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  CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  August 7, 2015 6:01pm-6:32pm PDT

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who scored points with the record breaking 24 million viewers who tuned in. and who may have lost ground? we're going to get insight from political experts. more people watched this debate than have ever watched a primary debate ever before. more than the highest rated network or cable tv show. it tied with the highest rated regular season nfl game of the year. and, that's all due to the man who joins me live on the phone tonight. that is none other than donald trump. welcome. >> hello, don. >> exactly 24 hours, mr. trump since that debate began. 24 hours later how do you think it went? >> i think it went very well from my standpoint. drudge did a big survey last night. i was number one, 55% of the vote for first place. and time, "time" magazine did a big, a big poll, and i had a big percentage of the vote. "the new york times" had me in, in number one position. and the strong position. and just about everybody did.
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other than, you know, there were a couple guys who hates me so bad he can't even see straight, the guy, it's a sad case to be honest with you. he is totally overrated. a game who fought like hell to go into iraq. you see what we got by going into iraq. he is a really jerk. other than a couple of people, a couple of people over at fox. but it was a record breaking event. if i wasn't in the event they probably would have done 2 million, 3 million people max. so, i'm very happy about it. most people say that i won the debate and i won it easily. >> let me ask you this. you mentioned fox, do you think there was an agenda on the part of fox news to target you? if you do, why is that? >> well, probably. i don't know. probably. who cares. i don't really care. i mean i do my thing. whatever it is. i am leading in all the polls. they probably have an agenda. i am very disappointed in fox news.
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i think they had an agenda. i don't have a lot of respect for megyn kelly, she came out, reading her script, trying to be tough and sharp. when you meet her you realize she is not very tough or very sharp. she is zippo. i came out. sitting there. standing there. i knew there would be a big crowd. nbc renewed the apprentice. i wasn't able to do it because i am running for president. i am one of the few people in the history of television to turn down a renewal. mark burnett said i can't belief you are turning down a renewal. yeah, i want to do something. i am running for president. we are going to make the country great again. it is very important to me. i turned down a very lucrative renewal. and who knows what is going to happen with "the apprentice" they don't think they can replace trump. a great honor. >> let's talk about megyn kelly, you brought her up. she pushed you. pushed a lot of people. what is it with you and megyn kelly? >> i just don't respect her as a journalist.
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i don't think she is very good. i think she is highly overrated. when i came out there, i am not getting paid for this. i go out there and, you know they start saying, lift up your arm if you are going to -- and you know i didn't know there would be 24 million people. i figured. i knew it would be a big crowd. i get big crowds. i get ratings. they call me the rate maggs shemaggs -- the ratings machine. she gets out. starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions you. can see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever, but she was, in my opinion, she was -- off base. and by the way, not in my opinion, in the opinion of hundreds of thousands of people on twitter. it has been a brutal day. in one way a great day for fox. in another day, in the twittersphere, very bad. she has been very badly criticized. she is a lightweight. i couldn't care less about her. you are competing against her. i am doing your show.
