Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump sat down with host Stephanie Ruhle on Bloomberg TV's new flagship morning program, Bloomberg <GO> at Trump Towers in midtown Manhattan. In a wide-ranging interview, Trump discussed China, diplomacy, tech valuations, social security, corporate taxes, campaign finance, and defended his tax plan against criticism from John Kasich. He spoke about Janet Yellen, Carl Icahn, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.
On Janet Yellen's decision to delay hiking interest rates Trump said: "I think she's a very political person...what she's doing, and I'm sure that with the blessing of the president, because he doesn't want to have a recession or worse in his administration. Get him out of here, let him go to my golf courses - because I'm sure he'll be playing because I have the best golf courses, by the way and I have the best one in Washington - But he's going to go play golf and somebody's going to suffer... You know what they're doing, Janet Yellen, for political reasons, is keeping the interest rate so low that the next guy, the poor person who takes over as president could have a real problem because this is a political thing."
On the first four global leaders he would call from the Oval Office, Trump said: "I may not call any global leaders. I think I'd probably have them call me...I know more about diplomacy than anybody."
On who he would want as his Treasury Secretary, Trump said: "I have a lot of people...Carl Icahn, a great business leader, a very smart cookie, a great guy...If I said take a look at the China trade pact we're going to lose $400 billion this year. If I put Carl and other of our friends in charge, that $400 billion would shrink so fast, and maybe you could even turn it...He doesn't want that job. But you know what? As an example, Carl, just look over it. It's not a job. He doesn't want anything for it. Believe me, he's going to want to do it. I know him."
When asked about getting Wall Street leaders confirmed in Washington, Trump said: "We're going to get them confirmed. That's what I do. It's called leadership."
On Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders: "She's got a maniac on the other side...He's a maniac. He's a socialist/communist. Hillary is standing there listening to this and she's just getting dragged so far over to the left. I watched it the other night. It was embarrassing. She was embarrassed."
On Governor Kasich's criticism of Trump's tax plan, Trump said: "He's totally wrong because we have to create an economy where companies want to move into the United States, where they want to open factories. They're not doing that anymore. Boeing is going to build a massive plant right now in China." On whether China is our enemy, Trump added: "In an economic sense, absolutely."
On Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren: "I think that she wants to see good trade deals, OK. And I don't know her. I think that Elizabeth Warren, as bad as it may sound, doesn't want to see the country lose $400 billion a year to China in terms of deficit, OK? I don't think so. And these are not bad people. These are people that are tremendously successful people."
Trump: Full Interview:
Bloomberg <GO> interview with Stephanie Ruhle
Trump: Fed's Yellen Keeps Rates Low for Political Reasons:
Bloomberg <GO> interview with Stephanie Ruhle
Trump: China Scamming the U.S.:
Bloomberg <GO> interview with Stephanie Ruhle
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STEPHANIE RUHLE: It is Day 1. You've won the election. You are in the Oval Office. Who do you want to be your Treasury Secretary?
DONALD TRUMP: I don't want to really say, because it would be insulting to a lot of people, but we have some tremendous talent in this country. You know what I'm talking about. And some great people, one of the folks that just endorsed me recently is Carl Icahn, a great business leader, a very smart cookie, a great guy. And Carl, very interestingly, if I said take a look at the China trade pact, you know, we're going to lose $400 billion this year dealing trade deficit with China. $400 billion.
If I put Carl and other of our friends in charge, that $400 billion would shrink so fast, and maybe you could even turn it. What an impact that would have on our country.
RUHLE: Except, he either doesn't want the job, which I know he doesn't because I've asked him, or he can't get --
TRUMP: No, he doesn't want that job.
RUHLE: -- confirmed.
TRUMP: No, but you know what? (INAUDIBLE). I just wanted to -- you -- as an example, Carl, just look over it. It's not a job. He doesn't want anything for it. Believe me, he's going to want to do it. I know him.
RUHLE: But we are talking about --
TRUMP: They all want to do it.
RUHLE: -- running the United States of America.
TRUMP: I know, but I'm just -- I'm talking about something else. I'm saying we are getting killed on trade beyond what everyone knows. Far beyond. They're taking our jobs, they're taking our base, they're taking our manufacture. I'm not only talking about China; I'm talking about everybody. Every country.
If I talk Carl and others that you know and that I know, that you interview all the time, some I like, some I can't stand, but I know the talented ones, I know the ones without a lot of talent, I know the overrated ones, I know quiet ones that nobody ever heard of that are better than all. When I take people like that and have them supervise -- and they'll do it for nothing. They want to do it.
RUHLE: They might want to, but will the American people allow them to?
TRUMP: Yes. Totally
RUHLE: Antonio Weiss (ph) from Lazard could not get confirmed to be the Treasury Undersecretary. Elizabeth Warren wants absolutely no one from Wall Street anywhere near Washington.
