean we
spend billions of dollars on Saudi Arabia, and they have nothing but
money. And I say, why? Now I would go in and I would structure a much
different deal with them, and it would be a much better deal. When you
look at the kind of money that our country is losing, we can't afford to
do this. Certainly we can't afford to do it anymore.

DIEHL: About Ukraine, was it right for the United States to impose
sanctions on Russia when they invaded Crimea and would you keep those
sanctions on them?

TRUMP: I think the answer is yes, it was, but I don't see other people
doing much about it. I see us doing things about it, but I don't see
other people doing much about it.

DIEHL: And could I ask you about ISIS, speaking of making commitments,
because you talked recently about possibly sending 20 or 30,000 troops

TRUMP: No I didn't, oh no no no, okay, I know what you're saying. There
was a question asked to me. I said that the military, the generals have
said that 20- to 30,000. They said, would you send troops? I didn't say
send 20,000. I said, well the generals are saying you'd need because
they , what would it take to wipe out ISIS, I said pretty much exactly
this, I said the generals, the military is saying you would need 20- to
30,000 troops, but I didn't say that I would send them.

DIEHL: If they said that, would you go along with that and send the

TRUMP: I find it hard to go along with--I mention that as an example
because it's so much. That's why I brought that up. But a couple of
people have said the same thing as you, where they said did I say that
and I said that that's a number that I heard would be needed. I would
find it very, very hard to send that many troops to take care of it. I
would say this, I would put tremendous pressure on other countries that
are over there to use their troops and I'd give them tremendous air
supporters and support , because we have to get rid of ISIS, okay, just
so -- we have to get rid of ISIS. I would get other countries to become
very much involved.

DIEHL: What about China and the South China Sea. What do you think
they're up to and--

TRUMP: I think it's a terrible situation, I think it's terrible they
have no respect for–

DIEHL: –and what should we do about it?

TRUMP: Well look, we have power over China and people don't realize it.
We have trade power over China. I don't think we are going to start
World War III over what they did, it affects other countries certainly a
lot more than it affects us. But--and honestly, you know part of--I
always say we have to be unpredictable. We're totally predictable. And
predictable is bad. Sitting at a meeting like this and explaining my
views and if I do become president, I have these views that are down for
the other side to look at, you know. I hate being so open. I hate when
they say -- like I said get rid of the oil, keep the oil, different
things over the years, when people are saying what would you do with
regard to the Middle East, when we left -- We should have never been in
Iraq. It was a horr- it was one of the worst decisions ever made in the
history of our country. We then got out badly, then after we got out, I
said, "Keep the oil. If we don't keep it Iran's going to get it." And it
turns out Iran and ISIS basically--

HIATT: How do you keep it without troops, how do you defend the oil?

TRUMP: You would... You would, well for that– for that, I would circle
it. I would defend those areas.

HIATT: With U.S. troops?

TRUMP: Yeah, I would defend the areas with the oil. And I would have
taken out a lot of oil. And, uh, I would have kept it. I mean, I would
have kept it, because, look: Iran has the oil, and they're going to have
the oil, well, the stuff they don't have, because Iran is taking over
Iraq as sure as you're sitting there. And I've been very good on this
stuff. My prognostications, my predictions have become, have been very
accurate, if you look.

HIATT: So what do you think China's aims are in the South China Sea?

TRUMP: Well I know China very well, because I deal with China all the
time. I've done very well. China's unbelievably ambitious. China is,
uh... I mean, when I deal with China, you know, I have the Bank of
America building, I've done some great deals with China. I do deals with
them all the time on, you know, selling apartments, and, you know,
people say 'oh that's not the same thing.' The level of... uh, the
largest bank in the world, 400 million customers, is a tenant of mine in
New York, in Manhattan. The biggest bank in China. The biggest bank in
the world.

China has got unbelievable ambitions. China feels very invincible. We
have rebuilt China. They have drained so much money out of our country
that they've rebuilt China. Without us, you wouldn't see the airports
and the roadways and the bridges; I mean, the George Washington Bridge
is like, that's like a trinket compared to the bridges that they've
built in China. We don't build anymore, and it, you know, we had our
day. But China, if you look at what's going on in China, you know, they
go down to seven percent or eight percent and it's like a national
catastrophe. Our GDP is right now zero. Essentially zero.