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>> let's take a look at, you have been tweeting and retweeting some pretty harsh language, mr. trump. wow,@megynkelly bombed. people are going wild on twitter. you retweeted. fox viewers give low marks to bimbo at megyn kelly. one of your top aide retweeted. boycotting megyn kelly at real donald trump. we can gut her. a lot of people are wondering about this language when it comes to women. do you worry that that kind of talk may drive some women voters away? >> well i didn't see the last one. but she is able to take care of herself. she is somebody that's, pretty tough. i am sure she can take care of herself. but, you know she is just some body i didn't have a lot of respect for. i don't thin shok she has major talent. i don't think she has much talent at all. she is sitting there, reading questions. she rehearsed it a long time. i am also not a fan of -- the, the great mike wallace was a
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friend of mine. in fact he did me on "60 minutes" he was phenomenal. a phenomenal 60 minutes. but he was a friend of mine. a tough cookie. he was great. and, suddenly, there is only a tiny fraction of mike. believe me there is a big difference between mike wallace, and chris wallace. blood pouring out of his eyes. what am i doing? here in front of all the people. i am doing fox a favor by doing the show. and what am i doing? then they come out with these vicious questions. and they got very badly criticized. because people thought it was very unfair. now, am i complaining? not particularly. i mean i am on to the next thing that i do. and in the meantime as you know, i think you know, that i am leading in all the polls. we just got a big poll back from georgia, the great state of georgia, where i'm in the 30s. and the opponents are, you know, like 20 points lower. so, you know we are doing really well. south carolina, iowa, new
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hampshire, nevada, the state of nevada, where by the way i am leading not only in nevada but leading with the hispanics i always said. i told you originally i was going to win the hispanics. because i will take jobs back from china. i will create jobs in this country. which nobody else is going to do. so, you know, i'm leading in the polls. we are doing well. but i thought that, you know last night, while it us we success. in one way i am proud of it. everybody agrees, everybody, that if trump isn't on the show they would do 2 million, maybe 3 million. i don't even think they would do that much. here they set a record. >> you are polling very high. the first question, i have to ask you, wondering if you think that fox stacked the deck against you. again i have to ask the question, if they were out to got you. that first question out of the gate whether you would support the eventual nominee or run as an independent. do you think that was a fair question? >> well i don't think fox treat me well. i really like the guys on "fox & friend." i do like sean hannity, terrific
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guy. bill o'reilly, fantastic guy, and greta is great. but, i don't think that fox, they have, krautheimer the worst, george will, the dire george will. something happened 12 years ago i did a number on him. i understand that. >> explain that, please, what do you mean? >> i don't want to explain it. but he will explain it. george will is, pa thet tithet. i lost all correct for brett baier, i didn't have any respect for him anymore the way he handled the situation. i am proud of the fact that we broke the record. it was because of me. one thing i will say, every show. nbc, abc, cbs, they're all saying, donald trump broke the record. they're not saying fox. they're saying donald trump broke the record. so, you know i felt in one way, i am very happy about it. >> would you do another fox debate again? >> had to be broken on your
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watch, the show was against you. but that's okay. you can live with that, right? >> of course, that's the game. we now it is goes. so then would you do a fox debate or drop out if there is another fox debate? >> i've don't know. i would have to see. i might not to be honest. because i think they're -- they're folks were not good. i didn't think they were fair. and you know, frankly, it was on morning joe, another great guy, joe scarborough, two great people. they thought i got treated very unfairly. the difference between the questions i get. hey, i am a smart guy. i want to the wharton school of five nanc finance, really good student. built an empire, did the art of the deal, the apprentice. i have had an amazing life. i am like a smart person. i don't care. i can handle the toughest question. give me a question on physics. i can handle it. you know, i thought it was going to be a nice evening. let's go home. and you know they put you through the third degree. what am i doing? what are we doing here?
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but i the thaw tthought it was . if you've check out joe scarborough, they were shocked at the questions that i got, versus others. now you could make them all tough? and that's fine. or make them all softer that's fine. >> why can't you just say, if it is a man, woman, no matter who the nominee is that you will support the republican nominee no matter who it is? >> i don't choose to. what difference is it to you. i don't choose to do so. i will probably at some point do that. but right now -- i tell you i am only looking for ward to one thing. that's to running as a republican. and winning as a republican. >> uh-huh. >> but at some point i main just -- [ no audio ] >> go ahead. are you there, mr. trump? >> can you hear me? >> if you run as third party candidate the consrn frcern fro republicans is you will hand it over off to the democratic person, hillary clinton.