TRUMP: We're going to get them confirmed.
TRUMP: That's what I do.
RUHLE: Tell me how.
TRUMP: It's called leadership. It's called leadership. You have a president right now that's really somebody that it's -- first of all, he's not a leader. Second of all, he doesn't work very hard in this way. That's why he signs executive orders all the time, because he can't get anything confirmed. He doesn't even meet with the Democrats.
So I will tell you, we will get people confirmed, even if they even need to be confirmed. I just want people to supervise, to watch. Because we have incompetent people negotiating with China, with Mexico, with Japan, with Brazil, with every country. We have incompetent people.
RUHLE: As a president, you don't have complete, ultimate power.
TRUMP: That's true.
RUHLE: You've got to work with Congress.
TRUMP: It's called leadership.
RUHLE: But -- but hold on. But if you've said those people in Congress, they wouldn't survive in the private sector, I wouldn't hire them. Now you need to play ball with them, why would they ever let them in? Why do you think you're going to be able to get this door open?
TRUMP: Because we're not going to have a country any longer. We cannot continue to lose the way we're losing. We cannot continue to have the kind of deficits that we have. We cannot continue to have $19 trillion in debt. We just can't do it.
And believe me, I think that even Congress is looking for leadership. I see what's going on. I'm called all the time.
You know, I've been in politics all my life. I've been on the other side. I've been fair-haired boy. Now all of sudden I'm like the interloper. They say what happened? Because three months ago I did something that everybody, oh, he'll never do it, he'll never do it. And then I did it. Then I filed papers. They say he'll never Form A -- that's where you sign your life away. I filed it.
Then they said, oh, will he ever file his financials? I filed my financials. Almost 100 pages, they were much better than anyone ever dreamed possible. They were fantastic, OK? I'm very proud; I built a great company.
And now you use that same kind of thinking to straighten out.
Now, who knows? Let's see what happens. But I can tell you, every poll, every single state, every national poll, I'm ahead. And most of them I'm way ahead. So we're going to see what happens.
RUHLE: You actually believe, though, one single person, you -- there's complete gridlock in our political system.
TRUMP: It's because no leadership. Look, our systems always work. Not always, it has bad moments --
RUHLE: All of those people, not one is a leader?
TRUMP: Think about Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill, two very opposites in terms of their political thinking. They got along; they were friends, sort of. They went out to dinner. They'd have a drink together. In Tip's case, a couple of drinks, OK? And they got a long. They had like this great relationship. And yet one was liberal, one was conservative, and they got things done beautifully. It can happen again. It can happen again -- but you got to work at it.
RUHLE: But why do you think --
TRUMP: President Obama doesn't even want to deal with the Republicans. He doesn't see them, he doesn't talk to them. He doesn't even want to deal with some of the Democrats.
RUHLE: But Republicans --
TRUMP: Many of the Democrats say we don't see this guy very much.
RUHLE: But Republicans don't want to deal with one another. I mean, it was such a bifurcated, splintered party.
TRUMP: You're right, and that's what makes it good for me, because they're going to want to do something. They're tired of it. They're all tired; they're exhausted. Its like the war that's gone on for so long. They want to end it.
They will -- I've been leading all my life. I know how to do this, Steph. I've been dealing with politicians all my life. I won't say whether or not I respect politicians -- actually some I do and some I don't. But well, we'll get it done. And what really does make me feel good, I have gotten calls from the biggest people in business, the greatest people in business, the greatest negotiators, the greatest managers. They see that I'm number one in every poll.
Now, I don't know, who knows? It's a long way to go. You know, we have really four months to go, a little less than four months -- hard to believe.
But these people all want to be involved in some capacity -- not for money, not for -- they want to help. They want to help. And these are the best people in the country. And we have the best people in the world.
RUHLE: You've never been in a position where you've had to answer to your constituency. You run a company with your name on the door, with your name on everything you do. You haven't run a publicly-traded company where you have to answer to shareholders. When you really in terms negotiating have to play ball, have to play ball with these members of Congress, horse-trade, why should we feel confident that you have the ability to do it? We know you know how to say, “You're fired.” How do we know that you can truly make this happen?
TRUMP: It'll happen. Just -- it'll happen. It'll happen. It's just the way --
RUHLE: Why? Help us understand.
TRUMP: Because I've had great success. I know how to be successful. The things I do, I'm successful at. Even when the world changes, I'll be building a big, massive building. Everything's fine. Then all of sudden, boom, one day there's a depression because we've had depressions virtually -- I make it work.
TRUMP: I go back, I, you know, knock the banks, I do numbers, I do this, I do that, I sue, I do everything. In the end, I make it work. I always make it work.
I make things work. I don't enough credit for the things that shouldn't have worked, because when they shouldn't have worked and other guys go bankrupt and out of business and gone and you never heard from them, I make things work. I mean, I've had jobs that should have never worked, and today they're fantastic jobs for me.
