The Art of the Comeback. Donald Trump, you wrote the book. What's the secret? Well… You got to where I wanted you to go. I can't imagine why you're asking me that question. Give some advice. Now you have -- you have built this empire in New York. We're in this fabulous building here on 5th Avenue, it's all like -- it's a gold palace here. It's -- it's the Pleasure Dome. It's fabulous. You had -- you've got this fabulous empire in Atlantic City, you've come back from -- from nowhere back in the early part of this decade. What did you do right that you weren't doing right? Well, I think I really focused. You know Chris, I had years of just tremendous success and then all of a sudden I took my eye off the ball a little bit and we also happened to have a thing called a depression 'cause that wasn't a recession, that was a depression in the early '90s. Right. But I had some great institutions, and I had some really good banks and it just all worked out. And now my company is, as you know, much, much bigger and stronger than it was in the '80s. So I'm very happy about it. And it is, I guess, a little bit of a comeback. The book became a great -- you know, very good best-seller... Right. ...and it's been really -- I've been having a lot of fun. Let's talk about another 52-year-old, Bill Clinton. What's he need to do? Well, I don't know. It's so embarrassing and you really have to say, 'Where does it stop?' I -- I really like this guy, but you really have to say -- you know, 'Where does it stop?' Why do they keep revealing the details. He had sex, but now they talk about the kind of sex, the -- where it took place, where it was, on the desk, off the desk -- I mean, it's -- it's so out-of-control. I've never seen anything like it. I didn't hear those parts. But do you think he should have just come... You can imagine. Do you think he could have gotten away with a complete mea culpa in the -- January, when he decided to cover it up? Do you think at that moment he could have said, 'I'm gonna throw all my money on the table. The American people like me, they're gonna buy this'? Well, I think, he probably couldn't do any worse. I don't think he could do worse. I think his lawyers, and in particular -- the lawyer wh -- I won't even mention names, but representing him with respect to Paula Jones, I thought did a terrible job. Right. He should have never been there. Bill Bennett's brother. He should have never gotten in there. I mean what -- what Bennett did in that case was -- I -- I think he just did a terrible job. You would have -- you would have settled? Put it behind ya. Well, I would have done -- I would have done something, certainly, different than what they did -- I mean, that all started it. Paula Jones is a loser, but the fact is that she may be responsible for bringing down a president indirectly. And, you know, that statement was a bad statement to have made -- been made. And it's proven to be false, so... Which statement was that, I'm sorry. This -- Paula Jones -- in the deposition... Right. ...which really started this whole thing. When he denied it -- which is if you're in a hole, stop digging. Well, I think -- I think... Is there a certain point when you just -- just sort of walk away from the deal and say, 'I'm not dealing here anymore. I'm gonna drop this line.' Well, I think his little speech afterward was a disaster. It wasn't the right tone and I'm not sure he should have done it. And I'm not even sure that he shouldn't have just gone in and taken the Fifth Amendment and said, 'Look, I don't get along with this man Starr. He's after me. He's a Republican.' Yeah. 'He's this, he's that,' and, you know, just taken the Fifth Amendment. It's a terrible thing for a president to take the Fifth Amendment, but he probably should have done it. I don't think he could have done any worse than what's happened. It's such an embarrassment to him -- I mean, I see him walking around, it's like a terrible embarrassment. And you think when you see him tur -- doing this -- what do you -- what comes to your head as a businessman about the m -- about the miscalculation he made? Well, it -- it's just that there are so many miscalculations. And he's had such bad advice. It's just been so badly handled. And it's pretty scary. You know, he's really been a Teflon guy. They compared him with Reagan with the Teflon. Sure. And he has been a Teflon guy. That Teflon has exploded all over the place. Let's talk about friends and enemies. You've written about it in your book Art -- Art of the Comeback Well, people are staying away from him in -- in droves. And I watched James Carville, who's still with him -- but I watched George Stephanopoulos, who's now making a lot of money and doing very well thanks to Clinton. And, boy, he is just bombing him. I mean, it's incredible. You know, you think there'd be some semblance of loyalty to the guy. He's down and -- I mean, the way these guys are after him, it's terrible. But I watched George the other day... Right. ...on one of your