Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN May 4, 2016 2:24pm-2:50pm PDT
sit-down interview since the republican party labeled him the presumptive nominee. as we're speaking i know you're very happy that ted cruz has dropped out. cnn has confirmed john kasich, the ohio governor, he's dropping out as well. you're the only one left right now. >> that's good. that's good. you're just telling me this for the first time about john and that's good. i think john is doing the right thing. >> ohio, you know, is an important state. no republican has ever been elected president of the united states without winning ohio. >> well, i think john will be very -- i've had a good relationship with john. >> he's got a lot of government experience, congress, as a governor. >> i think john will be very helpful as ohio even as a governor. >> he says he doesn't want to be a vice president. >> that may be. >> would he be someone you would be interested in vetting. >> i would be interested in vetting john. i like john, i have had a good relationship with john and have gotten along with him well, john whether he is vice president or not i think he will be very
helpful with ohio. >> be honest with you. did you ever think almost a year ago it was june in this building you were going down that escalator that you would be the presumptive republican presidential nominee? >> well, i hoped. >> did you really hope? was that just -- a yeah, i did. you had 17 people, very capable people, i heard a lot of the pundits were saying this was the single greatest group of talent ever assembled for either party in terms of a group, it was also the largest group. i joined somewhat after i heard that statement and i'm saying, what am i doing? i'm hearing lease people -- >> did you really think you could win? >> i guess, otherwise i don't think i would have done it. >> some people thought you were doing it for publicity, a whim or whatever. >> i don't need publicity. i gave up a lot to do it. i was asked to do the apprentice for two more years, i said i'm not going to do it. i gave up a tremendous amount. you know, got a little controversial for a little while and i lost certain licenses, which is not the biggest deal in my life, but it's -- macy's
didn't want to renew me because they thought i was a little controversial which was i think a big mistake that they made, not very loyal. pretty costly think that i did, not just the cost of the campaign which is frankly less, it's the cost of what i do. now it's worked out well, i'm just very happy with the way it all worked out. i guess -- >> do you pimple yourself sometimes and say this is really happening? >> i don't think i would have run if i thought i couldn't win. i'm not sure i sat there and just said i'm going to win, but subconsciously i must have thought that i was going to win and i felt i was going to win. >> in recent weeks and months, in fact, you've suggested the system is rigged. >> yeah. >> the -- >> 100%. >> do you still believe that? >> 100%. >> but you got the nomination. >> the only way i got t i went for the knockout. when i saw all these folks going out and getting delegates and they're, you know, whining and dining people and bringing them to hotels and paying for hotel rooms, it's a bad system, it's a crooked system. by the way, bernie sanders'
system that's also rigged, that's why he wins and doesn't get anything out of it, but those are the rules. >> it's not the rules, it's a dishonest system. who gives out the super delegates in terms of the democrats? who gives out the super delegates? the bosses give out the super delegates. >> these are elected party officials. >> meaning the bosses. that system is rigged and the republican system is rigged but in a much more sophisticated way. i really think -- i'm very proud of the fact that ever all of these many, many decades of the delegate system that i've been able to point out some real weaknesses and i think they will be changed. i think for the republicans they will be changed and maybe for the democrats. >> yesterday with this national enquirer story i want you to clarify. you don't really believe that ted cruz's father had anything to do with the assassination of president kennedy. >> no, i don't. >> because this was a story that was in the national enquirer. >> of course i don't think that. >> here is the question, you are the presumptive republican
presidential nominee -- >> no, i wasn't. not at the time. >> last time you said you thought you were. don't you think you need a higher standard than to get involved in this kind of stuff? >> here is what happened. ted cruz's father seems like a nice guy, i don't know him, but seems like a nice guy, he made horrible statements about me, you know, pray -- praying for bad things to happen to me. okay, essentially. i said that's horrible. and i was on a show, one of your competitors, and they showed me the clip. i said, wow, that's horrible. it's not just a one-way street, you know, where i do something. it was a horrible statement. i was actually surprised by it. and during that and when i said how bad it was that a man would say something like that i said, well, why don't you read the various magazines because it's not only there, it was put in numerous where he has a picture of himself with lee harvey oswald. >> but "the national enquirer" put it on -- >> it's all over the place.
