[Editor’s note: These are uncut excerpts from HUMAN EVENTS’s exclusive interview with Donald Trump on culture, politics, and his potential run for the presidency. To read the cover story, “Can Donald Trump Save America?” go here]
Trump on Charlie Sheen’s debut on “Celebrity Apprentice”
You know we’re all business people. I’d love to have him, he’d be great to have on the show. I don’t say what he is doing is the nicest thing in the world, and I know Charlie Sheen.
And Charlie Sheen actually married the daughter of a member of mine from Palm Beach Florida, the Mar-a-Lago Club. And I told the member, “You cannot let your daughter [Brooke Mueller] marry Charlie Sheen.” I’m not saying anything bad about Charlie, because he’s wonderful, he gets great ratings so he’ll probably sign a new contract, that’s another prediction I made. He’ll end up, if he doesn’t implode first, which is a possibility, he’ll end up signing a new contract for more money and he’ll get great ratings.
But I told her, I said, “Don’t let your daughter marry this guy, it’s the wrong guy.” And she was impressed with Charlie Sheen, and it’s Charlie Sheen, and isn’t it wonderful, and isn’t it great, and they had a beautiful wedding, and it’s a disaster. So she told me, “I made a mistake.” She made a mistake, and she did make a mistake. And obviously that was an easy one. You know when I talk about predictions of food going up, and everything going up, and the dollar going down, those are tougher but not much tougher.
But the concept of telling this member of mine’s daughter not to marry Charlie Sheen, that was easy.
Trump on Rush Limbaugh & Howard Stern
The fact is Rush is a great guy, and I’ve known Rush for a long time and he’s fantastic. I just did a show last week, and he’s a special guy. What people don’t know about Rush, he really has an amazing heart. He’s got a big heart.
And Howard is Howard. Now these are two different people from opposite ends of the world, but I’ve done Howard Stern’s show numerous times to promote, whether it’s Miss Universe pageants, or television shows, or “The Apprentice” with the great success of “The Apprentice.” But I’ve gotten to know Howard very well over the years, and he too, he’s a very different person when you take the mic away. And he also has a very big heart. Now people wouldn’t understand that about Howard.
But these two guys, they’re both giants, and they’re both at the opposite ends of the spectrum, but they both have great hearts. And when you get to know them they are not exactly what you expect to see on radio or on television.
Trump on South Korea
This country has become a whipping post, an absolute whipping post. And on top of all that we signed a terrible trade agreement that South Korea didn’t even want to sign, they wanted to make it better. And until North Korea lobbed a couple of bombs onto their land they weren’t going to sign that agreement at great embarrassment to the President after it was negotiated.
Trump on the budget
Something has to be done, but what I really would be strongly in favor of is having countries that are ripping us off contribute hundreds of billions of dollars back into this economy, and you wouldn’t have to worry so much about cutting too much out of the budget.
Trump on the Supreme Court Justice he most admires
I don’t think I want to get into that at this moment, I think it’s a little too soon to get into that. I’ll be answering questions such as that if I decide to run. I have to tell you, I know numerous of the Justices and I don’t want to insult any of them to be honest with you by saying that I particularly admire one. There is one that I admire very much, but I don’t want to insult anybody by discussing the one I most admire because I know a number of them.
Trump on when he would declare
I have to wait till June because I have a very successful television show. Unfortunately you have certain little rules and regulations in this country that I can’t do anything right now because of air time.
Trump on Afghan war
When I look at Afghanistan and we build a highway, and we put a school at the end of the highway, they [Taliban] blow up the highway and they blow up the school. I want to invest money into our country, and I want to invest a lot of money into our military.
Trump on foreign policy
We don’t have to have our soldiers over there [in the Middle East] being blown up by land mines, and being blown up in the streets unfairly, sneak attacks always. It’s just not going to happen. With me we’re going to build the United States, and we’re going to have the strongest military that we’ve ever had.
Trump on George W. Bush
George Bush gave us Obama whether you like it or not. George Bush gave us Obama, without George Bush we don’t have Obama. So I’ve never been a fan of George Bush.
Trump on ObamaCare
If I run and if I win there will not be ObamaCare because it’s ruining a lot of companies. I have friends who own small companies, and they’re going to close those companies up because they can’t afford ObamaCare. It will not exist very long if I’m president.
Trump on if he were told by intelligence agencies of Saddam WMDs
I would have been a lot more certain that he had those weapons of mass destruction. He [Saddam] obviously overplayed his hand. All he had to do was say was, “Come in and take a look,” and he would still be running that country.
Trump on Saddam Hussein
Whether you like Saddam Hussein or not, and I don’t—he was a bad guy—but he used to shoot the terrorists; he used to kill them. He didn’t give them a trial like this country, where the trial lasts for 21 years. He used to shoot the terrorists and kill them. There were no terrorists, very little terrorists in Iraq.
Trump on entitlements
When this country becomes profitable again, we can take care of our sick; we can take care of our needy. We don’t have to cut Social Security; we don’t have to cut Medicare and Medicaid. We can take care of people that need to be taken care of. And I’ll be able to do that.
Trump on pro-life conversion
I have changed my mind, yes. And a lot of people have changed their mind. And I’ve changed my mind because I’ve known people that have had children over the last number of years…I am pro-life.
Trump on the dollar
The dollar, just like the country, is no longer respected. The dollar you have to protect because otherwise people are not going to be able to eat, you’re not going to be able to get food. Everything is doubling, tripling. Look at what’s happening with the cost of food…Much of that stems from the fact that they have just let the dollar go to hell. We really have to protect and cherish the dollar.
Trump on whether New York City was better under Giuliani or Bloomberg
I don’t want to say that because they are both friends of mine. But they’ve both been great mayors. Michael’s done a great job, and Rudy did a great job. They really have both been outstanding mayors, so I don’t want to have to get into who did better, but they’ve both been great mayors. It’s a very interesting question, by the way.
Trump on the importance of religion to him
It’s very important. I am a Protestant. I am a Presbyterian within the Protestant group and I go to Church as much as I can. And I am a believer. Now I don’t know if that makes me conservative or not, but I am a believer.
Trump on the Somali Pirates
Can you believe that these guys are taking tankers that are a thousand feet long and cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and just taking them with rowboats? It’s a total lack of respect for this country, and maybe even for the world. Give me one good admiral and a few ships and I will wipe them out so fast.
Trump on unions
I grew up with unions. New York is largely union, and I sort of spent a lot of time in Florida, which is also a union right to work state so it’s a different kind of thing. But I’ve had great relationships with unions, and I’ve made good deals. I’ve made a lot of money, I mean, I’ve made many billions of dollars and in many cases I’ve been dealing with unions. So, really, collective bargaining doesn’t bother me so much.