So I will just make it happen.
RUHLE: Do you think the economy is working? Because as you mentioned --
RUHLE: -- your friend Carl Icahn says we are headed for financial disaster.
RUHLE: If you become the President of the United States, you could walk into another financial crisis.
TRUMP: That's true. That's true. And it should have happened sooner. You know what they're doing, Janet Yellen, for political reasons, is keeping the interest rate so low that the next guy, the poor person who takes over as president could have a real problem because this is a political thing. Keeping these interest rates at this level, Stephanie, this is a political thing and it's not - it's -- you know, it's kept low. When they get raised, perhaps with the next president, you're going to see some bad things happen.
RUHLE: Is Janet Yellen failing?
TRUMP: I don't know if she's failing, but I think she's a very political person because everybody says she should raise the interest rates. I mean I have what they used to call CDs. You don't even want to put them in CDs anymore. Where they give you nothing. They're offering you nothing. I read today where the United States government is paying nothing - I've never heard of a thing - they're paying zero. I say who is putting in - but they are actually paying zero. In fact, I think they should maybe - this is the first time they'd be ever in history, I'd recommend that they borrow a lot. They are actually paying zero interest. This is one I've never heard of but I just read about it two hours ago.
So look, you know, the people that have been hurt in many ways the worst are the people that did it the way they were supposed to do it. They saved all of their lives, they worked for 35 years, they built up a little nest egg, and they thought that the interest would take care of them and now they're getting no interest on their money and it's a really very unfair situation.
So Janet Yellen is keeping interest rates extremely low - Now, she's always been known as a dove on interest rates, but what she's doing, and I'm sure that with the blessing of the president, because he doesn't want to have a recession or worse in his administration. So she's keeping interest rates low, get him out of here, let him go to my golf courses - because I'm sure he'll be playing because I have the best golf courses, by the way and I have the best one in Washington - But he's going to go play golf and somebody's going to suffer. She's keeping rates too low too long.
RUHLE: Should Larry Summers have gotten the job?
TRUMP: I don't say who should have gotten the job. I'm just saying this is a very political decision and I'm sure that Obama has something to do with it.
RUHLE: Well then quantitative easing rates they've been great for people in the financial industry -
TRUMP: By the way - Excuse me. I'm a developer. You know, I develop property. I'm doing the old post office, I'm paying almost no interest. It's great. I'm not complaining from my own standpoint it's great. I'm just saying at some point you're going to have to raise interest rates. You're paying nothing -
RUHLE: Is it too late to raise them, though?
RUHLE: The window closed?
TRUMP: I don't think it's too late, but I think you're going to have to do something. Something is going to have to happen.
RUHLE: So let's talk about Hillary Clinton for a moment. She - you know, when we talk about who is to blame, people love to blame the last crisis on the financial industry. So Hillary, among other candidates, are coming out swinging. She's saying we need more regulation to double-down on Dodd-Frank -
TRUMP: Worst thing you can do. Dodd-Frank is a disaster.
RUHLE: -- to go after high-frequency trading. Is that even the right approach? At this point, what is that going to do?
TRUMP: Well, she has got a problem. She's got a maniac on the other side, OK? And she's got -
RUHLE: In Bernie Sanders.
TRUMP: Yeah. He's a maniac. He's a socialist/communist. I said it yesterday in a speech. So call him what you like. But he's giving everything away. He wants to tax you at 90 percent.
It's very interesting, I have a man who is in my company and he's been great and he makes a lot of money and he works for me for a long time. And I said how would you feel if you actually had to pay - and this guy loves his job, wouldn't even think about - I said, how would you feel if you actually had to pay 90 percent tax or 80 percent tax? He said honestly, then I believe I'd give up. Interesting. This guy has been with me for years. And I just put it, you know, hypothetically. I said how would you feel if you had to pay 80, 90 percent? And he said, well then I probably wouldn't work because he wouldn't be taking anything home. It wouldn't be worth it. Sort of interesting - even though he likes his job. He probably would work, OK - but he's going to work for ten - wouldn't work happy. But most people will leave the job, they're not going to work, they're not going to take risk. A lot of bad things are going to happen.
So here's what happened to Hillary. This guy's giving everything away. He wants social security for illegal immigrants, he wants education for illegal immigrants, he wants driver licenses, he wants everything for people that aren't even legal in the country. He wants things, you know, free education for everybody. Anybody who wants to go to school, you get free education. Now all of this stuff is going to cause trillions of dollars - trillions. They say 16, 17, 18 trillion dollars. Hillary is standing there listening to this and she's just getting dragged so far over to the left. I watched it the other night. It was embarrassing. She was embarrassed -
RUHLE: And that's why she's calling for Wall Street regulation because Bernie Sanders is dragging her there?
