Donald J. Trump
From an interview with Bob Woodward and Robert Costa
Washington Post, April 2, 2016
Edited by Andy Ross
June 16, 2015: I was standing on top of the escalator at Trump Tower. It
looked like the Academy Awards. There were so many cameras. The atrium of
Trump Tower was packed.
I have a good life. I built a great company.
I have very little debt, tremendous assets, and great cash flows. I have a
wonderful family. Four years ago, I went up to New Hampshire, made a speech.
And since then people have said, Trump is going to run. I never was
interested. Other than the last time, where Romney was running. And I
thought that Romney was a weak candidate, did a poor job. About a year
before June 16, the day that I announced, I started really thinking about it
I just felt there were so many things going wrong with
the country. In particular, I felt that we were doing some of the worst
trade deals ever. And then you look at what's going on in Iran with the
beginning of negotiations of that disastrous deal. The Iranians, frankly,
are great negotiators. The deal was a disaster.
The security of our
nation is number one, two, and three. After that, many things come into
focus: health care, jobs, the economy.
I'm somebody that gets along
with people. I have the biggest crowds. Let me tell you the biggest problem
that I have. I get a very unfair press. Now, there is a natural bias against
me because I'm a businessperson, Iím not in the club. I'm not a senator, I'm
not a politician. I'm very much an outsider.
Winning solves a lot of
problems. But I think you have to break the egg initially. My life has been
about victories. I win a lot. When I do something, I win. And even in
sports, I always won. I was always a good athlete. And I always won.
I'm the Lone Ranger. I bring rage out. I do bring rage out. I always have. I
don't know if that's an asset or a liability. I also bring great unity out,
ultimately. I've had many occasions where people have hated me more than any
human being they've ever met. And after it's all over, they end up being my
friends. And I see that happening here. My wife Ivanka and Tiffany, my
daughter, said to me be presidential. They really started saying it before
the last debate.
I won every single debate. Every single debate. And
I was rough and I was nasty. And I was treated nastily by the other side
too. If I get hit, I'm going to hit back. My natural inclination is to win.
And after I win, I will be so presidential that you won't even recognize me.
You'll be falling asleep, you'll be so bored. Right now, I just want to win.
I think we're sitting on an economic bubble, a financial bubble. I'm
talking about a bubble where you go into a very massive recession. Bubbles
are scary. People would pay me money for speeches on success. I was pretty
good at prognostication. This is a bad time to invest. Because the dollar is
so strong. You have cheap money that nobody can get unless you're rich. You
have the regulators running the banks. I think we're sitting on a very big
We have made some of the worst trade deals in the history of
trade. I would immediately start renegotiating our trade deals with Mexico,
China, Japan, and all of these countries that are just absolutely destroying
us. And they have been for years. Renegotiate trade deals and renegotiate
military deals. Renegotiate with NATO. And renegotiate with Japan. We are
losing $500 billion a year on trade deficits with China. We are losing
hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars a year on trade.
America great again. I am a person that's going to bring this country
together. I'm a person thatís going to unify the country. Ultimately we're
all immigrants. I want people to come into this country. I want to make it
much easier to come into the country. But they have to come in through a
The single greatest problem that the world has is the
power of nuclear. The problem you have now is Pakistan. You have India. You
have so many countries now with nuclear already. You have some very bad
people trying very hard to get nuclear. I would love to see a nuclear-free
world. Chances are extremely small that will happen.
Real power is
through respect. Real power is fear. But our military is very sadly
depleted. We have to strengthen our military. About NATO, we're spending too
much money, and we're not getting treated with respect from the 28 countries
that we're dealing with.
NATO is obsolete. Our big threat today is
terrorism. NATO is set up for the Soviet Union. And we seem to get ripped
off by everybody. We seem to always be the one that pays the bill and gets
the least. And we're going to stop doing that. In order to get reform, you
have to be prepared to walk. Otherwise you can't get reform.
have respected me. My life has been a life where I've been respected. And
respect is about winning. I want Putin to respect our country. He said very
good things about me. He said, Trump is brilliant and Trump is going to be
the new leader and all that. And some of these clowns said, you should
repudiate Putin. I said, why would I repudiate him?