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>> don, don't worry about it. that's not your problem. that's not your problem. so what happens is, look, i am leading as a republican. obviously it is better to run as a republican. >> uh-huh. >> i am leading as a republican. that's what my choice is. if i am treated fairly and with respect, i will, and even if i've don't get it, i would, most likely go ahead and not do that. but if on the other hand i am not. i very well might. now at some point i may switch over and make everybody happy and, i would be happy also. i will say, with, with that being said, i am being treated very nicely by the rnc. and everybody. treating me very nicely. that's what i want. i want a level playing field. and if i've get a level playing field, fairness, then it's highly unlikely that i do the other, which would be, you would go with third party. >> i don't need to press you any
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longer. you said you would not look to do that. >> i would like to not do that. because the, if i, if i win, if i get the nomination, if i've get the republican nomination, i will beat hillary. and i don't believe any body else beat hillary. >> okay. >> if she runs by the way. because i an not sure she is going to run with her problems on the e-mail. not sure she is going to be running. she has big problems. general petraeus did a lot worse, a lot better than her. she was far worse than him. and you look at what's going on. and, they destroyed his life. so i'm not so sure she is going to escape the whole e-mail thing. but we'll find out pretty soon. >> can we talk about the other people who were up there you. say you won the a lot of people were impressed by marco rubio, they think he within the debate. what do you think about that? >> i don't know. i'm not saying i won. i am telling you polls came out from drudge. what's better than drudge? he is a fantastic guy.
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you know what he is built is unbelievably respected. and "time" magazine is wonderful. they did a poll and in the poll i was in the 50s against everybody else. i think the second place was like 9. and i was in the 50s. i don't know. i didn't do it. it's not my poll. it's other people's polls. if you read the story today in "the new york times" on the front page of "the new york times," the whole story its about, you know, the strength of what i did last night. and it was a great story. written by two really good writers in the "times" good people too. so you know, by the way there were many others, "the washington post," many, many other papers said i won. i'm not saying it. you said i said it. i'm not saying it. i'm any just saying that a lot of polls and a lot of stories that i won. >> you know in an earlier debate, carly fiorina took a jab at you, you weren't in the debate. she went after you anyway. take a listen, mr. trump. >> i've don't know, i didn't get a phone call from bill clinton
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before i jumped in the race. did any of you get a phone call from bill clinton? i didn't. maybe it any because i hadn't given off to the foundation or donated to his wife's senate campaign. >> when you and president clinton spoke, what did you discuss? >> well that's none of your business. but it was really routine. i will say, my mind, when we spoke, this is where most of it was written incorrectly. my mind was already fully made up. in other word i was already going to run. so when we spoke, when we called, my mind was totally made up. i was recall aed runnialready r. nothing big. i had known them over the years. i hadn't spoken to them in a long time. my mind was totally made up. >> did he encourage you to run? >> my mind was made up a long time ago. >> did he encourage you to run? >> no, not at all. i think he was upset. we didn't really discuss it. but i think he, look, i am
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hillary's worst nightmare. she knows it. he knows it. i think the smart people in politics know it. when i went and i said i was going to run against, you know the guys that i am running against right now. everybody said, oh he is never going to run. he is never going to file. i filed. and the numbers are massive. and the company is a great company. but they said he would never file this. he would never file that. he would never file. i did that. i ran. and then they said well maybe he won't do well. in the meantime i have a 15-point lead. and, now everyone is saying, wow that's sort of amazing. and i think i will win to be honest with you. it's possible i won't. but e hai have a substantial le. we are getting great numbers from south carolina, new hampshire, and from, from everywhere, iowa is going to be amazing. the people are amazing. in new hampshire and iowa. they love what we are saying. which is basically -- that our government is run by incompetent people and we are losing our
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country. we just have incompetent leadership. horrible what is going on. the message is out there. people are liking what i am saying. and i will make this country great again. we can do it relatively fast. but woo hae have off to get wor soon. if we continue to go this path we are not going to be able to bring it back. >> let's talk about your leadership ability in business, you tout it all the time. i am wondering if there is a double standard. you took tough question as but your business practices taking advantagebankruptcy. nobody questioned carly fiorina's status? >> they're questioning her. she got fired. fired harshly. a vicious firing. then she ran for senator against barbara boxer in california. she lost in a landslide. i'm not knocking her. i couldn't care less. she is not going to win. they say, watch, takes a lot more than being glib. but she is not going to be win.