DIEHL: Could you use trade to cause them to retreat in the South China

TRUMP: I think so, yeah. I think so

DIEHL: What would you do?

TRUMP: We, well, you start making it tougher. They're selling their
products to us for... you know, with no tax, no nothing. By the way, we
can't deal with them, but they can deal with us. See, we are free trade.
The story is, and I have so many people that deal with China –they can
easily sell their product here. No tax, no nothing, just 'come on, bring
it all in, you know, bring in your apples, bring in everything you make'
and no taxes whatsoever, right? If you want to deal with China, it's
just the opposite. You can't do that. In other words, if you want to, if
you're a manufacturer, you want to go into China? It's very hard to get
your product in, and if you get it in you have to pay a very big tax.

HIATT: So, if they occupied what the Japanese call the Senkaku Islands,
is that something the United States...

TRUMP: Well, I, you know, again, I don't like to tell you what I'd do,
because I don't want to... You understand what I'm saying, Fred? If I...
Okay, if I say 'Well, we should go in and do this or that or that,' I
don't want to, I don't want to sort of... red flag all over it. I do
think this: It's an unbelievable thing that they've done, it's
unbelievable aggression, it's unbelievable lack of respect for this

HIATT: This theory of unpredictability, I want to push a little bit, I
mean -- there are many people who think that North Korea invaded South
Korea precisely because Acheson wasn't clear that we would defend South
Korea. So I'm curious, does ambiguity sometimes have dangers?

TRUMP: Well I'll give you, I'll give you an example. President Obama,
when he left Iraq, gave a specific date -- we're going to be out. I
thought that was a terrible thing to do. And the enemy pulled back,
because they don't want die. Despite what you read, you know, they don't
want to die -- and they just pulled back, and after we left, all hell
broke out, right? And I'll give you another example that I think was
terrible: when they sent, a few months ago, they sent fifty troops in.
You know, fifty elite troops. Now, why do we have to have a news
conference to announce that we're sending fifty troops? So those troops
now have targets on their back. shouldn't do it. We're so
predictable: "Ladies and gentlemen, we're sending fifty troops into Iraq
or Syria. And these are our elite troops. And they're going to do this
and that and that and this." And those troops now are being hunted. If
you didn't send them, they wouldn't -- if you didn't say that, they
wouldn't know. I mean, there are times when you just can't be... You
talk too much. We talk too much. I guess they thought that was good
politically, to say we're sending fifty troops? I don't think it was

LANE: Can I ask you...Just going back to NATO, because...


LANE: As you know, the whole theory of NATO from the beginning was to
keep the United States involved in the long term in Europe to balance,
to promote a balance of power in that region so we wouldn't have a
repeat of World War I and World War 2. And it seems to be like what
you're saying is very similar to what President Obama said to Jeffrey
Goldberg, in that we have allies that become free riders. So it seems
like there's some convergence with the president there. What concerns me
about both is that to some extent it was always thought to be in our
interest that we, yes, we would take some of the burden on, yes, even if
the net-net was not 100 percent, even steven, with the Germans. So I'd
like to hear you say very specifically, you know, with respect to NATO,
what is your ask of these other countries? Right, you've painted it in
very broad terms, but do you have a percent of GDP that they should be
spending on defense? Tell me more. Because it's not that you want to
pull the U.S. out.

TRUMP: No, I don't want to pull it out. NATO was set up at a different
time. NATO was set up when we were a richer country. We're not a rich
country. We're borrowing, we're borrowing all of this money. We're
borrowing money from China, which is a sort of an amazing situation. But
things are a much different thing. NATO is costing us a fortune and yes,
we're protecting Europe but we're spending a lot of money. Number 1, I
think the distribution of costs has to be changed. I think NATO as a
concept is good, but it is not as good as it was when it first evolved.
And I think we bear the, you know, not only financially, we bear the
biggest brunt of it. Obama has been stronger on the Ukraine than all the
other countries put together, and those other countries right next door
to the Ukraine. And I just say we have, I'm not even knocking it, I'm
just saying I don't think it's fair, we're not treated fair. I don't
think we're treated fair, Charles, anywhere. If you look everything we
have. You know, South Korea is very rich. Great industrial country. And
yet we're not reimbursed fairly for what we do. We're constantly, you
know, sending our ships, sending our planes, doing our war games, doing
other. We're reimbursed a fraction of what this is all costing.