competitors... On -- on -- on -- yeah, on -- on a Sunday show. ...and I -- I will tell you, he was just bombing him. So it's... Yeah, he said he lied to him about the draft and he's lied ab -- to everybody about the woman. It's the same deal. That's the way George puts it. Well, you know, George wouldn't be there if it wasn't for Clinton. So you have to sort of remember that, too, I think. You know, it's called loyalty and -- I think. Let's talk about enemies. You wrote -- you -- you, basically, have a sort of an Old Testament view of this thing. I do. I do. Tell us about it. Go after your enemies -- I mean, they're after you. Go after your enemies. I think that Clinton probably is too nice a guy in a certain respect. I think that's one of the things that happened. I really believe he is a nice guy. That he wants to be liked too much? Maybe. But I don't think he's going after people the way he should and I really believe hi -- his -- his thing is to be liked and that's not really a good position to be in right now for him. What would you do if you were he to try to spr -- bring the Democrats in Congress behind ya -- you know, he's got to win his fight on the Hill. That's where they're gonna try him. It -- it's a... How does he make sure that guys like Tom Daschle, the head of the Democratic Party in the Senate, or -- or Dick Gephardt play ball with him? How does he work 'em? It's a very tough fight right now -- I mean, he's in such a -- an embarrassing, compromising position. I guess all he can do is -- is go in there and just beg for help. Yeah. It's terrible that he put himself in this position -- I mean, there's a really major force going on that he should just really himself resign because it's an embarrassment. The whole thing's an embarrassment. I don't see him doing that, but I'll tell you what, I wouldn't want to be in his position 'cause he's fighting from such an embarrassing platform. So you don't really have a key to this problem, this puzzle, this... I would have had a key a year ago. Right. I mean -- but it's so deep. And it gets deeper and deeper and deeper, and what can he say? Then he goes and admits everything and then they say -- then -- then they come out and say that he didn't admit enough. I mean -- at some point, it has to stop. And even Starr -- Starr has taken something from nothing and brought it into this big crescendo. But you know what? It's got to stop. It's enough. Did you ever have a flicker when you're taking a shower, or walking to work, or waking up in the morning where you said, 'Donald Trump, you've won every battle you've ever fought. Why don't you run for governor? Why don't you run for president?' Did you ever think about that? People want me to all the time. What about you? I don't like it. Why? Can you imagine how controversial I'd be? You think about him with the women. How about me with the women? Can you imagine? Well, you might be close to him, but it'd be no cigar. Yeah. They might like my women better, too, you know? OK. We'll be back with more Hardball and Donald Trump in just a moment. [Announcements] Donald Trump, a lot of people give credit -- in fact, just about everybody, to President Clinton for the shape of the economy right now. Who do you assign the credit to right now, for the economy? Well, I -- I think his -- the best thing he has going is the fact that the economy is doing great. I've never seen anything like it -- you know, they talked about the '80s were good. The '90s are better. And the '90s are really much better. I think Bob Rubin's done a great job and you give credit to that -- to Clinton because he chose Bob Rubin. But Bob Rubin has really been outstanding. And certainly Greenspan. Alan has done a -- a fantastic job. The economy has -- has, I don't think, ever been better. I mean, we've had a little glitch over the last couple of months, but it's very minor, relatively speaking. It's just very strong. Where I am in Manhattan it's like there's never been a period of time like this. Did you see that comment from Clinton when he first came in and any steps he took that you thought were smart? I thought that -- I thought that Clinton -- what he's done in terms of the economy... Yeah. ...that's been so good has been the people he's chosen. And I think primarily that would be the extension of Greenspan and Bob Rubin. Right. I think they've done a great job. Let's talk about this country. A lot of people watch you and see you as the great American success story, especially right now when you're back on top, and they think, 'Well, I guess it still works, this country.' Let's -- let's talk about that in a kind of American way. What -- what is it -- what it takes to make it in America? Now you said something very interesting about Jimmy Carter once when you met him after he was president, and I've always been taken with what -- take some time and explain how you figured out this guy, Jimmy Carter. Well, it was sort of interesting because I got a call from him and I never spoke to him and he said he was