TRUMP: Oh, I think certainly it's a part of it. Yeah, certainly it's a part of it. I mean, she's - Dodd-Frank is a disaster. I will tell you one thing. The banks. I know all the banks. I know them, they're nice, they're good. They can't loan money. If they - They will loan money - They call me all the time, you can ask Mr. Tom Barrack, you can ask any of your friends. They want to loan me money. They want to loan back - They want to loan people that don't need money. But if you - I have friends that are always calling me up saying, can you give me a recommendation to a bank? They're great developers, they're great business people. Unless you're very rich and you have a lot of money - more money than you want to borrow - they don't want to loan you money because the regulators are running the banks
RUHLE: Let's say you're running the United States of America, how then do you get smart regulation? Where do you get the money to put them into place?
TRUMP: Well let me just tell you something. Let's talk about money. We have corporate inversions, it's a disaster. One of your big subjects in the near future is going to be all of these companies that are leaving the United States and they're going for two reasons. They want to have lower taxes, sometimes labor -They can't get the money into the country. I mean, companies have billions and some of - I'm sure you speak about it all the time - they have billions of dollars outside of the country and they can't get it back in. I have money outside of the country. I can't get it back in and it's not only the taxes. The taxes are ridiculous - We have to file all sorts of forms and this and that, the government - the bureaucracy - to bring money in.
So they say there's two and a half trillion dollars. But I was just informed this morning that that number could be much, much greater than that, OK? And we can't get the money. And I'll tell you what you're going to have. If they don't get together - and here's something that the republic -
RUHLE: But who get together? You're talking about simplifying the tax code?
TRUMP: I'm talking about the government. No - no -
RUHLE: Well good luck. Why do you think we have any shot of doing that?
TRUMP: Because you need leadership. Listen, you have the Republicans and the Democrats. The Republicans all agree that the money should come in. They can't agree. For four years they've been negotiating. Everybody agrees they can't get the money back in. Stephanie, it's ridiculous. We have two and a half trillion at least, it's going to be a lot more than that. And here's what's going to happen. You're going to have big companies because I know companies. I was talking to Carl Icahn before, I was talking to Tom Barrack before, there are big companies thinking about leaving the United States with thousands and thousands of jobs because the taxes are too high. You know we're the highest taxed nation in the world. The taxes are too high, No. 1, and No. 2, they have billions of dollars out. They can't get it back into the country.
RUHLE: Well let's talk about these corporations who are complaining and whining and moaning. They have been able -
TRUMP: Well they should be.
RUHLE: OK. They have been able to go into the capital markets in the last few years, borrow, they have tons of money on their balance sheet because we say, guess what, they should be able to innovate, create jobs - they're not doing that. All they're doing is answering to activists. CEOs today have a short-term approach and they're just corporate buybacks. That's all we're saying. That doesn't help the U.S. economy --
TRUMP: They're very afraid of activists and they shouldn't be. But they're very afraid of activists. All they should do is do a good job.
But you do have companies that aren't doing things because of our tax structure. The taxes are too high. And they go to other countries and they save a fortune. And you know, they don't have the loyalty to the United States that they used to have. Even people that live here.
I mean, I have friends that are thinking about leaving the United States. You know, in the old days, they'd leave New York for Florida or they'd leave New Jersey for Texas. Now they leave the United States for Ireland and the United States for many other countries because they want to get their money and they want to get lower taxes.
And we'd better do something about it fast.
And in my opinion, there's no way you can legislate that you can't leave. It doesn't work.
RUHLE: Take us back to banks. You're saying you deal with banks all the time. The banking industry continues to be hated by the American people, by many people who, like you, Mr. Trump, so why is it --
TRUMP: -- well, they're very bad at public relations. I mean, you have the heads of these banks make a fortune and they have no idea what they're doing public relations-wise.
RUHLE: Everybody loves the tech industry. President Obama, when he puts together his council for entrepreneurship, is putting some people on who run these exciting, innovative companies that don't make any money.
So we're talking about bubbles and --
TRUMP: Oh, I think we're in a bubble.
I agree with Carl .
Look, we're in a bubble. You have these companies that are worth billions and billions of dollars, they never made 10 cents. I mean, at some point, they're going to have to show something. But, no, I absolutely think we're in a bubble. We have a very big, ugly bubble. And when you raise interest rates, that could be the end of the bubble. I mean that could be a very bad time. We're going to have to see because you're going to have to raise rates at some point.
But again, as we go back to the beginning, you know, at some point you have to do it. And it's not fair to wait and they're waiting because they want the next whoever it is, that want that whole -- these people want to get out and they want to get out with their scalps.
RUHLE: When could this bubble burst?
When you look at these tech companies --
TRUMP: Any time.
RUHLE: -- when you look at these tech companies, you have got now insurance companies and money managers running, rushing to try to make private investments in these companies and you're going, what?