i said why don't you talk about that. that was t i'm not saying he did t but i'm just saying it was all over the place. >> now that you have the republican presumptive nominee you have to have a higher standard than to repeat theories like that. >> first of all, i wasn't at the time. i didn't know if i was going to win indiana or not, it ended up being a landslide, it was a tremendous victory, much bigger than anybody anticipated including myself. they're incredible people out there. this was in the morning. now, by the afternoon it looked like i was going to win and then a little bit later it looked like i was going to win big. so i was not a presumptive winner at that time, i was going against them, they were going against me. >> bottom line you don't believe in that conspiracy. >> of course i don't believe it. i did say let people read if. >> a lot of people think the general election campaign has started today, you versus hillary clinton. this week she said this about you. >> the leading republican contender is the man who led the insidious birther movement to discredit the president's
citizenship. we cannot let barack obama's legacy fall into donald trump's hands. >> do you know who started the birther
movement? do you know who started it? do you know who questioned his birth certificate? one of the first? hillary clinton. she's the one that started it. she brought it up years before it was brought up by me. and, you know, so she can talk. look, here is a person under investigation by the fbi, she's only going to get the nomination because it's a rigged deal and frankly maybe she won't even be able to run. i think she probably will because i think the democrats will work it so that nothing happens to her even though everything happened to other people that did far less. >> james comey the fbi director he is a serious guy. you have confidence in him. if he thinks there are allegations that she may have violated, broken the law he will recommend that. >> i hope so. >> you have confidence in him. >> i do have confidence in him.
i don't know him. >> let me clarify the whole birther thing where do you stand on that? >> i don't talk about it anymore. i don't want to waste my time talk being it anymore. >> she's going to raise this issue against you. >> i'm going to raise it against her. >> let's talk about another story that's come out. i know you hated this article in gq about your wife ma nal i can't, she posted melania was dishonest. since then some of your reporters have viciously attacked this woman with anti-semitic attacks, death threats, these people get so angry. what's your message to these people when something like that happened? >> i haven't read the article but i heard it was a very inaccurate article and i heard it was a naysy article. i'm married to a woman who is a very fine woman. she doesn't need this, believe me. she was very, very successful, she did tremendously well as a top model, she made a lot of money and she's a nice person and i guess some of the article
says that she would go in at night and stay -- she wasn't a party person, you know, it's not her thing, but this was a very -- this is a very high quality woman who loves people and has a big heart. she doesn't need to be -- have bad things said about her and i heard the article was nasty. now, i haven't read it, but i heard the article was not what it should be. they shouldn't be doing that with wives. i mean, they shouldn't be doing that. melania as a top model they sent pictures around to utah -- >> the death threats that followed. >> i don't know about that. i don't know anything about that. do you mean fans of mine? >> supposed fans of yours posting these very angry -- >> i know nothing about it. >> but your message to these fans is -- >> i don't have a message to the fans. a woman wrote an article that was inaccurate. now i'm used to it, i get such bad articles, i get such -- the press is so dishonest, wolf, i can't even tell you, it's so dishonest. there is nothing more dishonest than the media.
and i know it better than anybody and it's actually gotten to a point where it doesn't even bother me anymore it's gotten to ridiculous. i've had stories over the last couple of weeks that were so dishonest, knowingly dishonest. >> but you've worked closely with the press and it's helped elevate you. >> it's probably overall helped me but i still find them to be -- the lies and the deception and the way they write, i guess they do it for clicks or to get people -- i don't even know why they do it, you think a good honest story would be better. so i do know that the story on melania -- first of all, not a lot of people would read it except you bring it up, but i'd like to see my family treated at least fairly and nicely. she didn't need a story like this. just to be clear on the donald trump birther claim, hillary clinton never said that barack obama was born outside the united states. coming up, much more on my conversation with donald trump, including how he'd handle
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let's get back to my interview with donald trump and some of the tough issues facing the united states which are sure to come up during the general election campaign. >> let's talk about some substantive issues out there. puerto rico right now, they are defaulting on $400 million. if you were president of the united states what would you do to help the people of puerto rico? >> well, the problem we have is we have $19 trillion in debt, you know, we have a country that's in such trouble, we have $19 trillion going up to $21 trillion in a short period of time because of the horrible