LANE: You know, well, they say and I think this is on public record,
it's basically 50 percent of the non-personnel cost is paid by South
Korea and Japan.

TRUMP: 50 percent?

LANE: Yeah.

TRUMP: Why isn't it 100 percent?

HIATT: Well I guess the question is, does the United States gain
anything by having bases?

TRUMP: Personally I don't think so. I personally don't think so. Look. I
have great relationships with South Korea. I have buildings in South
Korea. But that's a wealthy country. They make the ships, they make the
televisions, they make the air conditioning. They make tremendous
amounts of products. It's a huge, it's a massive industrial complex
country. And --

HIATT: So you don't think the US gains from being the force that sort of
that helps keep the peace in the Pacific?

TRUMP: I think that we are not in the position that we used to be. I
think we were a very powerful, very wealthy country. And we're a poor
country now. We're a debtor nation. How you going to get rid -- let me
ask you -- how are you going get rid of $21 trillion in debt? You're
going to be at 21 trillion in a matter of minutes because of that new
omnibus budget. So they passed that ridiculous omnibus budget. How you
going to get rid of that debt. We're spending that to protect other
countries. We're not spending it on ourselves. Because we have, we have
armor-plated vehicles that are obsolete. The best ones are given to the
enemy. We give them to our allies over in the Middle East. A bullet shot
in the air and they immediately run and the enemy takes over. I have a
friend whose son is in his third, his third tour over in Iraq. He's over
in, I mean he's a very special kid, he's a great kid. But he's over in
the Middle East, and, uh, Afghanistan, different parts of the Middle
East, actually. And he said to me, I said to him what do you think. And
he said, it's so sad. He said the enemy has our equipment -- the new
version -- and we have all the old version, and the enemy has our
equipment, because they get into a fight with the so-called people like
the Freedom Fighters, you know the whole Syrian deal, where we're
sending billions and billions of dollars worth, and they capture the
equipment. In most cases the shots are fired and everybody leaves. And
these are the people we're backing. And we don't know if it's going to
be another Saddam Hussein deal, in other words, let's get rid of Assad
with these people and these people end up being worse. Okay? But he
said, they have better equipment. It's our equipment. They have, I guess
we send 2,300 Humvees over, all armor-plated. So we have wounded
warriors, with no legs, with no arms, because they were driving in stuff
without the armor. And the enemy has most of the new ones we sent over
that they captured. And he said, it's so discouraging when they see that
the enemy has better equipment than we have -- and it's our equipment.

HIATT: I'd like to come back to the campaign. You said a few weeks ago
after a family in Chicago gave some money to a PAC opposing you, you
said, "They better watch out. They have a lot to hide." What should they
watch out for?

TRUMP: Look, they are spending vicious ... I don't even know these
people. Those Ricketts. I actually said they ought to focus on the
Chicago Cubs and, you know, stop playing around. They spent millions of
dollars fighting me in Florida. And out of 68 counties, I won 66. I won
by 20 points, almost 20 points. Against, everybody thought he was a
popular sitting senator. I had $38 million dollars spent on me in
Florida over a short period of time. $38 million. And, you know, the
Ricketts, I don't even know these people.

HIATT: So, what does it mean, "They better watch out"?

TRUMP: Well, it means that I'll start spending on them. I'll start
taking ads telling them all what a rotten job they're doing with the
Chicago Cubs. I mean, they are spending on me. I mean, so am I allowed
to say that? I'll start doing ads about their baseball team. That it's
not properly run or that they haven't done a good job in the brokerage
business lately.

RYAN: Would you do that while you are president?