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but you know she got fired. ran for office. and lost in a landslide. i deon't see that as being necessarily great credentials. i think she is probably a very nice woman. i just don't know. in my case i never went bankrupt. but like many of the other top business people, all most all of them, we use the bankruptcy laws for, to our advantage. we make good deals by using those laws. now out of hundreds of companies that i have. hundreds. i used it three or four times, made phenomenal deals, and mostly having to do with atlantic city. by the way, caesar's just went bankrupt. almost all the places in atlantic city go bankrupt. the place is doing very poorly. not my fault. but i left seven years ago. i made a lot of money in atlantic city. i had great vision, timing for leaving. just like i had great vision by saying in 2004 don't go into iraq. if you' look at the papers in te days, reuters, unlike any other
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candidate. i am the most militaryistic person. i would create military so strong. we shouldn't have used it in iraq. we destablized the middle east. exactly what i said will happen. iran will take over iraq. isis will take over the oil. lots of things are going to happen that are very bad after spending trillions, lives, wounded warriors and everything else. you have to have vision. with atlantic city, i left seven years ago. made a lot of money. left, and yeah, i have used certain, you know, laws and things that you are allowed to used. i used them brilliantly. and other people have too. top people. i am talking about top people have used the same things. and, you have to know what you are doing. but -- you know it worked out very well for me. let's put it that way. i never went, but don so you understand. i never went bankrupt. neither did the other guys like me that used that particular law. >> yeah, but you did use that. speak sg ing of iraq.
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what did you think of jeb bush's answer on iraq? >> was a terrible answer. a terrible answer that took five days to give. and it was a simple question. it was a question that was extremely easy to understand. and you know it was like, was iraq a good thing or a bad thing? now we spent $2 trillion. lost thousand of lives, have wounded warriors who i love all over the place. aened aand we have nothing. nothing. and iran is taking over iraq. they're taking the oil. isis is taking some of the oil also. between iran and yes they're going to split up iraq. and we spent, a terrible thing. and he wasn't sure, he still wasn't sure was it good or bad. if the took him, you know what they do, they go after the politicians. they go out and, get them sound bites from people that work for them. i mean it's like -- let's, it took him five day to answer the question. was it good or was it bad? so this know it what we need. this is not what we need. >> speaking of jeb bush -- last night you also asked, last night
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about reports that he had called you some pretty nasty names. he denied it. >> he denied it. >> in stepped of going after him, you called him a gentleman. >> why are you bringing it up? he was very nice. he was very nice. he denied it. >> let me ask you a question with all due respect. you called him a gentlemen. inu.s. ing jeb bush for weeks, saying he is weak. what changed between you two? >> i didn't say he was weak. he talked about tone. he said trump's tone is very tough t. it is very strong. i said you don't understand we have to have a tough tone. they're cutting off christian's head and everyone else's heads in syria and iraq. and they're blowing everything up. and the people ar are dying all over the place including the border if i didn't bring it up you wouldn't even beef talking about the border, or illegal immigration, don, if i didn't bring it up. in fact that first week i took a lot of incoming. i took a lot of abuse from the press. the first week. now a lot of those people have
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apologized to me because i happen to be right. but the border is a disaster. drugs are flowing in. crime is flowing in. and i'm going to build a wall. and it is going to be a great wall. and it's not going to be penetrable. we will still allow people in legally. we will not have the problems we have now. i know how to build. i know how to manage. we have to get it done. and you know sort of an interesting thing. people say you can't build the wall. the truth is the great wall of china is 13,000 miles. this one is maxed out to the end is 2,000 miles. that was built 2,000 years ago. more than 2,000 years ago. you know, you can very easily build it. >> i want to ask you more about the debate and post debate analysis. you say the media treats you unfairly. you had angry word for frank luntz. >> i will tell you about frank luntz. >> can i play the sound bite and then you respond. >> excuse me. frank luntz came to my office he