omnibus budget. i think they have to solve the problem. >> should the u.s. bail out puerto rico? >> no, i don't believe they should. i think frankly puerto rico is better if they don't. they'll cut the bonds, they have far too much debt. the problem with puerto rico they have far too much debt. >> they can't even -- >> i'm the king of debt. i love debt. >> they're prevented from using the bankruptcy laws, puerto rico, as opposed to all the u.s. states. you've used those bankruptcy laws over the years. >> i'm the king -- i understand. >> by the way -- >> should puerto rico have an opportunity to use the bankruptcy laws? >> as a very successful person i would buy companies, throw them in a chapter, bankrupt it, negotiate t i would do great deals, i didn't use them for myself, i used them as a businessperson. many of the top people in my category use the laws. i know more about debt than practically anybody, i love debt. i also love reducing debt and i know how to do it better than anybody. i will tell you with puerto rico they have too much debt. you can't just restructure, you
have to use the laws, cut the debt way down and get back to business because they can't survive with the kind of debt they have. i would not bail out if i were -- if i were in that position i wouldn't bail them out. >> would you let them have a bankruptcy option? >> they're going to have no choice. if they're not going to pay the bill they're not going to pay the bond. >> they can't. >> they can't. you can't -- you know, the expression you can't take it out of the grave if they don't have it. whether they officially declare or not, but ultimately what they have to do is cut the debt way down. they're never going to pay that debt off, they have to cut it way down and the united states is going to be in that position very soon because they have too much debt. >> let's talk about u.s./russian relations for a moment. on two occasions russian fighter jets barrel rolled u.s. military facilities with planes. >> lack of respect. >> lack of respect. >> for the united states and our president. >> if you were president what would you tell putin. >> i would call him and say don't do it again.
i would say don't do it again. i think i have a good relationship with him. so far we have off to a good start, he said trump with s. a genius, okay. >> have you ever met -- have you ever spoken with him? >> i don't want to say. but i think i will have a good relationship with him. now, i may not and i will know pretty quickly, but i would call him and say don't ever do that again. >> you've seen those pictures. >> i've seen them. i think it's highly disrespectful to our military and to our country and to our president. >> let's talk about u.s. relations with the muslim world right now. in your foreign policy speech the other day, very detailed speech you said you want to work very closely with our allies in the muslim world all of which are at risk from radical islamic violence. >> they have to save themselves. we can help them. they have to put boots on the ground and save themselves otherwise they are going to be -- i won't say but pad things will happen to them. >> how are you going to work
closely with our allies in the muslim world if you still want this temporary ban on muslims coming to the united states until the u.s. can figure out on this war on terror. >> whether or not we have a temporary ban or whether we work over in the middle east with our muslim friends and friends and i have muslim friends. by the way, i just had one left my office, a very successful person from the middle east, just looked at me and said, donald, what you're doing is so right, you're informing the world of a problem we have to solve. >> he agrees all muslims should be banned. >> many muslims do. >> i've spoken with king abdullah of jordan who is a close friend of the united states and other moderate leaders in the muslim world -- >> and a good person and good friend. >> the queen -- >> they are friends of my daughter ivanka. >> when they hear you talk p like that they get upset. they're muslims. >> i don't know. we have a problem.
we have a really big problem where we're letting in thousands and thousands of people supposedly from syria but we have no idea where they're coming from. the migration is a disaster. they don't have documentation, paperwork, nobody knows who they are, where they come from -- >> so you're sticking with this temporary ban. >> until we figure out what's going on. we have to be very tough, we have could be very vigilant. yes. >> what about another sensitive issue, japan and south korea. you suggested maybe it's -- >> it's not sensitive. it's not a sensitive issue. >> let them develop their own nuclear arsenal and get the u.s. out of there. >> to me that's not a sensitive issue. i have great relations with south korea, i have buildings in south korea, i have great relationships with japan and in japan, a lot of people don't know this. when i make speeches i say we protect germany, japan, south korea. many people, sophisticated people in the audience didn't know that. they have to help us.