building the Carter Library and they'd like me to donate millions of dollars -- I don't know the exact number, but millions of dollars to this library. And I said that's an amazing thing -- I mean, I wasn't on his side. I wasn't a huge fan, although I think he's a very nice man, and I think in a certain way he's done better after he became president -- you know, after he got out. Right. Right. But the fact that he had the moxie or the nerve to ask for millions of dollars was the same moxie that he had when he ran for president in the first place. And he won because they wanted the opposite of what was there before. And they certainly got it. Mm-hmm. Well, did it work? Well... When he asked you for the loot? No, no. No. It didn't work for him. You didn't give him any money? It worked for me 'cause I didn't give him any money. But I'm sure the library's... So you learned his secret, but you didn't give him any money. And I'm sure the library's a very nice place. OK. Let's talk about America and gambling because -- talk about regular gambling with -- with chips and big picture gambling. It's seems like you've made a real commitment to America's sort of notion of the American Dream being connected with gambling -- I mean, people go to Atlantic City. You put all your money in Atlantic City. What is it about Americans and the American Dream and gambling? Well, I think gambling is just something that's happening right now, but it's not happening that easily. A lot of people are rejecting it, a lot of states are rejecting it, as you see. It was gonna happen in Florida and it's dead. It was gonna happen in New York and it died. It's a tough thing to get off. Atlantic... You gotta -- you have to be an -- a N -- Native American to make it in in Florida now as a gambler, right? Well, it's certainly happening with them -- I mean, there's no question. It's... Right. Are you -- are you in with those guys at all? I have a lot of great relationships with the Indians. Right. And -- and I am friendly with a lot of 'em. But -- you know, my big stake is in Atlantic City and we've been doing very well. Why did you make that gut decision to put everything -- basically, these huge stakes into a little town, Atlantic City, that was once this super resort but wasn't anymore. How did you know -- what did you know that nobody else knew about that? Well, I just understand the economics and I understand business, and it's worked out very well. And my casinos -- I mean, I'm number one in Atlantic City by far. And we have some good, strong competitors there, but I'm number one by far. And, you know, it's worked out really -- pretty well. And Atlantic City's bigger than Vegas now, right? Atlantic City does more business than the entire Las Vegas Strip, and nobody knows that. And it takes -- and, actually, more people come to Atlantic City than Las Vegas. But Atlantic City does more business than the entire Las Vegas Strip, which is amazing. Let's talk about the average gambler going in there. Whenever I've gambled -- I don't gamble that much. I may say 30 bucks in the old days, I might say a little more now. But I make a decision I'm not gonna lose any more than that. Right. And -- and I go in with the cash, I buy the chips, and that's me for the night, and I usually end up where I intended to end up, right where I expected to put the limit. Should people be putting limits on how much they want to win and then they can walk out with some money? If they said, 'I only want 100 bucks. I'll walk out of here with $ 100.' Would that hurt the business, if people did that? Well, I think they should maybe put limits on how much they want to lose because if they go in, they can win. And we have people that beat us constantly. They're great gamblers. You know, there is such a thing as a great gambler. People don't realize that. What's that? What's it take? I mean, I have high rollers that are just great gamblers. They really understand it, they understand how to win, they understand how to make money. And they go in and they beat us consistently. It's amazing. And they get the same roll of the dice as everybody else. They do. They get the same cards as everybody else. They just -- they got it. What do they do? They bet differently. They've got a sense. They've got an absolute sense. There are people that know how to beat the house and do beat the house. And there are a lot of 'em. And you wouldn't set a limit on how much you wanted to win, if you were an average guy going in there with... You know... ...with a family nest egg. I -- I think some people do, but I think it's basically how much you want to lose because you get -- you really have to protect the down side. Protecting the down side is a lot more important. There's one smart marketing thing you do. I -- I drove in Atlantic City the other day in -- in the morning. And you drive in from the Atlantic City Expressway. And you go into this big tunnel -- like you almost can't avoid it -- into this big tunnel. It's called The Trump. What's it called? It's