TRUMP: No, not while I am president. No, not while I'm president. That
is two phases. Right now, look, you know, I went to a great school, I
was a good student and all. I am an intelligent person. My uncle, I
would say my uncle was one of the brilliant people. He was at MIT for 35
years. As a great scientist and engineer, actually more than anything
else. Dr. John Trump, a great guy. I'm an intelligent person. I
understand what is going on. Right now, I had 17 people who started out.
They are almost all gone. If I were going to do that in a different
fashion I think I probably wouldn't be sitting here. You would be
interviewing somebody else. But it is hard to act presidential when you
are being ... I mean, actually I think it is presidential because it is
winning. And winning is a pretty good thing for this country because we
don't win any more. And I say it all the time. We do not win any more.
This country doesn't win. We don't win with trade. We don't win with ...
We can't even beat ISIS. And by the way, just to answer the rest of that
question, I would knock the hell out of ISIS in some form. I would
rather not do it with our troops, you understand that. Very important.
Because I think saying that is very important because I was against the
war in Iraq, although they found a clip talking to Howard Stern, I said,
"Well..." It was very unenthusiastic. Before they want in, I was totally
against the war. I was against it for years. I actually had a delegation
sent from the White House to talk to me because I guess I get a
disproportionate amount of publicity. I was just against the war. I
thought it would destabilize the Middle East, and it did. But we have to
knock out ISIS. We are living like in medieval times. Who ever heard of
the heads chopped off?

HIATT: Just back to the campaign. You are smart and you went to a good
school. Yet you are up there and talking about your hands and the size
of private ...

TRUMP: No ...

HIATT: ... your private parts.

TRUMP: No, no. No, no. I am not doing that.

HIATT: Do you regret having engaged in that?

TRUMP: No, I had to do it. Look, this guy. Here's my hands. Now I have
my hands, I hear, on the New Yorker, a picture of my hands.

MARCUS: You're on the cover.

TRUMP: A hand with little fingers coming out of a stem. Like, little.
Look at my hands. They're fine. Nobody other than Graydon Carter years
ago used to use that. My hands are normal hands. During a debate, he was
losing, and he said, "Oh, he has small hands and therefore, you know
what that means." This was not me. This was Rubio that said, "He has
small hands and you know what that means." Okay? So, he started it. So,
what I said a couple of days later ... and what happened is I was on
line shaking hands with supporters, and one of supporters got up and he
said, "Mr. Trump, you have strong hands. You have good-sized hands." And
then another one would say, "You have great hands, Mr. Trump, I had no
idea." I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "I thought you were like
deformed, and I thought you had small hands." I had fifty people ... Is
that a correct statement? I mean people were writing, "How are Mr.
Trump's hands?" My hands are fine. You know, my hands are normal.
Slightly large, actually. In fact, I buy a slightly smaller than large
glove, okay? No, but I did this because everybody was saying to me, "Oh,
your hands are very nice. They are normal." So Rubio, in a debate, said,
because he had nothing else to say ... now I was hitting him pretty
hard. He wanted to do his Don Rickles stuff and it didn't work out.
Obviously, it didn't work too well. But one of the things he said was
"He has small hands and therefore, you know what that means, he has
small something else." You can look it up. I didn't say it.

MARCUS: You chose to raise it ...

TRUMP: No, I chose to respond.

MARUS: You chose to respond.

TRUMP: I had no choice.

MARCUS: You chose to raise it during a debate. Can you explain why you
had no choice?

TRUMP: I don't want people to go around thinking that I have a problem.
I'm telling you, Ruth, I had so many people. I would say 25, 30 people
would tell me ... every time I'd shake people's hand, "Oh, you have nice
hands." Why shouldn't I? And, by the way, by saying that I solved the
problem. Nobody questions ... I even held up my hands, and said, "Look,
take a look at that hand."

MARCUS: You told us in the debate ....

TRUMP: And by saying that, I solved the problem. Nobody questions.
Everyone held my hand. I said look. Take a look at that hand.