You know, seems like they're going to be the last guys --
TRUMP: You know why they're doing that, though, because they're getting no interest on their money. I mean, they have nothing.
I have friends that never invested in the stock market in their life. I mean, never in their -- I'm one of them. I was never in the stock market. And then about three years ago I bought a lot of stock, you know, I'm not huge, but I bought a lot -- no, it was good timing, I mean, you know. And I sold it, by the way, about 5-6 months ago. I sold everything, almost everything. I have some like funds.
And the only reason I put the money in there is because they're run by friends of mine, OK. They're not even doing so well. I said I did better than you did by watching your broadcast --
RUHLE: Those friends who you'd like to put around you if you're president --
TRUMP: -- no, no --
RUHLE: They're not going to want to sell their --
TRUMP: -- I probably wouldn't use them actually. No, I'd want to put the real winners. I know the real winners. I know the great ones. I know the ones that always seem to come out on top.
We need --
RUHLE: Who would be willing to have their personal lives gone through? Because --
TRUMP: Hey, it's not going to be so bad, believe me. You know, people want this now. I spoke the other night in front of 10,000 people and I told them about Carl and I told them about other people. And I said, what do you think -- they stand up, they're going crazy. They love the idea.
And the people that you say would never do it, I have received calls from the biggest people in this country saying, if you win, I would love to represent. I would love to. They would love.
You know what, they have a lot of money.
RUHLE: You know who wouldn't love it? Elizabeth Warren. And she's going to stand between you and them.
TRUMP: And I'll tell you what, I think that she wants to see good trade deals, OK. And I don't know her. I think that Elizabeth Warren, as bad as it may sound, doesn't want to see the country lose $400 billion a year to China in terms of deficit, OK? I don't think so.
And I think when you explain it to even her and even to people that you consider somewhat radical on the Left, believe me, they're going to want to see these people come in. And these are not bad people. These are people that are tremendously successful people. We're not talking about we're going to put ex-convicts in charge. We're talking about very, very successful people.
But what really impresses me is that they see all these numbers that I'm getting and they're seeing that, Donald, you could win.
And I'm getting calls from people, honestly, that I haven't heard from in about three years. And they're saying, we'd love to get involved in helping, in helping, because they've made a fortune for themselves but they'd like to help the country. It's very interesting.
RUHLE: Let's talk about taxes for a moment. You have said you want to cut taxes, take the top rate from 40 percent to 25 percent.
TRUMP: By the way, we have to cut taxes.
RUHLE: OK. Well, John Kasich has said that what you want to do is going to leave us with an $11 trillion deficit.
TRUMP: But he doesn't know. He doesn't understand.
RUHLE: What doesn't he --
TRUMP: We're going to have a dynamic country. Now --
We have, right now, 100 million people in the workforce, they have no work. Our jobs are being taken by China. They're being taken by many countries, Japan. I was in Los Angeles. I saw the biggest ships I've ever seen come in, cars are pouring off -- from Japan. By the way, with them $70 billion, $75 billion a year. That's what the deficit is, OK.
We're going to bring our jobs back. We're going to bring jobs back. Nabisco's moving to Mexico with a big plant. They're closing in Chicago; they're moving to Mexico. Ford is building a $2.5 billion plant in Mexico. Mexico's like the new China, by the way, just in case you have any questions --
RUHLE: And --
TRUMP: I'm going to stop it. We're going to build in this country. We're going to have a dynamic economy. We're going to lower taxes. Money's going to come in. The corporate inversion, we're going to get rid of that massive tax, where people only get a very stupid person or desperate person would bring their money in because it's ridiculous. And we're going to have trillions of dollars coming back into this country. And we're going to lower our taxes. And it's going to be a great thing.
One other thing that nobody ever talks about, there is so much waste in our country. And I'm not talking about where we hurt, where we -- I'm just saying so much waste. You look at some of the agencies that are in charge of waste, $1 trillion a year, they say. They say $500 billion, $750 billion -- when we start cutting things, you look at Department of Energy, first of all, education should be local. We run it from Washington.
But you look at Department of Education, you look at some of these agents, Environmental Protection, where they destroy rivers and -- I mean, what they do to business is unbelievable.
When we start doing cutting, you could probably save more than $1 trillion a year. You're talking about massive amounts of money.
RUHLE: It looks like your tax plan, though, though you've got a big base in the middle class, it looks as though your tax plan is actually going to cut it for the 1 percent. Why?
TRUMP: You know what, the -- your very interesting thing, we're getting rid of, as you know, carried interest, which is really -- which is a hedge fund manager's dream.
The interesting thing? I think the rich will do better because the economy's going to grow. That's how they're really going to do better. The economy's going to grow. But the middle class is getting -- for the first time, they're getting a break. We're losing our middle income people. We used to have the middle income and now we don't have it.