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is a dunce as far as i am concerned. this guy is major loser. frank luntz came to my office. asked me, first of all, asked me for an airplane ride. i gave him an airplane ride in a very nice airplane. then he comes to my office. he keeps saying i want to come and see you. he comes to my office. he wants me to hire his firm to do focus studies or something. i don't need focus studies. i told him, frank, i don't need focus studies. i have no interest. after i said that, he did all the negative focus studies on me. it can't be right. if you look at polling and all of the polling that has gone on, having to do with the debate, most people think i within. most people think i won the debate. so this guy is a wise guy. maybe he uses his little tiny power at fox in order to get work. i don't know. but he came up to my office. i couldn't keep him away. the guy kept calling. please, let me see you. so i see him. frank, i have no interest in
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your polling. your focus groups. it's not, by the time you do your group the deal will be dead. assuming i am doing deals. which i am not doing anymore. i am running for president. i told him no. every time i see a poll, it is negative. the guy is a lightweight. >> some of our viewers may not be familiar with who frank luntz is. i'll play the moment. and i want you to respond. take a look. >> when you walked in here how many of you had a positive opinion of donald trump, raise your hand, overall? how many of you have a positive opinion of him now? who is negative towards trump when you walked in here? who is inning tiff now? >> i liked him when i came in here because he wasn't the politician. but right now, he skirted around questions better than a lifelong politician ever had. >> you know he just let me down. i just expected him to rise to the occasion and look presidential. he didn't.
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>> so what do you think is going on with that? >> well i think if i hired his firm it would have been a much different thing. this focus stuff. i'm not a believer. and, you know i'm not sure about this, but maybe he just grabbed some people he says, let's do a number on trump. you do this. maybe you do that. maybe he didn't. i don't really care. the guy is a total dope. he was up in my office begging me to hire him. the guy literally wouldn't stop. he kept calling. finally, i agree to see him. then all of a sudden, i see the focus groups. they're always negative. i am not a negative person. how, how can it i be so negative winning in all the polls. winning in all the states. i'm winning everywhere. i think he has his own agenda. but you know what, the last thing i need is to do focus groups in my company. by the time you put the group together the deal is gone. >> mr. trump, you wrote the art of the deal. you know how this stuff, this stuff works. >> this is true. >> going into this you were the front-runner. knew you would be targeted
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poablyp probably attacked. do you worry that your demeanor might suggest, suggest to people that you are thin-skinned. >> i don't think i am thin skinned. i think i am the toughest. i am fine. i don't look when i am treated unfairly. i'm not saying change it. did i till you to change anything. i am fine with it. i like to expose people. i expose megyn kelly as not being very good. i could till you other things about megyn kelly that would be very harsh. i won't bother with that. but megyn kelly is not a good professional. and she is just not in my opinion, she is not good at what she does. i'm not complaining. not saying do it over. i'm not suing fox. i'm not doing anything. fox should love me because i just broke the all-time record. and if i'm not in there, the other guys they're going to get 1 million viewers and got 24 million because i was in there. so they must love me, but in
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actuality, they probably don't. and i don't even care. >> megyn kelly is a very respected journalist. >> i don't think she is respected. what is she, she is a lightweight. she is a lightweight. i can't believe that you are not beating her in the ratings actually. you should be ashamed of yourself. if i had your show, i would be beating her so badly she would be thrown off the air. that i can tell you, don. i'm surprised at you, don. just kidding. >> i know that you are. >> but i am not kidding. if i had your show, believe me she would have no chance. she wouldn't be on the air very long. that i can tell you. >> you can come on any time. you are welcome any time. i want to ask you, cnn debate, cement 16 september 16th. are you going to do anything differently to prepare? >> according to everybody i won. other than the haters and the losers. but according to the polls, according to drudge, according to "time" magazine, according to "the new york times" story,