MARCUS: You told us in the debate that you guaranteed there was not
another problem. Was that presidential? And why did you decide to do

TRUMP: I don't know if it was presidential, honestly, whether it is or
not. He said, 'Donald Trump has small hands and therefore he has small
something else.' I didn't say that. And all I did is when he failed,
when he was failing, when he was, when Christie made him look bad, I
gave him the– a little recap and I said, and I said, and I had this big
strong powerful hand ready to grab him, because I thought he was going
to faint. And everybody took it fine. Whether it was presidential or not
I can't tell you. I can just say that what he said was a lie. And
everybody, they wanted to do stories on my hands; after I said that,
they never did. And then I held up the hand, I showed people the hand.
You know, when I've got a big audience. So yeah, I think it's not a
question of presidential ...

MARCUS: He said he regrets ...

HIATT: Okay, let's move on here. Let's move on.

TRUMP: I did feel I should respond. Maybe I'm wrong. I don't know. But I
felt I should respond because everybody was talking about it.

RYAN: You [MUFFLED] mentioned a few minutes earlier here that you would
knock ISIS. You've mentioned it many times. You've also mentioned the
risk of putting American troop in a danger area. If you could
substantially reduce the risk of harm to ground troops, would you use a
battlefield nuclear weapon to take out ISIS?

TRUMP: I don't want to use, I don't want to start the process of
nuclear. Remember the one thing that everybody has said, I'm a
counterpuncher. Rubio hit me. Bush hit me. When I said low energy, he's
a low-energy individual, he hit me first. I spent, by the way he spent
18 million dollars' worth of negative ads on me. That's putting

RYAN: This is about ISIS. You would not use a tactical nuclear weapon
against ISIS?


TRUMP: I'll tell you one thing, this is a very good looking group of
people here. Could I just go around so I know who the hell I'm talking

HIATT: Sure, then I'd like to let a couple of them get in questions.

LEWANDOWSKI: We have got five minutes, hard out.

HIATT: Okay.

TRUMP: Oh is it?

CORY: Yeah. You have a meeting you have to get to.

TRUMP: Okay we do.

ARMAO: I'm Jo-Ann Armao. I cover D.C. events. I want to ask you a
question about what you think about D.C. voting rights or statehood.

TRUMP: Okay. I'll talk about that.


TRUMP: Hi, Tom.

LANE: I'm Charles ...

TRUMP: Yes, I know Charles.

STROMBERG: Steve Stromberg, editorial writer.

TRUMP: Right.

MARCUS: Ruth Marcus.

TRUMP: Right.

RYAN: Fred Ryan.

TRUMP: Right, right.

DIEHL: Jackson Diehl.

TRUMP: Good.

JAMES DOWNIE: James Downie, digital opinions editor.

TRUMP: Hi, James.

MICHAEL LARABEE: Mike Larabee, I'm the op-ed editor.


CHRISTINE EMBA: Christine Emba.

TRUMP: Hi, Christine.

JAMIE RILEY: Jamie Riley, letters and local opinions.

TRUMP: Good, yes, yes.

KAREN ATTIAH: Karen Attiah, deputy digital editor.

HIATT: Karen, you want to get a question in?

ATTIAH: Uh, yeah, I mean speaking again of the system of what a lot of
people would say are some of the uglier components of your campaign; a
lot of people have said you've been running a very divisive campaign as
far as racial divides, you've noted you know your comments about
Muslims, about Mexicans, immigrants and such. You have information that
the country is becoming browner, is becoming younger, is becoming
blacker. What in your vision of president, in your presidency, how would
you bridge these divides and how will you address a– how are you going
to run on a message of inclusion of all Americans?

TRUMP: Well, first of all, if you look at some polls that have come out,
I'm doing very well with African Americans. I'm doing, actually if you
look at the polls, a lot of the polls that came out, in the, um, what do
they call it? Exit polls, like from Nevada and other places, I'm doing
very well with Hispanics.