RUHLE: Show me where the economy is going to grow. So when rich people get richer, where's it going to grow? With boat builders for their yachts?
TRUMP: No, no, no. We're going to -- we're going to create something that's beautiful, that we haven't done in a long time.
RUHLE: I need you to --
TRUMP: Stephanie, people are leaving the country. I went out, I bought a resort in Scotland called Turnberry. It's one of the great resorts in the world because I have an incentive to go over to other -- to Europe and invest my money. I have people that want to invest in Europe. I have people that want to invest in Asia. I have -- a lot of people don't even want to invest in the United States. Our taxes are too high.
We have actually the highest taxes anywhere in the world. It's ridiculous. When we cut those taxes and create the incentives and also cut waste, which is massive, that's a big part of my plan.
We cut waste. You will be very happy.
RUHLE: So when Warren Buffett says this country is great, when Jeff Gundlach says this is the place to invest, are they wrong?
TRUMP: Well, I don't know. I can't tell you they're wrong, I can't tell -- maybe over a very long time. I tell you what? I think they're absolutely right, if I become President, they will make -- they will do very well because I think that we will grow. We're stagnant. I mean, look at our first quarter. GDP, we're even. Never, who ever heard of that? And we're taking in tremendous numbers of people that frankly are coming in illegally, they're coming in illegally. And we're taking in tremendous numbers of people. So, you know, look, my whole theme is make America great again. I had to add the word again. In fact, I just did a book with Simon and Schuster. It's coming out on November 3rd. It's called "Crippled America." That's a tough pick.
RUHLE: Now, hold on.
TRUMP: No, it's true. And when you read this you will see we are in deep trouble. How are you going to get rid of the $19 trillion in debt? How are you going to solve the problems unless you grow this country? We're going to grow the country. Right now all of the people that we're dealing with in terms of other countries, they're very much smarter than our leaders. They're taking our business...
RUHLE: Why do you think they're smarter than our leaders?
TRUMP: They're -- not smarter, they're much smarter, OK? It's not even a question. They are ripping us left and right. And one of the reasons...
RUHLE: OK, help me understand this.
TRUMP: Well, let me tell you why, let me tell you how they do it. Because they, and companies that benefit by this, have lobbyists, have special interests, and give a lot of money to the politicians. I'm self-funding my own campaign, I'm not...
RUHLE: But hold, if you make it past -- once you in the big league and you're really running, you're going to have to raise money.
TRUMP: No, no, at some point the Republican party will kick in after the nomination. I'm just talking about during the nomination. I'm, I'm totally... You have guys -- I've turned down so many millions of dollars I actually feel foolish. Friends are coming up, I want to give you $5 million, I want to give you $10 million. I don't take anything, OK. I don't take. The only money I take is people when they send checks for $75, for $12. I had a woman the other day send a check for, for $7.50.
RUHLE: She needs that seven, send it back.
TRUMP: No, but, you know what? She'd be insulted if I sent it back. I really mean it. She be -- she's so -- they wrote a three-page letter. They meant it. But I don't take the money, you know, the millions of dollars coming in from different lobbyists, many of whom I know.
RUHLE: And do we need campaign finance reform? When we look about what...
TRUMP: Oh, absolutely. It is such a disaster out there. It's a, it's a horror show going on with campaign finance.
RUHLE: What should it look like?
TRUMP: This whole thing with these PACs. These PACs are the biggest disgusting joke you've ever seen. And, first of all, the PACs are all controlling the candidates. And when they say the candidate doesn't speak to the PAC, and they're not allowed to legally, I guarantee you these candidates -- I would say every single one of them is speaking to their PAC, and they're not allowed to legally. Our campaign laws are a disaster, our financing for campaigns are dis... Now mine is very simple, I pay my own money, OK? I pay my own money. But it's, it's a disgrace. I mean it's a disgrace.
RUHLE: Would term limits help fix the system when you look at Congress?
TRUMP: Well, you know, the ultimate term limit is you lose the election, right? So I've never been, I have... I'm in favor of term limits, but less so than some people because I have seen people in New York City, as an example, city councils where I go for zoning changes. I've seen people that are phenomenal and they get term limited and you get somebody in there that's a total novice and horrible. I mean I've seen it work both ways. I've also seen some very bad people get forced out of office. So term limits are something that I'm in favor of, but I think the ultimate term limit is it's called you do a bad job, you lose the election.
RUHLE: You mentioned our -- the debt problem that we face. I do want to go back. Is he simply wrong when John Kasich says your tax plan will leave us with $11 trillion...
TRUMP: What do these people -- now, look, look. Let me tell you. We are losing our shirts right now, we're losing tremendous. And it's not, it's not -- it's going to get worse because businesses are going to leave, as we discussed. He's totally wrong because we have to create an economy where companies want to move into the United States, where they want to open factories. They're not doing that anymore. They're doing -- Boeing is going to build a massive plant right now in China. You know that, right? Do you know that?