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according to many other stories, "washington post," i won. >> yeah. >> now you, know why should i prepare differently. preparing for a debate is hard. because there is so much knowledge you have to have you wouldn't be able to prepare. you can't, you can't, you know study in one week what you have learned over a lifetime. >> you had to have learned something from this. you are a very smart man. you know with every experience you learn something. what did you learn from this experience? >> nothing. i mean just that, what have i learned? i went in. i did a great job. i was asked really nasty questions by people that are not nice people. and you know, and very unfair questions actually. much more unfair in fact, a couple of the candidates, nice guys, i really liked a couple of them. i like aid few of them, really a lot. they came out and said, wow, number one you won. but number two, they were nasty to you. they said tat to hat to me. they said, they were really
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nasty to you. all three of them were. >> i said, hey that's the way life goes. i'm not thin skinned. i understand how the game is played. but i can say what it is. but you know a lot of people say would you do another one with fox? i don't know. i don't know when the next one is. the next one is with cnn. you guys are making a lot of progress thanks to me, your ratings are way up, because you are covering trump all the time. so i should get a piece of it. don't you think, don. like 25%. >> i am not going to make the deal the you would hold me to it. >> you better be careful. i'm glad you said it. i may hold you. >> megyn kelly is not my competitor. i'm on at 9:00. she is on at 10:00. >> you told me during the debate if you didn't do so well, you would ride into the sunset. am i to assume now that you are here to stay? >> i did really well, with, with a horrible, nasty, stupid
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questions. i did really well. i am certainly not riding into the sunset. i am leading in every poll, don. you don't ride off into the sunset when you are leading. now maybe there will be a teal when i am not leading and i will run off into the sunset. that's possible too. the reason i am leading is because i am going to make this country, we have a great, great potential country. right now we are number two to china. we are getting beaten in every way, with we have horrible trade deals. we are getting fleeced by everybody that touches. we can't beat isis. we can't beat anybody. and we are not taking care of our vets. we are not taking care of our military. and obamacare is a disaster. i'm straightening it all out. i am really good at this. i will straighten it all out. even in your cnn poll, a month ago. i was number one by far by many, many points in leadership. number one by far in economics, you know that, right. i think you will agree. number one look not even close.
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anything having to do with finance, jobs and the economy, i was number one, by like far. they were left way in the dust. that's what our country need, don. >> what do you do then? you talk about. you are right, number one in the cat ge categories. in your favorability. >> my favorability has come way up. if you are being honest. two, three months ago. people didn't know my message. they know me. didn't know me in this position. but if you looked at my favorability recently, my favorability, in fact, somebody said they have nef sever seen anything like it. look at the new fox poll which came out. i am 26%. the nearest opponent is what, 12%, 14% or something look that. and my favorability has become very good. >> you had -- >> excuse me. in the new hampshire poll, the favorability swung all the way into the very positive. so, yeah, no the favorability is doing good now, don. >> you know that 24 million people watched. you had the opportunity to win
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some people over. do you think that you did? if you didn't, would you change anything? change anything at all about what happened and how you conducted it? >> i think i would have leaked to have been treated fairly. fox didn't decide to do that. i blame fox to a certain extent. then i blame the people that did the show. no i wouldn't change anything. they should have treated me. i wouldn't change anything. i think that it was, i am happy. lack eve look everybody was saying it is my show. the apprentice or something. like my show. saying the trump show. sort of interesting. we broke a record. i think what has happened. i think, i don't know if my poll numbers, my big poll numbers are going to go up or down or what. but i think they're going to get better because fox has been inundate with social media, for the unfair treatment that they gave me. i am happy. glad. i like that people do that.
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it was unfair. weave will s we will see what happens. it was unfair. they have in inundated. told by somebody at fix they have never seen anything like it. just the unfair treatment by people that did the wrong thing. >> donald trump, welcome to come co-host with me any time. >> good. we'll beat everybody. you and i will beat everybody. >> i really do appreciate you coming on.