we don't get reimbursed for what this massive amount of work and energy and weaponry, what it's costing. we can't continue to do it. this isn't 40 years ago, this isn't when we were much different as a country. they have to take care of us. i think they will. if they don't you have to be prepared to walk. you always have to be prepared to walk from a deal including the iran deal which is a disaster. they should have walked. >> you're ready to let japan and south korea become nuclear powers? >> if they're not going to take care of us properly we cannot afford to be the military and policemen of the world. we are right now the police for the entire world. we are policing the entire world. when people look at our military and say, oh, would you, that's fantastic, they have many times -- we spend many times what any other country spends on the military but it's not really for us. we're defending other countries. so all i'm saying is this, they have to pay. do you know what, i'm prepared to walk and if they have to defend themselves against north korea where you have a main
crack over there in my opinion if they don't take care of us properly, if they don't respect us enough to take care of us properly do you know what's going to have to happen, wolf, very simple, they will have to defend themselves. >> the other day the u.s. commander in south korea general vincent brooks testified on capitol hill and said south korea pays for 50% of the personnel costs for u.s. troops. >> how much percent? >> 50%. >> why not 100%. >> he says it would be more expensive to keep u.s. troops here in the u.s. than to keep them on bases in south korea. >> okay. well, maybe you don't need them, okay, maybe you don't need them. look, we're policing all of these countries. they're not paying us. we're policing saudi arabia. we are protecting saudi arabia. saudi arabia -- i have many friends in saudi arabia. saudi arabia would not be there, wolf, it wouldn't be there maybe for a month if we took our military out. the only reason they're sort of protected and totally protected is because we're protecting them. saudi arabia was making a billion dollars a day when the
oil price was higher, now they're still making a fortune. why aren't they paying us. >> basically what i hear you saying if the u.s. is going to keep troops in japan and there's thousands of them, tens of thousands -- >> we have top reimbursed. >> germany, you want the host countries to pick um all the expense. >> of course they should pick up all the expense. we are paying to protect them and i think it's wonderful, i think it's good, i'd rather do it rather than have them armed, i would rather do it and, you know, it was covered actually accurately in the "new york times." very accurately. and they covered it because they talked the cost. a lot of people like to say trump wants japan to arm. i don't want them to arm. i want them to reimburse us for at least the cost. now, you could say it's worth more than that. but at least reimburse us for the cost. when you say we pay 50%, well, if we say we pay 50% that means we pay less. okay? but we're losing a tremendous amount of money.
and we have a military that's not in good shape anymore, you know that, everybody knows that. and we have to do something about it. >> another military question, the former defense secretary robert gates who is a republican he said your lack of understanding of the complexities of international affairs is worrisome and he added this, you don't understand the difference between a business negotiation and a negotiation with sovereign powers. >> well, i don't think gates understands and he was also very disloyal to numerous people he worked for. i don't like people to write books and criticize everything. i don't think he understands and i don't think he understands the world loyalty. i really believe i understand it much better than he does. our country right now is a debtor nation. we cannot go around subsidizing japan, which is a ba home it economically with the cars and everything, germany, south korea, you can't order a television set unless you go through south korea. you can't order -- i mean, the ships are made now -- it's an
economic behemoth. we cannot continue to subsidize all of these countries when we are a debtor nation. we are a debtor nation. now, i will have great relationships, far better than we have right now, look at the relationship we have with china, they're ripping off the united states, they're taking its money, they're ruining our jobs, ruining so much. and yet they build a military force -- a fortress, a massive military fortress in the middle of the south china sea. they're not supposed to be doing that. they have no respect for our country. >> and you say that will change if you're president. >> they will respect our country and they will like our country better than they do now. >> let's talk about important domestic policy issues. american workers, you say they deserve to earn more money, right? >> i want them to earn more money. >> bernie sanders says he wants $15 an hour minimum wage. and he has really gone after you lately for saying you're happy with $7.25 the current federal minimum wage. >> i'm looking at that because
i'm very different from most republicans. you have to have something that you can live on, but what i'm really looking to do is get people great jobs so they make much more money than that, so they make more money than the $15. if you start playing around too much with the lower level, the lower level number, you're not going to be competitive. >> hillary clinton says she's ready to go to $12, bernie sanders says $15. >> she's doing that because she's -- she's -- >> if you were president what would you recommend? >> i'm looking at it. >> you're open to raising the minimum wage. >> i'm hope to doing something with it. what i do like is bring our jobs back. >> if you want some of those bernie sanders supporters out there. >> i think i'll get them. >> in a >> well, i told you how i feel. i'm going to bring jobs back to this country. nobody can do that like i can do it. i understand what's going wrong. hillary doesn't have a clue. bernie sanders is a socialist or more than that, could be beyond a socialist, i am looking. >> but you want his supporters?
>> yeah, i think i'll get a lot of his supporters. the last election i won in a landslide in new york, the democrats went in, they all went to vote for trump. people at the voting booth said it was the most amazing thing. the democrats and people that ran the polling booth, all over local television, said we want to vote for trump. they d