RUHLE: But they also are in South Carolina.
TRUMP: I don't care. They're going to build a big plant. China is making them. By the way, China...
RUHLE: You can't (inaudible).
TRUMP: Excuse me. China is making Boeing build a massive plant in China. They're making them do it.
RUHLE: Is China our enemy?
TRUMP: In an economic sense, absolutely. And it's not that. Hey, look, if you go down one floor, the biggest bank in the world is a tenant, OK? You know the bank I'm talking about. Go down one floor. In fact, on the way down, we'll stop and say hello. They're very happy to have a good deal on the rent, OK? The fact is that I deal with the Chinese. They're great. I deal with the Mexicans. They're great. But they're scamming the United States, all of these countries are scamming the United States.
RUHLE: But are you looking at data out of China? It's not -- their economy is not doing well.
TRUMP: Of course. I'm not... We rebuilt China and forget about what's happening. We have rebuilt. What China has done to the United States is the greatest theft in the history of the world. They've taken hundreds of thousands of jobs, they've taken our money. The beautiful thing is they take our money and we owe now -- do you know that we owe China $1.5 trillion? Do you know that we owe Japan $1.5 trillion, $1.5 trillion! Now think of it. They sell us cars, they come in, the come in, they come. You know what we sell them? Beef, we give them beef. And they don't even take it, they send it back half the time. Which isn't good for the quality of the meat, all right? But because their farmers don't want it. So they send it back. The imbalance is so incredible. So we owe Japan $1.5 trillion, so think of that. China, Japan, they rip us, they rip us. And we owe them money. It's like a magic act. It's going to stop. We owe them each. By the way, we owe them each approximately $1.5 trillion. So with all of the things they do -- now in all fairness, they buy the bonds. You know, the put the bonds. But with everything that happens, Stephanie, that's like a horrible magic act. It's not going to happen.
RUHLE: All right, let's stay international. You're in the Oval Office, it's your first day, first week, who are the first four global leaders you're calling on the phone?
TRUMP: I may not call any global leaders. I think I'd probably have them call me.
TRUMP: And, and by the way, and by the way...
RUHLE: Diplomacy though, Mr. Trump --
TRUMP: Excuse me, excuse me, I know more about diplomacy than anybody.
RUHLE: How? Tell me how?
TRUMP: I have great relationships. We're talking about China. China is ripping us and, yet, they don't even like us. You know that Business Week magazine had an article where... I'm very critical of China, I like China, I get along great, have a lot of friends from China. By the way, they can't believe that they get away with what they... They tell me, we can't believe. But Business Week mag -- the 10 thinks that the Chinese people most want. Do you know what one of the 10 things is? Anything Trump. It says, I couldn't believe it. Anything Trump. And they know my attitude. People in China, people in Mexico, people -- people from all over. And you know, they buy apartments from me, they pay me a fortune. I like China, I like Mexico, but they can't believe they get away with what they... And friends of mine that are very big people, they come over for dinner, and they say, we cannot believe your government is so stupid.
RUHLE: But if I had to say something I'm afraid of, it's when I say, who are the four foreign leaders you'd call? And you say, I'd wait for them to call me.
TRUMP: I would.
RUHLE: If you -- hold on. If you became...
TRUMP: I may.
RUHLE: Wait. Hold on.
TRUMP: Wait, wait, let me say. I may. I may call them, may not call them, it depends. I mean it's all a very deep psychological thing. I have had a great temperament for business and for making money. And I've got to make the nation rich again, and I've got to make the nation strong again before it can be great again. Because we're a debtor nation. Right now our roads are crumbling, our airports are horrible. When you fly into La Guardia, it's an embarrassment So we've got to do something. As to who I'm going to call, I will get along far better than this administration gets along
RUHLE: Give me an example where you've shown great diplomacy. You said Angela Merkel made a horrible decision by...
TRUMP: Oh, she made a horrible decision, she mad a horrible decision.
TRUMP: The people in Germany are now going wild. She let in tens of thousands of people. They should have built in Syria a free zone. And then they said to me, would you take them in here? And I said, two hundred thousand people that we don't even know who they are? They have no documentation. And, by the way, if you look -- look at the migration. They're young men, they're young, strong men. I look, I say, where are the women? Where are the women? You see very few women. Where are the children? You don't see very many children. And then they want to take in 200 -- this could be the great Trojan horse of all time. And probably not, but who wants to take a chance? It's going to cost billions of dollars, and we want to take in 200,000 people we have no idea where they come from?
RUHLE: But we've got Puerto Rico just beneath. They've got $73 billion worth of debt right now.
TRUMP: They've made a lot of big mistakes. They made a lot of big mistakes.