ATTIAH: I think some of the polls are saying you're doing [in the]

TRUMP: We do, if it's illegals, in other words, if it's everybody, but
people that are legally living here, I'm doing very well. In other
words, people that are here, like Hispanics that are in the country, I'm
doing very well. People that vote. Like people leaving voting booths and
all, I'm doing very well with them. I want to be inclusive, but at the
same time, people should come here legally. They should be here legally.
And I think the reason I'm doing, that I will do well, especially once I
get started, don't forget I haven't even focused on Hillary yet. And,
and as you know, you know I've had polls that are against me, but I've
had many polls that say I'd beat Hillary, but they're not that, that,
they don't mean anything now because it's too early. Because I haven't
hit her. I've only hit her once, and that was eight weeks ago, but, I
haven't started on Hillary yet, and when I do I think I'll be able to
make my points. I mean, you know, but, but I think that just to try and
answer your question: Uh, I am the least racist person that you will
ever meet. Okay. That I can tell you.

ATTIAH: But do you feel that your messages, your rhetoric, are dangerous
and divisive for this country? How do you feel they're ....

TRUMP: I don't think so. No, I don't think so. With the Muslim thing I
think it's a serious problem. I've had Muslims call and tell me you're
right with the Muslim thing, I think it's a serious problem. And it's a
problem that has to be addressed. I mean, there's tremendous hatred.
Even the, even the guy they caught in Paris. He was being hid out by
other Muslims, and everybody is after him, and he's living right next to
where he grew up. There's a serious, serious problem with the Muslims
and it's got to be addressed. It's temporary, and it's got to be
addressed. And you know you may think of it as negative. Many people
think it's very positive.

HIATT: How would you identify people to keep them out of this country?

TRUMP: Well look, there's many exceptions. There's many -- everything,
you're going to go through a process. But we have to be very careful.
And I was really referring in particular, you know, to migrations --
Syrians, the whole migration, where we're going to take in thousands.
And I heard in the Democrat debate, I heard 55,000, okay. 55,000. Now
they say it's really ten [thousand], but it's already 10, and I just
don't think we can take people into this country. You saw what two
people did -- the woman and the man, whether she radicalized him or
[inaudible] -- but you saw what two people did, and I just don't think
we can take people in when we have no idea who they are, where they come
from. There's no documents, there's no paper, and we have ISIS looming
over our head, and we have tremendous destruction. We lost the World
Trade Center, we lost the Pentag -- you know, we had a plane go into the
Pentagon, etc.

ARMAO: D.C.: You told Chuck Todd last year on "Meet the Press" that you
love D.C., you love the people, that you want to do what's best for
them. They think what's best for them is statehood or at the very least
voting rights. What is your position on those two things?

TRUMP: I think statehood is a tough thing for D.C. I think it's a tough
thing. I don't have a position on it yet. I would form a position. But I
think statehood is a tough thing for D.C.

ARMAO: Tough politically?

TRUMP: I think it's just something that I don't think I'd be inclined to
do. I'd like to study it. It's not a question really -- maybe Chuck
didn't ask me like you're asking me -- I don't see statehood for D.C.

ARMAO: What about having a vote in the House of Representatives?

TRUMP: I think that's something that would be okay. Having
representation would be okay.

HIATT: Last one: You think climate change is a real thing? Is there
human-caused climate change?

TRUMP: I think there's a change in weather. I am not a great believer in
man-made climate change. I'm not a great believer. There is certainly a
change in weather that goes -- if you look, they had global cooling in
the 1920s and now they have global warming, although now they don't know
if they have global warming. They call it all sorts of different things;
now they're using "extreme weather" I guess more than any other phrase.
I am not -- I know it hurts me with this room, and I know it's probably
a killer with this room -- but I am not a believer. Perhaps there's a
minor effect, but I'm not a big believer in man-made climate change.

STROMBERG: Don't good businessmen hedge against risks, not ignore them?

TRUMP: Well I just think we have much bigger risks. I mean I think we
have militarily tremendous risks. I think we're in tremendous peril. I
think our biggest form of climate change we should worry about is
nuclear weapons. The biggest risk to the world, to me -- I know
President Obama thought it was climate change -- to me the biggest risk
is nuclear weapons. That's -- that is climate change. That is a
disaster, and we don't even know where the nuclear weapons are right
now. We don't know who has them. We don't know who's trying to get them.
The biggest risk for this world and this country is nuclear weapons, the
power of nuclear weapons.

RYAN: Thank you for joining us.

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