I think Putin
respects strength. I think I will get along well with Putin. When Putin came
out and he wanted to bomb the hell out of ISIS, I had people that I'm
running against saying, like, that was a terrible thing. If our presidents
had gone away and gone to the beach, the Middle East would be a far better
place than it is right now. The mistakes we've made in the Middle East are
The thing, for me, is to make our country great
again. I am going to make our country rich again. I think I could do it over
a period of eight years. The power is trade. Our deals are so bad. With
China, $505 billion this year in trade. We're losing with everybody. A lot
of people say, how could the politicians be so stupid? It's not that they're
stupid. It's that they're controlled by lobbyists and special interests who
want those deals to be made.
I know politicians. I know them all.
They're only talented at one thing: getting elected. Raising funds, and
getting elected. When I first ran, Charles Krauthammer said, this is one of
the most talented fields of senators and governors and people running for
office in the history of our country, and certainly since World War II. Now
this is about two months before I'm announcing. And I'm saying to myself,
wow. That's tough. Now I've defeated those people. And I say, really?
Meaning to his statement. Really? Not a lot of talent.
me very unfairly, and very inaccurately. I did a thing the other day on CNN
with Anderson Cooper. The ratings were through the roof. Won the evening,
beat everybody, et cetera, et cetera. The bad is they want to do nothing but
cover me. They write stories that don't even make sense. I wish I could be
treated fairly by the media.
My whole life has been about winning. My
whole life. I've won a lot. And I've been hit very hard. I hit back very
hard. But I've got to win.
My First Six Months
Donald J. Trump
From the transcript of an interview
New York Times,
July 19, 2017
Edited by Andy Ross
So I go to Poland and make a speech. Enemies of mine in the media are saying
it was the greatest speech ever made on foreign soil by a president. You saw
the reviews I got on that speech. Poland was beautiful and wonderful, and
the reception was incredible.
And then went to France the following
week. He called me. And I said yes. I mean, I have a great relationship with
him. Heís a great guy. Smart. Strong. Loves holding my hand. Heís a very
good person. And a tough guy, but look, he has to be. I think he is going to
be a terrific president of France. But he does love holding my hand.
But the Bastille Day parade was super-duper. That was very much more than
normal. They must have had 200 planes over our heads. It was a two-hour
parade. They had so many different zones. Maybe 100,000 different uniforms,
different divisions, different bands. Then we had the retired, the older,
the ones who were badly injured. The whole thing, it was an incredible
thing. Everyone was so proud. Honestly, it was a beautiful thing. I was glad
I did it.
That dinner was a very long time planned dinner. And what
it was was an evening at the opera. It was a final night goodbye from
Germany and from Chancellor Merkel. It was her dinner. And we took a picture
of everybody, the wives and the leaders, and then the leaders, and, you
know, numerous pictures outside on the river. Then everybody walked in to
see the opera. Then the opera ended.
Then we walked into a big room
where they had dinner. Weíre sitting at this massive table. And the wives
are separated from their husbands. And I was sitting next to the president
of Argentina, his wife, nice woman, who speaks English. And the prime
minister of Japanís wife, Prime Minister Abe. Great relationships. But I
enjoyed the evening with her, and sheís really a lovely woman ó the whole
thing was good.
And now Melania was sitting on the other side of the
table, way down on the other end, very far away. She was sitting next to
Putin and somebody else, I donít know. She was sitting next to Putin. So
toward dessert I went down just to say hello to Melania, and while I was
there I said hello to Putin. Really, pleasantries more than anything else.
It was not a long conversation, but it was, you know, could be 15 minutes.
Just talked about ó things.
Look what they did to me with Russia, and
it was totally phony stuff. That was totally made-up stuff. I know a lot
about those guys, theyíre phony guys. They make up whatever they want. Just
not my thing ó plus, I have witnesses, because I went there with a group of
I went there for one day for the Miss Universe contest, I
turned around, I went back. It was so disgraceful. It was so disgraceful.
Honestly, it was so wrong, and I was just there for a very short period of
time. It was so wrong, and I was with groups of people.
By the way, I
would say, itís possible thereís a condo or something, so, you know, I sell
a lot of condo units, and somebody from Russia buys a condo, who knows? I
donít make money from Russia. In fact, I put out a letter saying that I
donít make ó from one of the most highly respected law firms, accounting
firms. I donít have buildings in Russia. They said I own buildings in
Russia. I donít. They said I made money from Russia. I donít. Itís not my
My finances are extremely good, my company is an unbelievably
successful company. But I donít even think about the company anymore. I
think about this. But I have no income from Russia.
AR I worked hard to
extract this mess from an unbelievably incoherent ramble. The man is sinking