RUHLE: So what's our obligation to them?
TRUMP: Well, maybe they're going to have an obligation to get it fixed. I mean they made a lot of big mistakes. Maybe those bond holders are going to have to suffer. Puerto Rico's not going to suffer. Puerto Rico's doing the right thing right now. Puerto Rico's going to work out their bond problems, OK? Detroit worked out its problems. All right? It worked out. Some of the friends that you interviewed who are tough killers, they lost a couple of bucks, OK? It's one of those things. Puerto Rico is going to work out their bond problems. I mean they've got huge problems. They have massive debt. You want the United States to come in and take it over? Then nobody's going to learn. They're not going to learn what to do.
RUHLE: If you became President of the United States, you really are leader of the free world.
TRUMP: That's true.
RUHLE: And you have to be a human. And it's a humanitarian action.
TRUMP: I have a great heart, I have a great heart. I'm going to take care of people. I want to take care of our people also. We have Social Security, which is a disaster. We have Medicare, Medicaid. We have -- everything we have is crumbling. I'm going to save it all. We have to take care of our people. We're spending trillions of dollars, two trillion, think of it. Two trillion dollars we spent in Iraq. We have nothing, we have nothing. In fact, Iran has taken over Iraq, just like I predicted it would many years ago. I said it. That we should have never gone in. I said that many years ago.
RUHLE: So what would you tell you (inaudible)?
TRUMP: You look at Afghanistan, a trillion dollars. Now you have Syria. Nothing works.
TRUMP: We have to start thinking about ourselves, we have to start thinking about our country.
RUHLE: Then what would you tell your head of National Security on your -- in your first hundred days? What would be your first order of business?
TRUMP: I have many orders of -- one thing I'd do is terminate Obamacare and replace it with something much bigger. I would terminate Obamacare, and we would have a much better plan that would cost the United States much less, and cost people. Their premiums are going up 55 percent, Stephanie. Obamacare is a disaster, and it really kicks in in '16. Their premiums are going up 65 and 55 and 35. I see all different numbers. But the only thing I see is only up, and it's like a rocket ship. I would terminate and replace Obamacare. It's going to be a disaster, and '16 is going to be a totally disaster for this country.
RUHLE: You mentioned the disaster that is our Social Security system. Ken Langone, Stan Druckenmiller have been outspoken on entitlement reform. He said in the debate you don't need to get that money.
TRUMP: I want to grow the economy, I want to take it... Excuse me.
RUHLE: But many people who support you, they need that.
TRUMP: OK, let me just tell you. I'm going to save Social Security. They're not. They're going to cut it. So many of these people want to cut it. I'm going to grow the economy, we're going to make our country strong again, and we'll be able to afford it. But we have a contract with these people who signed up for Social Security. We have a contract. I don't want my Social Security. I think we should do a thing where certain people, you know, for instance me. I don't want Social Security. People say, you get Social Security. A lot of rich people would waive it in about two seconds. And make it voluntary, if you want. But I'm going to save Social Security so the people that thought they were getting their Social Security are going to get the Social Security. We're going to grow the economy, and it's going to grow great.
RUHLE: In order to be the President of the United States, you have to be a leader in so many ways. We haven't seen your soft hand. We've seen your offense, but George Bush had to stand in front of America after 9-11, Barack Obama did after Sandy Hook. Help us understand who Donald Trump is as a man. I need to know that you will make us feel safe and you will make us feel proud.
TRUMP: OK, I think I have a bigger heart than all of them. I think I'm much more competent than all of them. When you talk about George Bush, I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time.
RUHLE: Hold on. You can't blame George Bush for that.
TRUMP: He was President, OK? Don't blame him or don't blame him, but he was President. The World Trade Center came down during his reign. If you look at Sandy Hook, those people are still begging for help. It's a disaster, and it's a disaster all over the place. Government has proven to be a disaster during the Obama administration. I think I have a bigger heart than all of them, and I think I'm much more competent than them. And we will be great again. This country will be great again. We have tremendous potential, we have tremendous people. What we need is a leader, we don't have a leader.
RUHLE: Why couldn't Mitt Romney do it?
TRUMP: Because he didn't inspire people. And a lot of people didn't vote. What people don't realize and what nobody ever says, a lot of people that should have gotten up and voted, they didn't get out and vote for Mitt Romney. It just didn't work. He did not inspire people.
RUHLE: Will you lose faith in this country if you don't get the nomination? Who will you have to support?
TRUMP: Well, we're going to have to see. I don't think that way. I mean I'm leading so big in so many different places. We're going to have to see. I mean I'll have to worry about that if that happens. It's always a possibility that it doesn't work out. But I think the reason I have the biggest crowds by far of anybody -- not even close -- we have 35,000 people and 20,000 people, and 10,000 people routinely, routinely. People want help, they want to see our country be great again.