called the Lincoln Tunnel, I think. No, no. As you're driving into Atlantic City as you're driving out of New York. No, right into the city of Atlantic City -- into the resort, you walk -- you drive right into your resort, the Trump Building. Well, you drive right into the... And it's a big parking lot. Oh, yeah. Trump Plaza. Right. Trump Plaza. Right in the beginning. Right. Right at the Trump Plaza it's like -- it's like we're on -- our car's become a giant quarter in the slot machine. Right. Like you just suck us right in. Yeah. Is that a marketing technique? That's actually not a tunnel, it's a big parking garage... Right. Right. ...that sort of has the look of a tunnel because people just sort of go in and park. And they don't come out. And it's become a very successful parking lot. Was that a thing you figured out? We gotta get them to just drive right into this thing. Well, I had a great location, in any case. Right. Trump Plaza's been a great location. It's done unbelievable business from the day I built it. It's been a real success. Right. And I think when I built that big parking lot, it turned out to be very successful. Does -- does Bill Clinton have this thing -- this sort of in -- in -- ineffable quality you describe as luck. I know you've got it. Does he have it? I think -- I think he had it until recently. I think he lost his luck. And you can lose your luck and there's no doubt about it. But I think he was a very lucky guy. He had everything going, and I think he really lost it. And I don't know that he can recover. You know, over years and years, you can recover, but he's got a year and a half, two years left. I'm not sure that he can actually recover in terms of respectability. He's a great -- I mean, I really like this guy, but I think he has just been so badly damaged. These -- these new things going on... Place your bet. Where's he going, up or down? Well, I think he ha -- I think the best he can do is tread water for two years. I really believe that. I think he can tread, I think he can maybe keep the office and just tread and get out as opposed to Nixon, who got out in a rather harsh manner. But it may be worse than that. But I really believe the best he can do is tread water. OK. Let's talk about something more delightful up here in New York. We're in New York City, we're in Manhattan. The Trump Tower right on 5th Avenue here at 56th, right? 56th and 5th. 56th Street. Let's talk about Yankee -- the Yankees. They're going pretty good this year. The owner, George Steinbrenner, says he wants to see three million at the gate or whatever then he'll stay in the Bronx. Is this important? I mean, we've got this big fight for the -- for the Roger Maris record now, 37 years. You've got Sosa and McGwire, a lot of excitement about baseball. Should the Yankees stay in the Bronx? Well, I know George and I -- I love George. He's a good friend of mine. And he's a great guy and he's done a great job -- you know, he does -- he's one of the people that does not get credit 'cause you look at every year he's got a good team. And this year he's got maybe the best team ever. I don't know -- I mean, in terms of winning. I think the Yankees would like to, frankly, be right in Manhattan, right along the Hudson River, right behind Madison Square Garden at 34th Street. And who can blame 'em? It's a great piece of property, a great site. I don't know if it can be done politically, but I think that's where they'd like to be. Will they stay at Yankee Stadium? They might. What do you think they should do? I mean, if I were George, I'd like to be at 34th in Manhattan. With the chichi. I'd like to be... With the nice people. I mean, if I had the choice... But isn't that abandoning some of the worst part and some of the toughest part of the city here? No. When you walk away from the Bronx... I don't think so. ...The Bonfire of the Vanities No. No, I don't think so. I think that -- I think that George has done a really good job. I think he's -- I think he's been very good for the area, very sensitive to the area and -- you know, if they don't straighten out the area, I think he's gonna have to do something. And, frankly, he may very well end up staying. You know, maybe they'll do some big economic development project out there and he'll stay. There is something very beautiful about Yankee Stadium. That's one thing, you're never gonna produce another Yankee Stadium, the history and the legend... Right. ...and everything else. The Bronx Bombers. And it -- it would be nice if he'd stay there, but it's a tough call for him. Last question. We've got a lot of people retired watching this show, a lot of people who are going to be retired and they're worried about their money. Give them some advice. Well, the stock market is very scary. I think put it in some good, strong interest-bearing accounts right now. I'm very concerned about the stock market. OK. Donald Trump. Had a good time. It's an honor. Thank you. Thank you very much. We'll be back with more Hardball on CNBC.